Turku – the gateway to world’s largest archipelago

How do you recognise a medieval European town? Some say it is the riverfront, the market square, the castle and the cathedral. That sounds familiar – in fact, that sounds like Turku! Turku is not only the one city in Finland to meet all of the above criteria, but also a vibrant modern city of many events and a European Capital of Culture in 2011.

Along the Aura River – the Plough River – you can walk through medieval cobblestone streets. The river is the heart of the city. During the summer, the riverbanks come to life when people gather here to eat, drink and listen to music. There are old sailing ships moored in the river, and you can take cruises out into the archipelago or to nearby Naantali. Cruise ships sail daily from Turku Harbor across the Baltic to Sweden.

Example programme for visiting the world’s largest archipelago and former capital of Finland in 2 days.

  • Group size: 10 – 30 persons
  • Best time to take the tour: April – September
  • Duration: 2 days

Day 1

Turku, the oldest city of Finland. Accommodation in a classy hotel near to River Aura. Guided city tour and visit in the ship yard. Dinner cruise onboard of the old steam ship Ukkopekka. BBQ dinner on the small lighthouse island Loistokari, dancing on the jetty with typical Finnish music.

Day 2

Excursion to Naantali, a cozy, old city with wooden architecture and the summer residence of the Finnish President. Then afternoon and evening in Herrankukkaro, an ancient fishing village located in the heart of the archipelago. Tour with a traditional fishing boat, following the route of the old smugglers. Smoke sauna experience, warm water tubs on the beach and swimming in the Baltic Sea. Dinner buffet with local archipelago food: home-made dark bread, mushrooms and berries from the own forest, lots of local fishes and vegetables, wild food at its best.

Images Herrankukkaro / Visit Finland: Timo Oksanen, Elina Sirparanta