The waters of the Baltic archipelago warm Åland well into the autumn, and more and more Finnish tourists have already discovered the charms of the archipelago after the summer months as well. Our own archipelago paradise, just a short journey away by sea, offers activities for everyone who enjoys being out in nature as well as people who golf, fish and enjoy good food.

Finns have overtaken Swedes as the largest tourist group on Åland – now during the autumn season as well.

“Tourists from the Finnish mainland have discovered what is unique and exotic about Åland. We’ve noted how Finnish customers want an even broader experience of Åland than Swedes and invest in high-quality overnight stays and food,” says Niko Micklin, Marketing and Sales Manager at Visit Åland.

During the autumn months, there’s a lot to do on Åland, especially for tourists who are interested in nature, exercise and culture. The water in the archipelago is warm well into autumn, which means the climate on Åland is milder than on the Finnish mainland.

“Early autumn is an excellent time to travel to Åland. The hotels aren’t as fully booked as during the summer season, and it’s easier to find the kind of accommodation you want even on short notice. The attractions and restaurants are open just like during the summer, so you don’t miss activities or culinary experiences,” adds Niko Micklin.

The most popular way to travel on holiday to Åland from the Finnish mainland is to take the boat from the Port of Turku. Most tourists going to Åland are transported by Viking Line, since the shipping company’s vessels that sail to Sweden stop at Mariehamn.

“Viking Glory – our newest vessel – and Viking Grace stop at Åland twice a day. On the sea journey, people can enjoy the unique archipelago scenery year-round – first in the Turku archipelago and then the Åland archipelago. We’ve also noticed in our own operations how local tourism has become popular, and our bookings for the autumn look promising for Åland as well,” says Johanna Boijer-Svahnström, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications at Viking Line.

5 ways to discover Åland

Golfing: The golf season on Åland continues well into October. Åland has three top-class 18-hole golf courses. One is on the island of Eckerö and two are located next to Kastelholm Castle. Åland Golf Club is situated in a magnificent landscape. The golf courses, which were refurbished a few years ago, meet international standards and are among the best in Europe.
Hiking: As autumn nears, nature in the archipelago is full of colour, providing an outdoor paradise that is lovely to spend time in. There are some 30 hiking trails on Åland. They include the five-kilometre Grottstigen cave trail, with sweeping views of the magnificent northern Åland landscapes. The impressive rock formations along the trail are also popular with people who like to go bouldering.

Cycling: You can cycle all along the Åland Ring Road. The northern route runs through the northeast archipelago while the southern route runs through the southeast archipelago, towards the main island. Ferries provide service between the islands. Distances are short on Åland, and you can also choose to take a day trip by bike from your accommodations. If you’d like to rent a bike, it pays to do this in advance during the autumn months. Some hotels lend bikes to their guests at no charge. You can also take your bike along on the boat.

Fishing: Many people come to Åland in August–September to fish for pike and perch, and later in the autumn for sea trout. Local fishing guides arrange individual and group outings to the best fishing waters. You can buy a fishing licence online and use it the same day you go fishing. If you fish with a guide, that person takes care of fishing licences as well as casting rods, bait and safety vests.

Enjoying locally-sourced food: The absolute highlight in September is the Åland Harvest Festival, September 22–24, when you can taste locally-sourced food at different farms on the island and even in the homes of families that live in the countryside. Several dozen farms take part in the Harvest Festival, which means you can easily fill two days travelling around to different places and tasting their delicious products. Viking Line’s special cruise is a comfortable way to get to the Harvest Festival. If you take your car along, you can drive around on your own and visit different farms.