Jurmo is the name of a lovely town located on one of the many islands in Brändö, an island municipality of Åland, Finland. The town has an official population of 25 amazing people and you probably going to meet all of them.
There may be no street lights, but nature is glorious, and you can find many hairy emo cows, as seen some of the pictures below.
We spent 24 hours in Jurmo in June 2015, and we had such a fantastic time that we decided to write an article just about this small island north of Åland. Since it is not that easy to find information about how to get there, we are going to start with this part.
To get to Jurmo, you must either go by car+ferry+bus or taxi+boat from Mariehamn. Or you can just go by the Turku Archipelago. And please, pay attention now: There is another island inside the Turku Archipelago that is named Jurmo as well. The Jurmo we are referring to in this post is the one in Brändö.
We arrived in Jurmo via the combo car, ferry, and bus. We took the longest and most complicated route just to prove that it is doable and 100% worth it. The journey is long, but it is so pleasant that you don’t even mind the number of hours that pass. The ferries have fast and free wifi, restaurants, and spectacular landscapes, making it easier to enjoy the three-hour-long journey there.
But you want to know about Jurmo, right?
The first thing we saw once we noticed once we reached the beautiful town was the rainbow of colors: red, yellow, blue and green are the predominant colors you’ll see thanks to its amazingly clear water; tall, precious trees; and the houses painted in vivid yellow or cherry red.
It was there that we met Kaj, our lovely guide in Jurmo. He is the guy to contact if you want to explore Jurmo the way it should be explored. Some even say that he is the Jurmo version of Crocodile Dundee. We agree. No doubt about that.
He’s a bit of everything: fisherman, tour guide, boat builder, photographer, hunter, cat-owner, Nokia-phone-collector, and a cottage owner. Kaj is simply remarkable! You can contact him on his Facebook here: Valkommen Till Jurmo (Swedish for Welcome to Jurmo, obviously).
We spent 24 hours in Jurmo and it wasn’t enough. Jurmo is small, has less than 30 people living on it, only 1-2 restaurants but there are so many activities to partake in and things to see around the island. We were really sad to leave. Next time, we need to schedule more time, it is worth it.
When you contact Kaj, tell him that you want to do the following:
Go fishing in Jurmo with Kaj
First of all, let me warn you about something: bring a jacket, pants, gloves and everything that is warm! He is immune to cold weather but you’re not. And the boat ride sometimes can be more than 30 minutes and Jurmo knows no summer (at least for Brazilian standards).
Kaj brought us to this remote island north of Jurmo and it was great to see him setting up the net and catching some fish. We even ate those fishes later!
See the sunset on his private island
It is the most beautiful sunset you can imagine! Take your camera with you! Please do not forget your camera! We’ve experienced several beautiful sunsets while in Finland, but this one in Jurmo was above all others.
Let me convince you in images that speak louder than words:
Tell Kaj you’ll die if you don’t try his Jurmo Sushi
I’m not telling you what it is exactly, but I’ll cut my leg off if you don’t agree that it is one of the best fish you have ever tasted. No joke! It was the best fish we had in Jurmo and definitely the best fish we have ever eaten in Finland.
But this Jurmo Sushi is not proper sushi. The story goes that, a few years ago, a few Japanese people went to Jurmo to enjoy nature and Kaj was taking them around. One of them really enjoyed the fresh fishes and asked if he could make some sushi. Kaj tried it out and thought that he could improve the sushi and decided to make his own.
This is now the Jurmo Sushi and we cannot tell you how it is done!
See the emo cows
Can life be any better than spending hours with cute and friendly animals? NO! They even demand to be pet!
We are not sure if they like to be called Emo Cows but this is what we thought about when we saw them. They are Highland Cattle, a Scottish cattle breed that comes with long horns and long wavy coats. They are calm and nice with everybody and you need to pet them or else they will stare you with their emo eyes.
The only place you can see Highland Cattle in Åland is in Jurmo.
This is the list of things you must do with Kaj, but he will probably have more surprises for you. And this is the proper list of what to do without Kaj!
Go see Jurmo from its highest point
In the middle of Jurmo, there is a wooden tower that you can climb to see the entire island from above. Just do it! It is easy to spot from anywhere and super uncomplicated to get to. It is only three floors up. You’ll have the most amazing, panoramic view of Jurmo and its surroundings.
Go try the food in Jurmo’s restaurant
The name of this fantastic place is Butik & Cafe Kvarnen and they have the Jurmo Burger, something you really need to try. You can also order small fish deep fried and many more options. I can’t really tell you which one was the best. Besides, it is somewhat funny to spend a few minutes on a meal and get to know the whole town at once!
The beers to order are from Stallhagen, of course. The official beer from Aland Island and they also have wine and much more.
Go out and explore Jurmo
Jurmo is on a small island, how lost can you get? Go out. Go for a walk. Explore. See all of the houses. Pet all the dogs. Say hello to all of the emo cows. Swing on the many beaches. Check out all of the fields…
In front of Jurmo’s hostel, there’s a place to rent bikes! There you will also find the supermarket, the restaurant and the local bar of Jurmo. Everything is really close in this small island.
We went to Jurmo in June so there was no night whatsoever, I can only imagine how magical the winter is! There are no street lights and everybody that we met told us the same thing:
Why do you need light if you have the white snow and the bright sky?
We’re real believers that Jurmo is one of the best spots for sky photography! Who wants to join us next winter?
Have a great and comfortable stay in Jurmo’s hostel
The beds are super comfortable, there’s internet and you can meet all the other people that are visiting Jurmo!
Unfortunately there’s no website or anything online in English about this hostel, the best way is to contact this page on facebook or this email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask for their help. Jurmo is so remote that even the internet does not know about it!Fotostrasse went to Jurmo thanks to Viking Line, Finnair, Visit Finland and Visit Aland and it was great.