Åland – a Special Piece of Finland
The autonomous Finnish province of Åland is located in the Baltic Sea, at the southern end of the Gulf of Bothnia between mainland Finland and Sweden.
The Åland archipelago consists of around 6 500 islands, but only more than 60 are inhabited.
Åland has its own taxation system, its own postage stamps, its own flag and Swedish as its only official language.
Do the Island Hop
For travellers, the Åland islands offer activities from adventurous island-hopping to boating, fishing, golfing and lots more.
It’s easy to get from one island to another thanks to the many bridges and ferries, and Åland’s roads are terrific for cycling holidays.
Mariehamn – Small-town Sophistication
With around 11 000 residents, capital Mariehamn is the largest – and only – city in Åland. Its wooden houses and green parks provide a great setting for a small-town holiday or a starting point for a tour of the Åland islands.
Despite Mariehamn’s small population, it receives some 1.5 million visitors every year. They are served by a wide variety of hotels, bars, shops and other leisure establishments. In the summer, sitting outside in the cosy little cafés is the thing to do.
A Must for Families and Maritime Enthusiasts
A local sight not to be missed is the Pommern, a wooden cargo ship (or windjammer) built in the early 20th century.
Now moored outside the Maritime Museum in the western harbour of Mariehamn, the Pommern used to sail the oceans between England and Australia. To make the most out of the experience, a guided tour is recommended.
Little visitors to Mariehamn will enjoy the Ålandspark recreational park and the popular Gröna Udden beach. These are excellent spots for a picnic and sampling an Åland speciality: pancakes with cardamom and plenty of whipped cream.