Stage

Archipelago Trail - 2. Pargas to Nagu

Bike Riding · Finnish Archipelago
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Status
open
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
39.2 km
Duration
3:00h
Ascent
122 m
Descent
118 m
Point-to-point Multi-stage route Refreshment stops available Family friendly Cultural/historical value

Ferries, bridges, sea views, small villages and tasty local food. Today you'll take the first ferry of many, deeper into the archipelago.  

Length: 35-40km
Ferries: 1 (10min journey, up to 4 departures per hour)
Bridges: 5

Stock-up on locally produced products for a picnic before you leave Pargas. There is a separate cycle path the whole way to the first ferry in Lillmälö with a smooth asphalt surface except for the last 4km, which is gravel.

The charming cottages at Sattmark are half way to the ferry, enjoy a refreshment at the summer café and the possibility to buy fresh smoked fish.

After a further 8km, the ferry from Lillmälö to Prostvik takes 10 minutes and departs every 15minutes. There are kiosks in both harbours.

It is a 20km cycle to Nagu village or 15km if you stay on the main road. Both options are tarmacked.

Nagu village is very lively in the summer with many stalls, shops and restaurants. It is also one of Finland’s largest pleasure boat marinas.

You can follow the life of painter Victor Westerholm on the cultural path that starts from the southern harbour.

Author’s recommendation

Buy fresh or smoked fish in Nagu, Cafe Troolen, Sattmark or Pargas for a tasty local treat! 

more
Difficulty
moderate
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
45 m
Lowest point
-5 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Be careful when crossing Sattmark Bridge, it is narrow and there is no cycle path.

At the ferries, please follow the directions of the ferry loading staff. Normally cyclists are loaded and unloaded last.

In Nagu cars tend to come in bursts according to the ferry arrivals. It can be a good idea to wait at a bus stop for the cars to pass and then enjoy the peace of the road.

If you are in a large group, please keep spaces in the group to make it easier for the cars to pass.

On smaller winding roads, please remember that cars can appear unexpectedly from both directions, cycle with care.  

There are some steep slopes on the cycle paths, please watch out for other users and limit your speed.  

Tips, hints and links

Nagu is a part of The UNESCO Archipelago Biosphere Reserve. 

Start

Pargas (7 m)
Coordinates:
DD
60.306140, 22.301309
DMS
60°18'22.1"N 22°18'04.7"E
UTM
34V 571909 6686215
w3w 
///campground.scenes.cohorts

Destination

Nagu

Turn-by-turn directions

To do before leaving Pargas 

  • Eat an ice cream and watch the boats go by at “Sundet”, the channel in the middle of Pargas.
  • Visit the charming old town known locally as “Gamla Malmen”.
  • The local history museum, features a room once used by Lenin on his flight through Finland, is worth a visit.
  • A mine in the centre of town? Weekdays at 2pm you will hear the siren and the earth shake. The limestone quarry is the largest in northern Europe. You get an impressive view from the observation point, which is signposted along Skolgatan, only a 1km detour.
  1. There is a summer café at Sattmark and kiosks at the ferry pier. Cafe Troolen is beside the trail if you take the main road in Nagu. There are many shops and stalls in the main village of Nagu.
    Outside of the main summer season there are few services so please remember to stock up on food and water before leaving Pargas. 
  2. Until the first ferry you will follow the archipelago trail cycle path. It has a hard tarmac surface until the last 4km.
  3. After leaving Pargas centre, the trail actually follows the 2km long quarry although it is hidden behind slagheaps. After tramping up the hill, the cycle path crosses to the other side of the road at a whte industrial art installation.
  4. Be careful when crossing Sattmark Bridge, it is narrow and there is no cycle path.
  5. After 9km from Pargas you will arrive at Sattmark. There is a summer café in the old ferryman’s cottage, a small shop with locally produced crafts. A local fisherman smokes fresh fish beside the café. The café is also open most weekends during late spring and early autumn, check out the website for more details. Small cottages can be rented for the night. There are toilets and a beach for swimming. You can find a burial mound a short walk along the nature trail.
  6. Here you can choose to take the island route over Pensar from Granvik. This will add an extra day to your tour. You should only do this if you have booked accommodation with Hotel Sandvik on Pensar or on the island of Björkholmen as there are no other services on the islands and the next day’s ferry must be booked in advance. More information of this route is found on St. Olav Waterway (Stage 2b).
  7. From Sattmark to the Nagu ferry it is 8km.
  8. Lenholmen strict nature reserve is just beside the trail, a short way from Sattmark and a good place for a picnic and for bird watching. Oak meadows are rare in Finland and the best time to visit is in spring when flowers carpet the woods. There is a bird tower and composting toilet here.
  9. After Lenholmen the cycle path is more undulating and the last 4km has a gravel surface.
  10. The Nagu car ferry departs every 15minutes during the day and the longest service breaks are half an hour at certain times. The car ferry can be very busy so please be aware of cars loading and unloading. The car ferries have toilets on-board. The crossing takes 10 minutes. Ms Elektra is a new electrically powered hybrid ferry.
  11. It is around 6km from the Prostvik ferry jetty to Lillandsvägen, Normally traffic comes in burst according to the ferry timetable so it can be a good idea to let the cars past before carrying on in peace.
  12. At the Parolabacken ski jump and nature paths, there is a composting toilet (approximately 3.5km from the ferry). The nature path to Kasberget gives a great view over Nagu and the archipelago, it has been a significant lookout and signalling post from the Viking times until the 1700s.
  13. After a further 2,6km, turn left onto Lillandsvägen. This road is quiet and passes rural pasture and small traditional villages.
    - You will save 6km by continuing on the main archipelago road. Café Troolen serves excellent, simple fish dishes on this stretch.
  14. Lillandsvägen returns to the main road but if you have thicker tyres you can follow the Olav Waterway symbols at Laggarnäsvägen to follow smaller roads and tractor trails.
  15. There are 2 bridges connecting Biskopsö, the views are great, but the bridges are narrow and busy.
  16. Nagu village has a lovely church, beaches. There are two grocery stores, a number of hotels, BBs and restaurants. Nagu village has the last cash machine and Alko wine store on the trail. There is a great sandy beach at Framnäs and the Church is lovely.
  17. The Small Archipelago Trail and ferry for the Island of Seili leaves from the harbour. There are also tourist boats that can connect directly to Turku, daily during the high season and at weekends out with the main season.

Getting there

You can reach Pargas/ Parainen from Turku on Bus 810.

The timetables are only available in Finnish or Swedish.

A regular bus service travels along the main archipelago road between Turku, Pargas, Nagu, Korpo and Houtskär. Buses 901 - 904 http://tlo.fi/reitit-ja-aikataulut/saaristobussi/  

To make a shorter round trip back to Turku you can

Parking

There is free parking in Pargas and Nagu. 

Coordinates

DD
60.306140, 22.301309
DMS
60°18'22.1"N 22°18'04.7"E
UTM
34V 571909 6686215
w3w 
///campground.scenes.cohorts
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Guide book available in Finnish:
Saariston rengastien opaskirja
Omatoimimatkailijan opaskirja Saariston Rengastielle vie sinut matkalle halki upean saariston! Kirjasta löydät vinkkejä rengastien nähtävyyksistä, matkailukohteista ja muista kiinnostavista poikkeamisen arvoisista paikoista.
https://fi.doerz.com/parainen/saariston-rengastien-opaskirja  

Equipment

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Author
James Simpson 
Updated: May 26, 2020

Travel Guide: Bike rides in Finnish Archipelago


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