Aland Islands

Why you should visit Aland Islands?

Gunel Eyvazli Gunel Eyvazli 30 December 2020
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Scandinavia might sound like a cold, hostile land to foreigners due to its harsh climate. But what if I say there are islands which are part of Scandinavia and have the perfect climate, not so hot and cold where you can experience Scandinavia as if you are in Sweden or Finland. This land is so mixed with Swedish and Finnish culture that it is even reflected in the Aland Islands flag. That is, the colors of the flag were taken from the flags of Finland and Sweden. This cultural mixture made the country (autonomously bound to Finland) more unique. Although Aland Islands Finland seems like a far-off place, which might make you ask yourself why do people visit Aland Islands, you will change your mind after getting to know more about Aland Islands. Without further ado, let's dig into Aland Islands Finland.

Where is the Aland Archipelago? 

aland islands

To answer, where are the Aland Islands? We should first glance at the geography of the Islands. They are located in the Baltic Sea, this group of islands stretching from Sweden to Finland. The archipelago comprises approximately 6,700 islands, and the number of Aland Islands population is around 30,000 people. The Aland Islands are internationally known to be part of Finland but heavily affected by the Swedish culture. Therefore, the official language is Swedish. To put it this way, people feel more Swedish rather than Finnish. The main revenue forms for Aland's economy are tourism, trade, and shipping. Surrounded by water of Baltic Sea from all sides, Aland Islands population used to do shipbuilding, and they managed to preserve throughout hundreds of years this culture of crafting finest ships which generate around 40% percent of the economy.   

 Aland sustainability

aland island

The term sustainability that appeared in the XX century is now what all countries and cities are desiring. Aland Islands are perfect examples of that. To answer what to do in Aland Islands, there are many eco-friendly activities, sustainable, causing no harm to the environment and society whatsoever that visitors can do. Depending on the taste of people, it can be cycling, angling or shopping, etc. There are many activities for people who wonder why do people visit the Aland Islands. Let's have a close look at that.

Cycling

cycling

Aland Islands Finland offers visitors the most comfortable cycling experience as they build the smoothest bike trails. If you want to enjoy nature and plan to stay in the capital city Mariehamn, you can visit Lemland Jarso by taking the south path and biking over a bridge. Another one of the most visited cycling spots is Salis Batteri. You can see reminders of World War 2 in there. Even though those places are great for cycling, for many, a tour to Geta is the best cycling route. While pedaling, we assure you that you will be amazed by the beautiful view of Geta hills. This is a great way to answer the question of where are the Aland Islands.

Fishing

fishing

The Baltic Sea is prosperous with fish resources. It is famous for Salmons. Angling is popular among the population, and it is a great reason for visitors to visit Aland Islands. While waiting for fish and relaxing, you can enjoy the landscape. You might think angling is not your cup of tea as it requires patience. However, the people of Aland have found a way to make it more exciting. Get ready for a little contest called Trollingtraff Aland. In this catch and release competition, you can demonstrate your fishing skills and get even rewarded for that. We got to warn you, and you should hurry to book one of the Aland Islands hotels. Due to the huge demand, hotels get booked fully immediately. This contest is one of the main attractions and reasons to visit the Aland Islands. 

Shopping

market

Aland Islands have always been a trade center as the archipelago is on the crossroad of main Baltic Sea trade routes. Therefore, it has access to a diverse range of products. If you do not know what to do in Aland Islands, you can simply shop around flea markets or second-hand shops in Aland. Different center exists, for instance, interior furnishing for houses are most demanded in Godby. Besides, earlier, we mentioned sustainability; you can purchase recycled products at "The Little BBQ's Junk Art."

