During our Midsummer weekend, we decided to spend a few hours in the archipelago. The island we opted for was picturesque Föglö in the southern part of Åland.
Fun Facts About Föglö
Let’s start with the fun facts. There are 15 municipalities + 1 town on the Åland Islands. Föglö – with its approximately 560 inhabitants – is one of these municipalities. The island was first mentioned in a Danish map in the 13th century. The Danes had named the harbor Fyghelde. This name later became Fögel. All these names refer to birds. And yes, there are plenty of birds on Föglö. There are also fish – so much indeed that fishery is the most important industry.
I say island, but Föglö is actually a group of islands and skerries. Roads and bridges connect the different parts. The nature is very peaceful – in June you can expect a lot of flowers, green fields, lush forests and water ever so close.
The island is Swedish-speaking only. It’s probably most known for the Föglö Wreck, or more fancily the The Champagne Schooner. Little is known about the 19th-century two-masted ship. In 2010 the world could read about the discovery of the world’s oldest drinkable champagne. There was some beer on board too! Who would have thought that a sleepy island in the Åland archipelago could be so fancy?
One Day In Föglö
What does a day in the archipelago look like? Well, first one has to get there. The only way to reach Föglö is by ferry from either Lumparland on the mainland or another island, Kumlinge. The journey from the mainland takes only 30 minutes. In case you have a car a return ticket will cost you 22 €. A bicycle costs 4 – 6 €. The service is frequent.
Actually it’s a good idea to go by bike. The island is fairly flat and there are plenty of places for taking a break. We traveled by car.
The ferry arrives in Degerby – the main village of Föglö. Here one can admire old wooden houses and captain villas. This is also the place where you will find nice restaurants, a museum, the tourist information, and all other necessary services.
After a walk around Degerby, we continued towards the island of Getö and Hastersboda. On the way we bumped into a couple of midsummer poles and of course we had to take some photos. Here, at what seems to be at the end of the world, visitors can try out the nature trail that offers a beautiful pine forest or have a picnic on the cliffs.
The sun warmed us that day and we felt a sudden impulse to enjoy some sunshine on the beach. So, before returning home we only paid a quick visit to the Maria Magdalena church. It is a stone church. The oldest parts of the church date back to the 14th century.
3 Things To Try In Föglö
- The Åland Pancake. You can try this traditional pancake anywhere on Åland, but why not here? This archipelago dessert is filled with semolina or rice pudding and it’s topped with whipped cream and jam. Delicious is our verdict.
- Cycling. We took the car but a bicycle would have been even better. You will enjoy a lot of fresh air and hidden gems. Bring a bike, bring a tent, bring it on! And have a bath in the Baltic Sea! (Just remember: the right of public access is limited, so you might want to look for other types of accommodation). You can rent a bike on the island.
- Paddling. It goes without saying that a place like Föglö offers a lot of ways to experience nature. Paddling is one of them.
Föglö makes a delightful day trip. In case you are looking for some time to be alone with nature and your own thoughts, then it could be a good place to stay for a little longer.