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Kirjais, a village in the Finnish archipelago

A must-visit destination for those who love nature, sea, and tranquility. Kirjais is located in the Finnish archipelago, just a short ride away from the city of Turku.

A letter from a local:

It is clear that we all feel like we live in the best place in the world – and if this is not the case, perhaps it’s time to consider moving. I don’t actually live in Kirjais myself, but on the island of Ytterholm, right next to Kirjais. However, Kirjais is where I grew up and therefore, Kirjais is the best village in the world for me.

It’s easy to list everything you can find in Kirjais – a village shop, a summer restaurant, a course center, and a fantastic village association. Or you can list everything we do together – we organize famous auctions, beach volleyball tournaments, midsummer celebrations around our tall midsummer pole, or we build a playground, a book exchange tower, a fire alarm, or dock edges together. One way or another, the list is long – in our village, there’s never a shortage of passionate people and projects, and new ones are constantly being found. We’re used to the fact that if we want something, it’s best to get to work ourselves – and at the same time, discover that we’re capable of much more than we thought. Collective self-confidence is top-notch in Kirjais.

Did I mention that Kirjais also has its own history? And a bilingual children’s book that lists the village’s various sights. The first edition ran out, so we printed 100 more copies.

Text by Alice Björklöf

One of the most popular attractions in Kirjais is the Kirjais Kursgård, which is a charming guesthouse offering accommodation, dining, and various activities. The guesthouse is located in a beautiful old building, which has been carefully restored to its former glory.

The best thing about Kirjais village is the community spirit

However, the best thing about Kirjais is the sense of community and village spirit. It’s not that we never have disagreements, but more often than not, we gather for joint meetings. They don’t always have to be formal occasions with laden tables – which, of course, are fun – but for example, one of the most pleasant memories of last spring was when each of us sat on our own piece of board and celebrated that we had found the water pipe for our fire alarm.

By the way, our fire alarm is now ready. It has required many joyful hours of voluntary work. We accumulate these volunteer hours. You can’t build a terrace or a fire alarm in one afternoon. However, our new playground fence was built in almost one afternoon. The spirit of volunteerism is a great resource when the call goes out and 10-20 people rush to the site, depending on the nature of the work. When we organize our traditional summer auction, there are usually 30-60 volunteers involved the night before and on the day of the event. What a wealth! And otherwise, it wouldn’t work.

As in many villages in Nauvo, our summer residents are a great source of joy for us. They have been actively involved in the village association since its establishment, throughout the years, and still today. Without this cooperation between permanent and summer residents, our village wouldn’t be the same.

Text by Alice Björklöf

Kirjais is also a great destination for those interested in history and culture. The village has a rich history, and there are several historic sites and monuments to explore.

Top 5 things to do in Kirjais by Alice Björklöf

When you ask a Kirjais resident what the best thing about our village is, the community spirit is always number one. However, there are many other things that visitors can enjoy! I’ve tried to create my own top five list, and if you want the most authentic Kirjais tip, it’s to have fun TOGETHER. That’s the key to success!

1. Kirjais village businesses

The Kirjais village shop and guest marina “Kirjais bybutik & marina” recently opened a new service building in the harbor, and they have a wide range of products and good opening hours. The restaurant’s lovely terrace attracts people with its good food and stunning sea views under cherry trees – you’ll always meet nice people and make acquaintances. Kirjais Nature Inn & Villasin’s stylish cottages are suitable for larger groups, and events and parties can be held in the main building. Andrén’s greenhouse is worth a visit in spring and early summer – even just to admire the floral display. The quality of the plants is so good that even I can keep them alive. There are many more entrepreneurs in the village, and I estimate that over half of the villagers have their own business, so local help is available for almost any problem!

2. Read a book at Bokmalen book tower

Bokmalen book tower with a stunning terrace is one of our association’s Leader projects. You can borrow, take, bring, or browse books. The stairs to the tower start next to the store. Enjoy the sea view, find fun reading for your vacation, or enjoy the sun on the terrace, which was built with volunteer work a few hot summers ago.

3. Visit the local playground

The local playground is another one of our Leader projects. The park is open to everyone at their own risk. It’s conveniently located next to the summer restaurant. It was built over 10 years ago, but has since received new paint. The design work was quite a brain teaser, but the end result is excellent!

4. Make amazing finds at the auction

Kirjais auction. The auction is a very important fundraising event for our association, and the event itself is a riotous, summer highlight.

5. Take a walk along the nature trail

Visit Kirjais’ renovated nature trail. The plan is first to mark the route properly and improve accessibility, and then to complete a few rest stops. After that, the project has several exciting additional plans for the trail.

Overall, Kirjais is an idyllic village destination that offers visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life and experience the beauty and tranquility of the Finnish archipelago. With its stunning natural scenery, rich history, and diverse range of activities, Kirjais is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Finland.