Island-hopping in Åland
The Åland islands are perfect for exploring by bike. The scenery is lovely, the roads are flat and there is hardly any traffic. There are bridges and small ferries to take you from one island to the next.
Just imagine: you have a total of 6,500 islands from which to choose. Åland is small and pretty, but it is also vast. Some islands are close together, while others are far off in splendid isolation, with only the sea for company.
Åland’s roads pass through a natural landscape that still seems to be completely untouched on some islands. Ten thousand years ago the land began to rise from the sea bed, gradually giving birth to thousands of islands.
It doesn’t take long to feel a sense of freedom on a cycling tour of Åland. You don’t need to be particularly sporty to enjoy a cycling holiday, either. The highest elevations are only about 130 metres above sea level. Those gentle hills provide a nice change from the flat terrain elsewhere and will not cause you to break into much of a sweat.
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 the boat!
Be sure to take enough food and supplies with you, because shopping facilities are few and far between outside of Mariehamn. Some smaller islands may only have a small shop or kiosk.
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 of June and July.
The most important aspect to ensuring a terrific cycling holiday in Åland is the desire to find peace and quiet among the beautiful natural surroundings. Time, strict daily schedules and the number of kilometres you’ve covered are not important here. Just feel the relaxation take over.