The main access point to Örö is the harbour of Kasnäs in the southern cape of Kimito island. This is where the ferries and taxi boat leave from. If you’re arriving from abroad, you probably need to spend one ore more nights in Helsinki or Turku first due to the transport schedules. If you’re looking for museums, galleries etc to visit on your way, check our list.
Accommodation on the way
Some affordable accommodation options in Helsinki:
You might also consider staying overnight in Turku (Åbo in Swedish) if the timetables from Turku to Dalsbruk fit your schedule better (or are already familiar with Helsinki). You can get 5 euro bus tickets from Helsinki to Turku (http://www.onnibus.com/en/ind
Accommodation in Turku:
You can also stay at the spa hotel in Kasnäs in case your boat to Örö leaves early:
Getting to Kasnäs harbour via Dalsbruk
In the summer there is a daily bus connection between Kasnäs and Helsinki which you can use to catch the ferry, please find the schedule at www.matkahuolto.fi. But unfortunately from about mid-August to early June there is no daily public transport to Kasnäs. The closest easily reachable place is the village of Dalsbruk (Taalintehdas in Finnish), about 18 kilometers from Kasnäs. There are 3-5 bus connections daily from Helsinki and more from Turku. If coming from Helsinki, remember to change the bus at the Salo bus station. You can check the timetables and buy tickets in advance at www.matkahuolto.fi (search for connections from Helsinki or Turku to Dalsbruk (Taalintehdas)).
For moving between Dalsbruk and Kasnäs taking a taxi or hitchhiking is your best option. The taxi will cost about 35 euros and must be booked beforehand (and thus will be waiting for you at the Dalsbruk bus station). Note that when aiming for the Thursday ferry the schedule is pretty tight so please also let the ferry know you’re coming. Here are some local taxi entrepeneurs you can book:
Taxi Kim Gustafsson, +358 400 227 484
Taxi Suominen Kjell, +358 400 399 555, +358 2 466 1179
Taxi Sahlgren, +358 400 121 122
Note: During the low season our guests can take advantage of transports by the Örö service company – see below. Sometimes they have boats going straight from Dalsbruk. Therefore please check if you are able to get a ride from Dalsbruk, in which case you can skip the Kasnäs part.
Boats and ferries to Örö
High season (May-September): During the high season there are daily ferry connections from Kasnäs to Örö and back, run by multiple private entrepeneurs:
In addition to these, a free ferry on Thursdays is usually also available during the high season, see below:
Low season (October-April): During the low season the connections are limited. A weekly ferry connection with Ms Stella is scheduled, but it does not always move if there’s no cargo or residents to be transported. The ferry runs on Thursdays, leaving Kasnäs at 10:30 AM and Örö around 1 PM. We advise you to contact the ferry company a few days in advance to let them know you are coming. Please call the ferry directly (+358 40 6756 441) or contact firstname.lastname@example.org (+358 400 849444). Please also note that during the winter season, or if they are going to offload heavy cargo, they might use the northern harbour in Örö. Upon leaving Örö, you can call the ferry directly to make sure you will be in the right harbour.
If the ferry is not available, transportations might be arranged with the Örö service company. Depending on the amount of construction and maintenance work, they or their subcontractors have boats running weekly or even multiple times a week, either from Kasnäs or from Dalsbruk. To enquire about their weekly schedules, please contact: Juha-Pekka Seppälä, +358 (0)400 584142, meidanhuolto (at) gmail.com.
Another option is to join a tourist group visiting the island. They mostly use Wilson Charter or a shared taxi boat. You can enquire the above mentioned entrepeneurs or the taxi boat if there are any groups or personnel going that you could share the ride with.
There most flexible, but more expensive way of reaching Örö is the taxi boat: Taxiboat Roger Granlund (+358 400 824 806). The service is available year-round as long as the sea is not frozen.
Please note that if the sea freezes completely, there should be auxiliary connections either with the ice-breaking capable ferry or smaller hydrocopters/hovercrafts. In any case, we recommend having at least one, preferably two weeks stock of food, especially in the winter season, and being flexible with your schedule.
Please see the ferry/boat and bus information above.
