Excursions

ESEB2019 – European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Excursions

Welcome to join the excursions with us and enjoy our beautiful summer city and it’s surroundings!

ESEB congress participants are offered a great variety of interesting excursions in the surroundings of Turku. There are various nature-oriented options, including numerous kayaking trips and mushroom picking excursions to Kurjenrahka National Park. Guided walking tours will tell you about the city’s history and present day. During the dinner cruise on board M/S Rudolfina you can enjoy the amazing views of the beautiful archipelago. We also offer daily sauna excursions, after the congress day you can relax in the heat of the sauna and enjoy Finnish summer nature.

Please find below the detailed descriptions and schedules for each excursion. Please read carefully the descriptions and details before booking the excursions.

Registrations for the excursions through ESEB Extras registration form (kindly see the registration page), please choose the number of tickets for each excursion. Registrations for the excursions by 15 June 2019!

In case an excursion is cancelled (for example due to low number of participants), and the participants cannot or do not wish to participate in another excursion instead, the excursion fee will be refunded.

Guided walking tours

Guided Riverside walking tour: town centre
Note: this excursion is available on three different days!
Monday, 19 August, departure at 10.00 (duration about 2 h), departure point will be confirmed.
Thursday, 22 August, departure at 15.00 (duration about 2 h), departure point will be confirmed.
Sunday, 25 August, departure at 10.00 (duration about 2 h), departure point will be confirmed.

The walking tour along the river Aura introduces you to what the local consider as their living room – the banks of the river Aura – and at the same time Turku’s history and present day. Along the journey, we get to know the city art, historic buildings and sites of cultural significance, as well as The Turku Cathedral. The walking tour is about 2 km.

Tickets 15 eur/person (includes the guide services).
Will be organized with the minimum of 10 participants, except on Sunday with the minimum of 16 participants.

Guided riverside walking tour: cathedrals
Note: this excursion is available on three different days!
Monday, 19 August, departure at 10.00 (duration about 2 h), departure point: Turku Cathedral.
Thursday, 22 August, departure at 15.00 (duration about 2 h), departure point: Turku Cathedral.
Sunday, 25 August, departure at 10.00 (duration about 2 h), departure point: Turku Cathedral.

Welcome to a walk by the historical Aura River. We meet at Turku Cathedral stairs and start our walk to Koroinen, where the previous Cathedral of Turku was located in 13th century. Koroinen is a beautiful cape approximately 1,5 kilometers upriver and nowadays a cross commemorates the location of the bygone Cathedral. At Koroinen we enjoy the nature and greenery of the riverbanks. The length of the walking tour is about 4 km.
Departure point, Turku Cathedral, address: Tuomiokirkonkatu 1, Turku.

Tickets 15 eur/person (includes the guide services).
Will be organized with the minimum of 10 participants, except on Sunday with the minimum of 16 participants.

Guided riverside walking tour: archaeological sites
Note: this excursion is available on three different days!
Monday, 19 August, departure at 10.00 (duration about 2 h), departure point: Halistenkoski Rapids.
Thursday, 22 August, departure at 15.00 (duration about 2 h), departure point: Halistenkoski Rapids.
Sunday, 25 August, departure at 10.00 (duration about 2 h), departure point: Halistenkoski Rapids.

Join us for a walk along the River Aura, enjoy the beautiful natural landscape. On the walk you will hear about early Finnish history in this river valley which bears many reminders of the old cultural history. Find out about the Halinen Dam and its history, and the ancient cup-marked stones that seem very mysterious. The length of the walking tour is about 4 km. Departure point, Halistenkoski Rapids, address: Valkkimyllynkuja 2, Turku.

Tickets 15 eur/person (includes the guide services).
Will be organized with the minimum of 10 participants, except on Sunday with the minimum of 16 participants.

