5 tips for an active outdoors vacation
Active vacationers appreciate Åland as a destination. The beautiful nature is endless with the best conditions for varying outdoor life. Hike, bicycle, paddle, sail, bathe… the possibilities are nearly endless and only the sea and sky will set the limits!
Read our tips to find the best activities that Åland has to offer. Why not test out a new sport this summer – maybe you’ll find a new favourite?
1. Bicycle around the Åland archipelago
Moving around by bicycle gives you both freedom, exercise and fresh air. By bicycle you’ll get close to the archipelago nature brimming with different species in the best way possible. You’ll pass by interesting sightseeing and historical spots, nice restaurants and cafés, and when it’s time to take a break for the day there are many comfortable accommodations to choose from.
There are several route alternatives and the direction in the archipelago is your choice. Bring your own bicycle along or rent one in Mariehamn, or at e.g. the guest harbours around Åland.
Do a short bicycle excursion in and from Mariehamn towards the Järsö island, Ramsholmen nature park or the Lemström canal. A longer route will take you through Åland’s main island to the sightseeings Kastelholm castle as well as Bomarsund ruins.
When you feel unstoppable and want to see more of Åland – hop on an archipelago ferry in Hummelvik or Svinö and go on an island hopping adventure in the Åland archipelago. You’ll travel along beautiful roads over islets, bridges and embankments, and at the end of the road you can hop on the next ferry.
2. Play disc golf around Åland
Disc golf is an outdoor activity that is suitable for everyone. The sport is very affordable to play because playing only requires a few discs and playing on the courses is free. In addition, playing a round doesn’t require all too much time, so even those with a restless soul will enjoy the game. Thanks to the short distances there is plenty of time to visit more than one course in one day.
When you’ve played on the main island of Åland, e.g. the Badhusparken course in Mariehamn or the one found in Geta, you can take a cosy trip from main Åland and play on the archipelago islands Föglö, Segline, Lappo or Kökar.
3. Golf at Åland’s top courses
Åland is a well liked golf destination and here you’ll find several courses and all the challenges a golfer could wish for. In a Finnish research done in 2022 Ålands Golfklubb placed in the top of the list among Finland’s best golf courses when its top course Slottsbanan was named one of the best in the country.
Ålands Golfklubb is also hosting an international tournament when Ladies European Tour brings its Finnish qualifying competition Åland 100 Ladies Open to Slottsbanan in September 2022.
Have you never played golf before? At Ålands Golfklubb you can get a green card, take lessons or take a beginners and advanced course. Eckerö Golf offers a large practice area and a nice 18-hole course which is suitable for golfers on every level.
4. Go kayaking, sup-boarding or rowing
With a kayak you can stay in small fairways and have the freedom of discovering hidden gems among the more shallow notches and small islets. Föglö and Kökar offer great opportunities for kayaking in the skerries.
Experienced paddlers can challenge themselves at the Norrhavet route, which starts in western Åland at Käringsund and continues past the northern part of Åland’s main island towards the east. The route is challenging going partially past the open sea, but at the same time is considered to be one of the Baltic Sea’s most beautiful.
When the kayak slowly glides forward you’ll have the time to take in the environment with surrounding sounds, scents and all the details around you. It’s easy to reach a harmonious peace of mind – in the best scenario you’ll find the experience purely meditative.
You can even rent a sup-board or a rowing boat – the craft of choice doesn’t matter all that much. The main point is getting out at sea and seeing the best and most unique side of Åland.
5. Hike along nature trails
Experience Åland by foot! Hike along beautiful and rich nature where the environment quickly varies from forest to historical monuments, pastures and leafy meadows or shores with cliffs. There is plenty of space and the sea is always close by.
The nature trails are between one to eight kilometres long and they go from easy to medium in terms of difficulty. In total there are more than 30 nature trails to explore! No special equipment is needed, but comfortable shoes, water and a tasty food package is always good to bring along.
There are three hiking trails between 10 to 60 kilometres. The furthest of these, Sadelinleden, is 60 kilometres in total and goes from the west of Åland all the way to the north. This trail can be done in several parts.
Did you know that you can also stroll along the first pilgrim trail in the world that passes through archipelago? The St Olav Waterway stretches from Turku in Finland to Trondheim in Norway and passes through the Åland archipelago.