Gotland Island: attractions, tours, tourist reviews
Scandinavian mothers and grandmothers tell a very beautiful legend to their children and grandchildren about a beautiful island, which every evening dives into the water of the Baltic Sea along with the sun. And with the first rays at dawn, it is reborn again in an even more beautiful form. This beautiful tale about the island of Gotland, which is located a hundred kilometers from the coast of Sweden.
The island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea has a long history. Its main city Visby is called the last stronghold of the Middle Ages. Its thousand-year history is rooted in the Stone Age, which is confirmed by numerous archaeological finds and remains of fishermen’s settlements. The Viking Age became the heyday of trade, and in the early Middle Ages, merchants from the island had trade courtyards in the nearest big cities, and even in Nizhny Novgorod. In the heyday of the island of Gotland (Sweden), churches up to 50 meters high were built here.
But at the end of the thirteenth century began a difficult time. The island has changed hands several times.At one time they were owned by the knights of the Livonian Order, then Denmark, and even the Swedish king Eric of Pomerania. But in 1679 the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea was annexed to Sweden, as part of which it remains to this day as a province.
Currently, Visby, of course, cannot boast of perfectly preserved architectural monuments. Unfortunately, time and war do not spare anyone. But still some historical sights have survived to the present day - the fortress wall and the Cathedral of St. Mary of the 13th century.
The church is known in the district as a choral organ. It is visible from afar, it is her who is the first to see who arrive on the island. In the central part of the city you can see the fortress wall, which was built during the period of aggravation of relations between the German merchants and the population of the city. It completely surrounds the historic center of Visby. Its length is about three and a half kilometers. It consists of forty-four towers of different sizes, and they are much better preserved than other similar European buildings of those times.
The medieval spirit of the city complements the inimitable smell of rose bushes, which will grow an incredible amount.The red tile roofs are in harmony with the stone pavement of the pavements and the lancet towers.
Hotel with ghosts
On the island of Gotland, the most popular hotel is located in a historic building of the twelfth century. The institution boasts medieval interiors and its own ghost that lives here, according to local residents. The benevolent spirit belongs to the nun who once lived in these walls.
Lambs are considered to be the symbol of the island of Gotland. The figure of this animal is depicted even on the coat of arms. In general, there are a lot of sheep here, whole flocks walk through emerald fields.
What is interesting island for tourists?
The largest island of Sweden, Gotland, vacationers appreciate for the wonderful mild climate, beautiful sandy beaches and unique landscape. No wonder it is called the "Baltic Pearl".
The geological age of Gotland is quite solid. The island is composed of rocky rocks that accumulated in the tropical sea about 400 million years ago. On the coast and to this day there are minerals. In the south and north of the island of Gotland, limestone comes to the surface, while the vegetation in these places is quite scarce.Here, high limestone cliffs with huge flocks of birds cut through the sandy beaches that tourists have chosen. Off the coast there are numerous cliffs of bizarre forms, called rauhars. It is near them that many tourists are always going to, who want to capture this unique creation of nature as a souvenir.
The island is characterized by a warm and long autumn with mild winters. Climatic conditions allow apricots and walnuts to survive in protected areas. On local meadows you can find at least 35 varieties of orchids that bloom by mid-summer. On the Gotland is not very extensive world of mammals. Sometimes you can find fallow deer, ponies, as well as wild rabbits and foxes.
How to get to the island of Gotland?
Getting to the island is not at all difficult. Regular flights from St. Petersburg and Moscow will take any traveler to Stockholm. From here by car or by bus you need to get to the town of Nynäshamn (about 60 kilometers), from which ferries leave for Gotland. After three and a half hours you get to Visby. This path may seem tedious to someone, so there is a faster way to get to the island. There is a flight connection between Gotland and the mainland. From Stockholm Airport there are direct flights to Visby.And in the summer, there are additional flights from other Swedish cities and even neighboring countries.
Traveling on the island itself is possible by bus and bus, taxi. And for more comfort you can rent a car or moped. With your own transport, you can actively move between the provinces of Gotland.
