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This is where Åland’s best ski trails are

This is where Åland’s best ski trails are

The snowy winters in recent years have made Åland a paradise for cross-country skiers. Elite skier Lennart Holmström guides you round the best trails. “Åland is a real gem when it comes to cross-country skiing. You get both easy and difficult ski trails, all in a naturally beautiful environment.”

There are groomed ski trails from Saltvik in the north to Föglö in the south. But Lennart’s favourite trails are to be found at Vikingavallen in Jomala, five kilometres from Mariehamn.

“It’s always full of people here, both families with children and elite skiers – there’s a really great atmosphere.”

Both for beginners and elite skiers

Vikingavallen is located five kilometres from Mariehamn. All trails start from the sports ground and wind their way through the forest beside snow-covered pines and glistening meadows. The two- and three-kilometre tracks are easy and are suitable for children and beginners. The 3.5-, eight- and ten-kilometre trails, on the other hand, are properly undulating tracks with both tough ascents and long downhills.

“This is where many elite skiers train, especially when they’re starting to prepare for the Vasalopp,” says Lennart Holmström, who is going to be getting into shape himself on these trails ahead of the Masters World Cup in Italy.

Classic, freestyle and biathlon

You can use the classic skiing technique on all trails. If you prefer freestyle, all the trails except the 8.5-kilometre trail will suit you. What is new this year is that you can train for the biathlon at Vikingavallen as well. About one kilometre from the start there is a new biathlon arena with 20 targets.
The quality of the trails is high: they are all rolled and dragged nearly every day. And Vikingavallen’s snow cannons enable it to guarantee a thick covering of snow as soon as temperatures fall below zero.

“That’s probably not going to be necessary this year, though. There is already more than half a metre of snow here,” says Lennart Holmström.  

Facilities

Vikingavallen is located just a stone’s throw from Vikingahallen, a modern sports centre. There are showers, changing rooms and a cafe where you can eat your own packed lunch. You can also hire equipment at the centre, but to do that it is a good idea to ring them well in advance. If you have your own skis, there is a brand-new waxing area with power points and waxing benches near the sports centre.  

“The waxing room is a really welcome addition. It becomes a natural rallying point where people can meet and consult one another about waxes, adhesion, snow that is good or bad for skiing, and technique,” says Lennart Holmström.

Prices for 2012

Season pass: 120€ 
10-ski pass: 80€
Seven-day pass: 30€  
One-day pass: 8€

Children under 17 ski for free

More ski trails

There are some more of Lennart’s favourite trails in the naturally beautiful area of Kastelholm. They are all groomed and are between two and seven kilometres in length.

“This is where I come to with my children. We glide along at a nice pace and enjoy the view over Kastelholm Castle, the sea and the beautiful natural landscape all around. There is a cafe there as well, where we tend to stop and have a hot chocolate.”

Lennart also recommends ski trails in Saltvik, Lumparland at Hammarvallen, the golf course in Eckerö and in the archipelago municipality of Föglö.  The first three of the above are lighted trails that are lit both morning and evening.

“The most fun thing to do is to try out several different trails. Every trail has its own charm and you discover something new with every circuit you do.” 
20.12.12
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