FM 2008

Sightseeing outside Turku

HELSINKI

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, can be reached either by train (for train timetables, please visit www.vr.fi/heo/eng/index.html) or by bus (for bus timetables, please visit www.matkahuolto.fi/en). Throughout its 450-year history, Helsinki has existed in the crosscurrents of the East and West. The colorful layers of history can be seen everywhere; a walking tour of the city centre or of the magnificent Suomenlinna Maritime Fortress will open your eyes to a fascinating past. Today's Helsinki is also a city of the future. Its modern architecture, cutting-edge design and high- technology have attracted international recognition for the city. Unique lifestyles and urban subcultures are all a part of this international metropolis. For more information about Helsinki, please visit www.hel2.fi/tourism/EN/matko.asp.

THE ARCHIPELAGO

The Archipelago is a unique travel destination situated in the island area in south west Finland. It is easy to get about in the archipelago. Fine bridges, spacious ferries and splendid vessels link the islands together. You don't really need a boat at all. And if you want you can go by using a sea taxi. For people coming in their own boats important arrival points are the guest harbors.
Nature in the archipelago is full of wonders. The enchantment of the sea, the verdant beauty of the inner islands, the barren outer islands, the unbroken peace and the rare flora and fauna give a faith in the future. There are over 20,000 islands in the Turku archipelago. And when moving around in the islands you will also hear reference to the Turunmaa archipelago, which comprises the Swedish speaking municipalities in the islands. For more information, please visit www.saaristo.org/eng/index.htm.

THE ÅLAND ISLANDS

Unique for Åland is the untouched archipelago and the beautiful bedrock, worn smooth by the inland ice, with the typical red color of the Åland granite. With its 6.500 islands Åland offers an island world where the sea is always present. Åland is an autonomous and unilingually Swedish region in Finland with its own flag; a blue flag with a yellow/red cross. Åland also has its own stamps, license plates and its own top domain (.ax). For more information, please visit www.visitaland.com/en.
Travelling to Åland is fast and convenient. The communications to the islands, centrally in the Baltic Sea, are excellent which means it's easy to travel here from major cities in Sweden, Finland or Estonia. Choose between a comfortable sea voyage, a fast flight, or visiting Åland with your own boat. From Turku the ferry trip takes about five hours, and you can leave in the morning or in the evening. It's also possible to take a one-day trip from Turku to Maarianhamina and back, you take a ferry from Turku in the morning, switch ferries in the afternoon in Maarianhamina and get back to Turku in the evening. That's a recommendable way to spend a day and take a look at the Archipelago. For more information, please visit the ferry companies? home pages www.vikingline.fi/index.asp?lang=en or www.tallinksilja.com/fi. For general touristic information about Finland, please visit www.visitfinland.com/w5/index.nsf/(pages)/index.

SANTA CLAUS'VILLAGE ON THE ARCTIC CIRCLE IN FINNISH LAPPLAND

We all know that each Christmas Santa travels all over the world bearing presents and good will. And surely anyone's dream must be to make a return visit to him in his very own office? Well now you can! Santa's Office far away in the North of Finland on the Arctic Circle is quite unique in that every day of the year people come from all over the world to see him there. Thousands upon thousands of them. Santa's Office is a place where dreams come true. For more information, please visit http://www.santaclausvillage.info/eng/main.htm. For general touristic information in the Rovaniemi area, please visit http://tourism.rovaniemi.fi/?deptid=6335.

STOCKHOLM

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden is only 12 hour ferry trip or a half hour flight away from Turku. The same ferries that pass Maarianhamina continue to Stockholm. In case you just want to experience the ferry trip, the voyage takes 23 hours ? but you can also stay in Stockholm for one or a few days. For information about flights to Stockholm, please visit www.blue1.fi/en. For touristic information about Stockholm, please visit www.stockholmtown.com/Default.aspx?epslanguage=EN.

TALLINN

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is located in Northern Europe in the north-eastern part of the Baltic Sea region. The unique value of Tallinn's Old Town lies first and foremost in the well-preserved completeness of its medieval milieu and structure, which has been lost in most of the capitals of northern Europe. Since 1997, the Old Town of Tallinn has been on UNESCO's World Heritage list. From Finland the way to reach Tallinn is from Helsinki. The Tallinn-Helsinki sea-line is one of the busiest international passenger routes in the world. Ferries cross the Gulf of Finland between Tallinn and Helsinki several times a day, covering the distance in roughly four hours. From late spring to late autumn, high-speed vessels also operate on the route, reducing travel time to just an hour and a half. For more information about Tallinn, please visit www.tourism.tallinn.ee/eng.

ST. PETERSBURG

St. Petersburg is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is often referred to as the Venice of the North or the Paris of the East, but its beauty is really a brand all its own. From the White Nights festival during the mysterious summer twilight to top theater and ballet productions and concerts on magical winter evenings, the city offers a vibrant cultural life that is second to none. F For more information about St. Petersburg, please visit www.saint-petersburg.com/index.asp. Notice! In order to visit St. Petersburg, you need to get a visa from the Russian Embassy at your country!