Why I love sailing in the Finnish archipelago

Högsåra, Finland

Boat sheds in Högsåra harbor


The five best things about sailing in the Finnish archipelago:

  1. It’s exciting while being safe. Yes, it is exhilarating and perhaps even a little scary to sail in narrow waters, close to islands and all kinds of underwater rocks. But once you got a hang of the basic navigation it keeps you nicely busy and excited, but you are always quite safe as you are close help if need be. Plus you really get to work with your boat. The wind, the seas and your direction of sail will constantly change, meaning you will be busy trimming your sails and finding that best course all the time. No time to get bored!
  2. The sunsets. I’m an evenings type of a person so in the summer I never get to see the sunrises, but I can vouch for the sunsets, they are just fabulous. Think quiet natural harbor, some birdsong in the background, a full day of sailing and a nice meal behind you and a mug of steaming tea in your hand. And then comes the red sunset. Bliss.
  3. The traditional archipelago village harbors. The service marinas are very nice and the natural harbors are just perfect to get away from everything, but what really sets sailing in Finland apart is that you can still find those old archipelago villages with their village harbors and you can still get a sense of what life was like on the archipelago in the days before the tourist invasion (which in most parts is actually not that long ago). Walk around, see the boat sheds by the shores and the red houses in the village and sense the passing of time.
  4. Sailing without a plan. There seems to be two kinds of sailors: those who like to make plans for their sailing trip and those who rather did not. I’m of the latter type, and for me the sailing in Finland is just perfect. Looks like a great day? Well, let’s cover some miles today! Everybody feeling a bit tired? Guess what, the next harbor is just an hour or two away. Where is the wind coming from? Let’s run with the wind today, there will be a nice place no matter which direction you go. What better way to spend your sailing holiday than to get up in the morning knowing you can match the day with the weather and the way you feel!
  5. No two days are the same. I guess you can say this for life in general, but when it comes to sailing, this is certainly true in the Finnish archipelago. Sail today and check out sights tomorrow. Beat into the wind today and run with it tomorrow. 5 nautical miles today and 60 nautical miles tomorrow. Big city today and deserted rock island tomorrow. What do you want to do today? The choice is yours!