- Not to be confused with Ekerö, the archipelago in Swedish lake Mälaren.
The medieval Eckerö church was built between 1380 and 1420, and it was mentioned for the first time as a chapel under Hammarland parish in a manuscript from 1427. The area has been permanently inhabited at least since the iron age but there are some stone age grave sites as well. Eckerö is located on its own island, which is separated from the Åland main island by the narrow Marsund strait. There is a bridge over the strait, making Eckerö officially part of "mainland Åland".
When the Kingdom of Sweden established its postal service in 1630, Eckerö became an important hub, as the dangerous sea voyage across the Baltic sea was shortest between the villages Grisslehamn and Eckerö – a route that is still in everyday use. Carrying mail across the sea soon became the main business for the locals. When Finland was annexed into the Russian Empire, a mail and customs office was built. The building was designed by the famous architects Carl Ludvig Engel and Charles Bassi. Compared to the surrounding village the building is hilariously oversize, as one of its most important functions was to show the power and wealth of the Russian Empire to the west.
Eckerö has 950 residents out of which about 400 live in the biggest village, called Storby. Most services and sights are in Storby, but the administrative centre is the tiny village Österby. The population trend in the municipality is slightly positive. The municipality has its own kindergarten and lower elementary school (grades 1–6).
Being actually the fourth busiest international passenger harbour in Finland, tourism is a major source of income here. Eckerö is also one of the sunniest places in the whole Nordic making the municipality a very popular destination – especially for the Ålanders themselves. Having several restaurants, hotels, camping areas, beaches etc. Eckerö is one of those few places outside Mariehamn having well developed resources for tourism.
Although inside the Schengen area passengers arriving to Åland exit the EU customs area. Notice the local customs regulations!
By bus from Mariehamn, line 1, 35-40 minutes, price €4.50 (in 2020).
Ålands hav, the sea between Eckerö and Sweden, is narrow enough for nearly any vessel on a nice day.
By Eckerö Line from Grisslehamn, Norrtälje. The shortest and cheapest ferry route from Sweden to Åland, two hours (note time zone and currency change) two to three times daily (€5 for an adult, €10 for a car). The ferry arrives to 1 Berghamn ferry harbour.
- Sefyr. Boat taxi, sail safaris and tours to Märket or Signilskär. €170/hr, max 10 persons; longer tours by agreement.
- 1 Eckerö Mail and Customs House (Eckerö post- och tullhus), Sandmovägen 111 (Eckerö), ☏ , email@example.com. daily 10:00-18:00. A historical building that served as a mail and customs office. Built 1828 it is considered as one of the most impressive works of its architects Ludvig Engel and Carlo Bassi, and together with the Bomarsund fortress as most important buildings from the Russian era in Åland. It is hugely oversize for the village, as it was built as a symbol of the Russian Empire at the main mail route to Sweden. Art exhibition indoors and a small museum shop; the building also hosts artists in residence. Café at the yard. Open mid-May to early September. Postmen memorial by the sea. free.
- 2 Åland hunting and fishing museum (Ålands jakt- och fiskemuseum), Fiskeläge 37 (Käringsund; 800-m nature trail from the Eckerölinjen jetty at Berghamn), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:00–17:00. Museum about everyday life on the fishing villages as well as hunters and fishermen in Åland. Exhibition has extensive collection of fishing and hunting equipment. Trophies. Small library. Museum shop with souvenirs. Open mid-May to the end of August. The old fishing harbour and its boat shelters right next to the museum is also worth taking a look. Adults €7, children 7-17 years old €5, children under 6 years old free; Finnish Museum Card valid.
In summer this is almost a beach resort for Ålanders and has a holiday feeling, and a traditional beach style atmosphere. Tip: hire a canoe and paddle to some islands.
- 1 Game safari (Käringsunds Viltsafari), Gamla Käringsundsvägen 36 (the tour starts at the Hunting & Fishing Museum), ☏ , email@example.com. A game safari zoo, 45-min tour available. Game pasture with red deer, fallow deer, wild boar, ostriches and llamas. Also accommodation and boat trips. €10/7/5; rooms €60; cottages €120–750/night.
- 2 Märket lighthouse. Jun–Aug: Tu–Th 09:00 or by request. The world's smallest sea island with an international border (3.3 ha, 8.2 acres), divided between Sweden and Finland. Once the westernmost point of the Russian Empire, the tiny skerry is the site of a lighthouse and a separate DXCC entity. Trips of 4–5 hours (one hour each way) arranged by Sefyr from the Käringsund guest harbour. Guided tour, coffee and seal watching. Proper clothes and footwear needed. Cancelled in bad weather or if less than 6 customers (unless specially arranged). €70/person (including transportation, guidance and coffee).
Restaurants at most accommodations. See Sleep below.
- 1 Guest harbour (Käringsunds gästhamn), Fiskeläget, Gamla Käringsundsvägen, ☏ . Full service guest harbour. Restaurant. Open May–August. €25/35 (less/more than 41 feet).
- 2 Käringsund Resort & Conference, Käringsundsvägen 194, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Cottages and camping. Restaurant. Cottages about €100–450/night.
- 3 Eckerö hotell & restaurang, Käringsundsvägen 53, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Hotel and restaurant. from €105/115/night (off/in season).
- 4 Käringsunds camping, Käringsundsvägen 147, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Open 14 June–14 August caravan €30, tent €18, cottage €65, sauna €15.
Postal code: AX-22270 Eckerö
- Mariehamn, the capital and only town on Åland.