Going on a trip to the island of Gotland, every traveler will be interested in the issue of accommodation. It is worth noting that in terms of hotel infrastructure, the island is very successful, therefore a large number of various hotels, guest houses, country cottages, apartment-hotels, coastal campgrounds, boarding houses, holiday villages and even democratic hostels are at the service of vacationers. At the time of the tour to the island of Gotland, you can pick up housing for any wallet.
Most of the more modern hotels are located directly in Visby. Among them, it is worth noting Hotel Villa Borgen and Visby Hamnhotell. Both places offer reasonably good and comfortable living conditions.
According to the tourists, Jacobs Hotel Gotland has recommended itself well, which is designed in the spirit of a boutique hotel and is perfect for a romantic and family vacation. Rent of apartments in the hotel will cost about 750 euros per week.The homely rooms are made in the national style, which will plunge into the atmosphere of the island.
On the east coast of Gotland is a small hotel, equipped with only 17 rooms. Fabriken Furillen has apartments in the main building and in forest cottages. Living in such a hotel will appeal to those who are looking for unity with nature far from civilization. The cost of apartments in the hotel starts from 250 euros.
Good hotels can be found on the coast, for those who want to relax in silence. The cottage complex of the Stelor Hotel is made in the characteristic farm style. It is located just five minutes from the sea. Its guests are fed by the owner of the place herself, preparing local traditional dishes. The cost of renting a cottage starts from 240 euros per day.
There are many villages on the island, each of which has something interesting. The best time to tour Gotland is from May to the end of September. In summer, most of the days are sunny, and the weather has to travel around the island. One of those places worth visiting on the island of Gotland is the open-air museum in Bunge.
It was founded in 1907. The idea of its creation was discussed for a long time. In the end, the institution was founded on land belonging to the church in Bunge. Historical buildings were brought here from all the villages on the island. It is worth noting that the historical museum in the village of Bunge is considered one of the largest in Sweden. It includes a complex of buildings, designed in the form of three courtyards. In the museum you can see the farms of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, mills, houses covered with sedge. The center of the exposition is the crucifixion, it was around him that people of old gathered for universal prayer. The museum is interesting in that all buildings can be entered, and the decoration of houses is the furniture of those times. An interesting fact is that it is the most visited place on the island.
For compulsory places that travelers should see, Fore island, located near Gotland, should be included. Its population is about 500 people. You can get to the island by ferry. Not so long ago, it was closed to the public, since it housed military installations. But now Foret is open to tourists.Its main attractions are unique roukaras of various forms. These bizarre creations resembling lunar landscapes became the creation of the ice age.
The sights of Foret include Sudersand beach and Digerhuwood (nature reserve). On the island there are also man-made objects. The lighthouse of the nineteenth century is preserved here and the house of the very famous director Ingmar Bergman, who lived here for the last decades of his life.
Church in Bunge
There is an incredible number of churches on the island of Gotland (photos are given in the article) Guests may be interested in the medieval Lutheran building in Byung belonging to the diocese of Visby. Here, excavations were carried out repeatedly, the results of which suggest that the Romanesque church dating back to the twelfth century was once located at the same place. His building was more like a fortress, behind the walls of which residents were hiding from pirates. From the past greatness to our days only a part of the tower has reached, the frescoes of which show pictures of battles.
Abbey of Rum
The sights of the island of Gotland are of genuine interest for all lovers.historical monuments. One of these places is the ruins of the Abbey of Rum, located south-east of Visby. The building once belonged to the Cistercian monks. The monastery here was founded in 1163. In its composition drove the church, from which only ruins remained, and economic buildings. The abbey flourished incredibly in the early thirteenth century. He owned numerous farms and lands not only on the island, but also on the mainland, including in Estonia. But later changes came and during the century the abbey defended its property. Gradually, it lost all its possessions and, after the last reform, was turned into a normal garden economy.
Lebra is another small town of Gotland. Its main symbol and landmark is an ancient temple. The stone structure of the Middle Ages stands out tower, which served for defensive purposes. The church and tower were built at about the same time. But only a few details remained from the temple.
The modern church was attached to the northern part of the old building, and during its existence the building was repeatedly reworked and supplemented.As a result, the temple has acquired a slightly different look, and that is how it now appears before tourists. Even the interior of the church complements the old furniture, dated XVII-XVIII centuries.
