Archipelago Sea

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Argus fin

The Archipelago Sea, Finnish Saaristomeri, Swedish Skärgårdshavet, is the part of the Baltic Sea between the main islands of Åland and the Finnish mainland. It is one of the largest archipelagos in the world, by count of islands and islets, with the biggest islands being some ten to twenty kilometres across, some of the inhabited islands less than a kilometre, and thousands of skerries. It lies more or less between Uusikaupunki in the north and Salo and Hanko in the east.

The nature varies from sea-washed rocks and skerries with bushes creeping by the rock to survive the harsh conditions in the less sheltered regions, through lush vegetation in the inner parts of somewhat bigger islands, to countryside like that in the mainland in the biggest islands. The flora and microfauna is varied even on smaller skerries, as rocks and cracks in the rock give shelter and create small ponds. Also bird life is rich.
The Åland archipelago partly (by some definitions entirely) belongs to the Archipelago Sea. Much of the general description applies, but Åland is not described below.
Most of the Archipelago Sea described below belongs to a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The Archipelago Sea National Park is in the outer archipelago south of the main islands of Pargas, Nagu and Korpo.


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