I had never been to Scandinavia before and decided it was time for a change. Me and my bf decided to go backpacking through Sweden, starting from Stockholm. Unfortunately, one day before we would leave we checked the weather forecast and it was no good… Rain all week, meaning we would really be soaked. So… change of plans! We decided just to fly to Stockholm and take it from there…
Arrived at Stockholm we noticed there was the possibility to take a ferry to a place called Åland. Åland is basically an autonomous group of islands belonging to Finland. The capital (if you can call it that way) is Mariehamn. In between the different islands, there is a free ferry. However, the ferry hits most of the islands only once a day, so beware! You will see that Åland has an incredible amount of tiny islands so unless you have an enormous amount of time, you’ll need to make a selection. We selected Mariehamn, Sottunga, Föglö, Seglinge, Kumlinge and Kökar. We just randomly picked them by looking at some pictures on google and hoped for the best. Arriving at Mariehamn, the touristic service was already closed. Fortunately there was still someone inside who was so kind to open the door and give us a map, including an explanation of the free ferry service. So shoutout to Mariehamn touristic service! THANK YOU!
We started with Kökar. The thing I remember best about Kökar is the incredible view when you arrive. For this reason, I think it is best to let the pictures speak for themselves… From Kökar you can book a daytrip with a boat to Källskär. This is definitely worth doing as there are many spectacular natural phenomena to view. One of them is Källskärskannan, a formation of rocks created during the ice ages. Another peculiar thing is a landhouse including gardens created by Göran Åkerhielm. If you ask me, Kökar (combined with Källskär) was the best island of them all. The nature is incredibly pretty, there are actually things to do and best of all: just having a sip of Sömmersby looking at the most amazing sunset ever without anyone around is pure heaven.
We continued our trip with Sottunga. I would not really recommend including this island in your trip. There is nothing to do, except walking the road that goes from South to North and back, which you can basically do in half a day (it’s 4 km one way so you can do this for real). The nature is not very impressive (of course it’s pretty, but it’s average compared to Kökar) so unless you are incredibly convinced by the three pictures I have for you, just leave it.
Moving on to Föglö! There is one very particular reason you need to go here: the camping. You can put your tent in the middle of nowhere near the water, overlooking the most fairylike sunsets. They have a sauna which is again in the middle of nowhere (a small walk away from the camping site) with an unbeatable view on the lake. Just take a look at the pictures, you will totally understand what I am saying. They are just this unbelievably pretty (I know right!).
From Föglö we went to Seglinge, which was not that remarkable. Again, pretty nature but that’s all there is to be said. From Seglinge we took it to Snäcko. There are supposed to be reindeer here but we did not see any (le me was very disappointed but hey… you can’t have it all I guess). Walking around Snäcko is worth it, they even have a hidden ceremony place (just a couple of benches with an incredible view) where you can marry or so. We took back the ferry to Stockholm and stayed there a couple of days, but you will be able to read that in another blogpost (coming soon 😉 ).
Tips & Tricks
- Fly to Stockholm
- Use Viking Line ferry to get to Mariehamn
- Use local ferry service to get around
- Swedish krona (unofficially but accepted in most shops)