See and experience,
Grab your bike and go explore the Velkua archipelago. This route also takes you to the sea, with four ferry trips in total.
Length: approx. 70 km
Duration: 5-6 hours. It’s worth to reserve more time, as you can easily spend the whole day in the archipelago.
Difficulty: Medium. From Merimasku to Teersalo the terrain is hilly, with some steeper hills. The route includes gravel road sections.
Tips: You can also cycle via Askainen and Lemu to Naantali, which is an extra 15 km. See the Askainen and Lemu route.
You first head via Mannerheiminkatu to Torikatu and then to Lappalaistenkatu, from where you take a gravel cycle path to Kuparivuori. After Kuparivuori, go over the Ukko-Pekka bridge to Luonnonmaa. The views from the bridge are unparalleled. You pedal along Luonnonmaantie road, next to the Finland’s President’s summer villa Kultaranta. Along the way you will find the Kultaranta kiosk. Check the kiosk’s opening hours: https://www.facebook.com/KultarannanKioski/. Unfortunately, the Kultaranta Garden is closed to the public for renovation in 2023 and 2024. The cycle path goes under Rymättyläntie road and continues next to the Kultaranta golf course to Porhonkallion beach. The Kultaranta Resort https://kultarantaresort.fi/en/ is a full-service resort located in the area. You will find Porho Bar & Grill restaurant in Porhonkallion Beach. Check out the menu: https://kultarantaresort.fi/ravintolat/bar-porho/. After the beach, cross the Särkänsalmi bridge on a brand new cycle path. Särkkä island is a great place to rest. On the island you will find Särkkä Grill. Check the grill’s opening hours: https://www.facebook.com/sarkansaarengrilli
Once you have crossed the bridge to the island of Otava, you turn towards Merimasku, which is about four kilometres from the crossroads. Lake Taattistenjärvi gleams on your left. On the shores of the lake, only about half a kilometre from Merimaskuntie, is Taattisten Tila. If your coffee tooth is aching, head to the farm’s café, where you can also buy delicacies made from local ingredients. The farm also offers farm accommodation. You will also find the art gallery in the farm. Farmyard is home to chickens, ducks, bunnies and sheeps. Find out more about Taattisten Tila: https://www.taattistentila.fi/ In the church village of Merimasku, you should visit the wooden church of Merimasku, dating from 1726. The church and its cemetery are located within a red log fence. Check the church opening hours: https://www.merimaskunseurakunta.fi/kirkko-ja-tilat/merimaskun-kirkko. Next to the church is the marina, where the restaurant Rantamakasiini is located. Take a look at the menu of the Rantamakasiini: https://rantamakasiini.fi/. Rantamakasiini also hosts an art exhibition during the summer.
From Merimasku you cycle to the Kirkonsalmi bridge. From the high bridge you can admire the magnificent views of Kirkonsalmi. After the bridge you have to move to the edge of the road. Traffic can be busy in the summer, and when the condition of the car road is not always the best, you should be careful. The terrain is surprisingly hilly, so it’s a good idea to save your energy also for the return journey. During the summer months, there is a Länstalo farm stall along the Rauduistentie road, where you can buy strawberries and peas, among other things. Check the locations of the stalls: https://www.lanstalontila.fi/myyntipisteet/. Turn left from Rauduistientie road to Velkuantie road, towards Velkua. Fromthe junction it is 11 km to Teersalo, the hilly road is exciting to cycle. The edge of the road has been resurfaced, the bike rolls smoothly. A little over a kilometre from the junction of Rauduistentie road, there is a steep descent, where you need to be a little careful as the road edge is uneven in some places. After just over three kilometres, you’ll be speeding across the Vangenrauma bridge to Livonsaari. The centre of Livonsaari village has a shop, a café, bar and restaurant all in one convenient package. Find out more about the Livonsaari Osuuskauppa: https://www.livonsaarenosuuskauppa.fi/. Along the road leaving from the village, Pohjanpääntie road, is Samppavuori lookout tower: https://www.tly.fi/linturetkikohteet/samppavuoren-nakotorni/.
After about 6.5 km from the village shop, you arrive in Teersalo, where the first sea route begins. The ferry runs every half an hour. Ferry’s timetables: https://www.finferries.fi/lauttaliikenne/lauttapaikat-ja-aikataulut/palva.html. While you wait for the ferry, you can have a meal at Rantaklubi or Wanha Salakuljettaja, located right on the ferry’s shore. Check out the menus at Rantaklubi: http://rantaklubi.fi/ and Wanha Salakuljettaja: https://oldsmuggler.fi/. Wanha Salakuljettaja also offers accommodation in beach huts by the sea. In the same building as the Rantaklubi is the Rantapuoti, where you can replenish your picnic supplies. On the beach you can take a dip in the sea from the fine sandy beach.
The ferry ride from Teersalo to Palva Island is about a kilometre and takes less than 10 minutes. Velkua was for a long time the smallest municipality in mainland Finland. Today, the Velkua area consists of 300 islands, nine of which are inhabited all year round. In 2009 Velkua became part of Naantali. A couple of pedals from the Palva ferry pier and you are at Velkua Church. The charming wooden church, dedicated to St. Henry, was built by local volunteers in 1793. On the cliff behind the church is a monument made of a cannon barrel, commemorating the naval battle off Palva in 1808. Check the church’s opening hours: https://www.naantalinseurakunta.fi/kirkot-ja-tilat/kirkot-ja-kappelit/velkuan-kirkko. It is only two kilometres from Palva to the Velkuanmaa ferry. The road is much narrower and bumpier than on the mainland. On the way, you should definitely stop at Cafe Laituri: https://www.cafelaituri.fi/. This charming summer café is located right by the sea, with direct access to the terrace by boat. The café is a great place to wait for the Velkuanmaa ferry, the ferry landing stage is just a stone’s throw from the café.
The Velkuanmaa ferry runs every half an hour. The ferry trip is just under a kilometre long and takes about five minutes. The island views are, if possible, even more spectacular than from the Palva ferry. Ferry timetable: https://www.finferries.fi/lauttaliikenne/lauttapaikat-ja-aikataulut/velkuanmaa.html
At Velkuanmaa, we move onto a dirt road, which is in exceptionally good condition. The Velkuanmaa is a pleasant and peaceful place to pedal. A few kilometres from the ferry beach is the Vaihela Archipelago Hotel. The hotel’s restaurant, Korkki, also serves local delicacies. Vaihela also has its own guest marina. Find out more about the services of the Vaihela Archipelago Hotel: https://www.vaihela.fi/en/home/. Take the nature trail next to Vaihela’s yard to get a closer look at the island’s nature.
If you wish, you can cycle to the southern end of the island, which is just over 4 kilometres from Vaihela. On the way, you will pass through the Velkuankaupunki. Velkuanmaa was once a settlement of farmers and farmers’ houses, and the inhabitants jokingly began to call the roads in the area streets and the settlement a city. The area is still known as Velkuankaupunki but today the majority of residents are summer cottage dwellers. The return journey takes the same route back.
You can also rent a suitable vehicle from Visit Naantali. Find out more about bike rental here!