Ostrobothnia (Swedish: Österbotten, Finnish: Pohjanmaa) is a stretch of coastal Western Finland. The historic province of the same name has been split in parts; this is the one where Swedish-speakers are found.
- Vasa / 1 Vaasa — the regional capital
- 2 Jakobstad / Pietarsaari, a nice small port town
- Kaskö / 3 Kaskinen — Finland's smallest town since its chartering in 1785
- 4 Kristinestad / Kristiinankaupunki, with a lovely wooden old town
- 5 Nykarleby / Uusikaarlepyy
- 6 Närpes / Närpiö, known for tomatoes and an archaic dialect
(The Swedish name in the first column, the Finnish in the latter. Links according to majority language.)
- Storkyro / Isokyrö
- 1 Korsholm / Mustasaari
- 2 Korsnäs
- 3 Kronoby / Kruunupyy
- Laihela / 4 Laihia
- 5 Larsmo / Luoto
- 6 Malax / Maalahti
- 7 Pedersöre
- 8 Vörå / Vöyri
Ostrobothnia is a region centered around Vaasa on the west coast of Finland consisting of 17 municipalities. It borders with the regions Central Ostrobothnia, Southern Ostrobothnia and Satakunta. Ostrobothnia is the only mainland region in Finland that has a slight majority of Swedish-speakers (about 52%), although a few places have a Finnish-speaking majority (the cities of Vaasa and Kaskinen and the municipalities of Laihia, Isokyrö and Vähäkyrö). The area is dominated by agrarian culture in contrast to the forestry dominated inland. Historically Ostrobothnia was hit hard by bad economic conditions and famine during the 19th century and thousands of people left to emigrate to America.
The bigger towns, such as Vaasa and Jakobstad, are bilingual and you will get along on Swedish or Finnish with most of the population (and at least in shops, etc.). Generally only either language is spoken in rural communities. In fact, the mother tongue of most rural people in the area is some Swedish dialect, often incomprehensible to many Swedish speaking from the south, but people will change to the Swedish learnt at school (and heard from Swedish and Finnish television) when meeting them.
English is known as in other parts of the country. No problem.
- By air from Helsinki and Stockholm to Vaasa airport. There is also an airport in Kronoby (Kruunupyy), which functions as the airport for the cities of Kokkola and Jakobstad.
- There are train connections to Vaasa and Bennäs/Pännäinen (the railway station of Jakobstad and Pedersöre, bus connection to central Jakobstad). Coming from Helsinki some trains are direct but some need transfer in Seinäjoki to get to Vaasa.
- Buses frequently traffic main road 8 along the west coast.
- By car along main road 8 which goes along the west coast and main road 3 that leads to Tampere.
- Ferry to Vaasa from Umeå
Trains of national operator VR are possible to use for travelling inside province.
There is a dense bus network covering most of the province.
Onnibus offers discount bus service by few routes.
- Kvarken Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The ship Jacobstads Wapen in Jakobstad, built using 18th century blueprints by famous naval architect af Chapman
- Finland's statue of freedom in Vaasa
- Kuddnäs, the birthplace of the author Zacharias Topelius in Nykarleby
- Replot bridge, the longest in Finland, outside Vaasa
- Drive along the road of seven bridges from Jakobstad via Larsmo to Kokkola
- Have fun at Tropiclandia water park in Vaasa