Travel story Gotland

Or: Why this island will also cast a spell on you.

Ooohh Gotland, you wonderful pearl of the Baltic Sea! In the summer of 2019 I had the pleasure to explore Sweden's largest island by bike. A great week with impressive panoramas, constantly changing landscapes, delicious food, great accomodations and friendly residents lies behind me. And what can I say - this bike trip is my favourite one in Active Scandinavia's portfolio. Since my bike tours I have been visiting this island at least once a year to enjoy everything that makes Gotland so enchanting. I am happy to share my experiences here in this travel story. 

Day 1: Individual arrival to Visby

Getting to Visby from Stockholm was pretty easy and straightforward. We booked our spots in advance on the Destination Gotland website. The earlier you book, the cheaper the tickets are, but fortunately you often still get tickets at relatively short notice, even if more expensive. The check-in at the port in Nynäshamn was smooth and just a short while later we were sitting in the bord restaurant, sea view included! After about 3,5 hours we reached the port of Visby and made our way to the hotel. 


The number of hotel parking spaces is limited in Visby, but tyou can easily park in the surroundings of the hotel. Depending on the location a parking space costs between 50 and 180 SEK per day (ca. 5-18 Euro). 

In the late afternoon we explored the worth-seeing medieval city wall, strolled through narrow alleays and visited some small shops. Visby offers lovely cafés and restaurants, so there are plenty of options for coffee breaks and dinner. We booked a table at Värdshuset Lindgården and can really recommend it. Romantic terrace, delicious food and great service, what more could you want?

Day 2: Visby - Kappelshamn - Fårösund

Off we go! After breakfast we stroll a last time through the lovely small streets of Visby. Our bikes and equipment are already waiting for us at the bike rental, we also received an additional bike map on top. The first kilometres out of Visby are leading along flat roads next to the water, perfect to get in the mood for the journey. After 15 km the first highlight awaits - the Lummelunda grotto. A part of this stalactite cave can be explored on your own, for those who would like to learn more about the grotto its best to join one of the guided tours. There is also a boutique and a café - perfect for a first coffee break. 

The journey continues along flat and lovely paths, the landscape often changes, we are totally fascinated! On our way to Kappelshamn we do a little detour to Lickershamn to see the first of many limestone rauks - the Virgin, in swedish: Jungfrun. This pillar is located directly at the sea and rises 11m in height and 14m in depth. Wow! We continue to Kappelshamn and after a short break with wonderful views onto the Baltic Sea we are picked up by our own private transfer which brings us to Fårösund and our hotel. 

Day 3: Fårösund - Fårö - Slite

Today we start early to have enough time for all the highlights along the route. Fårö, a pretty fascinating island can be reached within a short ferry ride. As an huge Ingmar Bergman fan, I have to see his museum first thing. The Bergmancenter gives interesting insights into the life of the director, who was living on Fårö. There is a café too. The Fårö museum is located right next to the Bergmancenter and offers a lot information about this amazing island. We continue to nature reserve Digerhuvud, the largest one on the island. The sparse landscape reflects a fascination that is difficult to put in words. Incredibly beautiful! 

Our route along the water continues to Helgumannens fiskeläge, a still intact small fishing village where you can truly feel the spirit of time. 

Gatherings of houses like these are typical for Gotland, some of them are declared a historic monument and have been used by farmers living on the coast for a several months a year. An additional must-see is the rauk "Hund". The rauk looks like a dog and is located in the Gamle Hamn nature reserve. Not far from there is S:t Olofs Kyrka, the ruin with graves from the Viking Age can be reached via a forest path. We continue and after only a few kilometres we are back on the ferry again. In Bunge we visit the Bungemuseum, the open-air museum gives great insights into the former life of the Gotlanders. Vis-a-vis is another lovely café, perfect for our afternoon caffeine and sugar ration. The last 30 km of today's tour are easy to cycle along flat roads to Slite. Our hotel is right in the centre and easy to find. 

Day 4: Slite - Ljugarn

Also on today's route we are accompanied by a fascinating and constantly changing scenery. Unbelievable how a landscape can change like that! In Katthammarsvik we have lunch at Katthammarsvik Rökeri. The fish soup was beyond delicious, this restaurant with lovely terrace will be definitely mentioned as place to visit in our travel documents! 

As we liked yesterday's fishing village so much we'll decide to visit another one today, the fishing village in Grynge

The short detour to the peninsula of Gryngudd is well worth it. The total of 21 stone houses are today used as summer residences, which is hardly surprising given the awesome location on the water. We continue to Ljugarn where we are welcomed very friendly by Johan, today's host. The small hotel has only five rooms, each is individually furnished. It really cannot get more Swedish than that! We decide to stay at the hotel in the evening, Johan also runs a small cafe where we enjoy our dinner. 

Unique views from Hoburgsgubbe in Southern Gotland

Day 5: Ljugarn - Burgsvik

We continue south, the route is wonderfully flat and weather is again with us. Nevertheless do we feel the kilometres in our feet, after all we decided to do an extra loop down to the most southern tip. The landscape is again marvelous, lush meadows alternate with Mediterranean flair. Once we arrive at the Holmhällar nature reserve the next rauk is waiting for us - the Hoburgsgubben, which looks like a man's face from a certain angle. Right next to it is Restaurant Majstregården where we have lunch. Lovely flair, extremely nice hospitality, and of course the food was delicious. Due to our branded t-shirts we quickly get into conversation with our table neighbours, a Swiss couple who spends their summers on Gotland, one can really understand why! 

Day 6: Burgsvik - Klintehamn

Time flies by! Today we cycle again on well sign-posted and flat routes with fantastic weather to Gotlands West Coast. Do I have to mention that the landscape completely flattened us again? Probably not. It's simply unbelievable how this wonderful island reminds us of so many places from pasted trips. Sometimes we are not sure whether we are in Hawaii or Tuscany. Incredible and so beautiful! Small coastal roads are leading us to Klintehamn, our today's destination. The hotel is located directly at the sea, perfect for a refreshing dip in the cold water. We have explored enough for today and are therefore enjoying an excellent three-course dinner in the hotel's own restaurant. 

Day 7: Klintehamn - Visby

The shortest and last stage is on. After a quick visit to the small, fine hotel shop (after all, one can never have to much decoration and there is still plenty of space in my saddle bag) and an extensive breakfast we continue along the coast to Tofta strand. Perfect for a bath in the sea, even for wimps like me. The very last few kilometres are completed as if by magic and we reach Visby around noon. After dropping off the rental bikes we treat ourselves to a well-deserved lunch in one of the numerous restaurants. We also spend the afternoon and evening in this lovely medieval small town. After all there's a lot to discover! 

Day 8: Individual departure

We start our journey home early in the morning. By taxi we'll reach our parking lot at the port and a few minutes later we are on the ferry. Shortly after 7am we leave Gotland, it's a shame that this great week went by so quickly. The lovely experiences will however remain in very good memories for a long time! 

At the beach in Ljugarn
Gotland is magical, versatile, diversified and so beautiful. The Mediterranean climate is perfect for exploring the island by bike, and the cuisine is indeed a dream. It's my favourite trip in our portfolio, and it is not for nothing that the island is also called Pearl of the Baltic Sea!
, VD Active Scandinavia

Our tours on the island of Gotland


Gotland bike tour

8 Days | self-guided
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To travel consultants

Gotland for epicures by bike

10 Days | self-guided
Show details
To travel consultants

Video about the tour