Kustavi is a village along the Baltic Sea coast in southwestern Finland. Even though it is unilingually Finnish, it is also known by its Swedish name Gustavs. The village is the seat of the local municipality and a gateway to the Åland Archipelago. The Kustavi Municipality is one of the smallest in Finland, with almost 1000 inhabitants. If you exclude the Åland Islands, that makes it the 5th smallest municipality in mainland Finland. That is, if you only take into account the permanent population, when you look at the number of summer homes the population increases. It is estimated that there are around 3.100 summer homes within the small municipality, compared to around 500 permanent dwellings.
A Short History of Kustavi
A chapel has been known to have existed in the area since at least the mid-16th century, the chapel of St. Johannes. It was first in 1783 that a church was built in what was to become Kustavi. The church was named Gustaf, after King Gustav III of Sweden. The name has later been translated to Finnish, resulting in the name Kustavi. Kustavi became an independent municipality in 1874.
The local inhabitants did for centuries live on shipping and fishing. It was the sea that provided a livelihood and the wealth was strongly connected to the export of fish. In more recent decades summer tourism has sailed up as another local business. It is especially the number of summer homes that have increased by thousands.
Things to Do and See
Whether you visit Kustavi to see the Baltic Sea, to restock your supplies for a visit in the archipelago, or as a stop on the way to the Åland Islands, there is an opportunity to enjoy the calm streets of Kustavi and its sorrounding nature. The Baltic Sea is never far away.
The Kustavin Kirkko, is a red wooden church that was built in 1783. It can seat 480 people and is the center of the local parish.
In English the Caves of Jeremiah is a stone formation within a nature reserve. These include both caves as well cliffs and deep crevices.
How to Get to Kustavi
Flights: The closest major airport is Turku Airport (TKU), 69 kilometers drive away with mostly domestic flights as well as a few charter airlines. Helsinki Airport (HEL) is 241 kilometers away and it is the main airport in Finland with both domestic and international flights.
Car: Kustavi is at the end of road 192, east of Turku.
The driving distance from 5 major Finnish cities, according to Google Maps:
Helsinki – 232 kilometers (2 h 39 min) Turku – 68 kilometers (1 h 3 min) Vaasa – 337 kilometers (4 h 5 min) Oulu – 654 kilometers (7 h 58 min) Joensuu – 639 kilometers (7 h 10 min)
Find out more about other destinations in Finland by visiting our page Exploring Finland