If you are planning a trip to Sweden and haven’t yet booked your tickets, try to bake in a little extra time to go to one of the most magical places on earth. It’s called Gotland and you can see photos of it in my Facebook profile. (Or just Google it.) It takes time to get there and back – but it’s well worth the effort. Even in winter. Here’s the info:
When I first went to Gotland, I took an overnight ferry, but now you can get there in 3 & 1/2 hours and for under $75.
The Rent-A-Wreck guy has a little shack you can walk to from the ferry. If I remember correctly, we called him when he got there and he came with keys, but book ahead and make arrangements.
You can see Gotland in 24 hours, but you will start missing the place the moment the ferry leaves Visby. So if you can swing it, stay 2-3 days.
Stay at a pension or at the Visby Hotel, which the Clarion has purchased (you can walk there from the ferry). You will want to spend a half to one whole day just walking around Visby. Before starting out, go and get the key to the city from the museum – this gives you insider access to the ruins and the towers.
Walk around the wall, go inside the churches, and then have saffron pancakes for lunch somewhere – ask around, everyone knows everything because the place is so small. If you can’t find the real thing, we had some lovely crepes at a creperie inside the walls, served with lingonberry jam and saffron ice cream (pictured).
Walk some more, and have dinner at Wallers Krog. Eat lamb. It’s raised on Gotland.
Get up the next morning, drive to Faro. Along the way, turn off whenever you see the symbol for tourist attraction on the map – 9 times out of 10 it will lead you to someplace magical.
Take the ferry that leaves every half hour or so to Faro. See the naturally formed big limestone sculptures. Drive by Ingmar Bergman’s old house. Ask everyone where the restaurant is called Kuten’s Bensin. Google image search it too. It’s supposed to be quite the experience. And there’s some crazy story about the reuniting of the owner and his daughter or something … I heard once.
Have lunch at Furillen and then drive back and take the night ferry back to Stockholm.
I promise, you won’t regret it.