10 things you might not know about Aland Islands
This article will be about Aland islands - one of the most beautiful islands. Today, we are going to tell you more about things you need to know before visiting Aland; some of them are quite astounding. So, if you ever thought to visit Aland islands or if you are just interested in this part of the world, read this article, you will certainly like it.
1. Why do people visit Aland islands?
We are sure that you had such a question as "Why do people visit Aland islands?" Well, it is a good question, and there are a lot of reasons for it. A unique geographical location, breathtaking panoramas of the islands of this area, interesting hydrological features of the washing waters, flora and fauna, as well as interesting architectural landscapes - all this together forms that specific natural and anthropogenic environment, characteristic only to the Aland Islands, which attracts many tourists from different parts of Europe.
2. Where are the Aland Islands and to which country is it related?
So, do you know where are the Aland Islands situated?
Aland islands are located between Sweden and Finland, in the northern part of the Baltic Sea.
It is an autonomous Swedish province in Finland with its flag, postage stamps, and its internet domain. As an autonomy, this region has the right to make its laws and decisions on many key issues. International treaties stipulate that the Aland Islands form a demilitarized neutral zone, which is an example of how an autonomous minority culture can flourish within a larger nation.
This archipelago consists of several thousand islands, the total area of which is 1,580 sq. km. The largest is Aland, occupying approximately 740-880 sq. km. It is difficult to estimate its territory more accurately due to the strongly indented coastline. On Aland, there is the capital and the only settlement with the status of a city - Mariehamn, named after the Russian Empress Maria Alexandrovna.
3. What does Aland Islands flag look like?
Aland Islands flag is very similar to the Swedish one: a blue background colour with a Scandinavian golden-yellow cross. The yellow cross on the flag, however, is wider and another red Scandinavian cross is inserted into it, symbolizing the islands belonging to Finland (red and yellow are the colours of the coat of arms of Finland)
The islands did not have an official flag until early 1954. During this period, the unofficial flag of the Aland Islands became the cloth adopted in 1922 with equal horizontal stripes: the upper blue, the middle yellow, and the lower blue, i.e. the official colours of the Swedish flag. This flag is still used at an informal level.
At the beginning of the 1950s, preparations began for the adoption of the official Aland Islands flag. Several versions of the flag were proposed: a blue canvas with yellow and blue Scandinavian crosses, an unofficial blue-yellow-blue, a Finnish flag with a yellow cross in the centre, and a version that is today's official flag.
For the first time, the flag of the Aland Islands in a modern version was raised on the city hall of the capital of the islands Mariehamne on April 3, 1954. The flag was established on April 7 of the same year.
4. What is Aland Islands currency?
In the past, the Aland Islands had their coins, which were put into circulation in the early 1990s.
The euro (=100 cents) became the currency of the Aland Islands currency on January 1, 1999. Before it, the Aland Islands currency was Finnish Mark (=100 penny).
5. Is Aland islands population large?
The Aland islands population is only 29,000. Of these, approximately 11,500 live in the only town of Aland, Mariehamn. The Aland islands population earns their livelihood mainly from tourism and marine fishing.
6. How is the Aland Islands weather?
The Aland islands weather is temperate and is considered the warmest in all of Finland. The average winter temperature in the spot where are the Aland Islands located is only -1 ...- 4 ° С. The air here warms up much better than on the continent due to the influence of the Baltic Sea. The islands have long mild autumn and warm spring. So, no need to worry that the Aland islands weather will be very severe and ruin your trip.
The next points aim to give you more information about what to do in Aland Islands.
