Cycling to the Åland Islands - two archipelagos

Self-guided tour │ Finland │ 8 days / 7 nights │ 919 €

  • Scenery in Havsvidden, Åland

A roundtrip on the Baltic Sea, in the Turku Archipelago and the Åland Islands. This tour is an enjoyable mix of cycling and ferry crossings. You cycle along historic Great Mail Route that once passed from Turku to Stockholm. A wonderful cruise with the greenest cruise ship on the Baltic; M/S Viking Grace, will finalize your tour.

Shaped by the ice age, the beautiful Finnish Archipelago consists of thousands of islands and islets. The enchanting sea, the barren outer islands and the unbroken peace offer you an atmosphere in which you can totally relax and have a regenerating holiday. You will find old villages and idyllic harbours as well as fascinating towns and attractions such as museums, historic buildings and ruins. Enjoy fresh and delicious Archipelago food provided by the local fishermen and farmers and admire the local artisan handwork. Don’t forget to try the Finnish sauna!

You can also choose to take the ship from Mariehamn to Stockholm and spend your last night there.

Tour type

Self-guided cycling tour

Difficulty level

●●○○ Moderate

The tour is most suitable for adults and youngsters. The tour is most probably not suitable for children under age of 12 years. Note that when there are ferry trips, the time spent on route is long and the daily journeys get relatively longer.

Characteristics of the route

Terrain is gently undulating, there are some steep but short ups and downs. The route runs mostly on secondary roads and cycle paths. There are several ferry trips. Daily distances from 23 km to 53 km.

Dates 2019

Available 23.6. – 4.8. 2019, starting day Sunday (last starting day 4.8.2019)

Starting days:
23.6.2019 / 30.6.2019 / 7.7.2019 / 14.7.2019 / 21.7.2019 / 28.7.2019 / 4.8.2019

Route type

Circular route. Your luggage will be transported from accommodation to accommodation.

Minimum of participants

2 persons (1 person on request)

Available extra services

Extra nights in Naantali and Turku

Tour organizer

Veranatura

Included in the tour price

  • • Accommodation
  • • Breakfast
  • • Luggage transfer
  • • Service vehicle / back-up service
  • • Use of Veranatura’s recyclable / reusable route description-map booklet (one per each party, English / German / French / Italian / Finnish)
  • • Destination information
  • • Ferry tickets
  • • Cruise ticket to M/S Viking Grace (or to M/S Viking Amorella when going to Stockholm)
  • • Sauna on day 2
  • • Use of saunas, pools and Jacuzzis in Havsvidden (day 5)

Not included in the tour price

  • • Outward and return journey
  • • Use of Veranatura bicycle (see Bicycles tab)
  • • Lunch and dinner
  • • Entrances to the museums / attractions
  • • Everything not specified

Accommodation

Middle class hotels and guesthouses. Services in the room, (except day 2: toilet in the room, shower and sauna in another building)

How to get there

Flight to Helsinki, then bus (long distance bus connection) from Helsinki airport to Turku (approx. 2,5 hours), then local bus from Turku to Naantali (approx. 25 min.)

You can choose to arrive to Turku from Helsinki also by train. In that case you need to take a train or a bus from the airport to the centre of Helsinki, where the main railway station is located, and then take a train to Turku.

There is also an airport also in Turku, but there are only a few companies that fly to Turku.  Ryan Air flies to Tampere. From Tampere there’s a bus and a train connection to Turku.

One possibility is to fly to Stockholm (Sweden) and take a cruise ship (Viking Line or Silja Line) from Stockholm to Turku and then take the local bus from Turku to Naantali.

Day 1

Naantali

Indipendent arrival in Naantali. Take a walk through the idyllic old town and harbour and enjoy good food in one of the beautiful seaside restaurants. Naantali is one of the oldest towns in Finland. It was founded around the medieval Brigittine convent of which the church still dominates its skyline. Known as the Sunshine Town, Naantali attracts local and foreign visitors from around the world with the ever-popular children's favourite Moomin World theme park. The official summer residence of the President of Finland, Kultaranta estate, is also located in Naantali, on Luonnonmaa Island. The beautiful garden of Kultaranta estate can be visited in summertime on guided afternoon walks. Don’t miss the traditional evening vesper drumming, just before eight o’clock by the corner of Naantalin Kaivohuone.

