Finland Proper (Varsinais-Suomen maakunta, Egentliga Finland) is a region in Western Finland with a population of 460 000.
- Turku – the former capital of Finland
The name Finland was in medieval times applied only to this part of Finland, thus its present name.
The southern coast and archipelago is mainly Swedish-speaking, while the inland, the western coast and the northern parts of the archipelago are Finnish.
The area is well connected with the rest of Finland. You can get in by direct trains from Helsinki and Tampere (and sleeping cars from Lapland), however if you are traveling along the Bothnian coast bus should be your transportation of choice. Turku and Naantali have cruise ferry connections with Sweden. There is an airport in Turku, with some international connections.
The main towns are well connected with coaches, but check timetables in time for minor villages. To see the archipelago you can use one of several ferries and cruise boats, but outside the main routes you will often need some planning or a boat of your own (chartering is possible, there are also taxi boat services).
- Moomin World park for children in Naantali
- The Archipelago Sea
- Kurjenrahka National Park
- Kultaranta, the Presidential summer residence in Naantali
- Turku castle and cathedral.
- Track along the Kuhankuono trail network around Kurjenrahka National Park
- Charter a sailing boat or a canoe and explore the archipelago
- Enjoy music at Finland's oldest rock festival Ruisrock in Turku each July.
The Archipelago Trail
You can admire the unique land of sea and stony islands of the Archipelago within in just one day trip from Turku. It is accessible via road number 180 from Kaarina. The islands are interconnected with bridges and ferries. You can travel by bus, car or bike.
The entire Archipelago Trail ring road (Turku - Kaarina - Pargas - Nagu - Korpo - Houtskär - Iniö - Kustavi - Taivassalo - Turku) is 250 km long and can be taken from mid-May to end of September, but parts are accessible all year round.
- Stone labyrinth (jungfrudansen) in Finby (near Nagu). Take a short hike along a nature trail that leads to an old man-made stone formation or labyrinth, also called jungfrudansen. The map of the trail can be downloaded from (with description in Swedish and Finnish only).
- MS Estonia Memorial (near Nagu-). When approaching a ferry terminal from Nagu to Korpo island, take a little path across the street just opposite the bistro. After a few hundred meters you will reach a rocky shore with a memorial to the victims of MS Estonia sinking.
- Baltic Sea ferries from Turku port to Stockholm in Sweden
- King's Road from Turku via Helsinki to Vyborg in Russia