Specialists for Nordic Outdoor & Adventure Holidays in the Nordic Countries since 2006


Photo: PA

Self-guided Kayaking in the Archipelago Sea (Finland)

A flexible paddling adventure in the world's largest archipelago

  • Self-guided (min 2 adults)
  • Medium+
  • From £/person
  • May-Oct, 2 or more days
  • Adults, Families (min age 10), Groups


  • Explore the world's largest archipelago
  • Combine wild camping and network of camping spots
  • Suitable for tours of 2-14 days
  • Long season May-October
  • Kayak in the Archipelago National Park with 2,000 islands
  • Optional instruction course at start of tour

Description »

World-class sea kayaking and camping in the Outer Archipelago, easily accessed from the mainland

Self-guided Kayaking in the Archipelago Sea offers a very special opportunity to explore a vast island network, with the starting point your kayak tour already in the outer archipelago.

The larger islands in the Archipelago Sea are connected to the mainland, and the island of Korppoo can be reached in just two hours by direct local bus from the coastal city of Turku.

From here, the labyrinth of thousands islands, a paradise for kayakers, is yours to explore!

Lunch break during kayak tour in the Archipelago Sea

The archipelago landscape is varied and beautiful, with many smooth rocks perfect for lunchtime swims and sunbathing, as well as larger, forested islands. Photo: PA.

If time is short or you are doing other activities in the region, you can choose a tour with just one overnight. But we strongly recommend longer (much longer!) if you can. There is plenty to discover for tours of two weeks or more, with the opportunity to make your kayaking adventure as relaxing or challenging as you wish.

As with all archipelago kayak tours, the route taken, distance covered and level of challenge is very flexibility. Just a few days will give you time to immerse yourself in the magic of the archipelago, while tours for one week or longer can take you deep into the Archipelago National Park for an extended adventure.

Begin with an optional instruction course to improve your skills

While there are no tides or currents in the archipelago, the wind will of course affect paddling conditions and it is important that you have a basic knowledge of kayaking for paddle tours in this area.

To do the tour, at least one member of your group must have kayaking experience, including knowledge of rescue/self-rescue techniques. Novice kayakers or those with limited experience (or those who you would simply like a refresher) should choose the 3-hour instruction course available as an optional extra before beginning the tour.

The Archipelago Sea landscape

With over 40,000 islands, the Archipelago Sea is the largest archipelago in the world by number of islands. The Archipelago National Park alone has around 2,000! Photo: PA.

Instruction course can be offered either on the start day, or the day before if you are overnighting locally on Korppoo island. The course will give you a thorough grounding in paddle techniques and safety procedures and greater confidence when you take to the water.

Kayak and Camp in the Archipelago National Park (and maybe have a sauna too!) with camping equipment included

The Archipelago National Park was founded in 1983 and protects an area of 527 sq.km. with around 2,000 islands. It comprises a varied and beautiful landscape of small and larger islands, some bare and rocky, others forested, as well as expanses of open water. The area is home to many species, including the White-tailed Sea Eagle and the Grey Seal.

The National Park boundary lies just to the south of the kayak centre and, depending on the route you decide to take, you may be paddling in the National Park for much or all of your tour.

Camping in the Archipelago Sea

The tour offers a combination of opportunities for wild camping and using designated camping spots, where dry toilets and fireplaces are provided. Photo: PA.

Inside the National Park there is a network of designated camping spots. The camping spots have basic facilities such as fireplaces and dry outside toilets. You are welcome to choose any of the camping locations on any night of your tour.

Some islands have public wilderness huts which are free to use, and at some locations you can even take a sauna (additional cost payable locally) to soothe those muscles after a day on the water!

On approx. 60% of the islands within the park boundary, which are part of the wider "National Park Cooperation Area", and also outside the National Park, fully wild camping (in accordance with the Finnish Right of Public Access) is also permitted, though we recommend you use the designated locations where available. On islands or parts of islands which belong to the National Park, camping is only permitted at the designated spots.

Villages in the Archipelago Sea

As well as wild and remote landscapes, the archipelago has small villages on some of the islands, which offer facilities such as small shops, cafes and even the chance to take a sauna! Photo: PA.

Fires must only be lit at designated fireplaces and using the wood provided.

As well as full kayak equipment of course, tent and cooking equipment is included (sleeping bag package is available to add as optional extra) and advice on suitable camping spots will be given at the start of your tour during route planning discussion.

Option for double kayak makes the tour accessible for adventurous families

Single kayaks are used as standard, with min. age 15 to paddle single kayak. Adults who would like the most stable option, or families with child aged 10 or over, can choose a double/triple kayak, with space for 2 adults + 1 child or 1 adult + child (with other adult in single kayak). There is no better way to introduce your family to the beauty and excitement of nature than a kayak tour!


