Turku countryside, the inland countryside north of urban Turku in Finland Proper, can be a nice change from city tourism. There are quiet roads, agritourism farms, small museums and natural landscapes.
Turku countryside is here defined as some of the countryside north of Turku, including parts of Turku itself, Lieto (Lundo), Masku (Masko), Paattinen (Patis) and Rusko. It is part of Greater Turku. To the east of it is Kaarina, to the west is Vakka-Suomi countryside, and to the north the rest of the Inland of Finland Proper
Masku to the west is on the E8, Rusko east of them on Vahdontie (road 2012). Next comes the northern parts of Turku: Moisio and Paattinen along Paattistentie (road 2010). Lieto lies south of road 9, with Vanha Tampereentie (road 222) going to the former railway station (Liedon asema/Lieto as), while the centre is on the other side of the Aura river, by Hämeentie (road 10).
Kurjenrahka National Park is in the north, shared by six municipalities including Nousiainen, Rusko and Turku.
Get in and around
Turku is well-connected and most visits to the region are from there.
The national roads 8 (E8) from the north, 9 (E63) from Tampere and 10 from Hämeenlinna lead to Turku through the area. An alternative to road 10 is the historic Hämeen Härkätie. From Helsinki, you'll probably arrive along national road 1 or 110, and use the Turku bypass, road 40, to reach these other roads.
While the big roads are the most efficient, you might want to use smaller roads to experience the countryside. Most roads radiate out from Turku, more or less, but there are some connecting roads also in the west–east direction – and several minor roads, often gravel. Some of the gravel roads are washboarded, with transverse ripples making driving uncomfortable.
Turku (and thereby Paattinen), Lieto and Rusko belong to the Föli cooperation, and local tickets (€3/1.50 with 2-hr free transfer) can be used in those municipalities. See Turku#By bus. Numbers 301–303 go to Rusko, 401, 403, 413 go to Lieto, 22 and 23 with variants to Paattinen. There are local lines in Lieto (L1–L13) and Rusko/Vahto (V1–V2). Check the individual lines or use the Föli route planner.
Some of the Föli lines continue out from the Föli area. Föli tickets can be used only if you stay inside it.
Coaches along the main road are usually express services with few stops. They can still be usable.
There are cycleways along some of the major roads (not the motorways), and many quiet country roads, asphalt or gravel. Keep to the right, as locals often drive fast also on small roads (with nominal 80 km/h speed limit, although that speed requires a rally driver).
There are parallel roads on both sides of the E8 motorway from Raisio to a bit after Nousiainen. They sometimes make detours, so a map is good to have. There are bikeways on Vahdontie to Rusko parish village and beyond. For Paattinen, use Moisiontie and Paattistentie.
For Lieto, Hämeentie has bikeways from Kurala. To there, use Vanha Hämeentie (the old road). There is a gravel road option on the west bank of the Aura river, then on a pedestrian/biker bridge over the bypass road and through the woods to Vanhalinna.
To get around, you will probably need a map, as connections are often by small roads turning in hard-to-predict directions.
There are no big surprises compared to the rest of Finland regarding pavements in the towns, biking and walking ways by major roads and using minor roads and pathways off the beaten path. Locals often drive fast on minor roads, keep to the (left) roadside. In the dusk reflectors should be worn, perhaps also a reflective vest.
The Kuhankuono hiking trail comes in from Raisio as Kullaanpolku through the Kullaanvuori area, continues as the Karevan kierto circle trail, leads over Karevansuo, has forks to Riviera and Kajamonvuori and continues north to the circle trail Kangenmiekan kierros, on to Vajosuon vaellus to Vajosuo, Rantapiha and Kuhankuono in Kurjenrahka National Park, and onwards. Part of the trail is by minor roads.
- Medieval churches in the parish villages
- 1 Kankas manor (Kankaisten kartano). Privately owned manor, first mentioned in the 1300s. The current main building is from the 16th century.
- 2 Nautelankoski (Kukkarkoski) (between Vintala and Lieto as). Rapids of Aurajoki surrounded by protected cultural and natural landscapes. Museum mill, local history museum and traces of a Stone Age settlement.
