Utö archipelago – horizon of the archipelago, overland tour

Utö in the archipelago – The horizon of the archipelago Advertising

With the M / S Eivor to the horizon of the archipelago, yes I did it after an hour’s drive from Jurmo. What awaited me on Utö and that I was able to get to know “Utö” personally, I will tell you now in this blog post.

The planning for a trip to Utö

Utö with its lighthouse is the last island that can be reached by public ferry. The lighthouse is beautiful and the peace outside tells you, you are at the end of the world

Utö can be reached with the M / S Eivor from the ferry terminal Pärnäs. The crossing takes a good five hours and according to the timetable, there are several ways to stay. These can be from 60 minutes to two days.

Please note that the timetable can change every year and I have written down the possibilities of 2017 for you here. However, you should understand how it works and can organize your own trip.

Utö in 60 minutes – The super short trip

For the very fast or urgent, there is Üto in the short program. Twice a week you can visit M / S Eivor Utö for one hour. Time is short, but in 60 minutes you can see the most important thing, the lighthouse, and a photo-making. From Pärnäs, the ferry departs Monday at 8.35 and on Wednesdays at 11.10. You will then reach Utö at 1.00 pm (Mon.) or 3.30 pm (Wed.) and then have 60 minutes until the ferry returns. In Pärnäs until then again at 18.15 or 21.00 clock.

WATCH OUT! This trip may only allow you to see Utö from the ferry, for the following reasons. The ferry heads for various islands on its way, and there may be delays, especially in the summer months, when many people get on and off or cargo is loaded and unloaded.

A short night on Utö

Who starts on Thursday at 15.00 clock reaches one hour before midnight at 23 clock Utö. You will not see much, but you will still get a nice picture of the glowing lighthouse. It will not be really dark at night anyway in the summer. After a delicious breakfast, you can take a short walk before the M / S Eivor leaves at 10.15 on Friday and you are back at the starting point at 3.00 pm.

The weekend is the most pleasant short stay possible

Over the weekend to Utö? No problem and that is still the most pleasant short stay on the horizon of the archipelago. It starts on Saturday at 4:00 pm in Pärnäs. You will reach Utö around 8.30pm. Now you have enough time to enjoy the sunset at the lighthouse and to shoot a nice picture of the lighthouse at night. The breakfast in the morning can be a bit later and you have enough time to explore the island before the M / S Eivor leaves at 12.30 clock.

Utö for connoisseurs

I took my time, but it did not fit my trip. Since I had already spent two nights on Jurmo, I stayed on Utö as many nights, otherwise it would not have worked with the timetable.

I was not angry here on the two islands “so long“To linger, because I enjoyed the deceleration and also the rest. The days before were a bit tiring with the many hiking and just not having to pack the backpack every day has something for itself. I got on the ferry on Monday in Jurmo and on Wednesday I left Utö again. In just under two days you can explore the island completely, so I have done so. Walked over the island, enjoyed nature, photographed and visited the lighthouse and just chilled.

By bike, car or bus

You can cover this small stage by bike, car or bus. As you can see, the Archipelago Trail is feasible for all types of travel. Simply park the car in the ferry parking lot.

Utö is the outpost of the archipelago

The lighthouse of Utö on the horizon of the archipelago

Far off Pargas lies the small island of Utö and is the southernmost settlement in Finland with its 35 inhabitants. To the inhabitants come a few more soldiers, who have only one observation post here. However, parts of Utö are still military territory and must not be entered.

Utö is also the first outpost for birds

Most visitors to the island are birders, ornithologists. Utö is not only the southernmost settlement of Finland, but also popular with birds, as it is the first landing possibility for the birds on the way across the sea. These species, the ornithologists, are a merry crowd. They sneak in camouflage clothing, armed with binoculars and a chair over the island and watch what is flying by. I always thought it was funny when they walked across the island.

By the way, it is forbidden to walk on the shore as this is a protection zone for the birds and their breeding grounds. You will recognize it, but if necessary just ask an ornithologist.

Hanna Kovanen is Utö in person – From the café over the lighthouse to the B&B

Hanna at the luminescence guide – Telling is with hands and feet

Already on the crossing to Jurmo my Finnish travel companion already told me: “Ask in the café for Hanna Kovanen, she has the key for the lighthouse and can show it to you!”. Until then, I did not know that Hanna was also my host of the bed and breakfast. While I was on Utö, I understood why Hanna Utö is, because she is a restless woman and runs her B&B and the cafe “Hanna’s horizon“And is still the guide for the lighthouse. Incidentally, Hanna grew up in Utö, then lived as a student in America for a year and even speaks very good German. Actually, she is a teacher, but the love for her island was so strong that she quit this job and came back. That’s why Hanna Utö!

