Archipelago Cycling Trip – Trip Report

Here's our trip report for our week-long trip to the archipelagos of Åland and Turku. Hopefully it will be helpful for you!

Marienhamn airport is located few kilometers from downtown. There’s no public transportation from there but you can get a taxi for about 15e.
Ro-No Rent offers bike rentals in both harbours of the city. 3-gear bike for a week costs 80e, including two 20-liter bike bags, a helmet, and a repair kit.

Monday 30.7.2012

Marienhamn – Långnas, 28km on bike. Mostly on separate biking lane, good signs to keep you on right direction, scenery nothing special.

Långnas – Kökar, 2,5h ferry ride. Do check timetables, since the ferry doesn’t go too often! You need to buy a 5e permit per bike, but it is valid for the whole summer in all Ahvenanmaa ferries.

ACCOMODATION  Gästhamn & Camping (Kökär). Nice facilities and a beautiful place. Lots of boats docked at the harbour. Big communal kitchen with kitchenware and the reception hosts a small grocery store. There is also a restaurant/café with a very limited menu (just salmon soup and different sweet options). The bathroom and shower facilities are quite basic, but adequate. Sauna is open for renting, as well as some kayaks and bikes. And there is a nice walking path nearby, going through some historical sites and nature highlights, but we didn’t have time to test it out. Few kilometers from the ferry harbor. (2ppl + tent = 15e)

Tuesday 31.7.2012

Kökar – Korppoo – Kittuinen (Houtskari) Taking two ferries, first one for 2,5h (has café, sitting area etc.) and another about 30 mins. Tip for the ferries: have a scarf or similar to keep your hair flying around, it’s breezy!

Kittuinen - Mossala The bike ride from Kittuinen ferry harbor to Mossala ferry harbor is about 25km, with some short ferry rides in between (these ferries go quire often).

FOOD The bar in Näsby sells amazing burgers. Definitely worth the 5km round-trip.

ACCOMODATION Saariston Lomakeskus (Houtskari/Mossala). Right next to the ferry dock, so convenient. Basic bathroom and toilet facilities (plus points for having also some toilets right on the camping site itself) and a small restaurant/café, with a terrace sheltered from the wind. (2ppl + tent = 15e)

Wednesday 1.8.2012

Mossala – Dalen (Iniö) A ferry ride of about an hour. This ferry is charging a fee from both passengers (7e) and bikes (5e).

Dalen – Kanvik (Iniö) 10km easy ride. Small but pretty church next to the road near Iniö town.

Kanvik – Heponiemi (Kustavi) about 30mins ferry ride. It only goes couple times a day, so pay attention to the timetable! We didn’t, and ended up at the ferry harbor about 10 mins late. Luckily there was a nice café near the harbor, a chance for us o charge our electronics and get some work done. They don’t serve warm food, but plenty of other (homemade) things.
Heponiemi – Vuosnainen About 20km ride. Couple of kilometers after the harbor, take the “Laupustentie” road, it’s nicer and has much less traffic. In Kustavi town there is a bigger grocery store, several palces to eat, ATM, etc. A good place to stock up. The timetables of the ferries don’t match too well, so you can either hurry during this bike ride or then take it more leisurely and spend time on the way.

Vuosnainen – Ava (Brändö) Ferry ride about 1h, bigger ferry with café facilities.

Ava – Brändö Stugby About 10km ride. Amazing scenery on the way!!! Forests, fields, and a lot of sea. The best parts are the ones where there is only a small strip of land stretching from island to another and the sea surround you. Especially beautiful when the sun starts to go down.

FOOD The Vuosnaisten Merisatama right next to the harbor offers nice views, comfy terrace and superb food (with huge portions).

ACCOMODATION Brändö Stugby (Brändö). Very basic facilities, but the camping site is on a beautiful location next to the sea. I spent half an hour in the early morning just sitting on a rock and staring at the sea. There is a restaurant/café, that also serves breakfast for 8,50e (better to reserve the day before, but if you’re lucky you might get one without reservation if you hit the restaurant right when it opens at 9am). Warm water in shower costs extra, 1e/4mins. (2ppl + tent = 8e)

Thursday 2.8.2012

Brändö Stugby – Torsholma (Brändö) About 8 km ride, with more amazing sea views.

