THE FINNISH ARCHIPELAGO
The largest archipelago in the world, and it has just about everything a girl gone wild could hope for: national parks, wooden towns, lighthouses and of course Unesco World Heritage Sites. You can tour by ferry, car, even bike. I was lucky enough to be invited by friends and remained on an island in the south of Finland. As much as there is to see, do and experience, what I discovered to be so profound about the time spent was just enjoying the day, and staying put. Word of warning: the sun almost never sets so your day can be very long. With every single home having a sauna, as a necessity, you are led by nature to sleep, swim, eat and sauna as you fold endlessly into the flow of the environment.
DO. ISLAND HOP
Åland Islands The Shipping Heir
Turku Archipelago The Second City
Hanko - The Southern Beach Town
Kotka - The Place to Do Water Sports
Rauma - The Wooden Town
Pori - The Jazz and the Beach
Seinäjoki The Architecture
Vaasa - The Old Town and the Archipelago
Kokkola - & The Ten Meter Beach
Oulu - The Tech Town
Or do the whole thing via The Archipelago Trail
Sataman Baari, Kalasatamantie 153, 49860 Virolahti, Finland (portside cafe where lovers dance in the afternoon and eat pizza)
Once you arrive at your destination, bask in the sun eat a late dinner and never forget to sauna after each meal. The sauna's are hot as hades but jumping into the sea to cool off and rejuvenate the circulation system is heaven. The rocks were slippery so my friends had a rope installed to climb safely into the sea. And when your friends asked if going naked is ok, don't ask, JUST DO IT.
EAT. BBQ AT HOME
The food I had on the island was some of the best I have ever had. Salmon, smoked and grilled, veggie kebabs. We ate like kings and had little to no waste. Most of the homes in the archipelago are eco, which is incredible. Composting, biogradable toilets with wood chips and sparing water. It is a way of life, the circle of life which is respected and upheld. At meals, you have a lot to be thankful for.
Need inspiration? See these Traditional Finnish Foods.
STAY. IN A COTTAGE ON AN ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BALTIC SEA OR GULF OF FINLAND
HERE ARE A LIST OF AIRBNB’S
Millennial Pink Cottage for Two
Fit For A Finance Dude: Modern Houseboat in Central Turku