Once our ferry took off from Hummelvik harbor and it was time to leave the main island of Åland behind, I was not convinced at all that Åland would be the place I’d speak highly of after our trip. Mariehamn was mainly a disappointment and despite the few nice spots on the main island, it just did not win me over. I was actually rather convinced that I’d not be visiting Åland again anytime soon. So, as we headed off, I was somewhat annoyed that we were actually going to spend yet another night on the islands, this time, on an even smaller island in Brändö. Why, oh why couldn’t we just continue our trip straight to the mainland? (I’ll tell you why on the next post).
Brändö is a part of Åland, a municipality consisting of around 1,000 little islands in between the main island of Åland and the mainland of Finland. For visitors, there is only a handful of options for accommodation, mainly modest guesthouses and camping areas. The most popular one is probably Gullvivan on the main island of Brändö and that was where we wanted to stay as well. However, Gullvivan ended up being fully booked during our stay so we had to find another place. And I truly am happy we did. After browsing through the options, we ended up staying at a smaller island called Lappo, just next to the main island of Brändö.
On the island, there is only one place offering accommodation – Pellas Guesthouse. Set up on old village school premises, the guest house is located only 500m from the ferry pier. The red wooden building, together with some smaller cabins that are spread around the yards, Pellas provides a rather idyllic place for a perfect getaway in the comfort and quietness of a small island. There is only a handful of people on the island and barely no cars. If you want a place where there is absolutely no distraction, consider going to Lappo for a short break. It is truly a place where you can get away from it all.
Pellas Guesthouse offers some 10 rooms and a few cabins, but we did see only one couple while we were there. The yard is quiet and I just loved to spend the time there, sitting outside, listening to the wind and just relaxing. Somehow the time seemed to have stopped there and it was easy to leave all the worries behind, sit back and enjoy the atmosphere. There are no TV’s in the rooms, but a decent complimentary WiFi is included so you do not need to be totally isolated from everything, unless you want to. They even have a handful of bikes for guests to use freely. A little bike tour around the island is another way to lose the stress. The island is just beautiful – Finnish archipelago at its best. I felt like I should’ve stopped every other minute to snap a photo of the scenery. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to capture the scenery in the pictures, you have to see it yourself to fully understand the charm of the island.
As the sun was shining over the fields, the dragonflies were flying around you, the sea was glimmering in sunshine and the wind was gently breezing over the grass, it was just so easy to forget everything else and just enjoy the moment as you were cycling along the narrow roads of the tiny island.
There is also a little guest harbor on the island, together with a small restaurant and a store. After touring the island with bikes, it was nice to grab a few drinks from the store, sit down next to the pier, just looking at the sea, when the waves were glimmering in the sun and the birds were flying around. For once, it was actually rather nice that there was basically nothing to do, nothing to see. All you could do is sit back and enjoy the lovely summer day.
The whole island is rather peaceful and we did see only a handful of people during our visit. Therefore it is rather natural that even the restaurant has limited opening hours – from 6pm till 8pm. The restaurant might not be one of those high-end, fancy ones where you get the ultimate dinners, but the service is nice and the prices moderate. Kind of like the whole island – nothing fancy, but so friendly and kind of lyric. Once the restaurant closes at 8pm, there is absolutely nothing else to do on the island but to have a nice evening walk, or go back to the guesthouse. As the weather was turning dark when we left the restaurant, for us, it was an easy choice on what to do – back to the guesthouse.
As we set off the next morning and continued our journey towards the mainland, I felt extremely happy. Lappo was a truly positive surprise. This idyllic little island offered us one of the most extraordinary stays on our trip and it was everything I had hoped from our trip to Åland. This tiny little island is filled with beautiful scenery, peace and quietness. It is just the ideal place where you can forget all your worries and just enjoy the peacefulness. I truly think we could not have found a better place than Lappo to stay in Åland.