Paddling excursions

A canoe trip on the Aurajoki river, Monday 19 August and Sunday 25 August
Note: this excursion is available on two different days!
Monday, 19 August, day trip, at 9.00-14.00
Sunday, 25 August, day trip, at 9.00-14.00

A canoe trip on the Aurajoki river, starting above the Halistenkoski rapids. There is a hydroelectric dam here, which is equipped with a passage to allow migrating fish to pass. The canoe trip will follow the river upstream through a varied scenery of cultivated fields and archeological sites, with forests and suburban housing visible at a distance. The turning point is Vanhalinna castle rock, an isolated peak of granitic rock among the cultivated fields that used to be an important fortress site. Packed lunch will be provided, and it can be enjoyed on top of the rock with a wide scenery over the landscape. The duration of the trip is about 5 hours and the distance to be paddled is 2 x 5 km.
Departure point, address: Valkkimyllynkuja 2, Turku (about 3 km from the Market Square).

Tickets 85 eur/person (includes the guide services, canoeing equipment and packed lunch).
Will be organized with the minimum of 10 participants and maximum of 20 participants/excursion!

A kayaking trip to Ruissalo island, Monday 19 August
Monday, 19 August, day trip, at 9.00-15.00

A kayaking trip in the Baltic Sea, starting at the Uittamo rowing and kayaking centre. The trip will follow the coastline towards the northwest and provide a view of the inner archipelago islands. The turning point of the trip is in Kansanpuisto on the southeastern shore of the Ruissalo island. Packed lunch will be provided. The trip will take about 6 hours and the distance to be paddled is 2 x 6 km. Participants should be familiar with the basics of kayaking. Recommended minimum age is 14 years, but this is negotiable.
Departure point, address: Rykmentintie 55, Turku (about 5 km from the Market Square).

Tickets 85 eur/person (includes the guide services, kayaking equipment and packed lunch).
Will be organized with the minimum of 4 participants and maximum of 15 participants!

A canoe trip on the Aurajoki river, Thusday 22 August
Thursday, 22 August at 15.00-17.00

A short canoe trip on the Aurajoki river, starting above the Halistenkoski rapids. There is a hydroelectric dam here, which is equipped with a passage to allow migrating fish to pass. The canoe trip will follow the river upstream through a varied scenery of cultivated fields and archeological sites, with forests and suburban housing visible at a distance. The duration of the trip is about 2 hours.
Departure point address: Valkkimyllynkuja 2, Turku (about 3 km from the Market Square).

Tickets 40 eur/person (includes the guide services and canoeing equipment).
Will be organized with the minimum of 13 participants and maximum of 20 participants!

Introduction to kayaking, Thursday 22 August
Thursday, 22 August at 14.00-18.00

Introduction to kayaking at the Uittamo rowing and kayaking centre. There will first be an introduction to equipment and basics of kayaking, and then a short kayaking trip with beautiful view of the nearby Baltic Sea islands. The total duration of the activity is about 4 hours. No previous experience with kayaking is needed. Recommended minimum age is 14 years.
Departure point, address: Rykmentintie 55, Turku  (about 5 km from the Market Square).

Tickets 40 eur/person (includes the guide services, kayaking equipment).
Will be organized with the minimum of 10 participants and maximum of 25 participants!

A kayaking trip to the ruins of Kuusisto Castle, Sunday 25 August
Sunday, 25 August, day trip, at 9.00-17.00

A kayaking trip in the Baltic Sea, starting at the Uittamo rowing and kayaking centre. The trip will follow the coastline towards the southeast and provide a view of the inner archipelago islands. The turning point of the trip is in the eastern extreme of the Kuusisto island, which features the ruins of a former bishop’s castle. Packed lunch will be provided. The trip will take about 8 hours and the distance to be paddled is 2 x 15 km. Participants should have solid experience with kayaking. Minimum age is 14 years.
Departure point, address: Rykmentintie 55, Turku (about 5 km from the Market Square).

Tickets 95 eur/person (includes the guide services, kayaking equipment and packed lunch).
Will be organized with the minimum of 4 participants and maximum of 15 participants!

Dinner cruise

M/S Rudolfina dinner cruise
Thursday, 22 August, departure at 16.00 (duration 2 h)

Join a dinner cruise on board M/S Rudolfina on Thursday, 22 August and enjoy the beautiful views of the archipelago! The cruise includes an archipelago style buffet dinner. Drinks not included, but can be bought separately. The cruise departs on 22 August at 16.00 sharp from the Aura river, return at 18.00. The address for the departure point: Läntinen Rantakatu 37, 20100 Turku.

