Discover the Dramatic History of Finland's Archipelago
The archipelago, lying as does along ancient Viking trading routes between East and West, has been a meeting place for cultures throughout the centuries. Contrary to the contemporary tranquil and rural beauty, the islands hide a dramatic history of battles, piracy, and courageous stories of islanders saving shipwrecked seamen. Indeed, often viewed as a pristine natural area, the cultural landscape has been shaped by thousands of years of human interaction by crofters, sailors, and fishermen. Nowadays the most valuable conservation workers are the sheep and cattle who happily graze on remote islands and skerries all summer. Since 1994, large parts of the archipelago’s 100 inhabited islands have been part of UNESCO’s global network of biosphere reserves.