Shipping lanes have guided the emergence of cities

The archipelago off the coast of Finland is crisscrossed with shipping lanes and sheltered shortcuts. Shipping routes have passed via the Finnish coastline for centuries and some and have even been mentioned in a 13th-century sailing guide from Denmark to Tallinn, Estonia.

Shipping lanes have greatly influenced the development of settlement in the archipelago and on the coast. Anchorages, trading places, as well as villages and towns, have sprung up along these routes. Forts and other defensive structures were also constructed along the most important fairways. Here you will find two of Finland's most famous water routes!