7. Aland Islands - one of the best fishing spots
Each season is attractive for fishing in its way. If you visit the Aland islands, we advise you to try fishing. Winter fishing is special and, perhaps, the best in the Aland Islands. In winter, there is the same variety and abundance of fish as in summer. Moreover, ice fishing is simply amazing in its uniqueness. The variety of the seabed topography with edges, ridges, and huge drops in depth makes fishing under the ice-rich and interesting. Winter fishing in the archipelago is very comfortable, as winters are usually mild here, not raging with severe frosts. Fishing usually starts on the ice right next to the cottages, so there is no need to walk or travel far. For many years now, anglers from all over the world have come to fish in the clear waters of the archipelago, and it can be safely said that the Aland Islands are the best place for winter fishing in Scandinavia and Finland. You can also search for some exact fishing spots in the Aland islands map to alleviate your way.
8. Each person needs to walk in painting Mariehamn
Mariehamn, the capital of the Aland Islands, is the starting point for a journey through the archipelago. This cosy coastal town, with its idyllic wooden houses, small cafes, and summer terraces, is best explored on foot. Be sure to admire the old four-masted sailboat Pommern, anchored in the western harbour, next to the Aland Maritime Museum. You don't think about what to do in Aland Islands when such a beautiful city exists.
From June to August it is lively here. Many music festivals take place every year, from jazz to rock concerts. There are a PAF open beach volleyball tournament, nightclubs, and casinos. There are quite a few museums in the city, most of which are related to the sea: the Aland Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Maritime District, an art gallery and the most famous is the Pommern sailing ship museum. If you are on vacation with children, you will probably want to visit the Mariebad water park, located on Osterleden.
It is quiet at other times in Mariehamn. A lot of people visit Aland islands for this very reason. Along the coastlines, special paths with benches have been laid, allowing you to wander for several hours, admire the unspoiled nature of the Aland and observe numerous birds. Also, within the city, there are pleasant equipped beaches.
Also, Aland Islands are a great place for cycling. The roads are excellent, the terrain is flat, and the numerous islands are connected by a network of bridges and ferry connections. You can take an exciting family bike trip around Aland on your bikes, but if you wish, bikes can also be rented in Mariehamn.
We've also prepared for you several interesting facts about this city:
• Local stamps are very popular here with philatelists and are simply beautiful. Plus, it's a great souvenir. You can send a letter with this stamp to your home directly from Mariehamn.
• Ostriches are bred here. Ostrich meat and eggs can be found in local restaurants.
• The official language is Swedish, Finnish is not compulsory even in schools.
• This is one of the most economically prosperous regions of the country. For example, travel by ferry between the islands is free.
• 20% of the energy consumed by the city is wind power.
9. In Aland Island, you can experience the history at Kastelholm Castle
First mentioned in chronicles as early as 1388, Kastelholm Castle was the archipelago residence of many Swedish kings, including Gustav Vasu. For centuries, Kastelholm was one important node in Sweden's main traction from west to east. Today the castle and its collection of paintings are open to the public from May to mid-September. You can easily find the way to this castle through the Aland islands map.
10. Where to stay on the Aland Islands?
You can choose between different places in Aland - in the city, in the countryside or the archipelago. Everything from luxury Aland Islands hotels to simple cottages is on offer. But wherever you live, you will always feel close to the sea and nature.
Most people prefer to stay at Aland islands hotels. There are a lot of them, and you can search for them on the Internet. The Havswidden Hotel on Geta Island is the most outstanding and beautiful among all Aland islands hotels attracting a lot of tourists - it is a true luxury seaside oasis. Its little harbour, helipad, and gourmet restaurant, already worth a visit thanks to local seafood specialities, are just a few of the charm of Hawswidden.
So, we told you 10 things you might not know about Aland Islands, and we think that after reading it you can easily understand why do people visit Aland islands and we are sure that now you easily find a lot of things what to do in Aland Islands! Download or buy the Aland islands map and have the best trip ever!
Fatima is a student of Moscow State University in Baku, Azerbaijan. Her major is Management, but at the same time, she loves organizing and working on social projects. She believes that with small actions, each person can change society in the right way. One of the biggest dreams of her is to travel all over the world. For now, she is focused on reading and gathering information about all the countries she wants to visit. The most favourite quote of Fatima belongs to Helen Keller: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all".