Bike along winding roads, hike through forests and across the land, paddle to the outer archipelago - or, what about disc golf, horseback riding, mountain biking or water sports?
It’s so nice to be active out in nature - and simple. All you need to do is put on a comfortable pair of shoes, open the door and head on out. Then, just open the door and head on out. Åland has numerous nature paths and hiking trails of varying lengths. Some pass through nature reserves, while others offer insights into Åland’s culture and history. The Nåtö Nature Trail is beautiful in the spring. If you would like to hike a bit further, head over to the Sadelinleden or the St. Olav Waterway.
Cyclists love Åland’s winding roads, with route possibilities in every direction. Some routes run along bike roads, while others follow meandering village roads. You can choose whether to base yourself in one place and make day trips, or plan a longer tour with one or more overnight stays.
The Åland Archipelago Trail is one alternative for cyclists who want to see a lot of Åland. You can either start in Mariehamn, from which the Archipelago Trail runs across the main island and then to the east toward the Åland archipelago. Or, you could combine the Åland Archipelago Trail with the Archipelago Trail that continues in the Turku archipelago via Osnäs or Galtby. This is also the route to take when coming to Åland from the east.
Why not trade in the road for the sea? Åland has some of the absolute finest conditions for paddling. Not just in the summer - spring and autumn are also ideal seasons to dip your blade. With so many islands to choose from, the possibilities are nearly endless. Just make sure that your paddling route doesn’t exceed your abilities. For those interested in kayaking, Åland offers everything from beginner bays to heavier seas in the outer archipelago.
The Norrhavsrutten route is perfect for those with good paddling skills. You should be able to paddle well on open water and deal with swells and breaking waves. The entire route stretches from Käringsund in the west to Jurmo in the east, but you can choose to paddle certain sections. Or, if you’re not entirely sure of yourself, enlist a paddling guide. There are businesses which rent equipment and organise guided tours.
Water sports such as surfing, kitesurfing and jetskiing are also popular activities. Bring along your own gear or rent at your destination.
Experiences in nature
Don’t forget about the forest! Hike or experience the forest on horseback or a bike saddle. The Eckerö mountain biking trail is a 3-kilometre long trail for beginners that offers beautiful views and plenty of fun jumps. If you want to put yourself to the test, try beating the trail record on the training app Strava. Several horseback riding schools offer trail riding tours for people of different skill levels.
Interest in disc golf continues to grow. Åland is currently a paradise for disc golfers, who have 17 courses to choose from. The distances between the courses are so short that you could play several of them in one day. For example, from Skag in Eckerö, via Soltunabanan in Geta to Sandösund on Vårdö island.
This year, disc golfers are looking forward to the last week in July, when the professional players of the European PDGA Tour will be visiting Åland for the Åland Open PDGA Euro Tour 2023, with tournament play for both professionals and amateurs.