Itinerary »

Start Day

Start time is by arrangement between 09.00 and 17.00. Please let us know your preferred start time in advance.

If you are doing an instruction course before your tour (strongly recommended), this can take place on your start day (e.g. 09.00-12.00 or 10.00-13.00) or, if overnighting locally on Korppoo island before your tour, the day before (e.g. 14.00-17.00). Please specify your requirements on booking.

You will collect your equipment and discuss the route for your tour, which will vary depending on wind and weather conditions and the time you have available.

Full information will be given regarding suggested camping spots, facilities along the way such as shops or cafes, and where to refill drinking water.

Your local hosts will help to you pack your kayak and ensure you have what you need, before you then begin your kayak adventure in the Archipelago Sea!

You will start your tour from the kayak centre (unless you have made special arrangements for transfer to an alternative island).

Following Days

This experience is very flexible with many different routes possible. There are many, many places to paddle!

Example itinerary for one-week tour:

  • Paddle south into the National Park to one of park camping spots on the islands of Konungsskär or Stora Hästö.
  • Continue south to Aspö to camp wild and visit the cafe.
  • Deeper into the National Park to the island of Jurmo, with a National Park camping spot and also a sauna!
  • Turn north-east to the islands of Björkö or Bodö, with National Park camping spot and cafe.
  • North to Nötö, with a village shop and another option for sauna!
  • Begin to make your way home, visiting the island of Berghamn for overnight at National Park camping spot.
  • Paddle back to Korppoo to end your tour.

With two weeks, you have time to explore much more of the Archipelago National Park, perhaps discovering the islands in the eastern section of the park such as Vänö and Högsåra.

End Day

Your tour ends back at the kayak centre (unless you have made special arrangements for pick-up from an alternative island).

Sauna facilities are available (additional charge payable locally) if you'd like a relaxing sauna to end your trip before onward travel.

Please be back at the kayak centre by latest 16.00 to clean and return your equipment for latest 17.00.

Dates & Prices»

Dates 2024

Start any day by arrangement from 1st May to 31st October (latest end date 31st October) between 09.00 and 17.00. Please let us know your planned start time in advance.

Minimum duration 2 days/1 night, but the area is suitable for paddle tours for two weeks or more and we strongly recommend at least 3-4 days for your tour.

Prices 2024

Standard Prices (per person) 
2 days/1 nightGBP
Extra extra night up to total duration 5 nightsGBP
1 week (7 days/6 nights)GBP
2 weeks (14 days/13 nights)GBP
Optional Extras (see description below) 
Instruction course (per person for 2-4 persons)GBP
Sleeping bag package (sleeping bag, liner, mat) per person/nightGBP
Transfer to or from alternative island for start or end of tour/kayakPay locally
  • Instruction course: Arranged on request for min. 2 persons. Required unless at least one of your party has previous kayak experience and knows rescue/self-rescue techniques. Also strongly recommended for all participants who are novices, have limited experience or wish to improve their skills and confidence before beginning the tour. Duration around 3 hours. Timing for the course can be flexible depending on your travel plans (subject to availability) - it may take place on your start day (for example 09.00-12.00 or 10.00-13.00, or in the afternoon if you are staying locally before your tour begins the next day.
  • Sleeping bag package: Sleeping bag, liner and basic foam mat. Sleeping bags are available that are suitable for use throughout the paddling season.
  • Transfer to or from alternative island: If you wish to do an "A-B" tour, it is possible (weather permitting) for your tour to begin or end on a different island, such as Nauvo, Nötö or Aspö. Payment for transfer is made locally on arrival (price EUR per kayak). Possibilities for alternative start/end points will depend on wind and weather conditions at the time of your tour and cannot be guaranteed. NB: If you wish to start from an alternative point, this must be specified in advance, as arrangement for kayak transport must be made. If you wish to end at a different point, advance planning is not required and possibilities can be discussed on arrival.

What's Included »



  • Single sea kayaks with paddle, spray skirt and buoyancy aid. Kayaks include SeaBirds Expedition, Scott, Zegul Arrow Play and Rebel and will have skeg or rudder. Kayaks provided will be the most suitable option for you depending on your preference and level of experience and will be discussed on arrival at the start of the tour. Please provide height and weight for all participants in advance.

  • One double/triple kayak (Liker Easty) is also available, suitable for 2 adults, 1 adult + child or 2 adults + 1 child (min. age 10) with child in central cockpit.
  • Cooking stove with pans (provided one per 2-3 persons) and one gas canister (extra gas can be purchased on arrival).
  • Camping meal kit (plate, mug, cutlery).
  • Bilge pump and spare paddle.
  • Compass.
  • Waterproof map (giving information about the area, where to camp, local services, drinking water and landing spots) and suggested route description.

