Örö

Örö

One of the most exciting places in southern Finland is probably the fortress island Örö, located in the outer archipelago. Örö has a military history that is still visible today, diverse nature, and sandy beaches. On Örö, you can hike, bird watching, geocaching, diving (with a special permit), fishing, cycling or kayaking. I also went there once with my packraft and a WindPaddle sail.

Örö
Örö

Before you go to Örö, it is worth visiting the nature centre “Blue Shell” in Kasnäs to learn more about the archipelago’s nature. The information boards are in Swedish in English, but you can also get a brochure with English translations at reception. There is also a beautiful view from the tower of the nature centre.

Örö
View towards Bengtskär from Örö

Örö can be reached by ferry or taxi boat, the more expensive means of transport, from Kasnäs. The ferry costs one way EUR 16 and a return ticket EUR 25. Paddlers can also enter the island from the northern part near the campsite, the special berth for kayakers, while normal boats can use the island’s harbour. These are the only places where you can enter the island.

The campsite is located in the northern part of the island, and it is only a short walk from the shore to the forest, where you can recognize the campsite by a sign. The island also has a hotel, hostel, cabins, short-term apartments, a sauna, grocery store and restaurant. There are also plenty of toilets all over the island.

Örö
Örö

At the harbour, I found a coffee house that sold inexpensive products and, in the immediate vicinity, a fireplace, which turned out to be the only place on the island where it is allowed to make an open fire.

Örö is also a great place for hiking as you can enjoy nature and the military history, which is also explained by information boards in English, Swedish, and Finnish.

Örö
Örö

There are two marked routes on the island. The red marked trail with a length of 5.3 km in the south and the blue marked trail in the north with a length of 5.6 km.

Military history continues across the island through fortifications, barracks, cannons (e.g. the 12-inch or 305-mm Obuchovski cannons that were used to defend the Bengtskär lighthouse, the one in the distance from Örö visible) and a 6 km long cobblestone road that was used to transport cannons from the South to the North Island.

Örö
Örö

The large 50-ton guns had to be replaced after 200 rounds and were transported from St. Petersburg. The 500 kg grenades could reach targets at a distance of up to 45 km.

The combination of history, activities, and nature visits Örö something extraordinary.

Örö
Örö

On the way from Turku or Helsinki to Kasnäs, you should also enjoy the view from the 473m long and 19m high Lövö Bridge over the Finnish archipelago.

Örö
Örö