• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
The Local List
Nine exciting activities to do on Sweden's Gotland
Visby, Gotland. Photo: Rodrigo Rivas/Imagebank Sweden

Nine exciting activities to do on Sweden's Gotland

The Local · 1 Jul 2015, 13:00

Published: 01 Jul 2015 07:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Jul 2015 13:00 GMT+02:00

Gotland, off the east coast of Sweden, isn't only the country's largest island, it is also the biggest island in the Baltic sea. 

Always popular during summer, we've updated our guide to the hottest things to see and do there in 2015. 

1. Catch some rays on a beach


A beach on Gotland. Photo: Oliver Gee/The Local

Can you believe this picture was taken in Sweden? Gotland is one of the few places in the country where you can find sandy beaches. This particular spot is at Fårö, on a small island at the tip of Gotland, but there are plenty more stunning coves where you can swim, sunbathe and relax on the mainland.

2. Rock with the raukar


Raukar on Gotland. Photo: Joel Linde

Gotland is famed for its raukar, or sea stacks. These dramatic rock formations crop up on beaches all around the island. Some look like faces, others resemble big brutal phalluses, but none fail to impress. Jungfrun, the virgin of the north-west coast, is the biggest, while the ones on Fårö are also unmissable. Raukar are created from when limestone erodes. 

3. Jump into the Blue Lagoon


The Blue Lagoon: Photo: Joel Linde

This former limestone quarry in Fleringe on Gotland's northern rocky coast has stunning deep blue waters. Its colour is more vibrant than most Swedish lakes and it tends to trap the heat in too, so your dip shouldn't be too chilly.

READ ALSO: Ten Swedish phrases you only hear during summer

4. Visit Visby


Photo: Joel Linde

Visby is the best preserved medieval city in Scandinavia and is on the Unesco list of World Heritage Sites. A maze of cobbled streets, cute houses and church ruins sit inside the city's walls as well as stunning botanical gardens, museums and plenty of pretty cafes and restaurants. Be warned, you will likely jostle for a lunch spot here. The city is also set to host Sweden's largest international crime festival later this summer, with global guests invited to get taste for Nordic Noir in one of the country's sunniest spots.


Photo: Joel Linde

You can walk off that delicious lunch by walking along Visby's famous ringwall, which was built in the 13th century and still has 27 of its original 29 towers. The wall served as a buffer between citizens of Gotland the Danish army back in 1288. We promise you'll feel the history as you pace across it.

READ ALSO: The Local's ultimate guide to travel in Sweden

5. Churches and windmills


Photo: Joel Linde

Churches used to be a sign of wealth in Swedish towns and ciries - and Gotland is overflowing with them. In fact, the has more churches per capita than any other part of the Nordic Nation.The majority date back to the Middle Ages, between 1100 and 1300. There are also plenty of historic windmills and farms to check out on Gotland - be warned your camera's memory card or mobile phone will soon be bursting with snaps of stunning historic architecture.

6. Visit Pippi


Photo: Kneippbyn

Pippi Longstocking is one of Sweden's most famous fictional characters. The cheeky yet kind girl who can shoot a revolver, carry a horse and take on the strongest man in the world was developed by author Astrid Lindgren, who based the adventurer's stories on growing up in Vimmerby in southeast Sweden. But the movies based on the book were filmed mostly on Gotland, and you can still go visit Pippi's oh-so-colourful home, Villa Villekulla.

Story continues below…

READ ALSO: Introducing Astrid Lindgren

7. Pretend you're on a safari 


Africa, or Gotland? Photo: Joel Linde

A recent tourist campaign for Gotland called it "the world on one island" and it there is certainly a huge variety of stunning land forms, wildlife and sights to explore. You won't see any zebras, but you might just spot a Russ (Gotland Pony) -  the only indigenous horse breed in Sweden. There's a reserve on Lojsta Heath where around 80 of the animals wander freely. 


The Gotlandssippa flower. Photo: Flickr/Lisa Swahn

On the east of Gotland, Torsburgen Nature Reserve is home to the rare Gotlandssippa flower. The island of Stora Karlsö, off the west coast, is home to breeding guillemots and razorbills - set aside at least half a day here.

8. Bike around the island 


Photo: Joel Linde

While you can drive the length of Gotland just a few hours, why not spend a few days biking the coast instead. You can bring your own cycle over by ferry or hire one for a few hours a day or a week from several stores in Visby.

9. Get golfing

There are five 18-hole golf courses and three 9-hole courses within a 45-minute drive from Visby, which has a reputation as a paradise for golf lovers. You can play alongside the beach or inland on some of the tougher park courses between April and November.
 

Photo: Yvonne Åsell/TT 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Nooo! Rain and floods set to dampen Swedes' summer joy
Rain in Sweden earlier this year. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

So, that was the Swedish summer? Nice while it lasted.

Zlatan on his future: 'I made my choice a long time ago'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Thursday's press conference. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Go on then, Zlatan, tell us what it is.

Homes
Slow design: How Nordic style can make your life better

The world has long been hungry for Nordic lifestyle, with its love of design, nature, and light. But this is about much more than painting your floorboards white or throwing a sheepskin on a chair – it’s a mindset that informs everyday life.

Report: Swedish information security 'not good enough'
Information security in government agencies has been criticised. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Low levels of security could lead to significant consequences, the state auditor warned.

Man arrested in Malmö after armed attack on car
Damaged cars at the scene of the incident. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The incident occurred in the south of the city.

What's on in Sweden
Four fantastic foodie events across Sweden this weekend
It's beer and food galore in Stockholm this weekend. Photo: Brooklyn Brewery Mash

Are world foods your thing, or do you prefer a banquet with beer? Either way you're covered in Sweden this weekend.

Sweden votes yes to controversial Nato deal
A Nato exercise in Spain 2014. Photo: AP Photo/Daniel Tejedor

A bid to stall the decision was voted down.

Swedish pensioner 'pulled fake gun' on salesman
A file photo of an airsoft gun not linked to the story. Photo: AP Photo/Eric Risberg

We know that many of you have probably had your patience tried by salespeople in the past. But don't do this at home, kids.

Swedish PM shakes up cabinet in key reshuffle
Ann Linde, Peter Eriksson, Isabella Lövin, Stefan Löfven, Karolina Skog and Ibrahim Baylan. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

UPDATED: Will this turn a page on weeks of scandals for Sweden's coalition?

Why this Swedish handyman wore high heels to work
Not the ideal footwear for manual labour. Photo: Emil Andersson

Laying a floor in a fourth floor apartment turned out to be pretty difficult in high heels.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Gallery
People-watching: May 25th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Society
WATCH: Why Swedish handyman wore pink high heels for feminism
Sport
LIST: Top-ten ridiculous things Zlatan has compared himself to
Blog updates

20 May

Editor’s blog, May 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Do not mention Abba! Or cuckoo clocks! Our most read article this week was…" READ »

 

17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
Business & Money
Why Swedes don't want the euro
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vika, Falun
National
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Culture
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
National
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 11th
Gallery
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Politics
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
National
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
National
Why this fearless woman is the talk of Sweden
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
3,307
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se