Travel Diary: A Weekend in Korpo

Korpo runt sailing competition

How much can you cram into just 48 hours in Korpo? A lot apparently. Originally, I was looking forward to pretty much not doing anything, but I succumbed to peer pressure.

Sometimes, it’s important to just relax without plans and go with the flow. However, I’m glad I didn’t do so this time.

First of all, just relaxing without doing anything is just foolish if you happen to visit an archipelago island during the most eventful weekend of the year. Second of all, sometimes during high season ”just going with the flow” is not possible, since for example restaurants can be jam-packed.

So here’s a quick update about our surprisingly activity-filled weekend at our summer cottage in Korpo (Korppoo)!

Sunset Magic and Sleepy Heads

Beautiful sunset in Korpo

Photo: I live for these amazing archipelago moments! During the summer sunsets lasts for so long in Finland, sometimes the colours are amazing even for hours.

We arrived on Friday evening, just in time to enjoy a gorgeous sunset. We’d been away from our dog for a week so we were missing him pretty much. He was ecstatic to see us as well.

On Saturday morning we had a laidback brunch before we hopped into the boat towards Korpoström harbour on the island of Korpo in Southwest Finland.

Saturday happened to be the 27th of July. In Finland, on the 27th of July, we celebrate Unikeonpäivä (Sjusovardagen in Swedish), which is usually translated to National Sleepy Head Day. When I was a kid the tradition used to be to throw the person who slept the longest into the sea. In Korpoström this used to be quite the event, with a big audience gathered in the harbour and some unfortunate islander being tossed into the water in his or her pyjamas.

I don’t know if this tradition still exists in Korpoström, as it’s been so many years since I last participated. What I do know is that I’m thankful my family hasn’t celebrated this anymore, since this year I probably would have been the one getting wet!

Jazz and Sailboats

Korpo Sea Jazz in Korpoström is a must-see

Photo: It’s not often Korpoström is this packed with people. This jam session at Korpoström gathered quite the audience.

As it was Korpo Veckan (Korpo Week) there had been an abundance of events throughout the whole week. Saturday was no exception. With both the climax of Korpo Sea Jazz as well as Korpo Runt Regatta taking place, there was a lot to see and do.

Korpo Sea Jazz is one of Finland’s largest yearly jazz festivals. This well-established archipelago event has been organised in Korpo since 1989. The audience can enjoy some of the concerts free of charge, whereas some require a ticket. At Korpoström there was a nice jam session going on during lunchtime, which we stopped to enjoy.

Korpo Sea Jazz and Korpo Runt make for a busy day at Korpoström harbour

Photo: The guest harbour at Korpoström was full during Saturday with both Korpo Sea Jazz as well as Korpo Runt taking place.

Korpo Runt is an annual regatta for sailing boats of different classes. The perhaps most awaited part of the regatta is the race for the traditional, wooden archipelago boats. I love the old-fashioned sails in different nuances of red and white. We watched the start of the competition, but didn’t stay for the finish. It was a super hot day with barely any wind, so we assumed it would take a while for the old sailboats to complete the race.

Korpo Runt is a regatta in Korpo

Photo: For me personally, the highlight of the sailing competition Korpo Runt is seeing the old, wooden archipelago sailboats.

Fun in the Sun and Sauna

Travel Jael enjoying summer on Korpo

Photo: Travel Jael enjoying some serious summer heat.

It was super hot so the rest of the day I relaxed in my swimsuit and made sure I drank plenty of water. I also knocked back a limoncello spritz made from limoncello we brought with us from our trip to Amalfi.

Even though the heat was almost suffocating, being Finns, we couldn’t miss out on an opportunity to enjoy a nice wood-heated sauna. The water was just perfect with the temperature at almost 25 degrees!

Sauna in the archipelago

Photo: The smell of birch tree leaves in the sauna is amazing. If you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend you do!

Crayfish Party

Crayfish party in the archipelago

Photo: Crayfish are a seasonal delicacy in Finland. Crayfishing is allowed only during a limited time every year. This year the season started the 21st of July.

If you’d ask your average Finnish person what the most stereotypical thing associated with the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland is, many will say crayfish parties. As with all stereotypes they’re not always the whole truth. In no way every Swedish-speaking Finn has participated in a crayfish party. However, being a representative of said minority myself, I decided to embrace my stereotypical cultural heritage for the evening.

I like crayfish, but am no fan of crayfish parties. You’re usually very hungry and there’s a lot of hard work to get just a few bits of meat from the crayfish. Being interrupted every few minutes to sing some silly snaps songs (Swedish drinking songs) is not my idea of fun with a stomach growling with hunger. What’s more, I can’t stand the alcohol involved in snaps songs; it’s super strong and burns all the way down your throat.

As it was just my boyfriend, my parents and myself taking part we did a more laid-back version, limiting the snaps songs to just one. It ended up being quite an enjoyable evening and the crayfish were excellent.

Crayfish party in the archipelago

Photo: Crayfish are traditionally served with some toasted bread. Crayfish parties often include snaps songs and snaps, a strong alcoholic beverage served in a shot glass.

Kayaking and Culinary Delights

kayaking in the archipelago

Photo: Kayaking allows you to see the archipelago from a different point of view.

On Sunday we suffered through first a tropical night, then a crazy heatwave during daytime. No wind on our island and super hot! However, not complaining. This summer hasn’t been that warm so it’s nice to get some real heat so we manage the cold season again.

I tried to escape the heat by going kayaking around the nearby islands in search of a cooling breeze. Lovely! I saw a lot of different kinds of birds on the small skerries.

eating dinner at Nestor's Backpocket in Korpo

Photo: Restaurant Nestor’s Backpocket is located in a charming old building.

Just when temperatures started dropping a bit towards the evening it was time for us to head home. On our way home, we still had one activity left on our itinerary. My parents had booked a table for the four of us at Nestor’s Backpocket, a restaurant in Korpo, that I’ve heard so much about but had yet to try out for myself.

eating dinner at Nestor's Backpocket in Korpo

Photo: We ended an exquisite three-course dinner with a dessert consisting of marinated strawberries, vanilla ice cream, white chocolate mousse and meringue.

It was absolutely amazing! The restaurant is located in an old but beautifully renovated barn so the milieu is excellent. The food even more so: beautiful dishes and delicious locally produced food! The service was a bit slow, which was somewhat stressful as we had a long journey home ahead of us. But this was understandable as the restaurant was jam-packed. I love how dog-friendly the place is, Bradley behaved excellently sleeping under the table throughout our dinner. We said goodbye to my parents and the dog and then drove home to Espoo just outside of Helsinki.

A very busy, yet amazing weekend in the archipelago!


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