Next Time, Naantali

October 9, 2012

naantali turku

After exploring a couple of museums in Turku on our last day, we decided to catch a bus down to the nearby town of Naantali for a look. When we originally made our plans for Turku I had a day earmarked for hiring bikes and exploring some of the islands in the Archipelago Sea (Saaristomeri). I had read that it’s possible to visit so many beautiful islands by using the ferries from Turku, which are free for people (you can take your bike for a fee). As it turned out, even in early September it was already too cold to really enjoy an activity like this. We were also a bit under the weather and riding bikes in the rain wasn’t the best idea for our recovery. But we could still have a peek at Naantali, couldn’t we?

naantali harbour Next Time, Naantali

naantali main street Next Time, Naantali

We arrived in the middle of the afternoon to find the town pretty much completely dead. Apparently this is a summer destination and thrives in those warmer months. We could see the outdoor seating areas of several restaurants, closed up for autumn already, but clearly promising for sitting outside in the sun with a drink in season. We wandered to the end of the boardwalk in search of a cup of coffee.

naantali flowers Next Time, Naantali

naantali restaurant Next Time, Naantali

We felt lucky to find this restaurant open and enjoyed a coffee inside.

The main attraction in Naantali is Moominworld (www.muumimaailma.fi), a children’s theme park based on the beloved characters in Tove Jansson’s stories. This year the park celebrated its 20th anniversary. Even the season for this had, however, ended on 26 August.

moomin trolls naantali Next Time, Naantali

The famous Moomin trolls.

Despite the feeling of being in the Twilight Zone with hardly anyone around, we still enjoyed a walk in the sunshine. The town is very pretty with its medieval Convent Church dominating the skyline and all the beautiful wooden houses in the Old Town.

naantali neighbourhood Next Time, Naantali

naantali andrea Next Time, Naantali

naantali houses Next Time, Naantali

john and andrea naantali Next Time, Naantali

This was to be our last destination in Finland, a country we will definitely return to someday. First on my list will be a trip to the Archipelago Sea for some island hopping. It was easy to see why this is the most popular destination for summer tourists – someone told us that if these islands were situated in an area with warmer weather, they would be paradise. For now, however, we had to bid Naantali farewell as we had to return to Helsinki for a night before our impending journey to Estonia…

Getting there: It is possible to take a boat to Naantali from Turku, though this is a much longer journey than the buses that run from the Kauppatori (Market Square), which cost  €5,30. The journey takes less than an hour on the 11 or 110. From Sweden there are car ferries from Kapellskär four times a day.

Have you been to Finland? What was your favourite experience?

13 comments

  1. Comment by Claire

    Claire Reply October 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Looks beautiful! …. and love Moomin!

  2. Comment by Kyle

    Kyle Reply October 10, 2012 at 2:35 am

    You are ROCKING that orange coat, lady! Love it.

    And Chile has a lot of places like this, that are totally dead in the winter. I actually love going to beach towns when they’re deserted, it’s nice to feel solitary sometimes…but maybe not so much when you’re on vacation from small town life in Norway!

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers October 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks so much!! Have to show you a pic of my other coat too sometime – I went coat crazy in Finland…

  3. Comment by Boyd Lemon

    Boyd Lemon Reply October 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Fascinating places, and, as usual great photos. I enjoy your blog immensely and have shared it with my “friends.”

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers October 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      Thank you so much, Boyd – such a wonderful compliment! So happy you are enjoying our posts =)

  4. Comment by Megan @Green Global Travel

    Megan @Green Global Travel Reply October 11, 2012 at 2:12 am

    Love the pictures! What was your favorite part of the trip?

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers October 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Seeing our friend, Kyle in Helsinki, of course – with Turku at a close second! =)

  5. Comment by Andi

    Andi Reply October 11, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Loooooove that coat!!!!!!! I knew Kyle was going to say the same thing. I miss your pretty face so much!

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers October 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks so much babe! I miss yours too!!! xoxo

  6. Comment by cheryl

    cheryl Reply October 12, 2012 at 9:50 am

    It’s so cute and pretty there. Would love to stop by for a coffee in that restaurant too.

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers October 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      I loved the Finnish interior of that place – definitely a traditional contrast to all the modern stuff we had been seeing =)

  7. Comment by Sophie

    Sophie Reply October 21, 2012 at 3:32 am

    Very pretty place, and love Moomin. Especially Lilla My :)

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers October 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      I don’t actually know the books but the trolls are very cute!

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