Hiking in Åland offers a varied landscape where your surroundings change rapidly from uninhabited forest to ancient monuments and cultural buildings to sea views.
There are guided hikes on different themes around Åland in the summer – they are advertised on the events calendar and in the local papers.
WITW guide Philip Hällund organises nature and cultural hikes on Kökar and can show you anything from the backdrops to Ulla-Lena Lundberg’s prize-winning novel “Ice” to the medieval monks’ Hamnö and the Bronze Age hunters’ Otterböte hill.
On the Geostigen (“geological trail”) you can get to know ancient Åland as it was before the first human beings settled here. Travel through millions of years in an hour and a half with the geologist Stig Abrahamsson. The Geostigen starts at the Åland Hunting and Fishing Museum in Eckerö and is a combination of scenic route, geology and history. The guided tours are conducted in Swedish, Finnish and English and are adapted for groups.
The hiking trails in Åland are 10 to 60 kilometres long. For the most part they are easy, but the path is often uneven in parts and the bedrock can be slippery. A map and Åland Natur – a starter book on hiking in the countryside – are useful items to have with you.
Kyrkleden path, 13 km – the hike takes about four hours and covers Åland’s main historical sights – Kastelholm Castle and Bomarsund fortress in Sund. It partly follows the gold church path past Sund’s medieval church. The long-distance footpath covers varied terrain. The differences in altitude are noticeable along the stretches over hills and unspoiled countryside. You get a fantastic view from the hills.
The Sadelinleden path, about 63 km – covers the area between Skarpnåtö in Hammarland and Höckböle nature reserve in Geta. You go past Sålis Batteriberg, Ålands Brandkårsmuseum and Finström church and meet the postal route. Your surroundings will change from woodland to hills, lakes and watercourses. It takes three days to hike the whole distance of the path, including two overnight stays. If you only want one day’s hike, you can just cover a section of the path, for example the Skarpnåtö–Sålis stretch, which is about 10 kilometres long.
The Jomalaleden path, about 40 km – stretches from the sea at Hammarland Hammarudda to Emkarby out in the country in Finström, where the path unites with the Sadelinleden. Sights worth seeing include Kungsö Batteriberg, Ramsholmen nature area, Jomala church and the Ingby mountains where there is a viewing tower and picnic tables.
The Lemlandsleden path, about 23 km – goes alongside the forest, nature reserve and old gravel paths from Lemström Canal in Lemland to Lumparsund in Lumparland. In Knutsboda you will go through a delightful old forest with masses of flowering wild anemones in the spring. The Bistorps mountain with its stone fields, which the inland ice left behind, provide a fabulous view over the inland sea Lumparn. Lemland church, built in the 1200s, and Skeppargården Pellas are also worth seeing on the way.
The nature trails are between one and eight kilometres long and vary from easy to being of medium difficulty. No special equipment is required, but sometimes the ground can be wet, so boots or good outdoor shoes are recommended. Many of the nature trails are in the nature reserves. They are listed here:
Finström Godby Arboretum: from Färjsund bridge 1.5 km easy
Finström Godbyrundan: from Godbyhallen 80 km easy
Föglö: from Isaksson holiday village 5.0 km of medium difficulty
Föglö Jyddö: from the radio mast 7.0 km of medium difficulty
The medieval trail in Geta: from Geta church 2.5 km of medium difficulty
Djupvik cave in Geta: from Soltuna Getabergen 5.5 km of medium difficulty
Geta Trollstigen: from Soltuna Getabergen 2.0 km easy
Jomala Kungsö: from “Ryssvägen” in southern Gottby 5.0 km easy
Jomala Ramsholmen: by the Eckerövägen west of Torpfjärden 1.5 km easy
Kumlinge: from Kumlinge church 3.4 km easy
Kumlinge Seglinge: from Smedjan 7.0 km easy
Kökar Kalen: from Karlby or Otterböte 7.0 km of medium difficulty
Kökar Klobbars: from Klobbars Gästhem guest house 2.0 km of medium difficulty
Kökar culture hike: from the church on Hamnö 2.0 km easy
Lemland Nåtö: from Nåtö Biological Station 2.0 km easy
Lemland Järsö: from Mariehamn open-air recreation centre 2.0 km easy
Lumparland Långnäs: from Långnäsbyn 2.0 km of medium difficulty
Sottunga forest trail: from Sottunga holiday village 1.5 km easy
Sottunga trail: from Sottunga guest harbour 2.5 km of medium difficulty
Sottunga village: from Sottunga primary school 3.0 km easy
Sund Bomarsund: from Notvikstornet round the fortress area 4.0 km of medium difficulty
Sund Bomarsund-Prästö: from Lotsstugan (museum) east of the bridge, 5.5 km easy
Sund Kastelholm: start 3.5 km southwards from the golf course 2.7 km of medium difficulty
Vårdö Lövö: from Sandösund campsite 4.0 km easy
Vårdö Horsholma-Mickelsö: from Solhult youth centre 8.0 km of medium difficulty