There are plenty of events planned in Åland for the 2021–2022 period. At the moment preparations for the Tall Ships Races 2021 mega-event are in full swing, as are celebrations for the 100th anniversary of Åland’s autonomy.

Tall Ships Races foto Henrik NygårdThe Tall Ships Races are a large international event for sailing vessels. In 2021 the race will be held in the Baltic Sea with Mariehamn as one of the host ports. Mariehamn will be both the finishing line in the race from Tallinn to Mariehamn, and the starting point for the race from Mariehamn to Szczecin in Poland. A hundred or so vessels will gather in Mariehamn between 22 and 25 July 2021, and the harbour area and town centre will be filled with activities and entertainment.

“There’ll be a bustle of people in Mariehamn’s western harbour where visitors can familiarise themselves with the ships and meet the thousands of crew members,” says Mari Rosenqvist, project manager for the Tall Ships Races in Mariehamn.

She also explains that masses of supporting activities are being organised and that visitors will be able to enjoy Åland delicacies and drinks, take part in activities and both try out and learn new things.

“There’ll also be performances of song and music, and plenty more entertainment for people to enjoy,” says Mari Rosenqvist.

Proud maritime history

Being a part of the Tall Ships Races matters a lot to Ålanders. Throughout the years, Ålanders have always crossed the sea in sailing boats, and from the middle of the 19th century small Ålander cargo boats started to transport timber across the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Ålanders then expanded their fleet of vessels with larger second-hand iron and steel ships, which sailed all over the world. The Ålander sailing ship owner Gustaf Erikson’s vessels continued to sail around the world from Australia to Europe until 1949, and one of these ships, the four-masted barque Pommern, still functions as a museum in Mariehamn’s western harbour today.

Celebrating 100 years of autonomy

A year after the Tall Ships Races, on 9 June 2022, is the 100th anniversary of Åland’s autonomy. Celebrations for the anniversary will start a year before that, and during the year a series of exciting events will be held. Planning is under way and the events include an opera produced by the Katrina Cultural Association about the witch trials in Åland in the 1660s. A new visitors’ centre in Bomarsund is also due to be inaugurated as part of the anniversary celebrations, and a performance of another new opera, The Devil’s Dance in Skarpans, will be staged during the grand opening ceremony.

Plan your travels

Do you want to experience the Tall Ships Races in Mariehamn or take part in the 100th anniversary celebrations of Åland’s autonomy? Start planning your Åland trip today and be sure to book your accommodation in good time ahead of the events.


Related articles

Lövö – peace congress and Russian stone ovens

The village of Lövö was once a stage for a superpower game, a peace congress between Sweden and Russia 1718–19. The trail runs on historic ground passing past fields and meadows and through birch and pine forests. Along the trail you can find remains of Russian outdoor baking ovens and a bird watching tower.

Read more

Byrundan – village trail in Finland’s smallest municipality

The trail offers open landscape with fields and pastures, old farm buildings and lush gardens with big trees such as ash, maple and oak. The trail passes e.g. by the midsummer pole, homestead museum/old school and the only windmill in the village preserved from the 1800s. 

Read more

Skogsrundan – seaviews and marshland

The trail passes the wooden church of Sottunga, built in 1730, and continues through a pine tree forest to the seaside rocks on the western side of the island with fine archipelago views and a picnic spot. After the seaside rocks the path rounds a marshland, the village road takes you back to the visitors’ marina.

Read more

Sadelinleden – cultural landscapes and wild orchids

The trail passes several villages and attractions and offers varied nature such as meadows, forests, rocky hills and seashore. The trail can be hiked in shorter stages and in both directions. There are lookout towers in Skarpnåtö, Sålis and Pålsböle.

Read more

Mariehamn Runt – small boat jetties, beaches and ferries

The eastern and western seasides of Mariehamn offer a sense of genuine archipelago atmosphere. There are paths along the shore, in some places right next to the waterline. The eastern shore is lower with seaside meadows, the western side is hilly with cliffs, wooden walkways and stairs.

Read more

Järsö – smooth rocks, sea views and wooded meadows

The white trail starts and ends at the same place and goes around a rocky tip. At the far end of the tip you get a scenic view of the sea and the ferry route between Sweden, Åland and Finland. The red and blue trails have separate routes each starting from the white trail. You can also choose to follow only one of them.

Read more

Kalen – Bronze Age and war ruins

Kalen offers magnificent archipelago nature and historical memories. The area was the part of Kökar that first rose from the sea after the Ice Age. The trail passes e.g. Tellmossberget, one of the highest hills on Kökar, and remains of a Russian coastal battery from the First World War. Nature is diverse, and the area has rich flora and bird life.

Read more

Jomalaleden – cultural landscape and historic sights

The long trail has different start and end points, and it can be divided into shorter or longer stages and with different directions. The trail offers beautiful nature, villages with fine homesteads from the late 1800s and historical sights such as Kungsö Coastal Battery Hill and Jumala church. 

Read more