Örö consists of two hundred hectares of natural forest, sandy and rocky beaches, handsome peninsulas as well as fine meadows and moors.
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In summertime, livestock pasture on the island, but in the nature, you can see grey seals and plentiful of bird and butterflies.
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There are two educational trails on the island, 6-inch tour to the southernmost point of Örö (about 5,3 km), and the 12-inch tour to the northern parts of the island (about 5,6 km).
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NATURE OF THE ISLAND
Örö consists of two hundred hectares of natural forest, sandy and rocky beaches, handsome peninsulas as well as fine meadows and moors. At the beginning of the 20th century, the island was a low-wooded moorland, where the villages of the surrounding areas grazed livestock. This is unbelievable a hundred years later, because now handsome pine and mixed forests cover the island. In the west, there is a long sand and gravel beach of more than 3 kilometers with many rare plants growing in it. Some of the rare species on the island are of cultural origin, some a part of the original flora and fauna. Sea kale blooms on the gravel shores of the island in June. Rare sand couch and marram grass as well as abundantly of sand sedge appear in the sandy beach areas. At the southern end of the beach, thrift blooms in the summer.
The greatest plant exceptionals, pasque flower Pulsatilla vulgaris and small pasque flower Pulsatilla pratensis, which grow in Finland only in Örö, grow in the moorland of the island. Pasque flowers bloom beautiful in May. In the middle of summer, the ground is covered with violet luminous wild thyme. Here and there you can see beautiful viper’s bugloss’s, yellow chamomiles and bulky great mullein in the middle of the summer. Spring is the best time to observe grey seals. The best chance of seeing seals, is on the west side of the island. There you can see the seal laying on the top of the rock when it’s not windy, or as a dog-like snout on the surface of the water.
EXCELLENT BIRD HAVEN
In the warm spring mornings, the forests of the island are swarming with migratory birds that have arrived over the sea from the direction of Estonia at night. You can separate the song of the wren, blackcap and icterine warbler from the concert of the birds. The location on the open sea also attracts rarities to stop on the island, because there are many different habitats available for guests from far away: barred warbler, red-breasted flycatcher, blyth’s reed-warbler, greenish warbler and many other Eastern songbirds can be heared tuning their verses in the morning of June.
The island of Örö is particularly interesting for the autumn migration of birds, as many birds coming from the north follow the edge of the Gullkrona rift valley to south and end up crossing Örö. In the autumn, many of migration routes come across here, as south travelers come from the directions of northeast and east. At that time, on the cliff of the southern tip, one can expect to hear the trumpets from the big flocks of cranes coming from the north. During a sunny day in autumn, hundreds of raptor birds may make a tour on top of the island before they head towards southern countries.
PARADISE FOR BUTTERFLIES
Many butterflies fly in the moors, meadows and fields of Örö in the summer. About 1700 butterfly species have been found on the island, and the island is one of the most valuable butterfly spots in our country. The rich appearance of endangered butterflies is enabled by diverse and open habitats. Butterflies are found from spring to late autumn.
In the last summers, the rare scarce tortoiseshell has appeared in large numbers in June-July. In July, in the right hiking trails, the island’s thyme fields have been the spectacle of thousands of hungry butterflies. The most abundant local butterfly species are niobe fritillary and grayling. The spectacular migration season back to the south of the red admirals starts in August, when butterflies from the north begin to pack into the island at its best of thousands of individuals.
The routes of Örö introduce excursionist to every corner of the island. The island has two educational trails.
The 6-inch route (about 5,3 km) to the southern tip of Örö where a stunning seascape unfolds. On the way, you can explore the cannon stations, barracks and defensive positions. The southern trail culminates to the ruins of a gun battery originated in 1910s. It offers beautiful views of the surrounding rocky islands and the sea. In the southern tip vantage point, hawk-eyed can also see the silhouette of the Bengtskär lighthouse.
The 12-inch route (about 5,6 km) is directed to the northern part of the island through coastal meadows, old forests and the open west shore. The northern tip trail can be wandered in either direction, and there are beautiful sand beaches, parts of trail in dense forests, vantage points and fortress ruins alongside of it.
In addition, Örö has 6 km of old cobblestone paths, that make it easy to move from one place to another. Please note however, that the island has old defense structures which are protected by wire fences. The attraction is not suitable for the disabled.
Crossing the island horizontally is Short Sorrow path, and vertically the Long Sorrow path. These cobblestone paths originate from the time of tsar. From both paths, you will have easy access to both educational trails, which follow the beaches of the island partly in the woods, beaches and cliffs.
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