Agneta Finneman discovered her home patch in the archipelago and had her eyes opened as to what can be done in the countryside when she went on an eight-year study programme in managing outdoor life at Åland Folk High School in 2005. “When you navigate by boat you have to know where you can steer it, but with a kayak you don’t have to worry about navigable channels and sunken rocks – you can discover new routes and favourite places instead,” says Agneta. She recommends shorter trips inside the skerries and in sheltered coves for families with children and people not used to paddling. It’s also a good idea to stay away from the bigger channels. It’s useful to have an experienced paddler with you, or a guide.

On your own

If you’re coming on your own, Agneta recommends all the incredibly beautiful islets that are to be found around the bigger islands in the Åland archipelago. There is plenty of paddling to be done inside the skerries on Föglö and Kökar. You can make shorter trips and stop for coffee or lunch at an open-air restaurant as an alternative to going ashore into the countryside with your own picnic. “Food and adventures in nature go together, but never light a fire on the rocks, and take your rubbish away with you!” When you go paddling, you don’t have to carry your equipment – it goes into the kayak. You’ll have your raw produce and outdoor stove with you so you can cook your food out in the countryside. “It tastes much better than it does at home,” reckons Agneta.

Expertise

It’s important that you have both the necessary expertise and correct equipment to set out on longer trips. An itinerary and a map are essential, as it is to know what’s going on in terms of wind and weather. Agneta recommends: “Always tell someone where you’re thinking of going and take with you a waterproof pack with a change of clothes as well as food, drink and sunscreen.” Personally, she likes to go off on longer trips to the outermost areas of the archipelago (Utö – Kökar – Föglö) involving one or more overnight stays. It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up with a wild landscape outside your tent. “When you paddle further afield you get into a different state of mind. First I bought one kayak and then a second one because it’s both fun and safer to have someone with you for company,” says Agneta.

Excellent round trip

An excellent round trip, according to Agneta, is to start in Sandvik in the north of Kökar, paddle to Källskär south of Karlby, on to Peders Aplagård apple orchards in Österbygge and then back. You should only go to the outer skerries if you’re experienced and the weather is fine. Agneta qualified as a master mariner at Åland University of Applied Sciences. She was born and grew up on an island in Kökar and would like to continue to live in the archipelago.

Categories


Related articles

Åland Harvest Festival

Come and enjoy the bounty of Åland harvest! It’s fresh, green, ripe, locally produced and pure pleasure for the eye and taste buds. Welcome to the Åland Harvest Festival on September 16–18th. Enjoy the lovely atmosphere and learn more about the life in the countryside.

Read more

Treasure hunt in Mariehamn

Mariehamn is a town that is brimming with secrets. There are a large number of caches to be found. But what is a geocache, actually?

Read more

Places where you can … just breathe

During busy holiday times it’s great to be able to pause for breath and recharge your batteries. In Åland there are plenty of naturally beautiful places that provide an invitation to reflect and meditate.

Read more

Festivals 2015 – some of the highlights

There will be several festivals during the summer. New for this year is the Baltic Shanty Festival with traditional maritime songs. Both Fishbait and Åland Pride are to be hold the second year in a row.

Read more

Short trips for those who enjoy life – by bike and mc

This is a route suggestion for those who enjoy life.

Read more

Many islands to visit – by bike and mc

The trip is never boring, so take it easy and enjoy the views.

Read more

Get around on a bicycle or Motorbike

Read more

Tour suggestions

Read more