Sightseeing in the Åland Islands – 10 most interesting objects

Sightseeing in the Åland Islands – 10 most interesting objects

NordenBladet – Åland (in Finnish Ahvenanmaa and in Swedish Åland) is an archipelago consisting of over 6500 island in the Baltic Sea that forms a self-governing Åland province. The population of Åland is Swedish-speaking and the only official language is Swedish. Åland belongs to Finland, except a part of the island of Märket, and it is autonomous. Åland has its own laws, citizenship and stamps. Fasta Åland is the largest island in the archipelago. It is surrounded by smaller islands. There is the Sea of Åland in the south, South Kvarken in the west and the Gulf of Botnia in the north. There is a notional border between Åland and Åboland archipelago.

We often do not have much time on our trips, and we have to decide what to take and what to leave. Here are 10 most interesting sights that you should definitely visit on this amazing island. Let’s start with Mariehamn.

Badhusberget, Mariehamn
The most beautiful view on Mariehamn can be enjoyed from the town’s oldest water tower – Badhusberget. You can drive a car up the hill. You are able to see the iridescent water from above, as well as old bridges, a church, a passenger port and a windjammer Pommern. The observation platform situates on the west side of Mariehamn, quite close to the passenger port.

The Flying P-Liner Pommern museum ship
It is a unique over one hundred years old four-masted barque that has remained in its original form. Between the world wars, Pommern was one of largest windjammers belonging to Gustaf Erikson – a shipowner from Åland. He was the owner of the biggest sailing fleet in his time. There are exhibitions on the decks, and one can also watch a documentary about Pommern. There is the Åland Maritime Museum next to the museum ship where you can see a real pirate’s flag among other things.

The Pommern (formerly the Mneme was built in 1903 in Scotland) is a four-masted sailing and museum ship that is considered one of the symbols of Åland. The ship is anchored in the western harbour of Åland, and it is open to visitors in its original form. The ship was built as a cargo ship in 1903 in Scotland. The ship was used to carry saltpetre and later grain from Australia to England and Ireland and timber from Finland and South-Africa to Australia. The ship had the capacity of 49 000 bags of grain. Gustav Erikson bought the ship from Greece in 1923, and it was brought to Åland. Pommern made his last voyage in 1939. The ship has been anchored in Mariehamn’s harbour since the Second World War. The heirs of Erikson gave the ship to the town that restored it.

Finström church
The medieval church of Finström is located on the main island of Åland, 5 km from Godby. The patron saint of the church is Saint Michael. The church has preserved several medieval frescos that were whitewashed during the Reformation and have been cleaned out by now. There are very valuable wooden sculptures of various saints. A lovely churchyard and surroundings.

Borgboda
It is a village in Saltvik. Ida’s stuga: you can acquaint yourself with Ida Jansson’s a bit sad biography and her stuga. Water pelargoniums in return! Viking castle: Borgboda is the biggest of Åland Vikings’ fortresses. The path up the hill is lined with exciting wooden sculptures that are inspired by Vikings’ mythology. There are only the remains of the stone foundation. A magnificent view from the top of the mountain! The wooden sculptures show the way to the viewing site.

Getabergen – Geta mountains
Åland has two large mountains, Orrdalsklint and a mountain in Geta. Orrdalsklint is the highest point in Åland, it is 128 metres above sea level. There is a wonderful view over the tiny islands surrounding the main island that compensates for the difficulty of climbing uphill. Geta mountain is the second highest mountain in Åland, it is 99 meters above sea level. You can even see the coast of Sweden on a clear day. An observation tower, miniature golf, a café, a very good restaurant, cabin houses, as well as a hiking trail that gets past the blockfield and the cave Getagrottan. Pay attention to the signs on the cliffs not to get lost!

The ruins of the Bomarsund fortress
The fortress was constructed by the Russian Empire in the first half of the 19th century. It was destroyed in the Crimean War in 1854. The main fortress has the outer wall made of hexagonal red granite stones. You can drive a car to the ruins of two defence towers at the top of the mountain where once again you can enjoy a spectacular view over Djävulsberget and Notvikstornet. Read also the article about Bomarsund. More information, videos and a computerised reconstruction of the fortress HERE.

Kastelholm
Kastelholm is the main tourist destination of Åland as several most visited sights are situated there. Kastelholm castle is the only medieval castle in the Åland Islands. It is partly refurbished. You can visit the Outdoor Museum Jan Karlsgården next to the castle that introduces the farm culture of Åland in the 19th century. Furthermore, there is a prison museum Vita Björn. In this old prison, you can see how the cells have looked like in Finland at various times in the past. More information and videos about Kastelholm you can find HERE.

Färjsundet
Färjsundet is a place near Godby with one of the most splendid views in Åland. Here is a road tunnel made in the granite cliff (by detonating). The road tunnel leads straight to the high bridge but there is a café and an observation tower on the large cliff mountain above the tunnel. Färjsundet bridge connects the communes of Finström and Saltvik.

Käringsund
Käringsund is a lovely village by the sea, located in Eckerö, the westernmost part of the Åland Islands. The wildlife safari is an experience for the whole family. In 45 minutes it is possible to see various species of deer, boars and ostriches. We highly recommend it! The rustic boathouses and the pier and the natural yachts’ harbour next to the latter is the scenery that brings inner peace. There is suitably also a fishing and hunting museum in the village.

The trip in the Åland archipelago
When you are already in Åland, you should not miss the opportunity to make acquaintance with the real milieu of the archipelago. You can go by ferry. Kökar, which is one of the areas with the wildest nature, is located in the south-east of the Åland archipelago and it is lots of people’s favourite. Franciscan monks constructed a monastery on the island of Hamnö in the 15th century. The ruins of the chapel are next to the church built in the 18th century. When you are pressed for time, you can take a ferry from the main island to Föglö island and spend some hours or more in Degerby. Ferries go there quite often and the trip is only 25 minutes.

Featured image: NordenBladet
Source: NordenBladet.ee



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