Take in the splendor of a unique Nordic getaway in the 26,000 sea-swept skerries and islands of the Aland Archipelago. This autonomous region of Finland has a large Swedish population, and the mixture of the two cultures gives the Aland Islands a particular feel that makes it a delightful place to visit.
Make the Aland Islands your next holiday destination and enjoy a relaxing synergy of nature and culture. But before you go, be sure you're a prepared traveler and purchase
travel medical insurance or
Read on to learn more about this amazing island destination, and how to make sure you're covered.
Things to Do For Travelers in Aland Islands
The Aland Islands offer the perfect mix of Nordic culture and stunning natural beauty. Here are five must-do attractions for your trip.
Explore the Ruins of Bomarsund Fästningsruin
This fortress complex was built by the Russians and destroyed by French-British naval forces in the Crimean War of 1854. The ruins now stand against the rolling sea around them and offer a peek into the Islands' complex history.
The Islands' empty roads and numerous mountain trails delight hiking and biking enthusiasts. Weave through wide roads right by the ocean, or follow an unmarked trail into the heart of a hidden cove. The possibilities are endless. The best way to explore the islands is by bike, so we suggest renting one as soon as you arrive.
Relax in a Traditional Sauna
Book yourself a slot at Marienbad Sauna, and just kick back and relax. Let the heated pools and sauna rooms work their magic and relieve you of any stress. There are very few places where you can experience this unique Nordic-style pastime, so make sure that you don't miss it on your trip.
Your Own Private Island
Does vacationing on a private island sound too good to be true? Well, you're in for surprise. A number of the small islands and skerries that make up the Aland Islands are available to rent, starting as low as $180 per night for four individuals. Having an island all to yourself is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and comes with serious bragging rights.
The Quaint Beauty of Mariehamn
Mariehamn, the Aland Islands' capital city, is really just a small village with the loveliest little cafes and shops. Visit the town for spellbinding views of the harbor, some authentic fishing trips, and a typical Swedish Fika. It is also famous for its Stallhagen Microbrewery that serves delicious beer and seafood.
Although the Aland Islands are just south of Finland, the climate is roughly the same as it is on the mainland. Summers are windy and mild, and winters are even windier and cold. Temperatures from December to February can go as low as -5°C to -20°C (23°F to -4°F). For the most pleasant weather conditions, plan your visit for between June and September.
Most all trips to the Aland Islands begin in Mariehamn. The most economical way to reach Mariehamn is via ferry. However, ferry operations are subject to weather and sea conditions. Another option is air travel. There are connections to Mariehamn from Stockholm, Turku and Helsinki.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Aland Islands
Skiing and Skating Risks
The icy slopes and frozen lakes on the islands are fantastic for skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating in the winter. However, beginners and amateurs must be extremely careful since these activities can cause injuries and accidents.
Watch Out for Ticks
If you're spending time outdoors in the Aland Islands, ticks can be a real problem. It's always best to apply bug spray generously before venturing out.
Because of the large volume of locals and tourists hopping between islands, the ferry system is well-managed. However, rough weather conditions are unpredictable and can lead to unavoidable delays or cancellations of ferries and cruise trips. Be sure to leave time in your itinerary for possible delays.
Aland Islands Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Any trip abroad comes with inherent risks. When you're exploring, hiking, sightseeing and eating new food, the possibility of needing unexpected medical treatment can increase. To be prepared for unforeseen travel risks, add travel medical insurance to your trip-planning checklist.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Aland Islands?
If you require a Schengen visa to enter Finland, it is compulsory for you to have insurance that meets Schengen requirements including medical coverage of at least €30,000 and coverage for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.
Even if you don't require a Schengen visa, the Aland Islands tourism department strongly recommends that all visitors have sufficient health insurance coverage during their time on the archipelago. In some cases, you may need to furnish proof of having medical insurance for getting an entry permit into the region.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Aland Islands?
There are thousands of islands in the archipelago and very few hospitals in Mariehamn. If you suffer an accident or have a medical emergency, you may need to be evacuated to a bigger facility in a neighboring country. Of course, this is extremely expensive and could result in massive bills you'd be solely responsible for.
Fortunately, this is why travel medical insurance exists. It can protect you against large medical bills should you need hospitalization or medical treatment while in the Aland Islands. With the right coverage, a medical emergency won't destroy your finances.
Aland Islands Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
To vacation in the Aland Islands, there is a fair amount of planning involved. You'll likely need to book several flights, possibly a ferry trip, and due to limited accommodations, book your hotel and activity reservations far in advance. If your trip were to suddenly need to be canceled, you could be on the hook for all those nonrefundable trip costs. This is why trip cancellation insurance is so important.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for the Aland Islands?
When the only way to reach some parts of the Aland Islands is by a ferry through the choppy seas, you can bet that some trips invariably will be delayed or canceled due to bad weather. If this happens with your reservations, you might lose the nonrefundable costs of your ticket.
With trip cancellation insurance, you can receive compensation for your canceled tickets, as well as any other related bookings outlined in your policy. Think of it as a financial safety net for when things on your trip don't go as you have planned them.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for the Aland Islands?
The scope of trip cancellation insurance coverage depends from policy to policy. Some plans cover trip cancellation due to illness, injury, weather or world events. Others even offer the ability to cancel for any reason.
When considering buying travel insurance, here are some of the coverages you may consider:
Be sure to study the policies available to you thoroughly. That way, you can understand exactly what's covered and make an informed decision.
Before You Travel to Aland Islands - Do This
Pack for the weather. Strong winds affect the islands throughout the year. Make sure to pack a jacket, or even windbreaker if you visit in the summer.
Check your documents. Double-check to ensure that you have valid documentation for your trip (visa, health ID card, driver's license, etc.)
Get insured. Buy the appropriate
travel medical insurance or
for your trip, and vacation with confidence.