The last three days I have been on a bicycle trip together with Caj in the Archipelago National Park. This year we decided to travel along a new route which might probably replace the old route which I traveled last year with my bicycle.

There were two major differences - namely, there were more services on the way, but it was also more expensive to travel the new route.

The new route goes from Turku to Pensar, Korpoström, Aspö, Örö (which I also visited last year with my packraft) and then back to Kasnäs where you can either take the bus (around 20 EUR) or cycle back to Turku (around 90 km).

Örö Island - Archipelago National Park

Turku to Pensar

After I picked up Caj, we cycled along the Archipelago route from Turku to Granvik where we were supposed to take our first ferry to the Pensar island.

Cycling Archipelago National Park

On the way to Granvik, we stopped at the Resturant Sattmark in Prainen where we had a fantastic lunch - Caj ordered ribs and beer, and I (Patrick) had a goat cheese salad.

There was also a café, gift shop, and a guest pier at this location. However, since we had only 1 hour time we decided to focus more on our lunch.

Archipelago National Park - Sattmark Parainen

From Sattmark it was just another 8 km trip to the harbor in Granvik where the ferry transported us free of charge to Pensar.

The ferry stopped at several other places on islands during the trip where people left and entered the ferry m/s Viken. There was no possibility to buy coffee, tea or any refreshments on board but the ferry was also rather small.

Granvik - Pensar Ferry - m/s Viken - Archipelago National Park

Sailing was a popular activity at that day as the sea was quite crowded with sailing boats.

Granvik - Pensar m/s viken sailing boats

Once we reached Pensar, we cycled along an unpaved road until we reached Pensar Syd where we stayed over night.

Cycling Pensar - Archipelago National Park

The balcony in front of our house … This building was a gas station in former times.

Pensar Syd - Archipelago National Park

A house at Pensar Syd decorated with a fishing net.

Pensar Syd - Fishing Net - Archipelago National Park

A place to rest and sit in front of the museum. In the background are the steps up to the monument. The area was also used by the Lotta organization (a civil guard for women) during the second world war.

I have also visited the Lotta museum in Järvenpää in the past.

Pensar Syd - Archipelago National Park

The museum from outside.

Pensar Syd History Museum - Archipelago National Park

The museum of Pensar Syd can be visited free of charge. It displays objects and pictures from the period of the second world war. Handicrafts can also be purchased here.

Pensar Syd Museum - Archipelago National Park

The monument at Pensar Syd. In the background a soccer field. There were also 2 saunas, grill place and a dartboard available for guests.

Pensar Syd Monument - Archipelago National Park

After a swim in the sea we rested 1 hour and had dinner (which was excellent). Afterwards, we hiked up to the monument and the top of the hill behind it where we had a great view over the archipelago.

The Archipelago National Park

On the way back to our room we had a chat with our host and she explained us that buildings like the museum are not typical for the archipelago area. We asked our host to pack our breakfast into a plastic bag as the ferry was leaving quite early.

Pensar Syd Monument - Archipelago National Park

Pensar to Korpoström

The next day Caj’s phone was rining and woke us up. We packed our stuff and cycled to the nearby harbor on the other end of the island where we landed the day before. At the harbor was also the collection site for trash and a small hut with the timetable of the ferry.

Caj said that it’s a good idea to make a reservation with the ferry beforehand as it may not operate if there are not customers.

The ferry was again free of charge and once on board we had our breakfast and a cup of tea which was available for 1 EUR on board.

Once we reached our destination with the ferry we cycled to Nagu where we bought more breakfast and snacks at the local grocery store.

From there it was another 25 km ride to Korpoström where we stayed over night in the Saaristokeskus. The hotel also featured an exhibition, sauna and a guest harbor. Moreover, there was also a small shop.

The prices of the restaurant were a bit on the upper range (e.g. broccoli soup for 15 EUR or a “variety of tomatoes” for 10.90 EUR) but the quality was excellent.

After lunch we went to the Sauna and had a swim in the sea. Metsähallitus (local forest organization of the goverment) also meassured the water quality.

Metsähallitus Saaristokeskus Korpoström - Archipelago National Park

The breakfast at the Saaristokeskus in Korpoström. Croissants, porrage, cheese, eggs, … we did not leave hungry.

Saaristokeskus Korpoström Breakfast - Archipelago National Park

Korpoström to Aspö

After breakfast M/S Amanda from Aspö Charter picked us up to bring us to Aspö where we had a stopover and then to Örö. A one way ticket including bicycle costs 75 EUR and the trip takes about 3 hours. There was also a possibility to buy coffee, tea and buns on board and the crew was really nice.

Saaristokeskus Korpoström - Archipelago National Park

Aspö is a small island with 11 inhabitants on it. There is also a samll church and a local store where you can buy local handicarfts and snacks.

Aspö Church - Archipelago National Park

It’s a typical fishermen village. I asked one of the inhabitants what they are doing here during the winter and she said that they always find something to do.

Aspö - Archipelago National Park

A model ship inside of the church. Having such ship models in a church is very common in the archipelago area.

Aspö Church Model Ship - Archipelago National Park

Aspö to Örö

Once we left Aspö towards Örö we had plenty of time taking pictures and videos.

Aspö Charter - Archipelago National Park

Three wind mills in the background to generate electricity.

Aspö Charter - Örö - Archipelago National Park

Ships use those signs to navigate through the archipelago.

Aspö Charter - Archipelago National Park

And then we arrived in Örö. Örö is a fortress island and has been open to the public since 2014. Here a canon and the radar tower.

Örö Island - Radar Tower - Archipelago National Park

Since we had only 4 hours time to spend on the island we decided to bicycle from the Northern to the Southern tip and back to save some time.

The Archipelago National Park

Cycling Örö Island - Archipelago National Park

Taking pictures in Örö …

The Archipelago National Park

The flora and fauna on Örö is quite unique.

Flowers Örö - Archipelago National Park

Plants Örö Island - Archipelago National Park

Plants Örö Island - Archipelago National Park

The Bengtskärs light house which is about 10 km away from Örö can be seen in the distance. Here I used the Telezoom to get a bit closer. The canon on Örö has been used to defend the light house when it got attacked by the Russian army during the second world war.

Bengtskär lighthouse from Örö - Archipelago National Park

Caj and me enjoyed the trip very much. As mentioned before, it’s a bit pricey to travel the same route with all the accommodation (about 100 EUR per night) included but it’s probably a great way to see different places of the archipelago and the service and quality is good. It’s also not difficult to cycle the route as there are only a few hills which you have to cycle up and down.

The Archipelago National Park

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