Forests, Ferries and glassy Sea.
Fair Weather Cyclist
- 8 Days / 7 Nights
- Self-guided tour
Arrival in 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.
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 ones 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.
Today you leave the Turku Archipelago and travel with ferry to the Brändö Islands, the north most 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.
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 ofÅland- and Nordic cuisine with distillery and shop, and the local small brewery Stallhagen.
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 seapool and comfortable jacuzzi.
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.
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 book a ferry from Mariehamn to Stockholm, the rental bikes (if booked) will stay in Mariehamn.
The profil of the route is partly flat till slightly hilly The gentle hills and bright woods absolutely put out the biggest charm of the idillic secenery. Some bridge drives are more precipitous. The most time you are cycling on quiet side streets and bicycle ways.
Category: typical middle class hotels and guesthouses, in Kustavi shower and toilet beyond the room
- Accommodation as already mentioned
- Lagguage transfer between the hotels
- Detailed travel documents
- Ferry tickets
- Cruise ticket Marienhamm – Turku or Mariehamn - Stockholm
- Sauna in Kustavi
- Sauna, pool an Jacuzzis in Havsvidden
- Service hotline
Arrival / parking / departure
- Turku oder Helsinki airport
- Turku central train station
- Free parking at the hotel or close to the hotel
- minimum of participant: 2 people
- On day 7 it is possible to book a ferry to Stockholm and an over night in Stockholm instead of the night in Turku, surcharge €55,- per person