Åland 101

Sitting at the entrance to both the Gulf of Bothnia and Baltic Sea, Åland is the smallest of all regions in Finland and has the unique feature of being self governed. Interesting this archipelago is also without military and has a predominantly Swedish speaking population, while Åland has a strong economy and just enough about it to attract tourists when the weather is favorable. Although these islands might appear as sleepy or largely unassuming, the economy in Åland has experienced frantic growth in recent decades with shipping and trading being the most prominent forms of employment. In fact, International shipping accounts for almost half of the regions income with the rest being attributed to fishing, farming and a small number of tech companies. Only sixty of more than six thousand islands are inhabited in the archipelago and the locals are renowned for offering a warm welcome and experience to the traveller. Naturally fishing is a popular pastime but the islands also offer a wide range of activities such as golfing, cycling and many trails for hiking. Isolated and unspoiled, the scenery is indeed stunning to witness and several ferry companies in Åland make it easy for the visitor to change from one island to the next with ease. It must be pointed out that another highlight of these islands is the above mentioned scenery, for the rugged coastline and extremely fertile land is complimentary of the wide expanse of ocean which surrounds every pocket of the region. And then there is the nightly entertainment and local cuisine, for Åland is often the location for many cultural events in the summer months and has a number of interesting venues to sample fine wines and world class food. Whether you decided on hemvete, a traditional Åland bread, for breakfast or a fish chowder for lunch, a delicate serving of whitefish roar for dinner or a mouth watering tart produced with fresh local produce, the food in Åland never fails to delight the visitors who arrive each year. Many attractions wait in the stunning archipelago and regardless of whether you come to work, to enjoy the food or take to adventure surrounded by natural scenery, Åland is a small pocket of Finland infused with many big experiences.