Rödhamn is a harbor on the outskirts of the Åland Archipelago. The guest harbor is on the island of Långö, with the islands of Gloskär and Rödö right next door. It is a popular destination for many boat visitors to the Åland Islands during the summertime. Don’t be surprised if you see German or even French-flagged ships. Most flags will, however, be from Finland, Sweden, or the Åland Islands.
We recently visited Rödhamn on a hot summer day. Our 4-year-old enjoyed both the boat ride as well as swimming at the small beach. She even seemed quite happy to explore the center of the island on foot. We only had to keep an eye on her not to get too close to any of the cliffs. That was especially true close to the museum and at the harbor.
Seafarers have for centuries used Rödhamn as a protected harbor where it’s possible to safely spend the night. It has been a location for seafarers to socialize and its history includes many drunken disputes. The island of Långö has been home to both maritime pilots and to lighthouse operators.
The Island of Långö became the home of the maritime pilots in the 1820s and it served as a pilot station for over a century. The old pilothouse is no longer standing but it has been replaced by a replica. These maritime pilots probably witnessed the passenger ferry Skiftet when she hit a mine and sank in 1916.
The pilots left the islands in 1928 and it was repurposed in 1937 with the building of a radio beacon. The beacon was in operation until 1970 and its building is nowadays the Rödhamn Museum.
If you want to read more about Rödhamn, visit Åländska Segelsällskapet >>
Rödhamn Guest Harbor
The guest harbor at Rödhamn includes space for around 60 boats. Here you can find most of what is needed for a successful day trip to the archipelago. In addition to the docks, there is a small beach and a café. Activities are not limited to swimming or sipping a cup of coffee. The small island has a few more places to explore, and a short hike across it is one of the possibilities.
Just a short walk from the guest harbor is the Rödhamn Museum. It is housed in the small building that was once the beacon’s engine house. The radio beacon used radio signals to guide the ships at sea. The signals were a more reliable navigational tool than the older lighthouses. The museum tells the story of the radio beacon and exhibits the technical equipment from the 1930s.
How to Get There
Rödhamn is located around 10 nautical miles from Mariehamn and you must have a boat to access it. For visitors to the Åland islands without their own vessel, it might require some time to locate a tour company that does excursions to the island.
Looking for more sights on the Åland Islands?
Check out our Åland Islands Guide >>