Day 2

Naantali – Kustavi | 53 km (+ ferry trip)

Your cycling begins in the Turku Archipelago. Once you leave the town, you cycle through countryside and cross bridges with characteristic archipelago seascapes. The route follows partly the historic Great Mail Route that once passed from Turku to Stockholm. Then you make your first ferry trip. After a long cycling day you can relax your mind and muscles in a Finnish sauna.

Day 3

Kustavi – Brändö Islands | 41 km (+ cable ferry & 2 ferries)

Today you leave the Turku Archipelago and travel with ferry to the Brändö Islands, the northmost part of the Åland Islands. Before heading to the Brändö Islands, we suggest you to visit the Artisan Village of Kustavi, where you can find local artisan workshops and reputable artisan pottery. The Great Mail Route leads you through the island chain of the Brändö Islands. In the middle of the Archipelago Sea, one after another, the bridges connect the numerous small islands together. Here you can really feel the connection with the surrounding nature and sea. The geological evidence and the effect of the Ice Age can be well discovered on the bare ice-scratched “whaleback” formed rocks. Enjoy the silence and fresh air in this unique environment.

Day 4

Brändö Islands – Kastelholm / Godby | 23 km / 32 km (+ ferry & cable ferry)

A ferry trip through a beautiful seascape will bring you to the main island of Åland. This day is dedicated to attractions, culture and history. The Great Mail Route first brings you to the district of Bomarsund ruins. The fortress of Bomarsund was once the most magnificent structure on the Åland islands. The fortress was constructed as an important outpost to west by the Russian Empire and was bombarded during the Crimean War in 1854. In consequence, the Åland islands were demilitarised and the fortress was never rebuilt again. Today the area is a historical monument, easily accessible to visitors. The main fort has a beautiful location on the shore and sheep are taking care of the environment and its biodiversity by pasturing around the ruin area. Then you arrive to Kastelholm, where the Kastelholm castle, Great Mail Route exhibition and open air museum Jan Karlsgården lies. At the Great Mail Route exhibition you can see the entire itinerary of the historic Great Mail Route. Worth visiting is also Smakbyn, a famed restaurant of Åland- and Nordic cuisine with distillery and shop, and the local small brewery Stallhagen.

Day 5

Kastelholm / Godby – Havsvidden | 35 km / 25 km

Today you cycle to the northmost top of the main island. The route leads you first through a characteristic countryside landscape with apple tree plantations every here and there. As you approach the north, the scenery gets more intact and wild. Before taking the route to Havsvidden, you can deviate to Getabergen, a popular viewing point and tower with a vast view over the thick, green forests and the blue sea. Finally you arrive to your accommodation in Havsvidden, a special place by the edge of the island. Here the barren red granite rocks, the windswept stunted pines and the blue sea create a wonderful contrast. The day’s cycling will be rewarded with warm sauna, refreshing bath in the sea and comfortable jacuzzi.

Day 6

Havsvidden – Mariehamn | 47 km

Today you head to the capital of the Åland Islands, cycling through the inland countryside. You pass Jomala church, which is one of the oldest churches in Finland. Finally, you arrive to Mariehamn, a reputable shipping town on peninsula with two important harbours. The town’s entire history and development reflects the life of people living surrounded by water. Worth visiting are the maritime museum and the museumship Pommern, the Maritime quarter and St. George church.