Tickets 29 eur/person (includes the cruise and the buffet dinner).
Limited number of tickets available!

Excursion to Qvidja Farm, Parainen

Excursion to Qvidja Farm, Parainen
Thursday, 22 August, departure at 13.30, departure point will be confirmed later.

Recycled fertilizers, novel bioenergy, research fields for carbon sequestration – Qvidja Farm is the full of sustainability in practice, research actions and climate positive work. Giving nature space and increasing biodiversity is the goal and means in this farm. Qvidja is the oldest manor in Finland, 850 ha (2100 ac) of field and forest. The farm is located in Parainen, approximately 30 minutes’ drive from the city centre of Turku.

Excursion to farm includes walk-and-talk tutorial starting from the historical castle, visiting the trial fields, grass-fed animals and bioenergy plant. The broad spectrum of activities at the Farm allow for the creation of a unique experience! Visit is hosted by owners of the manor, key environmental figures Saara Kankaanrinta and Dr. Ilkka Herlin.

The return transportation from Qvidja farm to Turku city departs around at 18.00. Bus transportation departs and returns to Turku city centre area, address will be confirmed later.

Tickets 25 eur/person (includes the guide services, bus transportation and coffee).
Will be organized with the minimum of 25 participants and maximum of 40 participants!

Excursion to Turku University Botanical Garden

Excursion to Turku University Botanical Garden
Note: this excursion is available on two different days!
Saturday, 24 August, departure at 10.00 (duration about 2.5 h), departure point will be confirmed.
Sunday, 25 August, departure at 10.00 (duration about 2,5 h), departure point will be confirmed.

A short trip to the University of Turku, Biodiversity Unit, Botanical Garden on the island of Ruissalo. The Botanical Garden is both a centre for scientific research and a public showcase for the fascinating world of biodiversity. The outdoor and indoor gardens display over 5000 species and varieties of plants. In the greenhouses are e.g. a large collection of tropical species (New World and Old World tropics) and in excess of 300 orchid species. In the outdoor garden are e.g. bee hives, rhododendrons, peonies, annuals, economic plants, meadow flowers, exotic trees and shrubs, to name a few. A distinguishing feature of the new landscape are the three ponds containing colorful waterlilies and other wetland plants. The duration of the trip is about 2.5 hours, including guidance. Bus transportation to Botanical Garden departs and returns to Turku city centre, address will be confirmed later.

Tickets 30 eur/person (includes the guide services and bus transportation).
Will be organized with the minimum of 15 participants and maximum of 40 participants!

Excursion to Seili Island

Excursion to Seili island in the Turku Archipelago
Sunday, 25 August, day trip at 10.00-18.15

A day trip to the beautiful island of Seili (home of the University of Turku, Biodiversity Unit, Archipelago Research Institute). The Institute participates in multidisciplinary research of the Baltic Sea, with a special focus on the Archipelago Sea. The history of the island is fascinating. The King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden gave an order (in 1619) that a leprosis hospital should be set up at an isolated location in the Archipelago Sea. The present wooden church of Seili was built in 1733 as a replacement of the Church of Saint George. The history of the island will be presented by expert guides. Boat transportation to Seili island departs from Aurajoki river at 10.00 sharp (arriving to the island of Seili at 11.45). Lunch will be provided in the island and coffee/tea during the boat trip back to Turku. The boat leaves for a return trip from the island at 16.15 and arrives back to Turku around at 18.15. The address for the boat’s departure and arrival point will be confirmed later.

Tickets 80 eur/person (includes the guide services, boat transportation, lunch and coffee).
Will be organized with the minimum of 50 participants and maximum of 60 participants!

Excursions to Kurjenrahka National Park

Excursions to Kurjenrahka National Park: guided mushroom picking, Monday 19 August and Sunday 25 August
Note: this excursion is available on two different days!
Monday, 19 August, day trip, at 9.00-15.00
Sunday, 25 August, day trip, at 9.00-15.00

Mushroom picking trip to Kurjenrahka national park about 30 km north of Turku city centre. The park features a mosaic of forests and open peatlands. The expert guides will help to discover and appreciate the hidden life of fungi and other features of boreal nature. The availability of edible mushrooms cannot be guaranteed, though. Transport is by bus and packed lunch will be provided. Bus transportation to Kurjenrahka departs and returns to Turku city centre, address will be confirmed later.

