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Mariehamn, Aland Islands

N 605.824', E 1956.091'
2019-07-21
Our rating: 6.80
Overall rating:
The Åland Islands are an archipelago in the Baltic Sea. Autonomy within Finland, with the special demilitarized status and even the official language is not Finnish, but Swedish.

Until 1809, the islands, like all of Finland, belonged to Sweden. In the winter of 1808, Russia attacked Sweden without declaring war, occupying Finland and starting the last Russo-Swedish war. The fighting continued throughout the year and in March 1809 Bagration’s corps occupied the Aland Islands. Soon, a ceasefire was signed here and Russian troops retreated to Turku. By the way, the attack on the Åland Islands was carried out on ice.

The ceasefire was interrupted several times and the attack resumed, but in the end it was stopped due to lack of provision. Finland and the Aland Islands became part of the Russian Empire. One hundred years later, after the First World War, Finland became independent, and the Aland Islands became an autonomy.

We cannot say whether the islands are worth a separate visit, since we were here only in the only city of Mariehamn. But what exactly is worth doing is, when traveling between Sweden and Finland by car, do not take a direct 8-hour ferry, but take two ferries with a stop on the Åland Islands.

We spent 4 hours here, walked and had lunch. More than 2 million tourists come to the islands annually, but only 25% stay for more than one day.

Mariehamn, Aland Islands
Mariehamn, Aland Islands Yuriy Buriak

Mariehamn, by the way, got its name from the wife of the Russian Tsar Alexander II. At the moment, the only thing that reminds of Russia is a clear geometric layout of the city with wide and long streets.

Mariehamn, Aland Islands
Mariehamn, Aland Islands Yuriy Buriak

The islands are quite rich, with GDP per capita exceeding that of neighboring Sweden and Finland. About 30% of the population is somehow engaged in tourism industry, although the main income brings the good location of the islands on trade routes.

Mariehamn, Aland Islands
Mariehamn, Aland Islands Yuriy Buriak

There is a good promenade and many green areas. Mariehamn is good for hiking or cycling.

Mariehamn, Aland Islands
Mariehamn, Aland Islands Yuriy Buriak


Mariehamn, Aland Islands
Mariehamn, Aland Islands Yuriy Buriak


Mariehamn, Aland Islands
Mariehamn, Aland Islands Yuriy Buriak


Mariehamn, Aland Islands
Mariehamn, Aland Islands Yuriy Buriak

In a few hours, we saw 20 oldtimers, all different. Probably they can be rented.

Mariehamn, Aland Islands
Mariehamn, Aland Islands Yuriy Buriak


Mariehamn, Aland Islands
Mariehamn, Aland Islands Yuriy Buriak

Getting there: two ports on the main island - Mariehamn and Langnas. Check ferries of the following companies
https://www.sales.vikingline.com/
https://www.finnlines.com/
https://www.tallinksilja.com/book-a-cruise
https://www.alandstrafiken.ax/en - small ferries from Finland around the islands
Tags, Finland: resort, sea

Tags, all countries: resort, sea
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