Gersholm is a small islet in Vårdö Municipality. The islet is connected to the neighboring island Töftö via a bridge and to the island of Lövö with a road embankment. This is where you find the first proper rest area after entering Vårdö Municipality.
Gersholm Rest Area
Vårdö is one of sixteen municipalities on the Åland Islands. Back in the olden days, the post route road from Stockholm to Turku went through Vårdö. The name means “guardian island”.
The Gersholm Rest Area is a perfect stop for anyone who wants to find a comfortable place to enjoy a rest with a great view. The large parking lot includes space for several cars, caravans, or campers. Add to that a few picnic tables that offer a view of the bridge Vårdöbro, the neighboring island of Töftö as well as of the Grundsunda fjärden, the open waters between the surrounding islands.
The 1918 Memorial
The Finnish Civil War in 1918 did not spare the Åland Islands. The transition from being a part of Russia to being an independent nation turned into a bloody conflict between White Finland and the Finnish Socialist Worker’s Republic. The memorial at Gersholm is for the training and the armament of the archipelago’s white guard unit, “Skärgårdens Frikår” in Swedish, by a German naval unit. This white guard unit would later liberate the town of Turku.
Finding Gersholm Rest Area
Gersholm Rest Area is located along the road Vårdövägen. When driving from Mariehamn, continue all the way to the end of road 2. From here you need to take the car ferry from the island of Prästö to the island of Töftö. Then it is just to drive across the island of Töftö until you reach the bridge that will take you across to the islet of Gersholm, where the rest area will be hard to miss.
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