The island of Öland, off the east coast of Sweden, is one of the most visited areas of Sweden and, with its diverse landscape and superb beaches, it is a paradise for birdwatchers, nature lovers and sun-worshippers. Read more about one of the most visited areas of Sweden.
Above the main town of Borgholm rise the huge ruins of Borgholm Castle, a once splendid residence from the 12th century.
The burial places of Öland
The area has many ancient burial places, and there are remains of 16 fortified dwellings from earlier times. The most interesting is Eketorp, which has been reconstructed and now hums with medieval re-enactors and craftspeople in summer.
Related: Öland, Sweden’s Enchanting Island
Sweden’s prime bird-watching can be enjoyed at the Ottenby Bird Station, on the island’s southerly tip, where more than 370 species have been recorded.
Historical and beautiful
Nearby, you can see Karl X’s Wall, impressive for its sheer size; it was built in 1650 to distinguish Ottenby’s domain and keep out peasant’s animals.
Stora Albaret, an expanse of bare limestone soil in central southern Öland, is a starkly beautiful landscape offering rare flowers and flocks of cranes in the autumn.
Sweden’s best-preserved Renaissance castle
Kalmar, one of Sweden’s oldest cities, was of great importance in the Swedish-Danish wars. Sweden’s best-preserved Renaissance castle, Kalmar Slott was begun in the 12th century but was completely renovated during the 16th century by the Vasa kings. The castle’s coffered ceilings and magnificent stonework have inspired the Renaissance Festival held every July, featuring tournament games, market, music and theatre.
Kingdom of glass
Northwest of Kalmar, about 20 km (12 miles) is Orrefors, part of Sweden’s Glass Kingdom. The first glass was melted in Sweden in 1556, but it was not established as an industry until 1742, when Kosta, the oldest works, was founded to the west of Orrefors.
Today, the Kosta, Orefors and Åfors glassworks have merged to create one mighty glass-making company; you’ll find its wares marketed under both the brand names “Kosta Boda” and “Orrefors”. Most of the 13 glassworks in the area are open to visitors for demonstration, and many have shops.
Glasswork herring nights
Also look for hyttsill (“glassworks herring”) evenings. In bygone times the glassworks were a social center where locals would gather to bake herring and potatoes in the furnace, with music provided by an accordionist or fiddler. Some glassworks have revived this tradition for visitors.
Feature image (on top): Visit Sweden.
One Of The Most Visited Areas Of Sweden, written by Tor Kjolberg