• Sweden edition
 
SPONSORED ARTICLE
Gotland & Öland - Singular beauty at sea

Gotland & Öland - Singular beauty at sea

Published: 10 Jun 2011 15:07 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Jun 2011 15:07 GMT+02:00

Gotland and Öland, the two large islands outside Sweden´s east coast, are both exclusive destinations of unique scenic beauty and rare atmosphere, popular among Swedish holiday-makers but less known by international tourists. Both islands are among Sweden's oldest settlements, with some of the country´s oldest and most fascinating historical sights.

In Gotland, set in the middle of the Baltic Sea, the traveller arrives by boat (a two and a half hour trip with the fastest ferry) or by air at the uniquely picturesque Medieval town of Visby, with its city wall, winding cobblestone streets and alleys and its large number of ancient stone and wooden houses, churches and ruins.

The town´s singular appearance bears witness to its history as one of the Hanseatic League's main trading hubs during the Middle Ages. All of Visby and its city wall is included in Unesco´s World Heritage List as a unique historical site. During the summer season, Visby is a party town bustling with energy, while the autumn, winter and spring seasons offer peace, quiet and a unique poetic atmosphere.

From Visby, you can choose to travel by car or bicycle to a large number of interesting sites and attractions spread out across the island. Distances are short, and you can experience much in just a weekend or even a day. For natural scenery, all of Gotland is a treasure trove. Perhaps most spectacular is the southern cape, named Sudret, with its rocky coasts and barren, highly scenic landscape crisscrossed by ancient stone fences and dotted with windmills.

The landmark Hoburgen rock on the southern cape is spectacular bird watching spot attracting large numbers of ornothologists in spring and autumn. A somewhat similar, even more barren and storm-tormented landscape is found in the small island of Fårö, north of Gotland.

The meagre magnificence and magic light of this island will be familiar to all lovers of Ingmar Bergman films. The master director has long had his beloved home here, and has also shot legendary footage on the island. In 2006, a Bergman festival was held for the first time in Fårö, honoured by the presence of the subject himself, and by several international celebrity guests. The small-scale festival was a success, and is destined to become an annual event.

All along the Gotland coastline, there are many attractive beaches, rocky cliff areas and secluded spots for swimming and sunbathing in the summer, and for meditative walks in autumn, winter and spring. In many places along the waterfront, particularly in Sudret and on Fårö, you can admire the characteristic rauks, unique natural stone sculptures, some with very human expressions.

For nature lovers, the small islands of Stora Karlsö and Lilla Karlsö off Gotland´s western coast are day excursions of supreme beauty, especially in springtime, when the barren islands are blooming with rare orchids and sprawling with intense birdlife. You can also overnight in simple cabins on both islands, and on Stora karlsö there is also a restaurant.

Gotland is one of Sweden´s foremost farming districts, famous for its vegetables, potatoes and berries, and an interesting gastronomic destination, with several high-class restaurants with menues based on fine local ingredients and specialities. The asparagus season in spring and the even more exclusive truffle season in the autumn are two good occasions to visit the islands if you have a taste for these irresistable delecacies.

If you seek peace, quiet and splendid natural beauty combined with cutting-edge design, you can visit the secluded island of Furillen off Gotland´s east coast, where one of Northern Europe´s most exclusive design hotels is located.

Located south of Gotland, Öland is a long, narrow island with endless flat plains and long white beaches. It is reached from the town of Kalmar by the long Öland bridge.

In the summer time, Öland is busy with holiday-makers, so a visitor who wants to experience the rare atmosphere and beautiful light and landscapes typical of the island is recommended to visit in spring or autumn, when nature is at its most beautiful and peace, quiet and poetry rules. In the south of the island is the peerless Alvaret or limestone plateau, included on Unesco's World Heritage List for its unique nature values, with a large number of rare orchids, plants and species.

The Långe Erik lighthouse and the Ottenby bird station on the southern cape is a

favourite destination for ornothologists from all around Sweden and Europe.

In the cozy and picturesque town of Borgholm, and also in other places around the island, there are several attractive hotels and restaurants that are also open in the off-season.

Article sponsored by Visit Sweden

Related links:

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

NEWS_NOT_YET_IMPORTED
Today's headlines
Stockholm Pride 2014
Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats
Photos: Henrik Montgomery/Fredrik Persson/TT

Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats

While a record number of ministers and party leaders will participate in the Stockholm Pride Parade this year, there are notable exceptions - including SD leader Jimmie Åkesson, who is not only 'uninterested' but banned. READ  

Gender neutral 'hen' enters dictionary
Soon 'hen' will be found on this page. Photo: The Local

Gender neutral 'hen' enters dictionary

The ever-controversial pronoun 'hen' has won its battle and is set to officially become part of the Swedish language. READ  

Pines, polska and magic: Urkult Music Festival
Photo: Danny Chapman/The Local

Pines, polska and magic: Urkult Music Festival

The Urkult music festival in northern Sweden may be less sex, drugs and rock'n'roll and more family fun, chai and polska dancing - but Danny Chapman says it’s one of the most magical Swedish experiences he has had. READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
You want one of these. Photo: Skatteverket

Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm

When it comes to data-driven life, from daycare to healthcare, Sweden is in a league of its own. Above all, your personal number is the key that unlocks life in Stockholm. READ  

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

All aboard! We're off to the island of Gotland for our Property of the Week - a home right in the heart of Medieval Visby. Whether you're looking to buy or dying to look - this is the place for you. READ  

Stockholm Pride 2014
Stockholm Pride glides into seventeenth year
Stockholm Pride. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Stockholm Pride glides into seventeenth year

The largest pride festival in Scandinavia is back for the 17th year in a row. The week promises to be packed with activities - and a glamorous opening gala with Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst. READ  

Preschool teacher arrested for child rape
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Preschool teacher arrested for child rape

A man has been arrested on the suspicion of raping a child at the preschool where he is employed. READ  

Police arrest 17 people after fatal shooting
Police at the scene. Photo: Niklas Luks/TT

Police arrest 17 people after fatal shooting

Seventeen people were arrested during the early hours of Tuesday after a man was shot dead in central Sweden. Several of the suspects were already known to the police for gang crimes. READ  

Cops find 15kg cocaine stash in woman's car

Cops find 15kg cocaine stash in woman's car

A 35-year-old woman faces charges for aggravated narcotic crimes after police found 15 kilogrammes of unusually high-concentrated cocaine in her car. READ  

Opinion
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ

The top six ways the US and Sweden differ

Back home in the US and with a solid Swedish stint under his belt, contributor Steven Schier has listed what he thinks are the six biggest differences between Sweden and the states. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 
 
 
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

732
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se