In Finland, there are not many high streets where pedestrians can enjoy the aroma of the sea. In truth, there’s only one, and that is in Åland.
Wherever you go in the Åland Islands – whether the pedestrianized centre of Mariehamn or a secret cabin on a remote rocky islet – the sea is always present. In addition to the sea, everywhere you’ll find a relaxed and unhurried atmosphere, as well as an authentic archipelago spirit you just can’t escape – but then, why would you want to?
As more and more tourists look for a local alternative, Åland has gained in popularity, becoming a favourite destination with Finns. The distances are short, which has made the place a favorite among cyclists in particular. It’s a place best suited for those looking to shift into meditation mode, ready to forget for a moment about their hectic city life.
And during your trip you must eat. The Åland Islands enjoy a long growing season, with foods infused with aromas from the fertile lands. It’s an asset well known by many culinary artisans, with increasing numbers of food tourists travelling to sample their creations. This passion for food is seen in the expert menus across the island. Whilst some specialise in seafood, others specialise in organic produce, others in baking, and others specialise in vegetables. All that is produced is proudly hand crafted, with everything made from the most natural ingredients.
It is worth remembering that Åland doesn’t just refer to one island but to a collection of many islands that can be explored by bike, canoe or boat. Design your own route in advance or just come and go where the wind blows.
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Text by Juuso Suominen. Video by Kim Allen-Mersh.
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