Facts about Åland

The Åland Islands are situated between Sweden and Finland, in the northern part of the Baltic Sea. They constitute an autonomous and monolingual Swedish region of Finland with its own flag. Åland also has its own stamps and internet top-level domain (.ax).

Åland has about 30,000 inhabitants and about 11,500 of them live in Åland’s only town, Mariehamn. The town was founded in 1861 and today it is the commercial and political centre. It is also Åland’s seat of government.

Trade and industry

The islands’ main industries include shipping, trade, banking, farming and the production of food items. Shipping has always been a particularly important activity for the region and, in terms of characterising the Ålanders, there is no other industry like it.

Visit the Maritime Museum, the sailing ship Pommern and the Maritime Quarter in Mariehamn to find out more about the islands’ fascinating maritime history.

Åland characteristics

The things that make Åland unique are its unspoiled archipelago and the beautiful bedrock, worn smooth by glacier ice, that gets its red colour from the area’s rapakivi granite. Åland’s 6,700 islands have a world to offer where the sea is always nearby. Did you know that Åland has more sunshine hours than anywhere else in Northern Europe between May and August?

Another of Åland’s distinctive traits is the midsummer sight of maypoles, colourful garlands and olde worlde windmills. You can see some of them in the Jan Karlsgården open air museum in Kastelholm where you’ll also get to see what a typical Ålander farm looked like around the end of the 19th century.

Åland in brief

Inhabitants: 30,000
Language: Swedish
Currency: Euro € is the official currency, and many service points also accept Swedish krona
Time: Eastern European Time (+ 2 GMT)
Total area: 6,787 km2
The total of more than 6,700 islands of which 60 are inhabited.


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