Nature around the Vaasa region provides photographer Christoffer Björklund with both an inexhaustible source of subjects and inspiration for practicing his whole profession.
A perfect glassy calm, peacefully lapping waves, or mighty whitecaps in a storm – which-ever side of its fickle nature it shows, photographer Christoffer Björklund always finds the sea to be a fascinating subject for study.
“It’s hard to explain the attraction the sea has for me. I have always been interested in nature, and I have spent time sailing and trekking in the wild since childhood. Photography did not come along until later, when I realized that the nature around Vaasa is an endless source of inspiration,” says Christoffer.
For visitors to the region, Christoffer also recommends combining photography with spending time in nature. Idyllic fishing ports with their boathouses, rocky shores, and ruggedly beautiful vegetation form the best part of the coastline. In the countryside, meanwhile, lush forests and fertile flatlands come into their own.
“There you’ll also find the best spots for photos of the Northern Lights,” Christoffer notes.
According to Christoffer, the seasons play no part in when to explore or photograph nature.
“Certainly the summer lends itself to pretty pictures of landscapes, but I prefer a more dramatic style and favour winter and autumn as the seasons for photography,” says Christoffer.
Christoffer Björklund’s tips for tourists
- Svedjehamn and the Saltkaret observation tower. The area has hiking trails of many different lengths, and the observation tower offers breathtaking views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The light around here is also often favorable for photography.
- Sommarö fortress in Södra Vallgrund. Occupied by the armed forces until 2000, the area combines nature and history. The nature trail around the fortress features both bunkers and old ruins, as well as a gloe lake and sheltered beach. The seawater may not always be warm, but it is still worth taking a dip!
- Valsörarna, Ritgrund, Rönnskär and many other lighthouse islands around the Kvarken Archipelago offer possibilities for true adventures. The islands can be reached by private boat or on organized tours. In the winter, no boat may be needed if the sea ice is thick enough. Still, their location on the edge of the open sea and the unpredictability of untamed nature will require careful planning and expert advice on local conditions. So remember always to take the weather into account!
Share your own pictures with #visitvaasa
Observation Tower Saltkaret
The impressive, tar coloured Saltkaret raises to over 20 meters height in the World heritage area of Kvarken Archipelago. The tower, located in the fish harbour Svedjehamn, offers a beautiful view over the De Geer-moraines. This unique moraine archipelago affirms the enormous power of the last ice age in the Kvarken Archipelago.
The visible area from the tower is a perfect example of the De Geer areas in Finland. The tower also pleases many bird-watchers, as many of the typical bird species of the island can be spotted in the area, such as black coots, terns and sea eagles. The wooden observation tower is also an excellent intermediate stopping point for hikers, because it is located directly by the hiking trail. You can reach the lower level of the tower also with prams or wheelchairs.
Driving directions to Saltkaret:
Saltkaret is located in Svedjehamn, which is in the municipality of Korsholm, about 40-45 minutes drive northwest from the centre of Vaasa. From Vaasa: drive on road number 742 (Alskatvägen/Alskatintie) north towards Replot (Raippaluoto) approximately 20 kilometres. After Replot continue straight on road 7240 (Replotvägen/Björkövägen OR Raippaluodontie/Björköntie) approximately 20 kilometres and you’ll arrive to Svedjehamn harbour where the road ends.
There is a free parking place in Svedjehamn. The observation tower can already be seen from the harbour and the parking place. Next to the parking place there is an information sign about the Björkö-Panike hiking trail. The observation tower is located by this trail; about 600 metres walk from the parking place.
Sommarö Nature trails
Sommarö Nature Trail, circular trails of 1.5 km/2.4 km, or 7 km in one direction
Estimated time to walk is about 1-2 h in summer.
Easy for beginners, families and groups.
two campfire sites and dry toilets, tables and benches; a lean-to shelter (in public use) in the yard of the Sommarö guardhouse. An information board (including maps) at each end of the trail and five information boards along the trail. The information boards are in Finnish, Swedish and English.
In 1940-2000, the area was used as an army depot and as a fort for the coastal artillery. The Finnish Defence Forces left behind a network of roads and paths, foundations of demolished buildings, a pier, foundations for artillery pieces and bullet chambers. There is a memorial for the coastal artillery fort in the area. Only one residential building, as well as a guardhouse and its outbuildings, remain in the area. Along the longer trail, you will see a geologically fascinating giant’s kettle, as well as cultural landscape (including stone fences).
The outer archipelago
Thousands unique islands are full of contrasts: smooth rocks, rough rocky grounds, lush forests and bays. Many light houses and maritime pilot stations remind of the old days. Nowadays the outer islands have summer cottages and many of these are former fishermen’s huts. The Kvarken Archipelago is home also for numerous birds who are also one of the Kvarken’s sights.
During the summers, you can get to Mickelsörarna or Valsörarna islands via World Heritage cruises, where the guides reveal the islands’ many stories. Also many of the archipelago’s entrepreneurs offer boat trips to the outer archipelago. you have your own boat, we recommend landing in for example Molpehällorna’s or Fäliskäret’s guest harbours.