Gotland’s got soul

In the blink of an eye, it’s over.

It may not last long, but the sweet magic that Summer casts on the Swedish island of Gotland is a spell to enjoy year after year. A storybook of Swedish Summer paradise, Gotland is where savvy Swedes head from Stockholm to avoid the hordes of Southern Europe sinking Santorini into the sea. 

The mid-sized island in the middle of the Baltic Sea makes for a calm contrast to life on the mainland. The clocks tick a tad slower here, the colours are strikingly vivid and a refreshing dip in the Baltic Sea washes away all trace of the 21st century.

There is ample to do here for a few days. Head to the renowned Medieval festival that takes place in the UNESCO-listed town of Visby, where you can find Scandinavia’s best-preserved medieval walls. Criss-cross the island along its endless bike trails, explore seemingly abandoned fishing villages and check off a staggering number of churches. Deserted beaches lend themselves to impromptu skinny-dipping. Take a short ferry to the island of Fårö – famed Swedish director’s Ingemar Bergman’s home, final resting place and also the site of many of his films – and for good reason. 

Whether you prefer the coziness of B&B-style Hotel Stelor, the sleek seaside cabins at Hotel Djupvik, or the lunar surroundings of a former limestone quarry that is the backdrop for Fabriken Furillen; they all have one thing in common: They are small-scale operations run by locals who are happy to share their love for their island with you. We know them well and love to send clients here.

It’s easy to access Gotland by ferry or by direct hopper flight from Stockholm or other Scandinavian hubs. A rental car is essential for self-guided island exploration, and bike rentals are plentiful.

August in Europe can be tricky unless you like elbows; contact Claudia for her advice on a quieter summer vacation in Sweden.

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