The Café – Hannas Horisont

The Café Hannas Horisont – Here you meet for coffee or dinner

Here you meet, when Hanna opens the café at noon. The coffee is delicious and mostly she bakes fresh cake or Bula’s but without cinnamon, she does not like that. Who at her in the B&B lives, gets his breakfast here too. If you are alone in B&B, then there is breakfast at her place and she has a little more time in the morning. The café is therefore obligatory when you are on Utö and here you can also ask for a tour of the lighthouse.

The lighthouse of Utö

The first lighthouse was built in 1753 and destroyed by wars. The lighthouse you can visit was built in 1814. Even then Utö served as pilot station and this is still the case today. There are several pilot boats that run out when e.g. a big freighter would like to drive through the Finnish waters.

The lighthouse tour with Hanna is a fun

Hanna opens the lighthouse to me and two other tourists. Since the other two come from Switzerland, she asks if she can hold the tour in German. She would like to speak in German so she will not forget it. We are happy to accept the offer and she speaks great German! She tells a lot about the history and that it is the oldest and still operating lighthouse in Finland. The lighthouse is 40 meters high and built of stone, in addition it is that it is the only lighthouse that is quadrangular. On the second floor was once the lighthouse keeper’s flat, then the schoolroom moved in before the island got a school. In 1909, a small chapel on the third floor of the lighthouse was integrated, here her parents and two cousins ​​married her. Even today it is possible to marry in this unusual chapel. Unfortunately, you can not get to the (lighthouse) lenses, but Hanna shows some pictures with her from the past. On the pictures you can see that the lenses have to have a diameter of two meters. Noteworthy, because these lenses were made in France in 1906 and are still in pristine condition today and probably priceless.

In the middle of the chapel there is a hole in the floor, above it hangs a huge weight (including removable additional weight), so that the lenses were set in motion earlier. The weight took two hours to arrive through the hole below. Now the lighthouse keeper had to take the extra weight down on the 2nd floor, run up the stairs and hang it on the other side of the weight. The lighthouse keeper had to hurry, because as long as the additional weight was not up again, the lenses of the lighthouse stopped moving. Of course, this is taken over by an engine today.

A moving family story that is more relevant today than you think

People who have something to tell are interesting and it is even better to meet these people while traveling. Hanna’s lighthouse tour is a highlight, the spark jumps over to me and Hanna tells one story after the other and with full commitment. Her hands and arms are waving in the air and Hanna is in her element – she is Utö and fire and flame.

She then reveals a moving story from her family life and it blows us listeners.

On Christmas night on 25.12.1947 shortly after two o’clock in the morning the cargo ship, the SS Park Victory sank off Utö. The inhabitants of Utö tried to save the 38 sailors, but it was bitterly cold and after the disaster the sea around the ship was in flames. They were able to save a total of 28 out of 38 men and when they arrived on Utö they were severely overcooled. Hanna’s mother, another teenager, watched her mother (Hanna’s grandma) a 2 meter Kolos carried home to warm him in the sauna. Of course she wanted to do that too and picked out a survivor. However, she was not so strong and pulled the smaller man rather behind her home. At home, she cared for the sailor, who then turned out to be a captain.

Hanna’s grandmother had already taken the “giant” and put him in the sauna to warm up and wanted to put him to bed after washing. It was Christmas and so the bed was upholstered with the best and cleanest sheets. When she returned to the sauna, she looked at the man and thought only, but he is still dirty, he must have worked as a machinist on the ship. So dirty he does not come in the good bed and made his turn to wash it off. Hours later, she was still rubbing against him and the “dirt” just did not want to leave until she gave it up. The next morning, she did not believe her eyes, because the man was everywhere “dirty” and she had never seen, he was a Faber.

Christmas Day 1947 on Utö

The next lunchtime was set for Christmas and of course covered for the “two guests from the night“. When the colored man entered the parlor and Hanna’s grandma asked him to sit down, the man burst into tears. She asked him if he was happy enough to have survived the disaster, but his answer was different. He thanked his grandmother and said that this was the best day of his life, but not because he had survived the night, but offered him a place at the blackboard. He had never been allowed to sit at the White Table in his life, and that was the greatest gift of his life.

