Åland is an autonomous and demilitarised island province situated in the middle of the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden. The Åland archipelago is unique, consisting of more than 6,500 islands and skerries, most of which are uninhabited.
There are a total of 26,700 people living in Åland in 16 different municipalities. Of them some 10,800 live in the only town in Åland, Mariehamn. The town was founded in 1861 and is today the centre for industry and politics. Here is also located the Åland Government, called "Landskapsregering".
The most important industries in Åland are shipping, trade, banking, farming and the food industry. Shipping has always been especially important for Åland and no other industry has had such influence on the population.
The varied Åland scenery is a display of pine forests, deciduous forest groves, beautiful meadows and barren cliffs. Large parts of the archipelago consist of untouched nature with picturesquely rounded rocks and windswept cliffs. From the end of April until August, the Åland meadows and groves bloom with an ever changing floral splendour.
Distinctive for Åland is also the midsummer poles with their colourful ornaments and the old-fashioned windmills.
The first Åland stamps saw the light of day on 1st March 1984. Public interest on the first day of issue was enormous; orders from abroad literally poured in, and the Ålanders themselves turned out to a man to get ahold of their much-awaited stamps. Today, the stamps are an essential part of the Åland identity. More than 10 % of the Åland population has a standing subscription order for stamps, an unparalleled percentage from an international point of view. Together with the Åland flag, our stamps promote Åland every day as a culture bearer and guide in our relations to other parts of the world.
Åland in brief
- Inhabitants: 26,700
- Language: Swedish
- Currency: Euro € is the official currency but most service spots also accept Swedish crowns.
- Time: Eastern European time
- Total area: 6,787 km2
- A total of more than 6,500 island of which 65 are inhabited