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Did you know that the landscape you are looking at today wasn’t the same a century ago?

The unique Kvarken Archipelago is Finland’s only Natural Heritage Site on the international UNESCO World Heritage List. In the Kvarken Archipelago, the freshness of island nature, the atmosphere of idyllic villages and the rising rocky landscape are present everywhere. You ca not find anything like it anywhere else!

There is a lot to see and do in the area. You can explore on your own or join a guided tour.

At the World Heritage Gateway visitor centre, you can find tips on various places to see, which makes it a good starting point for a visit to the Kvarken Archipelago. The Gateway has information on the local attractions and hiking trails as well as summertime events, cruises and excursions. You should also check out the exhibitions at the Gateway. The World Heritage Gateway is located next to the Replot Bridge.

Three tips for an adventure in the archipelago

  1. Valsörarna islands leave a long-lasting impression! Experience the stunning nature, learn about the islands’ fascinating history and see the red lighthouse that resembles the Eiffel Tower. Day cruises to the islands are organized during the summer season and guided tours are available.

  2. Svedjehamn on Björkö has something for everyone: climb up the Saltkaret observation tower for a great view of the unique moraine landscape, hike on the nature trails and take a break on the shore to eat a packed lunch. Rent a bicycle and reward yourself with a meal at the seaside restaurant.

  3. In Molpe you can rent a kayak or join a guided trip. Kayaking is a lovely way to experience the World Heritage Site up close, right on the sea. Molpe is a paradise for active people who love the sea and nature.

A landscape shaped by sea and ice

The land rises at a world record rate at this UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Kvarken Archipelago is Finland’s only Natural Heritage Site on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The land area in the archipelago increases at a rate of one square kilometre per year, which corresponds to more than 150 football fields. The current landscape was shaped during the previous Ice Age, when the enormous ice sheet that covered Northern Europe pushed the land down by about a kilometre.

The easiest way to explore the World Heritage Site is to head over to Replot, which is located in Korsholm, 25 km from the centre of Vaasa. Cross Finland’s longest bridge and you will be at the World Heritage Site. To find the Saltkaret observation tower shown in the photo, set your destination as Svedjehamn in Björköby.

Published 14.2.2020

Traces of the Ice Age

Nature trails by the sea, t  he diverse nature of the Vaasa region offers something for everyone and hiking trails are available both in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and elsewhere in the region. Choose your route from the options below or see more options:

Edvin's Path

1,3 km, Vaasa

• easy terrain
• along the route, you will see about 150 of Edvin Hevonkoskis artworks
• playground and campfire site

Västerö Hiking Trails

3-12 km, Vörå/Maxmo

• in places tricky terrain
• memorial for the Equity, the cliffs of Ryssberget, the old land uplift forests, bays, flads and seashores.
• 2 campfire sites and resting spots, dry toilets, two huts to be used as rest spots (they are not meant for overnight stays).

Bodvattnetin kierroksella tutustut helposti saariston luontoon ja kulttuuriin.

Bodvattnet nature trail

4 km, Korsholm/Svedjehamn

•De Geer moraine ridges and Bodback’s old fishing harbour - suitable for the whole family
• 20m high observation tower Saltkaret, composting toilet and a campfire site with firewood

Levaneva nature reserve route

13 km, Laihia

• easy terrain
• a dream destination for birdwatchers
• a bird watching tower, dry toilets, and several sheds along the route

Kvarken Archipelago World Heritage Site

Info phone +358 50 3466 200


Replotvägen 2, Replot (Korsholm)
June, July and August every day from 10am to 6pm
In September weekdays from 10 am to 4 pm
At other times, the visitor center is open according to agreement.

World Heritage Gateway

Stories from the Vaasa region