Sights and attractions in Åland

1. Archipelago nature

Our nature is the best Åland can offer visitors. No matter how you choose to travel, you can always find ways to experience the nature here. The flat topography makes biking a breeze for a day - or for a whole holiday.

Island ferries bring people and vehicles to the largest islands. If you sail the archipelago with your own boat there are many protected natural harbours and marinas among the islands.

If you enjoy kayaking it is easy to find a good spot to put up your camp among the thousands of uninhabited islands. Kayaks can be rented for just a day or a whole week.

Pendant l'été, des bateaux de tourisme emmènent les visiteurs faire des excursions pour observer les phoques ou des excursions vers de belles skerries et des îles.

Nature in Åland

2. Musée maritime de Pommern et Åland

Pommern est un voilier à coque d'acier préservé de 1903, amarré dans le port ouest de Mariehamn près des terminaux Viking et Silja. It is the only remaining ship of it's kind and the pride of Mariehamn. Le musée maritime se trouve à proximité du navire et contient de belles maquettes de navires d'Åland, d'anciens instruments de navigation, de luxueux quartiers de capitaine, des expositions sur la culture du marin et une ancienne machine à vapeur.

3. Kastelholm castle

The Kastelholm castle is one of the most visited sights on Åland. The first castle was constructed in the 14th century and has hosted nordic kings as well as been a prison for king Erik XIV of Sweden. The castle has been the scene of various political conflicts during medieval times and been burnt down several times. There are several museums nearby the castle.

4. Bomarsund fortress ruins

Just a few kilometers from Kastelholm, heading towards Vårdö, lays in ruins the fortress of Bomarsund. La construction du bastion a commencé en 1832, lorsque Åland faisait partie de la Russie, mais n'a été achevée qu'à moitié avant que les marines britannique et française ne l'attaquent pendant la guerre de Crimée de 1854. After a major battle, involving 14 000 soldiers and 80 ships, the Russians were forced to surrender. La marine britannique a fait exploser la forteresse et aujourd'hui, il ne reste que les ruines.

photo: Vastavalo / Jari Kurvinen

5. Källskär

This beautiful island sits in Kökar in the outer archipelago. An eccentric baron made this barren island his home during the 20th century and used the aid of the local population to erect classical statues, cultivate a garden, build a house and construct a harbor, everything by manual labor. Des excursions quotidiennes sont organisées de Kökar pendant l'été à Källskär, une île également célèbre pour une formation rocheuse « particulière » de l'âge de glace qui pourrait ressembler à un chaudron.

6. Medieval churches

There are a dozen medieval stone churches throughout the islands. Föglö, Kumlinge and Kökar each hosts churches from the 14th century and next to the Kökar church lays the ruins of a medieval Franciscan monastery. In the tiny island of Sottunga there is a wooden chapel with a medieval origin.

7. Eckerö Mail and Custom’s House

This building was raised after Åland and Finland became part of Russia after the war of 1809. L'architecture est impériale et faite pour impressionner, puisque c'était la frontière la plus occidentale de l'empire du tsar russe. Construction was finished in 1828 and today it hosts a museum and exhibitions of the time when mail was carried between Finland and Sweden by local peasants in their small boats.

8. Kobba Klintar

Mariehamn is the only city in Åland and was founded by czar Alexander II in the 19th century. The new city needed the service of pilots, to guide incoming ships to the harbour, and therefore a pilot's cabin was built on the Kobba Klintar skerry. A few years later a light beacon was installed as well. Today these skerries are still the first sight of land for many ferry passengers see after crossing the sea from Sweden. From the end of june until the end of august boat excursions to the skerry depart twice daily. Outside of season visits are arranged by advance reservation. There is a small harbor for those arriving with their own boat.

Kobba Klintar

9. Åland hunting & fishing museum

The first people to ever set foot on Åland are presumed to be seal hunters, who put up camp here thousands of years ago. Seals were hunted for their meat, fur and for the oil that could be extracted from the lard. Fishing became an even more important way to sustain after the islands were settled. Islanders would fish great amounts of herring and cod and sail to the capital cities around the Baltic sea to sell their catch. The hunting and fishing museum is in Eckerö and open to the end of august.

Åland hunting & fishing museum

10. Old homesteads

There are several preserved homesteads from the older days around Åland. One of the most interesting is Guesthouse Enigheten in Föglö, where travellers have been recieved since at least the 17th century. The inn has also functioned as a courthouse for the surrounding islands until the 1940s. The place ws destroyed in a fire, but rebuilt in the 18th century and today preserved in the same style. The guesthouse still recieves guests to spend the night and the restaurant is open to all visitors.

In Kumlinge, the Hermas homestead, with it's dozens of buildnings, is preserved just as it was over a hundred years ago. In Lemland you will find the old captain's home Pellas, perfect for a visit and a break along the road from Mariehamn towards the eastern archipelago.

Enigheten à Föglö