The Åland Islands form an archipelago in the Baltic Sea. They are situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia and form an autonomous, demilitarised, monolingual Swedish-speaking region of Finland.
Åland comprises Fasta Åland (the Main Island, with 90% of the population); together with an archipelago to the east that comprises over 6,500 skerries and islands. Åland is separated from the coast of Sweden by 38 kilometers (24 miles) of open water to the west. In the east, the Åland archipelago is contiguous with the Finnish Archipelago Sea.
The special Åland nature has an abundance of variation alternating between the bare rocks of the outer archipelago, coniferous forests and groves of deciduous trees and fertile farmlands on main Åland. There are about 40 nature reserves in Åland.
Åland’s autonomy gives it the right to pass laws in areas relating to the internal affairs of the region and to exercise its own budgetary power. Åland’s legislature, its parliament, is known as Lagtinget. The Parliament appoints the regional Åland Government, Landskapsregeringen.