Islands to visit with your own boat
Among all the 6.000 islands of Åland there are some which are especially interesting to explore if you travel to Åland with your own boat. Here you will find some examples of fine excursion destinations:
Rödhamn N 59° 59,1' E 20° 06,1'
Rödhamn is located ten nautical miles south of Mariehamn. On the island, in a place of great natural beauty, the Åland Sailing Society runs a service harbour with a café and the possibility to sauna.
On the highest position of the island is the old radio lighthouse. It was closed in 1970 and is nowadays an archipelago museum with preserved fittings from the time before the shutdown. One of the rooms depicts life on Rödhamn. The museum is always open.
Kobba Klintar N 60° 01,8' E 19° 53,1'
Its beautiful views across the Åland Sea and a historically interesting environment makes the island Kobba Klintar, at the inlet to Mariehamn's western harbour, a popular excursion destination. Today you can see the modern cruise ships go by at close distance.
On the island you can also explore the old pilot station from 1862 and the newer pilot house from 1910 with its fog horn. On the balcony stands Juha Pykäläinens wooden pilot that looks across the sea. Nowadays the pilot house is a museum.
Signilskär N 60° 12,0' E 19° 20,3'
Since medieval times Signilskär, west of Eckerö, has been a natural harbour for sailing ships on the Åland Sea. The island used to function as a rest stop and place for lodging for the farmers on mail duty when the weather was unsuitable. From the 1500's and until 1935, the island was inhabited, but today only three of the original buildings remain.
The Märket Lighthouse N 60° 18,1' E 19° 07,9'
In the Åland Sea, on the border of Sweden and Finland, is the Märket lighthouse. The island has been closed to visitors since 1976 when the last lighthouse keepers left Märket. This summer you will get the opportunity to visit Märket thanks to the Finnish Lighthouse Association. From mid May and until August/September the association rents the lighthouse from the Finnish Maritime Administration.
During that time period the Lighthouse Association's own "lighthouse keepers" will be in place to receive visitors. Entrance and guiding is 5 Euro. Contact the lighthouse with an SMS on phone number: +358 40 8499333 before you arrive. The lighthouse keepers also offer a pickup service with a rowing boat from your place of mooring for a fee. Read more here: www.fyrsallskap.fi/eng/
The Sälskär Lighthouse N 60° 24,7' E 19° 35,5'
A tour to the Sälskär Lighthouse in north-west Hammarland offers many fine nature experiences; here are for example lots of curious razorbills. More about lighthouse living on Sälskär can be found in the book (in Swedish only): "Sälskär - Fyrvaktarlivet 1868-1949" by Bengt Häger.
Björkör N 59° 56,2' E 20° 13,5'
The nature reserve Björkör is situated in the outer archipelago of Föglö. Apart from a rich flora, there is also an old archipelago farmstead preserved on the island. In the summer there is a supervisor in place that will guide you by prior arrangement (questions to the Åland Landskapsregering, Miljöbyrån, phone: +358 18 25000*).
Sältingskär N 59° 56,8' E 20° 16,2'
In the restored fishing village on Sältingskär in the Föglö archipelago, you can experience how people used to live when it was time for fishing at sea. The old fishing crofts were also used in spring in bird hunting season.
Lågskär N 59° 50,4' E 19° 55,7'
Many treacherous shoals surround the exposed island Lågskär in the Åland Sea. This is the reason a beacon was erected on the island already in the 1600's. In 1840 Åland's first lighthouse was built here. The present lighthouse is from 1920. From 1840 until 1961 when the lighthouse was automated, there was a permanent settlement on Lågskär. Nowadays there is a bird observatory on the island and the old lighthouse buildings are used by visiting ornithologists. Another sight is the boulder shore on the northern side of the island.
Källskär N 59° 52,2' E 20° 53,9'
The island Källskär is situated by the sea in the southern archipelago of Kökar, where count Göran Åkerhielm created his own paradise in the 1960's. The unbelievable treasures and the beautiful nature make Källskär well worth a visit.
Bärö N 60° 18,3' E 20° 44,6'
Restaurant Glada Laxen is located at an old coast guard station on the island Bärö in the Kumlinge archipelago. The restaurant is a member of Tastes of the Archipelago which promises good food with taste experiences from the archipelago. Specialties on the menu are whitefish, perch and cold smoked salmon. Experience the view from the 40 meter tall surveillance tower.