- 3 Vanhalinna, Vanha Härkätie, Lieto (by a museum road section of Hämeen Härkätie, easily reachable by bike from Turku). Manor and hill fort. The hill, used as fortress in the Iron Age, is a popular picnic destination, with nice views. There is a café (and a museum?) in the Vanhalinna manor. Amateur theatre in summer.
- 1 Kajamonvuori hill fort (Maskun linnavuori), Kajamontie (near Humikkala; a fork of the Kuhankuono trail crosses the road by the Ylössuontie junction and leads up the hill). 24 hr daily. A steep hill, used as a fort in the Iron Age. Many such steep hills were used as refuges when a foreign force was approaching. The less steep hillsides were fortified. Nowadays its steepest side is used for rock climbing. As the site is protected, no pre-set protection can be used. A boy scout troop owns and uses the area, be considerate if there are other people. Free.
- 2 Karevansuo (behind Riviera). 24 hr daily. Protected bog. Parts have many nesting birds. Many species of butterflies and spiders. In the bordering woods there are Siberian flying squirrels. Duckboard trail (Karevan kierros), part of the route to Kurjenrahka National Park. Free.
- Kuhankuono Trail. 24 hr daily. Hiking and mountain biking trail from Turku to Kurjenrahka National Park, via Kullaanvuori, Karevansuo (along Karevan kierto), the hill fort of Masku, and Kangenmiekka. Part of the trail is by minor roads. See By foot above. Free.
- 3 Riviera, Vanha Raumantie (by Vanha Raumantie (former E8), just before Humikkala). 24 hr daily. Several small lakes with sandy shores, providing opportunities for swimming and sunbathing. The one nearest the road has an official beach with kiosk, while one can find more privacy off the main routes. While the area originated as sand pit it is actually nice, and popular for recreation. Borders the protected bog Karevansuo and the hiking trail through it. Free.
- 4 Tortinmäki dance pavillon, Säkyläntie 1331 (just after the village towards Säkylä). Tu 19:00–23:00 (summer only). Traditional social dancing. Café with grill. €15.
- 5 Zoolandia, Eläintarhantie 51, Lieto (Lieto asema junction on road 9 (E63); bus 403 from Turku), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A park full of activities and rides for the whole family. A domestic yard and animals living there. Indoor activities include soft-ball canons, climbing walls, a labyrinth, slides, ball pools and an adventure course for every age. Outdoors the whole family can ride the ATVs, jump on the bouncy castles or take a spin on the boats or pedal cars. The little ones can test their racing skills with an electric car. The residents of the zoo include wild forest and farm animals, such as donkeys, reindeer, alpaca and sheep. €22.50/person, under 3-year-olds free of charge.
- Loviisan Aitta, Vahdontie 600 (Rusko), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Design shop, Finnish and international brands. Café.
- 1 Ravintola Olivia, Talolankatu 75, ☏ . M-Th 10:30-21:30, F 07:30-21:30, Sa 11:00-21:30, Su 12:00-21:30.
There are probably not any hotels in the area, but cottages and B&Bs. The latter are often upscale, with their main income from celebrations, business meetings and workplace get-aways.
- Kivimäen matkailutila, Kivipellontie 6 (Masku), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. B&B and programme services. €60–100, unclear what is included.
There are a few lean-to shelters along the hiking trails, usually near places where you'd go also not walking all the trail. Camping by tent near the shelter is allowed, and if you do, you can have your campfire at the shelter – provided there isn't a wildfire warning.
The right to access applies. Finding a wood where to pitch one's tent is easy, but drinking water has usually to be carried. Campfires require landowner permission, and are also then only allowed when there is no wildfire warning in effect (announced in connection to most weather forecasts). Where there is a built fireplace (not only a fire ring), you can expect there to be landowner permission, and usually firewood is provided, although not always close enough to be obvious. Firewood should normally not be collected by oneself, although dry branches from the ground would probably not be an issue. Camping stoves can be used also during wildfire warnings, with due care. Disposable grills are a receipt for disaster.
|Routes through Turku countryside|
|Pori ← Inland of Finland Proper ←||N S||→ Turku → END|
|END ← Turku ←||SW NE||→ Inland of Finland Proper → Tampere|
|Turku ← Kaarina ←||SW NE||→ Inland of Finland Proper → Hämeenlinna|