Tickets 70 eur/person (includes the guide services, bus transportation and packed lunch).
Will be organized with the minimum of 20 participants and maximum of 40 participants/excursion!

Excursion to Kurjenrahka National Park: Pukkipalo primeval forest and Mietoistenlahti bay
Sunday, 25 August, day trip about at 7.30-17.00, departure point will be confirmed later.

Kurjenrahka is a forest and mire area including the largest mires in the Southwest Finland. Breeding species include whooper swan, hobby, crane, hazel and black grouse. Black-throated diver and woodpeckers including three-toed woodpecker are possible. During the excursion we get to visit the Pukkipalo route, which includes mire and forest areas with old growth forest (ca. 6 km walk). Lunch will be served after the hike. After the lunch we are visiting the Mietoistenlahti Bay. Mietoistenlahti is a shallow bay of the sea. It is one of the best coastal wetlands in Finland and important staging area for geese, ducks and waders. Birds of prey such as white-tailed eagle, marsh harriers and hobbies are also typical species in the area. Excursion will be back in Turku around 17.00.

Tickets 85 eur/person (includes the guide services, bus transportation and lunch).
Will be organized with the minimum of 30 participants and maximum of 45 participants!


Excursion to Kurjenrahka National Park: lake Savojärvi and Mietoistenlahti bay
Sunday, 25 August, day trip about at 7.30-17.00, departure point will be confirmed later.

Kurjenrahka is a forest and mire area including the largest mires in the Southwest Finland. Breeding species include whooper swan, hobby, crane, hazel and black grouse. Black-throated diver and woodpeckers including three-toed woodpecker are possible. During the excursion we get to visit the lake Savojärvi, which includes also forest and mire areas around the lake (ca. 6 km walk). Lunch will be served after the hike. After the lunch we are visiting the Mietoistenlahti Bay. Mietoistenlahti is a shallow bay of the sea. It is one of the best coastal wetlands in Finland and important staging area for geese, ducks and waders. Birds of prey such as white-tailed eagle, marsh harriers and hobbies are also typical species in the area. Excursion will be back in Turku around 17.00.

Tickets 85 eur/person (includes the guide services, bus transportation and lunch).
Will be organized with the minimum of 30 participants and maximum of 45 participants!

Excursion to Teijo National Park and Halikonlahti Bay

Excursion to Teijo National Park and Halikonlahti Bay
Sunday, 25 August, day trip about at 7.30-17.00, departure point will be confirmed later.

Teijo is a complex of woodland and lakes. Breeding species include hazel and black grouse, black-throated diver, crane, several woodpecker species, and nutcracker. We will first visit the Teijo National Park and walk around lake Matildajärvi. The route is ca. 6.5 km long and includes forest areas around the lake. In the end the route passes through Matilda village, which holds local shops including Mathildedal brewery. Lunch will be served after the hike. After the lunch we are visiting the Halikonlahti Bay, which is a shallow wetland next to sea and farmland area. Grey-lag geese are typically numerous and several species of birds of prey are visiting the area. Excursion will be back in Turku around 17.00.

Tickets 85 eur/person (includes the guide services, bus transportation and lunch).
Will be organized with the minimum of 30 participants and maximum of 45 participants!

Excursion to Ruissalo island: Birds and hiking

Excursion to Ruissalo island: Birds and hiking
Sunday, 25 August, departure around at 6.30-8.30, schedule for the excursion will be confirmed later

Ruissalo is situated next to the city of Turku. It is characterized by the cultural heritage of old farmland areas, house gardens and oak forests. Long-term research on wintering strategies of passerines and breeding biology of hole-nesting passerines are conducted on the island. The excursion includes first mist-netting of birds in the Ruissalo trapping site and later about 5 km walk in the Ruissalo area ending to the lunch place. If the weather permits, there will be CES trapping occasion K (11th for the season), if not trapping is for Finnish RuoVak project, which collects data on measurements and moult. The walk follows popular routes of amateur birders.