What a story, that still pisses me off today!

The survivors sent packs of coffee, alcohol, and other items to the rescuers long after they returned to the United States to help them. The residents had so much coffee and alcohol on the small island at that time, but not much else. Unfortunately there was no black market at this time anywhere near to swap things, because Utö is far out on the horizon of the archipelago.

The B&B Horison

The B&B Hannas Horisont – Everything to chill, even if it is bad weather

The B&B is a few meters from the lighthouse and is a pleasant place to stay. The two- to three-bed rooms are well furnished and in the large lounge there are two couches and a large flat screen TV. Here I spent half a day when it started to rain. The good thing is that many shows are even sent in German and films in English. A kitchen completes the accomodation because here you can cook your own food while saving money.

Utö Handel – The food trade

You do not need to lug around with food and the backpack stays pleasantly light. When Utö trade you get everything you need, it’s just a bit more expensive than on the mainland. I was surprised by the assortment and got myself a Sundowner for the Sunset.

The Estonia disaster 1994

I think everyone has heard the name “Estonia” in their lives. 35 km southeast of Utö was then the Baltic ferry Estonia under. This shipwreck with 852 fatalities was the heaviest shipwreck of European post-war history. The rescue work of the Finnish Navy was coordinated from the island of Utö.

Information on ferries and buses on the Archipelago Trail

I think the biggest problem could be that you are asking yourself “How do I find out the bus and ferry services on the Archipelago Trail??“. That’s exactly what I thought in my planning and I would like to introduce you to the solution of the question here. The important thing is that you know your departure and arrival point and you can check your connection if it is available.

Like and ferry and bus timetables on the Archipelago Trail & throughout Finland

The good thing about planning is that you can easily query your connection, travel time, and travel costs over the Internet. This planning makes planning your trip easy and you can plan your time the way you like it.

The bus schedules Ferry timetables on the Archipelago Trail and in Finland

All bus connections and timetables in Finland are available via one website each. Nice is that the web pages have a good input function, since the inputs suggest equal possible variants and you can easily find your departure, final stops and landing.

Travel by public transport to the Archipelago Trail – The Route

I’ve written down all the bus and ferry connections on the Archipelago Trail, so you can easily check the itinerary with your travel times.

DANGER! For small ferries, it is important to call in advance at the ferry company and tell them that you are waiting at the small dock. It is best to call there the day before. I think you can just do that in English, but it is much easier! Your host in your accommodation will be happy to take care of this if you ask them. Often they even come up to you and ask if they should “order” the ferry. Therefore, do not be shy and ask them to call.

Here are the stations for your trip through the archipelago

  1. Turku – Pargas [Skärgårdsbuss to Pargas] Line 901, 902, 903
  2. Pargas – Kirjais vgs (Pargas) [Skärgårdsbuss to Nagu / Nauvo] Line 901, 902, 903
  3. Kirjais Österudde – Brännskär Island [FERRY] Commuterferry M / S Nordep
  4. There are two options here! I had chosen the variant A)

Option A) Private shuttle requested and booked at Linus Söderlund [BOAT]

Variant B) Brännskär – Mattnäs [FERRY] M / S Myrskylintu, M / S Cheri

  1. Pärnäs (Nagu) – Jurmo – Utö – Pärnäs (Nagu) [FERRY] M / S Eivor
  2. Nagu – Korpo [FERRY]
  3. Korpo (Pargas) – Houtskär / Mossala (Pargas) [Skärgårdsbuss] Line 903
  4. Houtskär (ferrypier Mossala) – Iniö (ferrypier Dalen) [FERRY] This ferry operates only in summer and closes the Archipelago Trail. Charges apply
  5. Running about 6 kilometers if necessary a TAXI or hitchhiking
  6. Iniö – Iniö Jumo [FERRY]
  7. Running 4 kilometers if necessary a TAXI or hitchhiking
  8. Iniö (ferrypier Kannvik) – Kustavi (ferrypier Heponiemi) [FERRIES]
  9. TAXI or hitchhiking (about 16 kilometers to Kustavi Center)
  10. Kustavi – Raisio [Bus] Taivassalon Car Oy
  11. Raisio to Naantali [BUS] FÖLI number 6 or 7
  12. Naantali – Turku [BUS] FÖLI number 6 or 7

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Christina Cherry
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