In the northern part of the Åland Islands is the island of Simskäla. The island is split into a western and an eastern part that is just connected with a small isthmus. The Swedish names, Västra Simskäla and Östra Simskäla, are based on their location and translated to Western Simskäla and Eastern Simskäla. On the western part of the island is what we call the Västra Simskäla Wharf. We have not been able to find an official name. Either way, this is a place of tranquility and peacefulness.
The Island of Simskäla
The Island of Simskäla is a part of the Vårdö Municipality. The island is connected with the main island of the municipality with a cable ferry. Simskäla and its surroundings are known by some from the books of the local writer Anni Blomqvist.
The island has been inhabited for centuries and the island’s large families eventually inhabited several of the smaller islands and islets in the area. Simskäla was at one time one of the population centers of Vårdö. However, today it is the home to 25 people year-round, but plenty more stay here during the summer months.
Västra Simskäla Wharf
At the end of the main road through the island is a small marina. It is located on the western part of the island, which is why we will call it Västra Simskäla Wharf. Here you find not only old boathouses but also cliffs with a great view out over the sea.
Once you arrive at Västra Simskäla Wharf, you will most likely look for something else than a boat ride. Instead, it is the tranquility and the setting that will make the biggest impression. Being so far from larger population centers it is one of the more isolated, but still easy to reach, places on the Åland Islands.
One thing is for sure, once you have reached Västra Simskäla Wharf, then you have either reached the beginning or the end of the road. Depending, of course, on whether it is your starting point or your destination.
Finding Your Way
If driving (or cycling) from Mariehamn you just need to follow road 2 north. The road will take you to Prästö and the cable ferry to Vårdö. Then you just continue along the main road, take a left turn at the Vårdö Church and continue all the way to the next cable ferry at Norra Sandö Ferry Slip. This ferry takes you to Östra Simskäla, from where you just need continue along the main road until you reach its end.
Looking for more sights on the Åland Islands?
Check out our Åland Islands Guide >>