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A landscape shaped by sea and ice

Nature in Ostrobothnia on the West coast of Finland is at its best in every season. In summer, the sea waves are free and wild, whereas in winter covered by snowy ice glistening in the sun. In spring, forests awake into splendour as they turn green and in autumn, the bright colors of the forest take your breath away.

The unique Kvarken Archipelago

Kvarken Archipelago is Finland’s only Natural World Heritage Site on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Together with Sweden’s High Coast, the Kvarken Archipelago is the best place in the world to experience and understand the land uplift phenomenon caused by the last Ice Age. The land area in the archipelago increases at a rate of one square kilometre per year, which corresponds to more than 150 football fields.

Over time, the rural landscape rising from the sea has created vast lowlands, the green and golden fields that provide a peaceful horizon. In the evening, the rays of the setting sun sometimes give the landscape a glimmer only seen in storybooks, and the dusk brings a mist that gently envelops the scene. The massive boulders found in the forests tell a tale of the age when they were hurled around by giants. Or was it perhaps the ice age?


Top 5 for a nature experience in Ostrobothnia

Fäboda – The sunworshipper’s paradise

Fäboda is where stunningly beautiful nature meets gorgeous sandy and rocky beaches. No wonder this place has been the oasis of the residents of Pietarsaari-Jakobstad for decades. People come here to enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities.

But Fäboda is much more than just sandy beaches. The area’s unique nature attracts visitors all year round. Visitors can admire the smooth cliffs, breath the refreshing sea air and watch the sunset from the shore. The beautiful rocks on the beach are also a popular location both for nature photographers and for various other photo shoots.

In Fäboda there are many types of hiking trails of varying length and purpose. You can ramble along short and well-marked trail or take an up to 33 km long hike. The peaceful forests are also perfect for cross-country skiing, mountain biking and berry-picking. There are huts, an observation tower, picnic and barbecue areas along the trails. For the children there is also a nature trail in the area. Along the trail there are nature tasks, animal sculptures, and a balance course.

The iconic scenery in Svedjehamn

The rows of red boat houses and De Geer moraine formations form the iconic scenery in Svedjehamn fishing harbour. From the 20 metres high observation tower Saltkaret, you can view the both harbours and the magnificent land uplift scenery of the Kvarken World Heritage Archipelago.

Saltkaret Svedjehamn

Cannon Bay - Scenery carved by ice

Cannon Bay is located just five kilometres south of the city centre. The scenery is simply breathtaking, and the historic area shows signs of the most recent Ice Age everywhere. On a calm day, the rocks are warm and inviting, and on a windy day you can’t help but marvel as the sea waves display the raw power of nature. The area is teeming with seaside wildlife, and it is not uncommon to see white-tailed eagles fishing for their daily meal.

In Cannon Bay, in addition to the beautiful rocks, you’ll find charming green spaces and delightful trails. The place is well-loved, and many people come here to take a dip in the sea. Do you have a picnic basket? This is the place to enjoy a nice meal outdoors. There are two campfire sites, and the firewood is provided by the city.

Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark

Experience the serenity and mystique of the wild mires and discover the traces of the past geological drama. The geology of Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark has international value. All Geoparks have their own geological theme, which in Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark is the development from an ancient mountain range to the landscape of vast open mires we see today.

Kuva: Mirja Koivisto

The lighthouse island of Tankar

The island of Tankar is situated in the outer archipelago in the south of the Bay of Bothnia, approximately 15 km north-west of Kokkola harbour. In the 13th century, the island raised out of the sea as a result of geological uplift. For centuries the desolate island acted as a base for seal hunters and fishermen. It later became an important landmark for seafarers.

Today Tankar is a versatile place to visit, offering the traveler unforgettable nature experiences and excerpts from old archipelago life. During the summer there is regular scheduled traffic to the island from Kokkola Meripuisto.

There is no road connection to the island, but there is a variety of choices for boat connections available.

Find out more about the nature in the different areas of Ostrobothnia

Enjoy the Silence, Nature & Sea in Pietarsaari-Jakobstad

The location on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia offers a variety of fascinating destinations that are easy to reach. Narrow straits, wind-whipped sea, sandy beaches, and wave-polished cliffs guarantee outstanding outdoor experiences. The best places to enjoy the nature and the sea are the beaches in Fäboda and the Mässkär island.

Nature in Pietarsaari-Jakobstad

Vaasa Region - gradually risen from the sea over a period of millennia.

Vaasa city centre is just minutes away from the seaside, with stunning views that can be enjoyed on foot, by bike, or by boat or stand-up paddle board! Just a little further away, the gorgeous UNESCO World Natural Heritage scenery of the Kvarken archipelago and the fertile flatlands of the Ostrobothnian countryside await.

Nature in the Vaasa Region

Explore the seaside in Kristinestad

Hiking trails, cycling routes and boat trips await you in beautiful Kristinestad! Choose from a wide range of trails to suit your hiking habits. Pedal your way through one of Finland's oldest and most well-preserved wooden towns. End the day by the sea and admire the sunset from a comfortable boat or from the pier.

Welcome to Kristinestad

Discover the Natural Beauty of Seinäjoki Region

Nature trails in Seinäjoki Region offers something for everyone, from beginners to more experienced hikers. The nature trails in the area of Seinäjoki Region have diverse scenery ranging from lush forests to serenic mires and beautiful lakeside views. Explore everything our area has to offer.

Explore Seinäjoki Region

Coastline full of beautiful surprises in Kokkola

Biking, hiking, canoeing or just relaxing on the 15 km long sandy dune beach of Vattaja – there are many ways to enjoy the Western coastline in Kokkola. Here you find old lighthouses and picturesque fishing villages. Enjoy a coffee or do like the Finns and grill a sausage at one of the many available barbeque huts along the coast.

Visit Kokkola coast and archipelago