The travelling to Ruissalo will be done using public transport leaving from the city centre of Turku. The bus travel takes about half an hour.

Tickets 50 eur/person (includes the guide services and lunch).
Will be organized with the minimum of 20 participants and maximum of 30 participants!

Sauna Excursions

Please note! All sauna excursions arranged via ESEB are mixed gender swimsuit saunas i.e. participants wear swimsuits during the sauna and swimming in the Baltic Sea. Males and females have separate change-rooms and shower facilities, but there are no separate shower cubicles.

Sauna Excursion to Herrankukkaro, Thursday 22 August
Thursday, 22 August at 14.00-20.00.
Bus transportation to Herrankukkaro departs and returns to Turku city centre, address will be confirmed later.

Herrankukkaro “Mama’s pocket” is a unique destination built in an old fisherman’s homestead surrounded in the heart of the beautiful archipelago in Naantali. The venue is located approximately 40 minutes from the city centre of Turku and it is a must-see, unforgettable destination.

The fisherman’s homestead is a real smoke sauna paradise. Actually, the world’s biggest underground smoke sauna, and probably the smallest smoke sauna also, are both located in Herrankukkaro. The smoke sauna is Finnish culture at its most authentic and most enjoyable. In addition to saunas, one may also enjoy outdoor heated baths right along the archipelago shore.

Natural products, grown naturally –in Herrankukkaro, one can also enjoy a different dining experience, the food offered is mainly “wild food” and the products are all made in their own kitchen.

Herrankukkaro is guaranteed to be a singular destination set amidst the natural beauty of the archipelago.

Tickets 69 eur/person (includes bus transportation, dinner, sauna and towels. Children age between 3-12 years, tickets 34,50 eur)
Will be organized with the minimum of 50 participants and maximum of 100 participants!

Sauna Excursions to Villa Marjaniemi
Daily sauna excursions to Villa Marjaniemi in Ruissalo, Turku will be organized for ESEB participants every evening from Tuesday to Friday. Bus transportation to Villa Marjaniemi departs and returns to Turku city centre, address will be confirmed later.

Villa Marjaniemi was built by an industrialist family in 1850, and it has been restored in 2011. The venue is located in the eastern side of the Ruissalo island, only within a 15-minute drive from the city centre of Turku.

The surrounding nature ensures the chance to enjoy the sauna experience at its best. In addition to the sauna, the venue features an outdoor hot tub and a chance to take a dip into the sea. If you want to experience the authentic Finnish sauna experience in a unique destination, Villa Marjaniemi offers you great settings for it!

Wednesday, 21 August: bus from Turku city centre departs at 18.00
Thursday, 22 August: bus from Turku city centre departs at 17.00
(Return transportation from Villa Marjaniemi to Turku city departs at around 21.00, except on Thursday already at 20.00)

Tuesday, 20 August: bus from Turku city centre departs at 20.00
Wednesday, 21 August: bus from Turku city centre departs at 20.30
Friday, 23 August: bus from Turku city centre departs at 20.00
(Return transportation from Villa Marjaniemi to Turku city departs at around 23.30)

Tickets 38 eur/person/excursion (includes bus transportation, towels, 1 beverage/person).
Will be organized with the minimum of 30 participants and maximum of 35 participants/excursion!

Sauna Excursions to Harjattula Manor
Daily sauna excursions to Harjattula Manor, Turku will be organized for ESEB participants every evening from Tuesday to Friday.
Bus transportation to Harjattula Manor departs and returns to Turku city centre, address will be confirmed later.

Harjattula offers you the chance to enjoy the sea and the beautiful Finnish nature at Kakskerta, Turku. The venue is located in the archipelago, within a 30-minute drive from the city centre of Turku.

Sweating in the authentic sauna is a traditional Finnish experience at its best. After a relaxing experience in the authentic sauna, one can take a dip into the sea and enjoy the refreshing feeling afterwards. Harjattula offers unforgettable milieu for the authentic Finnish sauna experience!

