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FINLAND: CYCLING HOLIDAY ON THE ÅLAND ISLANDS

A self-guided and group cycle tour of 8 days / 7 nights

 

Finland, a fascinating land with an immense natural heritage, characterized by landscapes with thousands of lakes and dense forests, illuminated by a particular light, taking shades of wonderful and unique colours. This bike tour takes you to the archipelago of Åland, one of the most beautiful and picturesque tourist destinations of Finland. The archipelago, consisting of more than 6,500 islands and reefs on the Baltic Sea, was formed during the ice age. It is a perfect area for cycling, exploring ancient churches and stopping occasionally to some beach. Numerous bridges and ferries allow you to move easily from one island to another, the roads are mostly flat and there is little traffic. In this land of the midnight sun, because here in summertime it never sets, you can sample the delights of local food and drinks as the pancakes with cardamom and cream, lamb, asparagus, perch and not to forget the delicious sparkling apple cider, local beers and schnapps. You will not forget so easily the sunsets, the tranquillity, local delicacies, beautiful nature and the colours of these islands !!!

 

 

 

Highlights of this unforgettable cycling tour:

  • The historic town of Naantali

  • The small port of Peterzèns and Handicrafts village of Kustavi

  • The islands of Brändö

  • The ruins of the fortress of Bomarsund

  • The Kastelholm Castle

  • The outdoor museum of Jan Karlsgården

  • Mariehamn, the capital of the Åland Islands

  • Turku, the old capital of Finland and the European Capital of Culture 2011

 

Programme

Day 1

Arrival at Naantali
Individual arrival in Naantali, opportunity to visit the city, one of the oldest in Finland. It is worthwhile to visit the medieval church and the small harbour
.

 

Day 2

Naantali – Kustavi (30-53 km / 19-33 miles + ferry)
After breakfast you leave Naantali. Today, you pedal on the old Postal Route. In the far past Åland farmers were responsible for transporting the post and for providing horses, accommodation and food on the way of travellers. The post was to get through all through the year, no matter what the weather was like. You have stunning views of the sea, islands and will take the ferry to hop to the next island. The city of
Gustavi is very popular as a summer residence. The municipality is composed of about 2000 islands. In the end of the afternoon you can relax in the sauna.

 

Day 3

Kustavi - Brändö (41 km / 25 miles + cable ferry and 2 ferries)

Today there is the opportunity to visit the craft village of Gustavi, then back in the saddle once more you will leave the archipelago of Turku. With the ferry you will reach the Brändö islands where the value of life is to enjoy a magnificent sea and breathe every day a fresh sea breeze.

 

Day 4 

Brändö - Kastelholm/Godby (about 23 km / 14 miles  or 32 km / 20 miles)

Today is dedicated to a wonderful landscape and a surreal silence. You can visit the fortress of Bomarsund, one of the most interesting historical places of Åland. After the war of 1808-1809, Russia began with the construction of this important military structure, a point of defence against the Swedes. The fort was never finished, because in 1854 during the Crimean War, British and French troops blew it up. Today we see the remains of the fortress town of Gamla Skarpans and the two guard towers. The in the saddle again you continue to the Castle of Kastelholm, one of the five surviving Finnish medieval fortresses. It was built in the fourteenth century and it played a key role in the defence of the country.

 

Day 5 

Kastelholm/Godby - Havshidden (35 km/22 miles or 25 km / 15,5 miles)

Today you cycle through a characteristic rural landscape with apple tree plantations. As you approach the north, the scenery becomes more intact and wild. Before taking the route to Havshidden you can visit Getabergen, a popular viewpoint with a tower from which you have a great view over the thick green forests and blu sea. Havshidden is a special place at the edge of the island. There are red granite rocks, windswept pine trees and the blue sea creating a wonderful contrast in colours. At the end of this day some relax in the warm sauna and Jacuzzi alternated with a refreshing dive in the sea pool.

 

Day 6

Havsvidden – Marienhamn (47 km / 29 miles)

Today, in the saddle again you reach Mariehamn, the capital of the Åland Islands located on a peninsula. The town has two ports one on the east and one on the west coast. The city is named after Maria Alexandrovna, consort of the emperor Alexander II of Russia. The streets of Mariehamn invite you to take a nice stroll and you can also visit the museum ship, the Pommern, a four-masted sailing ship of 1903, which has been touring throughout the world. The boat is incredibly well preserved and you can get on board for a visit. 

 

Day 7 

Mariehamn – Turku (about 5 Km  / 3,1 miles + optional 7,5 or 23km / 5 or 14 miles)

After breakfast, you still have time to visit Marienhamn. In the afternoon you board on the cruise ship M/S Viking Grace that will take you in five and a half hours to Turku, the oldest city in Finland and the capital of culture 2011. From the port of Turku you pedal along the Aura River to the centre of the town, which is developed along the banks of the river Aurajoki at a short distance from the port. There is so much to see in Turku like the castle, which is home to the historical museum, the cathedral with three organs (XIII-XIV sec.), an Orthodox church, the contemporary art museum and a synagogue.

 

Day 8

Departure after breakfast or extra night in Turku 

 

 

 

 

 

The tour includes:

  • overnight stays in double rooms with breakfast

  • luggage transportation

  • clients assistance and customer recovery

  • Map, route instructions in Italiano and tour information

  • ticket for ferries (except on day 2)

  • ticket for the cruise ship M/S Viking Grace

  • sauna evening of 2nd day

  • sauna, swimming pool and Jacuzzi in Havshidden

  • for the group tour a English speaking Finnish guide.

 

The tour doesn't include:

  • journey to / from Finland

  • lunch and evening meals

  • ferry boat ticket on day 2

  • drinks during meals

  • personal extra's

  • everything not mentioned under ' the tour includes'

 

 

Period

every Sunday from 25/06 till 12/08

Level 2

2 / medium You cycle in a mixed light hilly and flat landscape with daily distances between 28 and 53 km (14 and 33 miles): total distance about 170km / 105,5 miles. Some short steeper hills. You cycle along quiet country roads and cycle paths. Not suitable for children under 12 years old

Participants

minimum 2 persons ( single traveller on request)

Price p.p 2017

In double room     € 885,00 p.p.

In single room    € 1.120,00

3rd person in triple    € 615,00

Bike rental € 90,00 

ebike  € 210,00