• Sweden's news in English
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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

US election
Donald Trump won't get new Ericsson head's vote
Trump pictured at a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The new Swedish-American boss of telecoms giant Ericsson has revealed he will not vote for the Republican nominee in the forthcoming US presidential election.

Swedes named fourth most gender equal in the world
A file photo of men and women pushing prams in Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has closed 81 percent of its overall gender gap according to the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available