The school bus: On school days, you can use a school bus to move between Kasnäs and Dalsbruk. The morning bus going to Kasnäs is too early unless you spend your night in Dalsbruk (B&B is available), but the returning afternoon bus can be used if you’re coming with the ferry and need to catch the bus to Helsinki in Dalsbruk. The school bus does not normally take passengers in this direction, so you have to book the ride in advance: Call the bus operator Vainion Liikenne Oy, +358 2 777 330 or +358 40 844 9858.
Finding the Residency House
The boats and ferries normally enter the southern harbour in Örö, which is closer to the house. However, when transporting heavy cargo or during the winter season, the ferry might go to the northern harbour. It’s a bit longer walk (about 2km) to the house. You can ask the ferry personnel which harbour they are going to.
We have a small carriage in the southern harbour (marked “Öres”) that you can use to carry your luggage. We also have three old-school bicycles on the island. If going to the northern harbour, there are usually construction workers and personnel unloading stuff from the ferry – you may kindly ask if they can give a ride to your luggage, and perhaps your self too.
The residency house is a about a kilometer walk from the southern harbour. Walk along the main road through the barracks (hotel area), in the large crossroads after the watchtower take the leftmost road, walk until you reach another crossroads and then turn left to Pitkä Ikävä. Walk southwards until you see the wooden red buildings; the residency is in the southmost one. Apartment 1 (the larger one) faces the road and apartment 2 is on the back side.
Information about getting the keys will be provided by email.
Upon arrival and leaving the island, at least in the winter months, please let the service guys know. The service staff lives in the red and green barracks close to the first large crossroads. Knocking on the door and saying hi will suffice.
The residency is entirely self serviced. The residents are expected to clean the apartment and do their laundry.
The residency house has two aparments. The larger one is used around the year, while the smaller one is used by the island administration for visiting researchers and workers during the summer. Both apartments have two rooms and a kitchen + bathroom. Tools, books, printer, editing monitors and cleaning equipment are available for the residents.
Please note that smoking is absolutely forbidden inside. Please smoke outside and use the ash can located on the stairs.
When moving around the island, it is best to leave the door unlocked and keep the keys in their secret location outside. That insures you will not be locked out – there aren’t always service personnel on the island to help.
Furniture, equipment and tools
Though we normally only accommodate 1 or 2 artists per apartment, the apartment can accommodate up to 4-5 persons if needed. Therefore you can invite guests, though only with permission from your co-artist (in case you’re sharing the apartment with another artist).
The studio/bedrooms have two beds each plus a working table (except in apartment 2, where the the other room is only for sleeping). Spare mattresses are also available. You are free to arrange the furniture in the apartment as you see fit, but please return the arrangement upon leaving.
The kitchen is equipped with basic kitchenware and utensils, a stove with owen, a fridge/freezer, a microwave owen, a coffee pan/maker and a water cooker.
Bedding and towels are in the closets. Please wash any bedding and towels you have used before you leave. Cleaning equipment, detergents etc should be stored in the closet in the hallways.
Please take care of the furniture and interior. If you do any painting, woodwork or similar, you are required to cover your working area and make sure there will be no spills or scratches to the furniture and interior.
Three traditional bicycles are available; a blue men’s bicycle and a red and a black women’s model.
Note: Any other bicycles, carriages or other tools and equipment elsewhere on the island are private property. You are not allowed to lend, use or move them unless you have an explicit permission.
Basic tools are provided. Please notify us if tools are missing and/or broken so we can get replacements. The tools should be stored in the storage room shelves in apartment 1, along with spare parts such as light bulbs, batteries etc. Flaslights should be kept in the hallways.
We have collected a small library of books on the topics of archipelago, maritime history, nature and art. They are available in our bookshelf, located in apartment 1. Feel free to borrow them from your neighbour.
Sauna and Laundry
You have the right to use the sauna “Paritalosauna” and laundry once a week without cost. In winter periods there is normally no need to book the sauna beforehand. During the high season (May-September) the sauna is also used by tourists, so please book the sauna by informing the hotel reception. The laundry can be used without booking.
The sauna and laundry are located in the service building in the rowhouse area. Enter the building from the northern side (sign: “Parhusbastun – Paritalosauna”. In case the door is locked, please call the service personnel. Upon entering, the sauna is at your left while the laundry is the farthest door on your right.
