Last Friday, I was cycling from Turku along The Turku Archipelago Trail – a 250 km trip around the Turku Archipelago. The whole bicycle trip took me 27 hours to complete and I spent 1 night in my tent near the ferry harbor leaving from Kustavi.
I have planned this summer bicycle trip already a long time ago but never had time to cycle it. I am also interested to do a bicycle tour in Åland but this won’t happen this year anymore. Below you can see my Surly Disc Trucker with my new Ortlieb Back Roller Classics next to a sign along The Turku Archipelago Trail which indicates that you are on the right track.
My first stop was the church in Raisio. Then the trail continued over the Särkänsalmen Silta (bridge). From the Särkänsalmen Silta (bridge) I had a nice view of the sea. There were so many bridges on this trail that you don’t have to rush to get a good picture from any of those bridges. Then I came across a bird tower just after Raisio and I decided to explore it a bit.
The neoclassical Askaisten Church was the next highlight on The Turku Archipelago Trail which dates back form the 17th century and was the chapel of the Louhisaari Manor where the Mannerheim family used to live. The church is also part of the oldest tourist route in Finland – the Seven Churches Tour.
Just next to the Askaisten Church is the ‘Askaisten Ritaripuisto’ – or The Knights’ Park which was founded in 2007 to honor the Finnish war veterans. The stone shows the Mannerheim Cross.
My trip continued to Kustavi along with fields and bridges. Fortunately, the full moon lightened up the night so it was not too dark to cycle. The road felt a bit dangerous to cycle during the night as there were quite a few cars passing by with very high speed. Once I arrived nearby the Hepponiemi ferry at 12 pm I decided to pitch my Marmot Force UL 2P tent (which Marmot provided me for my trips this year) nearby the street as the first ferry was about to leave at around 8 am.
The next morning I woke up at 7 am. I packed my tent and my other gear into my Ortlieb Backroller Classic bags and cycled to the harbor.
When I arrived in Hepponimi harbor there were already quite a few cars queuing to get onto the ferry to Iniö. There were only 2 others with their bicycles. Once I went on board I discovered that there was also a cafe. Unfortunately, it was closed for the whole trip. Transportation, however, was free of charge.
On the way from Hepponimi to Kannvik it felt a bit cold and windy but I always like to be on the sea and really enjoyed it. At Kannvik harbor were only a few cars queuing for the ferry. Once I arrived in Kannvik I cycled straight to the next ferry point. There were no significant sights or attractions on the way. At some ferry bridges, there was a box with a button to call the ferry.
When I arrived in Iniö there was an old farmhouse and the Iniö church which was built in the 18th century. A sailing ship hanging from the ceiling of the church – a quite common feature across the churches in this region (also in Sweden). Maypoles were also a common feature on The Turku Archipelago Trail.
At Iniö Landhandel I had my breakfast. A group of motorcycle riders from the previous ferry were also there. I ordered tea and had a pastry – also called Wiener in Finland.
At Iniö were ferries leaving to two different locations – I took the one to Houtskari. I paid 15 EUR to get on my bicycle onto the ferry. There was also a cafe on board and there were many sailing ships on my bicycle trip.
Then we arrived in Mossala and the Mossala Island Resort was probably “the place to sleep” on this island.
Again there was a nice maypole and an old windmill. I have seen the same kind of windmill already in different places in Western Finland. The next ferry went from Mossala to Björkö. Again free of charge. At 1 pm I felt a bit hungry and decided to have lunch in the Pub Pelago in Houtskari.
I ordered a Halloumi salad and paid 9.80 EUR. There was also a bigger portion available for 15 EUR and it was really delicious. I can recommend you to stop by there as well. They are also selling burgers.
After lunch, I continued cycling in Björkö. One ferry employee told me that the population is 80% Swedish and 20% Finnish speaking on these islands. From Kivimio I took the next ferry to Roslax. And then the ferry from Houtskär to Korpo which was one of the longer ferry trips. After all those ferry trips I finally arrived in Nagu (or Nauvo) where I visited the local church. Again there was a sailing ship attached to the ceiling of the church – which is a common feature in churches in this area. The Nagu church was built in the 1400-century.
Nagu is the biggest town on the islands and has a nice harbor with plenty of restaurants. There was also a Tourist Information at the harbor in Nouvo.
After having bought some snacks in the local grocery store I decided to continue my bicycle trip. Only 60 km left to Turku. Initially, I have planned another night in a tent but decided to cycle back home on the same day. I took another ferry from Parainen to Nauvo and passed the Kirjalansalmen silta (bridge) was probably the most impressive bridge on this trail.
I really enjoyed this bicycle trip but I would only recommend the part from Kustavi to Turku. The part between Turku and Kustavi is not that exciting except the city of Naantali (one of the highlights on this trip) and maybe the Askainen Knights Park and Louhisaari Manor (which I did not visit).
Also, I was cycling quite fast so you should probably add another day into your itinerary in case you are planning to cycle The Turku Archipelago Trail as well. It might be also a good idea to spend a few days on the islands to explore them or to relax especially if the scenery is new for you.