Wednesday, 21 August: bus from Turku city centre departs at 18.15
Thursday, 22 August: bus from Turku city centre departs at 18.15
(Return transportation from Harjattula Manor to Turku city departs at around 21.00)

Tuesday, 20 August: bus from Turku city centre departs at 20.15
Wednesday, 21 August: bus from Turku city centre departs at 20.15
Thursday, 22 August: bus from Turku city centre departs at 20.15
Friday, 23 August: bus from Turku city centre departs at 20.15
(Return transportation from Harjattula Manor to Turku city departs at around 23.00)

Tickets 30 eur/person/excursion (includes bus transportation, towels, 1 beverage/person and light snacks).
Will be organized with the minimum of 25 participants and maximum of 50 participants/excursion!

General cancellation policy:

Cancellation of registration must be made in writing (email) to info@aboaservices.fi before 18 July 2019. A processing fee of EUR 50 will be deducted from all refunds. No fees will be refunded after 18 July 2019. Payments of EUR 30 and under will not be refunded.

In the event that the meeting (or excursion) is cancelled by the Meeting Organisers, or cannot take place for any reason outside the control of the Meeting Organisers, the registration fee shall be refunded in full. The liability of the Meeting Organiser shall be limited to that refund.

Other things to do in Turku

Turku Castle
Turku Castle is a more than 700 year old historical monument. It has stood guard over the river Aura estuary since the 1280’s. Its granite stone walls hold within them the history of Finland, Sweden and the other Nordic countries. Step inside and let yourself be absorbed by the fascinating history of Turku Castle! Join a guided tour or see the Castle in your own pace.

Please see more information here.

Ruissalo island
The Ruissalo island is famous for its’ oak forests, charming 19th Century villas, Ruissalo Spa hotel, National Park, Ruisrock rock concert, Honkapirtti restaurant and Botanical Gardens. Scenic and well-maintained bike paths offer comfortable distances for the whole family. The rocky outcrops, beautiful sandy beaches, distinctive nature, rolling fields and pretty gardens will lead to love at first sight for all who visit the island. (Local bus nro 8, approx. 15 minutes from the city centre).

Please see more information here.

Flowpark
Flowpark is an ecological adventure park located by the shoppig mall Skanssi in Turku, within easy reach by public transport (or föli bikes). Adventure trails have been built on living trees without harming them. You may solve numerous tasks even at the height of twenty meters! Tasks refer to ropeways, including swaying paths, liane jumps, swings and cable slides. Flowpark is meant for people of all ages (from 7 years onwards) full of adventure spirit!

Please see more information here.

Things to do especially for families:

Adventure park Seikkailupuisto
Located in the eastern side of Turku, a large city park with lots to do for families, including an outside swimming pool area (small entrance fee), bouncing castle, traffic park with safari cars etc. A great place for a picnic too!

Please see more information here.

Moomin World
The Moominworld fairy-tale park is a very popular destination for families with children in the nearby Town of Naantali (buses from the city centre of Turku run at regular hours, the trip takes about 35 minutes).

You will have a chance to meet the whole Moomin family and their friends in Moominworld. There are plenty of activities to do together with all Moomin World characters. Snufkin reads stories to children in his camp; the witch’s cottage is a perfect place to learn witchcraft – and there are daily performances on the Pikku-Estradi stage. The park is open during the ESEB week until 6 p.m.

Please see more information here.

Kurala Village of Living History
The Kurala Village of Living History is comprised of altogether 26 buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries. Experience Finnish country living from the past just a short bus drive from the city centre of Turku. A lovely place to take a stroll with children. Café onsite. Open daily until 6 p.m.

Please see more information here.

Caribia Spa & SuperPark
A spa and hotel situated on the outskirts of Turku city centre, within easy reach by public transport (or föli bikes).  Spend an afternoon enjoying the spa created in the Caribbean spirit, several saunas and an outdoor pool area too.

More information for Caribia Spa can be found here.

On the premises of the Caribia hotel there is also SuperPark, an indoor activity park promising an exciting experience for the whole family!
The indoor activity park’s Freestyle Hall boasts a skate and scooting park, our extremely popular AirTrack tumble track, and a range of ramps and trampolines. The Game Arena features a hockey radar, disc golf and basketball for those with a competitive streak. The Adventure Areahas climbing walls and exhilarating slides.

Please see more information of SuperPark here.

Further tourist information

Please, see Visit Turku- webpage for further tourist information.