Winter activities

skating

Although it doesn't snow as much as Finland or Sweden in the Aland Islands, most of the islands are still covered by a white snow blanket in January. You can backpack and go hiking to discover stunning nature. Especially in winter, Aland's sky is full of stars, and even Milk Way can be seen with the naked eye in countryside areas. For that, you'd better check the location before considering booking Aland Islands hotels. If these do not interest you, you might like to check skiing, ice skating options. What makes ice skating so special in Aland Islands Finland is that you do not have to find an ice rink. The frozen sea is the greatest ice rink for the adventurers. You can travel Islands one to another by skating when the weather conditions are suitable. For people who prefer skiing, Aland's Skiing and Biathlon Centre is available even though it does not snow sufficiently to ski, artificial snowing alternate it and creates an excellent environment for the people to ski.

The Pommern

wooden house

This grand, historic ship had been sailing around the world under the Aland Islands flag for many years. Around the 1950s, it converted a museum and landscape for the capital city Mariehamn. Tourists can visit and experience what it was like to sail in the 1930s. With the help of special gadgets, the ship has managed to create this atmosphere which visitors can enjoy. It owns three decks where exhibits from different countries taken during the voyages can be found. This picturesque ship is a great place to take a photo to adorn Instagram.

Havsvidden Resort

hotel

Aland Islands hotels propose various kinds of accommodation and services. One of the best hotels is Havsvidden hotel. Situated in Northern Aland, the hotel is set in a magnificent view. This four stars’ hotel has all the facilities to guarantee visitors having a good time. Supposedly you want to stay somewhere more close to nature. Not a problem, Havsvidden resort offers cottages as well. Havsvidden has the harbor for the people who would like to sail a boat under the Aland Islands flag. This hotel itself is the main reason why do people visit the Aland Islands. Havsviden attracts many tourists from neighboring countries every year. 

Viking market

viking boat

Viking market in Saltvik Kvarnbo held every last weekend in July will time travel you to 800 and 1000 ADs when Vikings were part of Aland Islands population. You can shop Viking souvenirs while displays of historical events are ongoing. Usually, displays start with Viking ships boarding the land, and these Vikings are real modern Vikings. You can dress like them as well in the market. There are scenes in which Vikings combat and show fighting techniques. Additionally, you can watch blacksmiths crafting swords, axes. At this Viking fair, there is a place called the Café Knarren where tourists can order Viking styled meals aside from ordinary beverages and local food. To sum up, the Viking market is a great answer to the question of why do people visit the Aland Islands.

Kayaking

kayaking

There are many ways to explore and visit Aland Islands. Kayaking is among them. Sure, it is a bit bizarre way to travel to other islands but considering all the fun and beauty on the way, it makes sense. It will take a lot of energy to paddle in the sea, and you will feel it is worth it after observing the seascapes of the Aland Islands.

Kastelholm Castle

castle

Medieval era buildings have always been a tourism spot for the people who are interested in history. But with the rising popularity of medieval movies and TV series such as "Vikings," "Game of Thrones" and so on, such historical places, especially castles, are witnessing a tourism boom. Kastelholm Castle is a perfect example of this trend. From this castle, you can get a sense of the lives of Scandinavian royal members. There are exhibits on display that will give you information to better understand where are the Aland Islands

Bomarsund

sheep

Bomarsund is the place where Bomarsund battles happened. Nowadays, tourists visit here to see the ruins of the Russian fortress destroyed by Anglo-French forces during the Crimean war. Looking at the remaining castle, you will get more insight into the history of the Aland Islands. But this is not the only feature that turned it into a tourism spot. Its nature and landscape is a lot to offer. During sunset, reflection of sun rays creates a magnificent scene. If you do not know what to do in the Aland Islands, spending relaxing quality time, taking pictures for Social platforms are viable options.

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Gunel Eyvazli

Gunel is from Baku, Azerbaijan, and for several years she studied in Russia. Gunel participated in a few Erasmus+ projects abroad, travelled to 9 countries, and wishes to explore many countries and continents in the world. As a person always receiving distinction in her studies, Gunel is enthusiastic about education, self-development, working in large-scale international projects and has a huge love for nature and animals. Also, she loves painting in her free time.

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