Lonely Planet, one of the world’s most renowned travel guide, has given the Swedish gem Gotland an impressive no. 2 position in its ‘Best in Europe 2017’ listing.
Gotland is a special yet somewhat unexpected part of Sweden, boasting the most sunshine and highest density of historical sites in the country and more restaurants per capita in Unesco-listed Visby than any other Swedish city.
“This does not come as a surprise to us who work with beautiful Gotland and promote all the area has to offer, but it is of course absolutely amazing that a great travel guide like Lonely Planet praises the region,” says Thomas Johansson, general manager of Visit Sweden in Norway .
This ancient Baltic island has breathtaking scenery, with pastoral countryside, mysterious forests, time-warped fishing villages and tranquil sandy beaches – except in the height of summer, when Swedes flock there from the mainland and the island takes on an exuberant air, accentuated this year by the week-long 2017 Biennial Island Games in June.
“We and the tourism industry in Gotland have for many years been working to facilitate more international guests and, not least, an extended season. This statement emphasizes that the goals set for Gotland are correct,” Johansson adds.
Most visitors content themselves with marginally less exertion when it comes to activities, however: the island is simply wonderful for exploring by bicycle with virtually traffic-free roads and unspoiled landscapes.
“In recent years we have seen an increase of foreign guests visiting Gotland, especially for long weekends. These guests come year-round, which is an excellent addition to summer tourism,” says Press Officer in Inspiration Gotland, Lena Thorn.
Great dining experiences, sand between your toes and a taste of delicious hippie life with surfing on the beach are just some of the things awaiting you when you put your feet on Gotland.
All photos: Tor Kjolberg
Gotland – Best in Europe 2017, written by Tor Kjolberg