The southern route of the Åland Archipelago Trail
What can you experience along the southern route of the Åland Archipelago Trail? This is where you can find inspiration and tips as to what is on offer in the various islands.
The distance from the Finnish Galtby to Åland’s Kökar is 31 nautical miles, or 57 kilometres long. The route is trafficked by Åland’s archipelago ferries, and is called the southern line. You can find the timetables on Ålandstrafiken’s website, and you can also book your spot on the ferries through the website’s booking system.
Kökar is a dear destination for many. In Kökar’s largest village Karlby you can find hotel and restaurant Brudhäll in the guest harbour and a shop only a stone’s throw away. In addition to Hotel Brudhäll you can spend the night at Antons Gästhem guesthouse, where you can meet åland-sheep if you’re lucky. Sandvik guest harbour and camping is situated a couple of kilometres from Karlby, where you can camp in a tent or rent a cottage.
Kökar has a fascinating history behind it. In Hamnö, northern Kökar, you can visit the ruins of a 15th-century Franciscan monastery and the lovely St. Anne’s Church. Otterböte, one of the most interesting Bronze Age settlements in the northern Baltic Sea, is also located in Kökar, and there are boat trips to Källskär, a fascinating excursion.
In Kökar you can also visit the Kökar museum, Peders Aplagård apple farm, where the café sells apple cider and other goodies during summer, and the Skärgårdsbröd bakery, which is open all year round.
From Kökar the ferry continues its route to Sottunga. The views in Åland’s south-eastern archipelago are stunning and you pass by the small islands Kyrkogårdsö and Husö.
Finland’s smallest municipality Sottunga barely has 100 inhabitants. The attractions include the 17th-century wooden church that burned down in the Greater Wrath, but which was rebuilt starting in 1728. In the summer Sottunga comes into its own with exhibitions and sales of local arts and crafts in the Hembygdsgården, and the archipelago restaurant Salteriet by the ferry harbour is a popular choice of eatery. You can stay in the Sottunga holiday village or at Lyckliga Lotta’s Bed & Breakfast.
From Sottunga the Åland Archipelago Trail carries on to the port of Överö on Föglö. From Överö the road winds on through the idyllic archipelago countryside to the ferry harbour in Degerby, a distance of approximately 18 kilometers. There are shops, eateries, a minigolf course and attractions like the old Pilot’s Cabin and Föglö museum (both open during the summer) near the ferry harbour in Degerby. During the summer you’ll be able to visit a marketplace which takes place every week around the harbour. In Degerby you can spend the night at guesthouse Enigheten which is a stone’s throw away from the village center or at Carlsro hotel which is also located in Degerby.
The last stretch on the south-eastern route goes from Degerby to Svinö harbour in Lumparland, on Åland’s main island. The distance between Svinö and Mariehamn is approximately 26 kilometers and takes around 30 minutes by car.
STAY OVERNIGHT IN THE ARCHIPELAGO
When you travel from the Finnish mainland to Åland or from Åland to Finland, make sure you have booked at least one overnight stay on one of the Åland archipelago islands. In that way your trip becomes less expensive, and, most importantly, you get more time to experience the archipelago without any hurry.
Read the FAQ about archipelago ferries and the Åland archipelago route here.