  • Tent (high quality tents, provided one per two persons).
  • Dry bags (number provided as required).
  • Container for drinking water.
  • Toilet spade.
  • Waterproof pouch for your mobile phone.
  • Telephone support in case you require assistance or need to discuss alternative plans (e.g. due to changing weather conditions).

Not Included

  • Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey. See under "Getting There" for general travel information.
  • Sleeping bag package: Available to hire as optional extra.
  • Food: Provisions can be purchased on Korppoo island before beginning your tour. There are also stores elsewhere in the archipelago for additional provisions during your tour.

Good To Know »


Health requirements/experience:

At least one person from your group must know rescue/self-rescue techniques and be able to right and re-enter a kayak while on the water in the event of a capsize. An instruction course is available as an optional extra before beginning your tour and this is strongly recommended for novice paddlers or those with limited previous experience.

General good health and fitness and used to the outdoors. All participants must be able to swim.

Minimum 2 adults (18+) required. This tour is suitable for active families provided you are comfortable travelling independently in a marine environment in a range of conditions. Minimum age 15 years to paddle single kayak or minimum age 10 years when sharing double/triple kayak with adult(s).

This tour is suitable for novice (with instruction course) and experienced paddlers. The distance covered and route taken is very flexible and the tour can be adapated from easy to challenging depending on your level of experience/fitness and wind/weather conditions.

What makes this "Medium+"?

The tour is a self-guided experience in a marine environment with wild camping each night. There are no significant tides/currents in the Baltic, but in windy conditions the water can be choppy and the water can be very cold if paddling early/late in the season (challenging weather conditions can of course occur at any time, though the water temperature in September/October will often be warmer than when paddling at the start of May).

As there is no fixed distance to cover, the level of challenge can easily be varied from accessible to hard.

You should plan your route based on wind/weather conditions and your level of experience in discussion with kayak centre staff at the start of your tour. You should take the most sheltered route options where appropriate to avoid crossing large bodies of open water.

NB: Perception of difficulty is very subjective. What is hard to one person may be easy for another and vice versa, depending on factors including level of fitness, age and previous experience. Weather conditions/temperatures can also dramatically affect the actual level of challenge encountered.

Ticks and TBE:

Note: Ticks occur mostly in grassy areas.

As in the UK and other areas, there are ticks in the Nordic forests which can carry diseases such as Borrelia. You should check for ticks at the end of a day in the outdoors. If you find a tick, remove it as soon as possible by pulling the tick out straight, carefully and slowly, with the tweezers as close to the skin as possible. Ensure that you do not leave any of the insect's mouth parts attached to your skin. Wash the bite area with soap and water. In the unlikely event that you feel unwell or notice anything unusual around the area of the bite in the coming days, consult your doctor.

As in large areas of mainland Europe, in some localised areas of the Nordic countries, the ticks are known to carry TBE, or Tick-borne encephalitis, and locals spending extended periods in affected areas often choose to vaccinate themselves. For current advice on TBE and inoculations for the area you are visiting, please consult your doctor or see Travel Health Pro.

Equipment/clothes needed:

For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "What's Included".

A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.

NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.

Preparing for your trip:

For further reading, we also have a number of general information articles to get you ready for your trip, covering a wide variety of topics from what to do on a city break before/after your tour, advice on packing, eyewear for winter and considerations for female travellers.

Combine This With

This experience makes a good combination with any of our other summer experiences in Finland, as you will need to travel via Helsinki to reach these.


This experience is ideal for groups. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Eco Info

This provider has a written environmental policy.

For overnight locations, it is recommended to use the network of designated spots where these exist, though in the National Park Cooperation Area zone and outside the National Park, wild camping is also permitted.

Fires must be lit only at designated fireplaces and using the wood provided. Should firewood not be available, it is not permitted to gather wood. Further guidance on camping and fires will be given at the start of your tour.

The Archipelago Sea

The Archipelago Sea lies in the Baltic, between the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland. In terms of number of islands, ir comprises the largest archipelago in the world, from the large autonomous island region of Åland to the city of Turku on Finland's west coast.

Many species are found here that are not found elsehere in Finland, including the endangered harbour porpoise, of which only 600 are thought to still remain in the Baltic.

Other significant species include Grey Seals, Ringed Seals, the White-tailed Sea Eagle, the Caspian Tern and the Greater Scaup.

In the southern part of the Archipelago Sea is the Archipelago National Park, and the region also has a number of other protected areas and nature reserves.

Getting There »

Getting There

See below for a summary of travel options. To learn more about how to travel to this experience, please get in touch!

Detailed information on travel will be provided in response to your enquiry. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.

NB: Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.

Travel Summary:

By Air:

Fly to Helsinki for train to Kupittaa (Turku, 1 hour 50 mins direct) and bus from Turku to Korppoo (2 hours 20 mins direct).

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