To turn on the heat in the electric sauna, use the control panel (“Helo”) on the hallway:
Use the left dial on the panel to set the counter (usually between 1 and 2 hours). The sauna turns on and takes about 40 minutes to heat up. It will automatically switch off when the counter reaches zero. There is usually no need to adjust the preset temperature. Please make sure you leave the sauna clean and in decent order.
There is a laundry machine in the bathroom in apartment 1. If you live in apartment 2, please arrange suitable laundry times with your neighbour. The machine is quite simple to use. Instruction manual should be found in the cleaning closet.
You may also use an industrial washing machine in a service building of the island. The building is called “Paritalosauna” and is located in the 90’s house area close to the harbour bay. The washing machine is in the laundy room opposite the sauna.
Using the washing machine: Make sure the emergency stop button is not pushed in (rotate to release). Receptables for washing powder and conditioner are under the lid on the top (1: Pre-wash, 2: Normal wash, 3: Conditioner). Put in powder and laundry, select the program and press start. The industrial grade machine is quite effective, so there is no need for prewash unless the laundry is really dirty. The normal program without prewash takes about 30 minutes to run.
Note: Sometimes people may turn the water supply off, in which case the machine starts but halts to an error. Therefore check that the two valves on the wall right behind the machine are on = their handles pointing down, not sideways.
Note: Do not leave your laundry in the service building after washing but bring it back to the house to dry.
For disposing waste and sorted materials, please go to the harbour area. There are separate containers for generic waste, biodegradable waste and metal. Please sort your waste accordingly. For smaller waste, you may also use the smaller bins found elsewhere on the island.
You can deposit outgoing mail on the ferry/service boat, just remember to put stamps on it. The closest place to buy stamps is the shop at Kasnäs.
If you wish to receive mail, use the following address:
(Your name) / Örön residenssi
Örön Linnake, Pitkä Ikävä
Please note that incoming mail and packages are not delivered to your house. You have to go and pick them up from the ferry or service boat when they arrive. No one is obliged to inform you about their arrival though, so please use a tracking service or ask the service personnel.
Residency phone number: +358 40 320 1804
There’s a red Nokia mobile phone in the house which has a prepaid SIM. You are free to use it for domestic calls here in Finland, for example to order food from the shop and arrange transports and contacts. The service personnel also have this number so they might call you if something comes up.
If you use it for a lot of personal calls, please top up the saldo online: www.telia.fi/kauppa/liittymat/prepaid/lataa-helppo
Internet, Printer and Editing equipment
The house has a wireless internet connection. Keep the wireless modem on the windowsill for best reception and on a location close to the other apartment for good coverage for both. Do not unplug the adapter as the connection is shared between the apartments.
Wifi network: Ores
Wifi password can be found on the billboard or by pressing the power button on the modem.
We have a printer with scanner which is shared between the apartments – please negotiate with your neightbour about its whereabouts. The printer can also be used over wifi. The drivers (Canon I-Sensys MF212w) can be downloaded online. If you need a lot of printing for your project, please order more paper and toner.
For video/photo editing and sound work the residency provides two Dell displays and Alesis reference loudspeakers, plus assorted cables. They are stored in the storage room in apartment 1.
The house is heated by electric radiators. Use the thermostats on the radiators to adjust temperature.
To save some energy, please turn the temperature a few degrees (to around 12 degrees celsius) if leaving the island for a few days, and also at the end of your residency period (unless someone is arriving the same day). It is also a good practice to keep a lower temperature in places like the hallway.
Food & Commodities
In summertime there is a cafe/restaurant and a small shop in the hotel area and harbour. The cafe might be open during special occasions year-round, but mostly both are closed during the winter period and not will open again until March.
The nearest grocery store, open year-round, can be found next to the restaurant in Kasnäs. Please note that currently the thursday ferry only runs from Kasnäs to Örö and back, so if you want to make a round trip from Örö to Kasnäs, you have to arrange the return trip with the service company or a taxi boat.
