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A magical world of islands stretches along Finland's coastline. In the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic, more than 30,000 islands form a magnificent archipelago. The rugged and fascinating Åland Islands group lies westward from Turku, forming an autonomous province of its own. Turku, the former capital, was the main gateway through which cultural influences reached Finland over the centuries.
trip to Turku via Hanko and Tammisaari will give you a taste of Finland at its most historic and scenic. Many of Finland's oldest towns lie in this southwest region of the country, having been chartered by Swedish kings—hence the predominance of the Swedish language here.