Torsholma – Lappo 30 min ferry ride. Lappo town, where the harbor is, hosts couple of nice looking restaurants, a small store, museum (check the opening times beforehand!) and nice looking old fisherman’s village buildings. Had tasty and light lunch at Kaisa af Lappo Vinbar Café, with very good hoe made apple juice.  The place also hosts a sparkling wine terrace on the roof with very nice views.

Lappo – Kumlinge About an hour in a bigger ferry with a café. From Kumlinge harbor it’s about 4km to the Hasslebo Gästhem, through a very rural setting.

ACCOMODATION Hasslebo Gästhem (Kumlinge). Close to nature area in the middle of countryside. Has a small tent site and some rooms to rent B&B style. Nice kitchen tent on the yard, good for rain keeping and discussions with wine in the evenings. Everything here is very ecofriendly. Elks apparently often visit the field right next to the place, and the owners have set a viewing place for this. Breakfast is available for 8e, and it includes mainly home-made and local products. Everything is very good, especially the jams. A lovely place! (2ppl + tent = 16e)

Friday 3.8.2012

Kumlinge – Hummelvik (Vårdö) Before leaving Kumlinge, visit the old church near Kumlinge town. The church itself is very basic, but the paintings in it provide a very interesting insight to the life in the 15th century.  There are guidebooks about the paintings available at the church, do borrow one to get more out of your visit. The bike ride from Hasslebo to the ferry with a detour to the church is only about 6 km. The ferry ride on a bigger boat (with café) takes about 1h 20 mins.

Hummelvik – Sund About 10km, bit more hilly than on the smaller islands. One short ferry ride in between,  but it goes several times in hour.

ACCOMODATION Putte’s camping (Sund). Quite a busy place, but still close to nature. Lots of ants crawling over our tent in the evening, but luckily they had disappeared by morning… Next to the ruins of an old fortress, a site to check out! Tasty Thai-food available at the restaurant (also more traditional Finnish food available), and some snacks etc. sold at reception. Industrial-looking kitchen and a roomy eating hall at the camp site. Although at least on the time of our visit it smelled bad there. Adequate bathroom and toilet facilities. Warm water in shower costs extra, 1e/4mins. (2ppl + tent = 8e)

Saturday 4.8.-Monday 6.8.

Sund-Marienhamn bike ride is about 30km. Some very nice sights on the way. In Sund, there are two historical places to visit, the Bomarsund Fortress ruins and the Kastelholma castle. If travelling during tourist season, do book your accommodation beforehand, since there are no camping grounds in between Putte’s Camping and Marienhamn. We didn’t, so had to ditch our plan to stay the night at Godby and visit the local brewery.

Marienhamn is a nice, small city. We spent couple of hours walking around the center and already run out of things to see. They do have a lot of nice restaurants and cafes, and every store seems to be selling ice-cream. The small water park & spa (Mariebad) was perfect for relaxing after our biking trip and a night out on the town.

FOOD Very tasty Tex-Mex at Texas Longhorn. Good burgers at Dino’s Bar, which doubles as a rock club with live music. When we visited on a Saturday night, there was an excellent troubadour playing outside and lots of people having a good time. Ice-cream seems to be sold everywhere, so better try out some!

ACCOMODATION Gröna Udden (Marienhamn) Only about 1km from the center of the town, next to a beach. Good facilities for campers, including a café (not many options for breakfast here, so better hit the town for that.). Many extra activities are offered (minigolf, Segway, etc.) (2ppl + tent = 24e)

Tip! If you’re not into sleeping in tents, most places also rent out cottages, including ”overnight cottages”.  These are very basic with shared facilities, usually fitting 4 people. Better reserve these well beforehand, if travelling during the main season (June->mid-August).

Antti and Mirje

We are Mirje and Antti, a 30+ digital nomad couple, entrepreneurs with restless feet and passion for experiencing the world. more »