Expat & Travel Blog

Expat & Travel Blog

Öland: the Island Life in Sweden

Öland: the Island Life in Sweden

Today I am taking on an adventure – in Sweden! We all agree that travelling is a great thing, but to be honest, lately, I’ve seen more new countries than cities in Sweden. I always consciously remind myself to discover my surroundings. It is so attractive to discover a new country, but we also need to know better the country we live in. Especially when living abroad. If I leave Sweden one day, I want to be able to say that I’ve seen the country. Not just two regions. So, are you ready to discover the Swedish island life? ‘Cause we’re off to the beautiful Öland!

I happen to discover Öland when travelling with friends, shortly after arriving in Sweden. We decided to go on a weekend trip to this island, which seemed to be the perfect destination for a weekend gateway. And it was! Öland is the second biggest island in Sweden, but it is small enough for you to drive around in a day if you want to. Located across the bridge from the cute city of Kalmar, the island is easily reachable.

Driving towards Öland

There are a lot of different options to get to Öland, but as we were then living in Skåne – south Sweden, we decided to drive. Renting a car in Sweden is rather affordable and so you can freely travel where ever you want. Driving to Öland takes a little time, which is why we did a couple of breaks on the way and stayed overnight in Kalmar. As we arrived there by night, we could not see much of the city. We then decided to spend the morning walking around Kalmar, and discover the city and its castle.

Discovering the island

We have not been everywhere on the island but I believe we had a good overview. Luckily, we went there mid-September and so there were not so many tourists. This area is easily packed in the summer! Another lovely thing, was  the weather! Not a single drop of rain and the most beautiful sunsets!

Byrum, Sandvik

Located in the northern part of the island, Byrum is a place by the water where the cliff has been formed over time. These rocks, shaped by the sea have a very unique form and this was the first time I was seen cliffs like these. Also it is very easy to climb on them!

Cliff of Byrum Sandvik in Öland

Trollskogen, Grankullavik

Also located in the northern part of the island, “Trollskogen” means the “troll forest”! In this area, there are a lot of black cows living in total freedom. Don’t try to touch, pet or run after them. Remember that this is their place and not yours so they can get pretty aggressive. However, this area is really well organised, and the landscape is lovely. It was one of my favourite area to watch the sunset. In fact, it is just you, the nature and very few people. This is one of the most quiet and peaceful place to watch the sun setting.

Högsrum, Borgholm

In the central part of the island you’ll be able to reach the highest point of Öland. Do not expect something crazy, it is just above 150m above sea level…! However, this is only in this area where you’ll find the highest concentration of windmill! The landscape is really beautiful, a lot of fields, windmills and stones all over.

Gråborg, Färjestaden

In a similar area, you can reach Gråborg, which happens to be the biggest circular fortress from the Swedish iron age. It’s sadly now more ruins than an impressive standing building, but it is always good to hear some history when visiting a site. It is also impressive to see such site on a small island like Öland. From this area and towards the whole Southern part of the island, the island is part of the Unesco’s World Heritage List.

Ottenby Fågelstation

For sure the highest view point in Öland! This large area in the southern part of Öland is an impressive bird observatory. There is, of course, a natural reserve around where you can see a lot of the local wildlife. The view point stands on the southern tip where a lighthouse is located. You can easily go up and enjoy the view. I certainly don’t regret going up, though it was cloudy, the price to go up is not excessive and that view….!

You want to see more?

There were so many other places we stopped at. I don’t have all the names in mind now, but, this is one of the advantage of traveling with a car. You can literally stop where ever you want. So, here are some more pictures of the beautiful landscapes in Öland!

The end of the weekend

On Sunday afternoon we took off and started our drive back towards Helsingborg. As for the way there on the Friday, we took a couple of breaks. These breaks are not only important for your safety on the road, but also because you get the time to rest, relax, walk around etc. We also stopped in different cities, and I believe having a car gives you the best freedom for a trip. Some of these cities, I would probably have never stopped by otherwise!

⇒ And how about you? Do you have a favourite island? Would you spend a weekend in Öland?

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