The Åland islands are perfect for cycling – the roads are flat, there is hardly any traffic, with bridges and ferries connecting picturesque islands to each other.
Ten thousand years ago the land began to rise from the sea bed, gradually giving birth to thousands of islands now known as Åland. With most of them uninhabited, it doesn’t take long to feel a sense of freedom on a cycling tour of the islands.
You don’t need to be particularly sporty to enjoy a cycling holiday in Åland, as the highest elevations are only about 130 metres above sea level. Every now and then gentle hills provide a nice change to the flat terrain and will not cause you to break into much of a sweat.
On one hand, Åland is small and pretty. On the other, vast and seemingly endless. Its roads pass through a natural landscape that’s still virtually untouched on some islands.
There are a total of 6 500 islands in Åland, yet only 65 of them are inhabited – plenty to choose from, in other words.
The most important thing in ensuring a terrific cycling holiday in Åland is finding peace and quiet among the beautiful natural surroundings.
Be sure to take enough food and supplies with you, because shopping facilities are few and far between outside of Mariehamn, the capital of and only city in Åland. Some smaller islands may only have a small shop or kiosk.
Some of the Åland islands are close together, while others are far off in splendid isolation, with only the sea for company.
In terms of accommodation, you can choose from campgrounds, cottages, bed & breakfasts and rooms in private homes. It’s a good idea to book ahead, particularly in the peak season in June and July.
Daily schedules and the number of kilometres covered are not important here – just focus on the relaxation. You can bring your own bike, or you can hire one in Mariehamn for about 35 euros per week.
There are ferries operating regular routes between the islands, but check the ferry timetables before you set off on your tour – some islands are served less frequently and you don’t want to miss your ride.
Besides natural beauty, there are quite a few landmarks to spot on Åland. The Kastelholm Castle, originally built as a stronghold in the 14th century, is one of the most popular sights on these islands.
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