Entertainment in Gotland
Gotland is interesting not only architecture and Byzantine churches, but also beautiful, surprisingly diverse landscapes. One has only to drive a couple of kilometers out of the city, and you will see deciduous forests and places, very reminiscent of the African savannah. On the island you can also see the graves of the Vikings from the Bronze and Iron Age. There is always something to see on Gotland. History lovers can visit the spring festival of asparagus, as well as ongoing reconstruction of medieval tournaments, professional historical theatrical performances, organized in the summer. From June to August, a Viking village operates, which is a reconstructed village of the ninth century. It is located in the town of Tofta. All visitors to the museum are given a unique opportunity to participate in the amusements of those times and try their hand at baking.
Every year from August 6 to August 13 Gotland hosts the Medieval Week.At this time, the Old City seemed to be carried over several centuries into the past. Visit the island at this time is quite interesting and entertaining.
With children, it is worth visiting the theme park of the famous character Peppy Longstocking. The complex offers guests 50 rides6 flying boat, roller coaster, roundabout villa, which filmed the famous film and much more.
Tours to Gotland are quite popular among tourists, and trips to a wonderful island are organized from different countries. To get to the island, you need to get to Stockholm, and then transfer to the ferry or go to the airport. Currently actively offered tours to the island Gotland from St. Petersburg. For example, you can take a four-day trip with a comfortable bus to Stockholm, where after excursions you can take a ferry. On this trip, an entire day is devoted to exploring the island.
In summer, the Silja Europa cruise ship departs to the coast of Gotland from Helsinki and Tallinn. On board, tourists can expect a lot of entertainment for children and adults, food and spa. And in the excursion program on the island includes a sightseeing tour of Visby, a visit to the island of Foret and Park Pippi Longstocking.
In general, in the modern tourist market there are many options for trips to Gotland. It all depends on how many days you want to spend on it. The most courageous travelers who visited the island during the cruises, very often return here, having organized a trip on their own. This makes it possible to travel around all the most interesting places on Gotland and the neighboring islands, and also to fully enjoy the beauty of the stunning city of Visby. I plan such a trip, it is worth remembering that the island is worth visiting in the summer, but it is better if your trip takes place from mid-July to mid-August. At this time, there are a lot of holidays with historical reconstructions that will plunge you headlong into the Middle Ages.
Summing up our conversation, I would like to turn to reviews about the island of Gotland. Experienced travelers, of course, recommend to go to the island for a long time. Since during the general study tours it is simply impossible to see everything that is worthy of the attention of people. There are many villages in Gotland, in each of which you can find quite decent apartments for living. Particular attention should be paid to Visby.The stunning city is a combination of medieval ruins and lovely houses with fragrant rose bushes. Just walking through its quiet streets, you can find many interesting places and just have a good time.
The island will certainly appeal to all lovers of charming landscapes. Here, at every turn, a stunning view awaits you. It is on Gotland that you feel real peace and tranquility. In order to see the island, of course, not a single trip. But for the speed of movement is still worth renting a car. This will greatly simplify movement around Gotland and will open up the opportunity to see what no guide will show. The advantage of independent travel is the ability to move in the direction that you choose on the guide. By the way, small books for tourists are sold at every corner. The information in them accurately reflects reality. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to the main objects indicated in them.
An incredible number of churches or their ruins have been preserved on Gotland. Each such place has its own long history.But, if the purpose of your trip is the natural beauty of the island, then you just need to visit Sudersand - a very long and picturesque landscape in the north-east of Gotland.
If you go on a trip with the whole family, then on the island there is a lot of entertainment for children. There are children's rides and a water park. But Peppy Longstocking Park is especially popular with adults and children. It is highly recommended to visit experienced travelers.
Mandatory point of visiting tourists is the island Fore. He is really beautiful and unique. Just by hitting it, you understand why the famous Ingmar Bergman spent the last years of his life here. Here were shot for several of his films. In Fore, you should not limit yourself to just visiting the beach, there are a lot of picturesque places about which it is worth asking the locals.