Houtskär - something extraordinary
Houtskär consists of about 700 islets of different sizes. About 520 people live here but if you count all the people that come to live here in the summer the number increases significantly. There is a lot of things that makes Houtskär special - the nature, the dialect, the culture... Houtskär is a part of the Archipelago Biosphere Reserve and a part of Houtskär is in the Archipelago Sea National Park area.
There are many traditional villages in Houtskär, especially Hyppeis and Björkö are famous for their beautiful boathouses. The nature in Houtskär is variegated and rich in species. The orchid Adam and Eve grows here on Houtskär. The orchid is common on Åland, however east of Åland they are quite rare and therefore it is special that they grow on Houtskär.
In Näsby in Houtskär you can pay a visit to the beautiful wooden church that was built in the year 1703. In Näsby you can also visit an archipelago museum, it lies near the church and not far away from the guest harbour. The point of the museum is to mirror the life of the people who have lived in the archipelago through times.
See and do in Houtskär
In the middle of Finland's south-western Archipelago National Park is Mossala Island Resort located. The surroundings consists of 20 000 islands that make up a perfect area for outdoor activities and explorations of the wild nature. In Mossala Design-shop you'll find accessories, interior and souvenirs. Love and affection for the nature has inspired the shop's products. Mossala frisbee golf course offer daily entertainment for all ages, completely free of charge. On the resort you can also try the growing sport SUP. Paddle around shallow coast, either on a SUP-board or with a kayak. Mossala Island Resort also offers a variety of other water sports!
Houtskär's church is located in Näsby village on the shore of Hålaxviken. The cruciform church in wood was build during the Ostrobothnian Erik Nilssons leadership and was dedicated to Saint Maria. In the church there is still an older altarpiece from the end of the 17th century, representing the Last Supper.
The many beautiful boathouses belong to Houtskär's characteristics and trump cards! If you arrive by ferry from Mossala, you will see the row of boathouses down by Björkö shore and in Hyppeis village there are several idyllic beach houses to discover.
In the middle of the village Näsby is Houtskär's Archipelago Museum located, which includes ten different buildings. At the museum the visitor gets to know how the life has been for an archipelago resident throughout the ages and how people made a living out of the archipelago. Down by the shore is the boat construction house, which is both in use and also a part of the museum. Here boats are built and renovated in a traditional style.
In Houtskär the bus shelters don't look as usual. Every bus shelter is painted in a personal perspectives with e.g. seagulls, cats or other colorful decorative. Discover the different bus shelters by car, bicycle or walking!
In the western part of Houtskär, in Jervis, Borgberget is located with its outstanding view. In 1993 a lookout tower was built on the mountain and with good visibility you can see all the way to Åland. The lookout tower is also liked by bird watchers. The road up to the mountain is quite uphill but there are stairs in the most challenging places.