Day 7

Maarianhamina - Turku approx. 5 km (+ optional trip 6 km or 21,5 km) OR Mariehamn - Stockholm

It’s time to leave the Åland Islands behind and return to the mainland of Finland. Before that you have still time to explore the lovely Mariehamn and its surroundings. You can make a circular cycling trip to a charming neighbourhood and continue with a back and forth trip towards south through a wonderful island chain where the scenery to the sea and beautiful villas will enchant you. A pleasant cruise with luxurious cruise ship M/S Viking Grace will bring you to Turku. You travel through a wonderful archipelago of tens of thousands of islands. The cruise starts in the afternoon and lasts five and half hours. You arrive at 20.00 o’clock in Turku, in the oldest city of Finland. From Turku harbour you have a nice ride along Aura River to the centre of Turku. Turku is the former capital of Finland and European Capital of Culture 2011. In the summer the city overflows with events and festivals with themes like tango, middle age, music, theatre, art, design and much more. Some of the main attractions are the cathedral, Turku Castle, Aurajoki riverside, market on the Market Square, Forum Marinum maritime centre and its museum ship fleet (including the full-rigger Suomen Joutsen), Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum, Turku Art Museum, Market Hall, Sibelius Museum and the magnificent Main Library. The river is the heart of the city. Walk along the Aura River medieval cobblestone streets and admire old sailing ships. There are many nice cafès and restaurants in the centre and by the riverside.
You can also choose to take a ship from Mariehamn to Stockholm.

Day 8

Departure

Departure or extension of your holiday.

8 days / 7 nights

(prices per person)

Basic price, double room occupancy

919 €

Price, single room

1418 €

Third or fourth person in room

729 €

Surcharge last night in Stockholm

50 €

Extra services

(Prices per room)

Extra night in Naantali, ☆☆☆ hotel, breakfast included

double / twin room

140 €

single room

120 €

triple room

155 €

family room / room for 4 persons

195 €

Extra night in Turku, ☆☆☆☆ hotel, breakfast included

double / twin room

140 €

single room

105 €

triple room

175 €

family room / room for 4 persons

190 €

Extra night in Helsinki (city centre), ☆☆☆☆ hotel, breakfast included

double / twin room

150 €

single room

120 €

triple room

175 €

family room / room for 4 persons

200 €

Extra night in Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (airport hotel), ☆☆☆☆ hotel, breakfast included

double / twin room

125 €

single room

95 €

triple room

140 €

family room / room for 4 persons

190 €

Extra night in Stockholm on request (ask price)

Veranatura bicycles

Included with the Veranatura bicycle:

  • Per each party: 1 x map holder, 1 x repair kit and 1 x pump
  • Per each person: 1 x waterproof pannier, 1 x bottle holder, 1 x odometer and 1 x spare inner tube

We recommend to take own personal helmet with.
Helmets can be borrowed from Veranatura with a notice fair in advance (possibly by the time of booking). Note that there are a limited number of helmets to borrow.

The bicycles are available from welcome meeting (Monday morning) to 7th day’s (Saturday) evening (if spending the last night in Stockholm, bicycles must be left to Mariehamn Saturday afternoon).

Extra days of bike use on request.

Trekking bicycle 21-24-speed

Women's model, free wheel, hand brakes

Price: 90 €

Veranatura bike, women's model

Trekking bicycle 21-24-speed

Men's model, free wheel, hand brakes

Price: 90 €

Veranatura bike, men's model

Electric bicycle

7-speed, low frame, freewheel, handbrakes

Price: 210 €

Veranatura e-bike

Extra day trekking bicycle

Price: 10 €

Extra day electric bicycle

Price: 35 €

Booking request form


Tour data

Cycling to the Åland Islands - - two archipelagos






Number of rooms*

Note that we cannot quarantee availability of double bed in every accommodation

A triple room or a double room with extra bed, depending on the accomodation






Extra services
Person responsible for booking

The invoices and the travel information package will be sent to the person responsible for the booking. All reports and changes after the booking must be communicated to us via the person responsible for the booking.




Once you have sent us this booking request we will check the availability of the requested tour. This takes normally 1 – 2 working days. If the requested tour is available, we will send you a booking confirmation. In case the tour is not available, we will contact you and we can look for other options together.