We all love Stockholm, but Sweden has another treasure hiding under its belt, the largest Baltic island Gotland. It has become a popular summertime destination for not only Swedes but visitors from all over Europe for its seaside cottage lifestyle, history, roaming lambs and motor bike trails. The main break is Visby, where the best of the island mingles. Gotland offers more than 3000 square kilometres of Viking, medieval knights and pirate stomping grounds to explore!
Start in Visby, the main city on the island. This is the hub to the rest of Europe by air or sea. Flights from London to Visby cost around £340 with SAS, Scandinavian Airlines International. From the airport, grab a taxi into town for 100 SK since there is no public bus service. Taking a ferry from Stockholm takes close to three hours and ticket prices vary from 40-500 SK. Which ever way you choose, to get to Gotland, Visby is the hub of choice.
Start by exploring the fortress, built in medieval times that can be seen surrounding the city of Visby. The ramparts are an intriguing 3 kilometres of towers, gates and walls. It is popular to attend a Shakespeare theatre production in the summer or spring at one of the outdoor festivals. In Visby the best way to get educated about the city’s heritage and the island’s culture is to head to the Historical Museum. It displays a treasure trove of relics and artifacts from Viking and medieval times. These are presented in a way that makes the island’s 8000 year history come alive. For a modern take on what is going on in the city, check out G.A.D, Gute Art & Design. This is a small design showroom at Hästgatan 10.
The Saint Karin church ruins should also top the list of must sees in Visby. It is preserved by the Gotland Museum and is a perfect example of the skeleton structure of an early example of a Gothic church. This is a city full of legends, stories, and myths that have been passed down through grandparents to their grandchildren or rediscovered through artifacts left to be uncovered in the ground centuries later. Gotland, and especially Visby, is a great destination for travellers who like to explore age-old forests, caves, rocky and sandy beaches, castle ruins and who especially have racing imaginations. Gotland is also known for its motorbike paths and trails. It also hosts Sweden’s biggest motorbike competition every summer.
Don’t leave without trying their famous lamb, commonly served with spiced cabbage, blueberries and potato dumplings. Another favourite is grilled lamb with cinnamon and garlic sauce and also roasted lamb with pesto and red wine sauce. Mouth watering yet? For more information on visiting Gotland, refer to their tourist information site.
Have you ever been to Gotland before? What did you think? Let us know!