Houtskär has a total area of 697 km2 and consists of approximately 700 islands and islets bigger than 1 hectare (of which 20 are inhabited). Houtskär is situated in the archipelago of Åboland, close to the Åland Islands. Since 1.1.2009 Houtskär is part of the archipelago town of Pargas. There are around 500 persons registered in Houtskär, but there is also a rather large amount of part time and holiday residents. 83% of the population is Swedish-speaking, 15% is Finnish-speaking and 2% speaks other languages. Houtskär is a combination of forested islands and barren outer skerries. There is a vast variety of vegetation and flora. Houtskär is part of the Archipelago Sea Biosphere Reserve and a smaller area is also part of the Archipelago National Park.

The demand for large, effective units nowadays is challenging for the farmers in the archipelago. One way of managing the situation is to specialize in cultivating certain products. Houtskär is known for its early and tasty new potatoes. Tomatoes are another big “export product” and are cultivated all the year round. Apples are also being cultivated. Houtskär has been inhabited for a long time. The oldest known traces of humans probably date back to the Bronze Age.

kotiseutumme kollaasi1

Houtskär provides good basic services through municipal and private actors. People are also actively engaged in different associations. There are several vigorous villages in Houtskär. Especially Hyppeis and Björkö are known for their beautiful boathouses.

The names of the villages are: Näsby (which is the central village), Storpensar, Saverkeit, Kittuis, Medelby, Hönsnäs, Berghamn, Träsk, Jervis, Hyppeis, Roslax, Kivimo, Björkö, Mossala, Äpplö and Nåtö.