There is an easier way though and the one we recomment: You can call the grocery store and have them deliver your orders by the ferry or by the service company’s boats. You can then pick up the delivery from the Örö harbour. To do this, please first check the weekly timetables with the ferry and/or service company (see Traffic) and then place your order at the shop:
Open Mon-Thu 9-16, Fri 9-17, Sat 9-13
+358 (0)2 5210 116
henrika.enestam (at) kasnas.com
If you have a chance to visit Dalsbruk, there are two larger grocery stores, a restaurant and a delicacy store. A supermarket and a hardware store are located at the Kimito center, 30 km from Kasnäs.
We advise you to keep an extra storage of food and other necessities for a few days. There is also an “emergency food” box in the kitchen cabinet; you are free to consume from it, but please fill it up before you leave.
Getting extra tools and equipment is a bit difficult with the limited connections. It might be more feasible to order stuff from web stores. The packages will be delivered to the ferry for you to pick up.
If you have any problems with the equipment/furniture in the house or something gets broken, please contact us:
Örö Residency Programme: nuutti.koskinen (at) ores.fi, +358 41 5317 606
In case of water shortage, electricity blackouts, plumbing failure or such you can contact the service personnel on the island directly. You can call them or knock on their door (they live in the barracks close to the house). Please also notify us of the situation.
Örö service personnel telephone: +358(0)50 911 1978
Leave the house in good order and ready for the next resident: Do the dishes, clean the kitchen, toilet and rooms by wiping the surfaces and vacuuming. Do the laundry (used bedding and towels). You can either do the laundry in the morning before you depart and leave the laundy to dry in the house, or do the laundy earlier and use your own bedding/towels for the last days.
Set the heating to a lower level before you leave. Lock the door and put the keys back in their hideaway.
You may leave some canned and dry food in the kitchen closet. If you leave any food in the fridge, please use a pen to mark the date on it as we do not want old stuff to accumulate there.
3.2 kilometers long and 1.8 wide, Örö is perfect for daily walking trips. When moving around the island, you are encouraged to use the roads and marked hiking trails, especially during the bird season.
Beware of steep cliffs, which can be very slippery. Always keep your cell phone with you; it is a large island with few if any people around. It is good practice to keep in touch with friends or family daily and let people know where you are heading. If you stumble and get unconsciuous in the forest, it might otherwise be too late when people start missing you.
In the middle of the winter it might be possible to walk on the ice surrounding the island. Do this only if you have experience. Follow old footprints whenever possible and never wander more than a few meters away from the shore, as the currents around the island can be tricky and eat away the ice from below. Our apartment is equipped with ice picks. Always wear the ice picks on your neck as a safety precaution when walking on ice.
Weather Conditions and Clothing
The climate in the archipelago is rather mild by Nordic standards. As the sea keeps the local climate warmer, the temperatures do not usually go much below the freezing point until the sea freezes, which will usually happen sometime after New Year. In the autumn period some humidity, rain and occasional storms can be expected, but also many crystal clear late autumn days with temperatures between 0 and 10 degrees celcius. In the winter the temperature is commonly between 0 and minus 10 degrees, but can occasionally go as low as minus 25. The spring begins in late March – early April with temperatures rapidly climbing above zero and the transition to a green summery landscape happening in the middle of May.
About clothing: It’s good to have lots of warm and waterproof stuff just in case. Though you might find yourself hiking only with a t-shirt on some sunny autumn day, the next day might bring chilling wind and rain. A windproof and preferably waterproof (goretex etc) jacket is a necessity in the autumn and spring period and a heavier jacket during the winter. Trousers from a similar material would also be recommended as well as a woollen sweater plus a cap and gloves. You’ll also need some kind of hiking or rubber boots with insulation according to the season.
A good online service for checking out the local weather can be found at en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/weather/kemiönsaari/örö.
The National Park: Rules & Limitations
Being part of the Archipelago National Park, there are some limitations as to what you are allowed to do. You are free to explore the island, under the following restrictions:
- It is forbidden to enter military areas (there are still five small, clearly marked areas on the island) and collect military related items and materials.
- No campfires.
- No driving of motorized vehicles on land.
- Pets must be kept on the leach at all times.
- Do not disturb or feed livestock.
- No uprooting or damaging of trees, bushes, or other plants and their parts.
- No capturing or disturbing wildlife and destroying nests.
- Do not interfere with butterfly traps or other research equipment.
