We spent a few beautiful days in Swedish Öland in June. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost three months! Öland made us love it.. it turned out to be a place perfect for getting rest away from crowded resorts, for running away from reality and for going somewhere pretty close and far away at the same time. Its otherness, distinctness, and wilderness contrasting with Swedish orderliness has stuck with us and I think it’s there to stay. I think that as soon as we get to write about our travel discoveries of 2016, Öland will be very important on the list.
I’m not going to tell you how to get there, where to stay and how to make it happen because you can find this information in our first post – right HERE. I’m only going to tell you that it’s a great destination for you if you don’t like planes, if you can’t fly (pregnancy???;)) and if you don’t feel like spending a dozen uncomfortable hours in a car. Why? Because it’s best to go to Öland by Stena Line ferry – you go to Gdynia, spend a night on the ferry and then there’s only 100 kilometers from Karlskrona. Once you survive it, you can take delight in Öland! 🙂 You will find more information on how to get there HERE, and any details about the ferries can be found on Stena Line’s website.
Today we are taking you to the north of Öland. You will get to see what I think is the most popular place on Öland, which is troll’s forest. There will be a huge castle, huge gristmill and delicious shrimp sandwiches too. It’s the route that everybody loves – both adults and kids.
Once again, the trip starts in our base, Färjestaden – it’s a place perfect for sightseeing because it’s almost in the middle of the island and it’s also where the land gets connected to the island. It’s good to look for a place to stay right there, and if not, you should at least visit Seasalt Kitchen to catch a glimpse of local cuisine. See for yourself, it’s hard to stay away from them! 🙂 (my stomach started to rumble while I was writing this!!! aaaa!!!)
This time we have 4 main stops on our list. The trip will end in the north, in Trollskogen, which is troll’s forest, but first…
BORGHOLM – THE CASTLE AND TOWN
We start by exploring the castle in the town’s neighborhood. The castle was burned down in the beginning of the 19th century but its ruins are still pretty impressive, especially if you’re with a little boy who’s in love with castles.
The town itself is a few kilometers away from the castle and it’s pretty “big” for Öland – it has about 3 thousand residents. Despite its size, because of its history it’s still considered a town. It’s been popular summer resort since the beginning of the 19th century and you can still feel it while walking down the streets or lazily eating Swedish treats with a view on white boats. It’s perfect for taking a stroll through the local marina and its neighborhood – silent, peaceful, pretty. It’s also perfect for eating a lunch before you go further – they have great shrimp sandwiches, fresh tomatoes stuffed with salmon and shrimps. We have been eating them like crazy!
Full and satisfied with finding another delicious place in Borgholm, we’re off to Sandvik. Aside from a tiny, charming harbor, Sandvik is famous for its gristmill. They say it’s Öland’s biggest gristmill, and as you know, there’s a whole lot of them (go HERE!). There’s a restaurant by the gristmill – you can sit down there, drink some coffee, let your children play. Personally, it’s less appealing to me than all these mysterious windmills located somewhere in the fields or by the sea, but you can stop here for a moment while driving to troll’s forest. P.S. Keep your eyes wide open because it’s possible that you will see camels!!! Yes, in Sweden. Yes, camels 😉
3) LANGE ERIK
There’s about 45 kilometers from Sandvik to the edge of the island, to Lange Erik. This place really does look like the edge of the world, especially since the lighthouse is on a small cape. Between 11 AM and 4 PM (at least this is how it was in June) you can go to the lighthouse and see typical Swedish coast.
4) TROLL’S FOREST (TROLLSKOGEN)
There are about 8-9 kilometeres of beautiful views leading from Lange Erik to the final destination, which is troll’s forest. This is one of these places that influence your imagination and that are great for seeing with your kids. On one hand, it’s just a forest – nice for taking long walks because the whole route is through wooden pavements, beautiful, because it’s full of interesting, twisted trees and you will fall in love with the views. But the best thing is the story about trolls – it adds to walking through that forest.
Before you enter it, you can read that trolls usually have one or two big noses, long black hair and loooong tails. They’re over 1000 years, they eat bugs and rats and they have huge, gold earrings. We find out that they’re hard to spot because whenever they feel someone is walking through the forest, they hide or become invisible but since they stink, you can feel them in the air – it’s a perfect game for kids 🙂
Awesome, right? 🙂 You need to go to the south of Öland too, and if you need practical information – go HERE. And if decide to go for a trip here, you’re going to need at leat 3-4 days! 🙂 And aside from the places worth seeing (the ones from this and previous post), you should just soak in all the landscapes that Öland has got to offer. I can’t decide whether I prefer the north or the south…
The north was like this too… you need to explore it slowly and soak in its beauty! 🙂