I visited Åland a couple years ago for the first time and I fell in love with the place. The small island between Finland and Sweden charmed me with its carefree vibe and rustic beauty. Last year I traveled to Åland again and I was just as delighted.
Me and my boyfriend spent our midsummer biking around the pretty island and sleeping in cute accommodations.
We took a boat (Viking Line) from Stockholm to Mariehamn on a Friday morning. The trip took approximately 7 hours. After arrival we rented our rides for the weekend from a bike rental right opposite to the boat terminal. We strolled to Mariehamn’s cozy city center where we enjoyed ice creams and soon started our biking journey to our first destination.
Our first adventure was to bike 20 kilometers to our first accommodation. It took us only about one and a half hours, which gave us lots of time to enjoy the surroundings of our first home for the night. We stayed in a guesthouse called Amalia. We had cows as our neighbours and fields as our yard.
In general, during our trip, we saw lots of cows, and I discovered that they are really calming animals. And curious. They really want to know what’s going on when you get closer to them! Animals are amazing.
Anyways, in Amalia we had a small room, just with beds. Everything else was shared with other travellers; toilets, showers and the kitchen. In the morning of Saturday we ate a fulfilling breakfast from their breakfast buffet and I found my new favourite drink; pasteurized apple juice, straight from the applegardens of Åland. It’s so good! ❤
After the breakfast, we continued our biking and headed to the harbour of Långnäs. As we approached the destination, we soon understood that during midsummer (and the weekend) the ferry schedules weren’t that vibrant. We had planned to spend the day island hopping and seeing Åland from the coast, but our plan changed as we discovered that we would have to wait the ferries for looong times. This meant that we would reach our second accommodation only quite late in the night. So, we made a choice to stay on the mainland and biked right back where we had just gotten from… 😀 A little detour and some extra kilometers didn’t luckily bother us. It was a beautiful midsummer day and we had a lot of time to bike towards the next accommodation with a new plan.
This turned out to be a nice option, as we stopped at my old favourite little cafe on the way, Brobacka. We had coffees and pastries. Rhubarb pie and Åland’s pancake. I stayed at Brobacka the last time I visited Åland with a friend, and it was so nice to stop by this time again. It is the coziest little B&B!
After our little fika (coffeepause), our route took us to a restaurant called Smakby, and to a medieval castle right next to it; Kastelholm. These are both popular tourist attractions which were so nice to see! And we got to taste probably the best ice cream on earth; Smakby’s home made old vanilla ice cream. Ridiculously amazing. Btw, Smakby is the “dream project” of the famous chef Michael Björklund, and their focus is on quality local produce. I have been wanting to go there for a long time, so this new “detour” we took was clearly a better route Universe had in store for us. 😉
After eating and enjoying the beautiful area of the old castle Kastelholm, we started our last part of biking that day and eventually arrived to our second home for the night, Stalldalen. This was a hotel close to a brewery called Stallhagen, where we went for a dinner that evening. These two were walking distance apart from each other. (But of course we biked there.) We ate good meals in the evening and had a little craft beer tasting as well. And for dessert, another rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream.
Came Sunday morning and we were spoiled with an amazing breakfast, homemade kombucha included! After the luxury, we hopped on our bikes and started our last day of biking and headed towards a beach which was recommended to us by the owner of the hotel we stayed in.
There we went on our bikes again, and arrived to a beautiful spot in the middle of solitude. We settled on smooth rocks and enjoyed the peaceful place.
We still had around 20km to bike towards Mariehamn, so we decided not to relax for too long. It was time to jump on our rides again. We drove by cute villages and went from biking in the middle of forests to suddenly biking on Mariehamn’s airport streets. (Google maps isn’t always a friend. :D) Finally we found our way back to the city and rewarded ourselves with yet again tasty ice creams before handing the bikes back in and heading to the boat.
We ended up biking around 75 kilometers that weekend. In Åland the biking is quite pleasing because the roads are in good shape and it is not that hilly. Here is our route in total: Mariehamn to Amalia 20km, Amalia (with the detour) to Stalldalen 35km, and Stalldalen to Mariehamn 20km. In summary, we biked, we ate, we biked, we ate, we biked and we ate 😀 ❤
In the boat on our way back to Stockholm, tired but happy, I couldn’t help to think that Åland had a pretty special place in my heart.
Till the next time then, Åland!
Would love to hear your thoughts about Åland if you have any experiences?
I feel like that place is full of magic and it is full of food for the soul. 😉 ❤