Road trip on southern Gotland
Gotland is the biggest island in Sweden and is located in the middle of the Baltic sea. The island is actually a very important strategic place for Sweden. It has about 60 000 permanent residents and plenty of more that come here during the summer. Gotland is a very famous summer destination in Sweden. It has an atmosphere that reminds us of the Mediterrenean life and feels very exotic and different from the rest of Sweden.
Even though it’s quite easy to get here and I have lived in southern Sweden all of my life, 2020 was the first time I visited the island. I had planned on going in 2019 already but it never happend. So finally, 2020 I could go! You can reach the island either by air or by ferry from Nynäshamn or Oskarshamn. Either way you get in to Visby, the beautiful “capital” of the island.
I would have about a week to spend on the island and started to do some research on what to do and see while there. And as usual it was quite hard to decide what to do and see. But I ended up planning on seeing as much as I could (no surprise there) and see both the south and the north part (including the island of Fårö). The coastline (including Fårö) is about 800 km long. I did my research and pinned all the places I found interesting that I could find on the web. The island have beautiful beaches, offers good food, old towns and a nice and special nature and landscape. The map was very colorful by the time I was done with my research…
Anyway, I decided to start my roadtrip around Gotland driving south from Visby and then make my way around the island. The green places on the map above is the places I will talk about in this blog post.
Högklint look out spot (1)
The ferry arrived in Visby just past lunch. I had already looked up where I wanted to go and drove straight to the look out point of Högklint. It is located near Visby and from here you have a view all the way to Visby and you immediately get a taste of the special landscape that Gotland has. The nature on the island is very different from rest of Sweden.
The weather in Sweden in 2020 wasn’t the best, but this week on Gotland is was mostly really warm and sunny. It was only this first day that it was cloudy.
From the look out point you can walk along a narrow path that leads further south and get to a beach by “Rövar Liljas håla”. Very cool landscape, right?
Ygne fishing village (2)
I continued to drive south to the piqturesque very small fishing of Ygne. The small rocks were so beautiful and it was so peaceful with almost no people. I dipped my feet in the ocean and sat down for a fika and just listened to the ocean.
Tofta skjutfält (3)
South of Ygne there’s a firing ground used by the Swedish Armed Forces. It wasn’t active of course so I could drive through with my car. The landscape is quite rough and here you have very steep precipice down to the ocean. Imaging doing your military service here. A lot different from the forests in some parts of Sweden, hehe.
I can sometimes get a bit stressed when I travel. I want to see so much and enjoy all of it, but time goes by soooo fast. And this day was already coming to an end and it was time to eat dinner and then find a place for the night.
Hablingbo Creperie (4)
I took a little detour to get to the dinner place I had read so much about. A lot of places on Gotland serves crepes, both savory and sweet. And since I was in the area I had to try Hablingbo Creperie. And it turned out to be a really good idea. It had a lovely atmosphere, a band that was playing and very good crepes. They also had some small boutiques.
One of the most popular things to see on the southern parts of Gotland is Ekstakusten. The shore of Eksta if you would translate it. :) It is a very beautiful nature reserve. I got here right after dinner just before the sun would set. It was really very beautiful to drive around and watch the sun go down. There were many people along the coast. Some of them had set up camp for the night and many people were just hanging out. The perfect spot for that I would say.
After driving around for a bit looking for a place for the night I finally found a spot and put up my tent. The warm night and this view of the sunset was the perfect way to end the day.
Just outside of Ekstakusten there are two small islands, Lilla Karlsö and Stora Karlsö (Small island of Karl and Big island of Karl). They made the perfect backdrop when watching the sunset. You can actually visit Stora Karlsö and stay there for a night. The island is a popular place for bird watching but it looks very beautiful even if you don’t like birds. This year it was closed because of Covid-19 though. Otherwise you can take a 30 min boat trip from Klintehamn to reach the island.
The next morning I got up early and continued the drive along the coast. It was such a beautiful morning, everything was so still and peaceful. I think the morning here may have been the best moment of the trip. It was that great!
Read more: Roadtrip around the Hardangerfjord, Norway
The road south (6)
After Ekstakusten I continued driving on the west side of the island further south. The landscape was very pretty everywhere. I passed Hundlausar which is an area with old wind mills.
On the southern tip of Gotland you can find one of the most popular rauk areas of the island. The area is called Hoburgen and it has one very popular rauk called Hoburgsgubben. From a certain angle the rauk looks like an old man. I couldn’t really see it though… But the area was very nice and the view from the top was very good.
I was almost all alone while visiting Hoburgsgubben which was really nice. Since I had been up quite early, I guess that’s what happens when you sleep in a tent, I was getting really hungry. I had to charge my own battery and also my camera’s battery that was about to die. So I left for a lunch spot where I could also charge my camera.
Austre beach (8)
After a very good sightseeing morning it was nice to sit in the shadows and have a good lunch and relax before continuing the day. I had to stay at the restaurang for a while, but it was actually quite nice. When I felt ready to go and the batteries were fully loaded it had gotten really hot. I decided to drive to Austre beach which lies close to Holmhällar rauk area. I skipped the rauks this time and just stayed at the beach. There were a lot of people and quite hard to find a parking space. But well on the beach it was very nice to spend the hottest hours of the day here.
Närsholmen lighthouse (9)
The next part of the trip would be quite a long drive. But the fastest way would actually just take one hour. I had already decided where I wanted to have dinner and in what area I would like to stay the night, and that was on the eastern parts of the island. It’s a good thing the days are long in Sweden in the summer so you actually have all day long for driving and sightseeing.
Anyway, on my way to the eastern side I did a few stops. The first one was Närsholmen lighthouse. It’s a beautiful lighthouse and the area was pretty nice too, not sure it was worth the small detour though.
Folkhammar Rauk area (10)
The next stop was Folkhammar Rauk area. It lies just next to a camping spot and it’s easy to reach too, so here were a lot of people. But it was nice anyway.
Katthammarsvik Rökeri (10)
Oh my lord. This was so nice. I drove to Katthammarsvik rökeri (smokery) on the eastern side of the island. After I had seen many tempting pictures from here before going this was put on my “must visit-list”.
I bought smoked shrimps and a good drink (non alcoholic) and took with me to the pier and sat there and ate and watch the sea. Really beautiful and nice!! Top three best moments of the trip, definitely!
After dinner it was time for the most annoying part of a roadtrip… Driving around just looking for a place to sleep. But to my luck I succeeded today as well!
Grogarnsberget nature reserve (12)
The morning after I drove to the nature reserve of Grogarnsberget. I had breakfast here with a view of the ocean and strolled around a bit. I didn’t stay here for long at all, after breakfast I just drove through it and stopped here and there for photos.
Roma ruins (13)
When I was done here I was also done with this part of the island. So I drove to the center of the island for a very popular tourist sight for visitors to Gotland. The Roma theater is the ruins of and old roman monastery. It was built year 1164. Hundreds of years later the monastery was abandoned and it was left to its fate.
Nowadays it’s only the walls that are left. The ruins are being used as a theater with plays and concerts inside every summer. There’s not much else to do in the area, but of course there’s a restaurant where you can sit down for a fika and some shall shops.
After my visit to Roma I was done with the southern parts of Gotland. It was time for me to head north and see what that part of Gotland had to offer. Stay tuned for part two of my one week road trip on Gotland.