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Here are the Aland Islands in Finland: find out how to reach them and the main activities to do from visiting the fortress to cycling tours.

You are in a very special corner of Finland: the archipelago comprises more than 6500 islands and is an autonomous province. The Aland Islands have their own tax system, flag, and postage stamps. The official language is Swedish. Every tourist will be surrounded by fantastic nature. And can choose from numerous activities to do: golf, fishing, hiking, and much more. Moving around will also not be a problem thanks to bridges, ferries, and an ideal road network for cyclists. We are located in the Gulf of Bothnia, on the Baltic Sea, between Finland and Sweden.

How to reach them

There are two main ways to get to the Aland Islands: the capital Mariehamn has a tiny airport where flights from Helsinki, Stockholm, and Turku land. You can also arrive by ferry. The best time to visit the islands is from July to the end of September when the temperature is milder.

Mariehamn

The capital is the ideal place to start discovering the island. You will be struck by the small wooden houses and the picturesque cafes with refined terraces, where you can relax in the summer months. You will easily see it on foot and savor every corner. The main attraction is certainly the Pommern, a majestic four-masted sailing ship that is anchored in the western part of the city, right in front of the marine museum. The town was founded in 1861 and takes its name from the consort of Tsar Alexander II of Russia.

Kokar

On this small island, which is far from everyone, you can also admire what remains of an ancient Franciscan monastery. With its 250 inhabitants, it is the second smallest municipality in Finland. Kayaking is one of the most popular activities. And will allow you to admire the seascapes in an unusual way and perhaps see the sea eagles. This place was first inhabited 3,000 years ago by seal seekers. Among the main attractions is the church of Sant’Anna.

Bomarsund Fortress

This granite fortress of the Tsar of Russia was destroyed by bombing by the British and French during the Crimean War of 1854 when it was not yet fully completed. Today it is a destination that allows families to spend an adventurous and fun day along an area of ​​over 800 hectares . Nearby there are also a café to relax in and a restaurant at the nearby campsite. The fortress housed up to 2,500 men and was made up of various rooms which included a church, bakeries, and even toilets.

Kastelholm Castle

This majestic manor has been the seat of many Swedish kings, starting with Gustav I, who ascended the throne in 1388, after gaining independence from Denmark. The location of the castle is strategic, both from a logistical and a commercial point of view: for centuries the east-west naval route that crossed Sweden passed right through the islands. Now the castle, with its important art collection, is open to the public for 4 months: from May to September. The walls, in red granite, are 3 meters thick, while the towers reach 15 meters.

Archipelago tour by bike

There are many activities you can do within the archipelago: one of the first is to rent a bicycle in Marieham and discover all the natural beauty of the Aland. The natural conformation will do the rest: the differences in height are minimal. And the numerous bridges will allow you to move easily from one island to another. Most of the routes are signposted. It is a family-friendly experience that will give you wonderful views and angles. For sports enthusiasts, there is also the opportunity to play golf on one of the 3 18-hole courses. You can also try your hand at marine excursions by kayak and canoe.

What to see in Finland

One of the unmissable stops on your Finnish holiday in Helsinki, a fascinating city with an archipelago to be discovered. With a nice walk you will enter among the colorful houses, squares. And its churches: do not miss the Lutheran cathedral, a neoclassical construction in white marble. For fans of modern architecture, there is the Temppeliaukion Kirkko. A church was carved into the rock and traversed by natural light.

Nature will be the protagonist in Nuuksio National Park, an incredible mix of lakes, cliffs, and woods, formed in the ice age. Within this area, you can also find reindeer. Trekking and canoe excursions await you.