Finland is a northern European country with coastlines on the Gulf of Finland, Gulf of Bothnia, and the Baltic Sea. Finland has around 789 islands within its territory that are more than 1 square km in size. Most of these islands are well-connected to the mainland and hence, are inhabited. Finland also has many smaller islands.
The Five Largest Islands In Finland
1. Fasta Åland
Also known as Ahvenanmanner, which means mainland Åland, the Fasta Åland is the largest sea island of Finland. It covers an area of 685 square km. It is part of the Åland Islands archipelago province of the country that is located at the Gulf of Bothnia’s entrance into the Baltic Sea. The Fasta Åland is the archipelago’s most populous island. More than 90% of the archipelago’s population inhabits this island. Mariehamn, the capital of the Åland Islands province, is also situated here.
The Kimitoön is Finland’s second most extensive island. It is located on the Archipelago Sea and has an area of 524 square km. Kimitoön is located in the Southwest region of the country and is part of the Western Finland province. Around 7,500 people reside on this island. Kimitoön can be visited by tourists who can enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking, sailing on a traditional sailing ship, etc. The island also has several churches, museums, and a lighthouse that can be visited by tourists.
Hailuoto is the third largest sea island in Finland. It is home to a population of 976 individuals. The island covers an area of 195 square km including 1.70 square km of inland water. Hailuoto is connected to the mainland by ferry services. An ice road connects it to the mainland during winter. Hailuoto and its surrounding areas are experiencing a land rise due to post-glacial rebound. Thus, Hailuoto is expected to join the continent in the future.
The fourth largest sea island of Finland, the Replot Island, has an area of 160 square km. It is located in the Gulf of Bothnia’s narrowest part and is part of the municipality of Korsholm. Replot houses around 2,100 inhabitants most of whom speak Swedish. The Replot Bridge links the island to mainland. The bridge is 1,045 m long making it the longest bridge in Finland. Fishing and tourism are important economic activities in the region.
Finland’s fifth largest sea island covers an area of 105 square km. It is located in the Archipelago Sea to the west of the town of Naantali which is a tourist hotspot in the country.
Tourism To Finnish Islands
During summer, Finland becomes an island-hopping paradise as tourists visit its numerous islands along its coastline. Different modes of transport like ferrying, kayaking, cycling, etc., can be used to reach these islands. Many are connected to the mainland by bridges, others only by waterways. Visitors to these islands can learn about the life and culture of the Finnish islanders, relax by the beaches, fish in the waters, or explore the local flora and fauna. The tourist activities provide a source of earning for the residents of these islands.