- Do not damage the soil, bedrock or collect any minerals.
- Camping is only allowed on designated areas.
Note that any scientific equipment, tools, bicycles, carriages etc you might encounter on the island are private property and must not be touched. Please respect the privacy of the maintenance staff and hotel guests when moving in inhabited areas.
There are no permanent residents in Örö at the moment, although that is planned to happen in a few years. In summer the island is filled with tourists (with over 30 thousand yearly visitors), but off-season the chances for social life are limited. Usually there are some service personnel and construction workers, plus occasional tourists, researchers etc staying on the island, but on some weekends or holidays it might happen that you are the only people there.
The large Kimito island, the place you reach Örö from, is rather active in communal and cultural life, though again most if it is concentrated on the summer season with well-known jazz, movie and music festivals happening yearly.
We, the residence organization, are mostly based in Helsinki, so our people will be on the island only occasionally, but can of course be contacted by email or phone for any inquiries. To help you realize your projects, we can arrange contacts with the local community and artists as well as with people and organizations in our collaboration network and Finland in general.
You are free to do a short trip to the mainland – we are not able to provide accommodation ourselves, but can help you find affordable housing. You are also allowed to invite collaborators, contacts and guests to visit your residency, just please inform us if there are people staying for longer than a few days.
Most of the coastal area in Finland is bilingual (Finnish and Swedish) with the archipelago having a Swedish speaking majority, Swedish thus being your best choice for starting a conversation. English skills are also wide spread, especially among the younger generation.
If you need immediate medical attention, call the national emergency service: 112
Emergency services in the archipelago are provided by helicopter. It takes 15-20 minutes for the helicopter to bring a doctor to the island. After first aid the patients will be evaluated and if necessary, transported to a hospital in Turku either by the helicopter or by a boat/taxi, depending on the seriousness of the condition.
In less immediate needs of medical care, the closest health center can be found in Dalsbruk:
Dalsbruk Health Center
Sjukhusvägen 4, Dalsbruk
+358(0)2 4260 400
Open Mon – Thu 8:00-16:00
There is also a First Aid Kit in the apartment.
For EU/EEA residents, please bring along your European Health Insurance Card as you are entitiled to free public healthcare services. You should present this card at the health center or hospital. For residents outside the EU/EEA we request you to have a Health Insurance covering any need for medical treatments during your residency period (otherwise you need to pay the hefty bill yourself).
The island itself is owned by the Finnish state and managed by the state forest and wildlife administration, Metsähallitus. They run the general services on the island such as plumbing, electricity and property maintenance as well as take care of and enforce the nature protection status. The service personnel you might meet on the island are mostly working for Metsähallitus or their subcontractors, the main service company being Juha-Pekan Kiinteistöhuolto Oy.
The boats and ferries to Örö are run either commercially by Wilson Charter Oy (in summertime) or by the state via an operator (Kuljetus Savolainen Oy).
The main commercial operator on the island is called West Coast Seaservice Oy. They run the guest harbour, restaurant and accommodation business.
The Finnish Army and Naval forces are also partially active on the island. They use it for observation and occasional military practice. Although they are not entitled to exclusive use of the island (except the small designated military areas), it is still recommended to stay out of the way of any military game you might encounter, as the noise might damage your hearing.
The residency programme itself is administered by us, the Örö Residency Center association. We are renting the residency house from Metsähallitus and provide the necessary coordination, contacts and tools for artistic practice on the island. We do not have a permanent presence there, but may visit periodically for interviews, project planning and equipping the apartments.
Being an artist-run voluntary organization we must apologize for any inconvenience our very limited resources and funding might cause. However we are doing our best to ensure that your residency period will be as smooth as possible and wholeheartedly welcome you to the island.
Museums and galleries
In case you’re staying in the mainland for a few days, here are some places you might like to visit.
If you wish to research further into topics concerning local environment, you might like to browse through the available online resources in addition to our modest selection of books available on the residency. You might also consider contacting local research faculties for more information about their research projects as the Finnish universities have conducted a lot of research on the Archipelago area.
Örö is a part of the Archipelago Sea National Park. Wikipedia gives a pretty through introduction and links on the subject.
National Defence University: Library