5 days of pure adventure on the island of Gotland
First things first. Since Gotland is located in the middle of the Baltic Sea, having no bridge to connect it to mainland Sweden, you must of course know how to get there effortlessly. Luckily there is an excellent ferry traffic throughout the year.
So here is how you get to Gotland with a campervan:
With a campervan from Småland Campers its easiest to take the ferry from Oskarshamn to Gotland. You can pick up your camper in Kalmar and drive about 75 km (approx. 1h) north to the ferry harbor in Oskarshamn, or you can schedule a Pick-Up in Oskarshamn where you will be only 5 minutes from the harbor. During the summer months it is highly recommended to book your tickets in good time. For a campervan in the category “Koja” you only need to book a regular car space, you don’t need to pay the higher price for motorhome. Check in opens about three hours before departure, you will receive an email or text message to check in and get your boarding passes which you can save on your phone. Gates open 1,5h prior to departure and close approx. 20 mins before departure (please check this information before your trip with the ferry operator, changes are possible).
Now that you know on how to get to Gotland, it is time to tell you all about what you should bring along on your campervan road trip.
In general it's as always a good idea to check the weather forecast. Nevertheless remember that you are planning to explore an island and quick weather changes and stronger winds are possible, so pack suitable clothes for that. Most importantly don´t forget to bring a camera to capture the amazing landscape you are going to drive through. If your camaras zoom isn´t the best, binoculars might help you spot some eagles or seals along the shore. As so many other places in Sweden, Gotland also has some very lovely hiking trails, so proper shoes will come in handy when you for example walk along the limestone cliffs. Talking about shores and cliffs, you must bring swimwear and a bathing towel, to hang out at the long sandy beaches. If the weather happens to be rather unpleasant, a good book to cuddle up in the campervan is never wrong.
And lastly, a practical tip might be to stock up food suppliers on the mainland since you might arrive late in the evening due to the ferry schedule and what could be worse then not having something to eat after you made up you first camp of the road trip.
Let´s get rolling!
Welcome to Gotland.
The first day of your Gotland road trip will take you to the northwest of the island.
As most ferries tend to arrive quite late to Visby, our recommendation is to drive just a bit outside the town to find a nice and calm campsite with sea view ;‑) Easy!
One of the highlights on the west coast is the limestone rauk (sea stack) called “jungfrun” next to the small fishing village Lickershamn, which is the highest rauk on Gotland. You can take a small hike through the nature reserve and along the beach. By the village entrance you will find another rauk field, the “grausne norra raukområde” inviting you for a little stroll between the rocks.
From Lickershamn you can even take on longer hikes, for example the Klintkustleden, a 30km long coastal path connecting the beautiful coast with its cliffs and beaches. Of course you can always hike parts of the Klintkustleden. One option that we recommend is from Lickershamn to the beautiful Ireviken bay and onto the Sigarve beach (about 6km one way).
Don’t forget to bring food and water on your way as well as some sausages to grill. Trust us when we say, you won’t have a problem to find a beautiful BBQ place (be aware and inform yourself about possible fire bans during longer dry periods - especially in summer).
If you don’t go hiking on the Klintkustleden, you don’t have to miss out on the beautiful Sigarve beach. Just drive north from Lickershamn and don’t miss the small sign to Sigarve. A small gravel road will lead you to a parking with only a minutes walk to the beach. But be warned as this is definitely no hidden gem and rather well know, so it might be crowded in summer. The gravel road is no problem for our campervans and you will be able to turn around at the parking. The coast is very stunning, and you can drive all the way up to Hallshuk if you want. Afterwards you will continue to follow the coast towards Kappelshamn. If you are running out of time, you can also take a shortcut from Sigarve directly to Kappelshamn.
After lots of hiking and exploring the coast it might be a good time to drive and start looking for a nice place to make camp and call it a day. There are lots of options along the coast. Make sure to not disturb the locals, wildlife and nature and that overnight parking is allowed.
Day 2 takes you further along the coast and all the way to Bläse. The Bläse Limeworks museum informs about limestone work history which is a big part of the islands history.
Afterwards you have the possibility to drive by the stunning stone coast “stenkusten”. From Bläse you head further up north, the way is marked in Bläse with a small wooden sign. Don’t worry, even though its only a small gravel road, our campervans love travelling on those roads and are never shy of an adventure ahead. Nevertheless, be respectful when you meet other cars and help them out passing you. To protect the fragile flora around the stone coast it is mandatory to always stay on the marked road and parking, it is not allowed to drive on the beach. But there is enough marked parking for you to explore the area, take a picknick and hang out by the sea.
Don´t miss this sign! :-)
Or go to the open air museum “bungemuseet” that shows how the Gotlandics lived in the past, with some quite impressive old buildings.
For the night you can either catch the free ferry to Fårö or find a suitable campervan parking around Fårösund. On Fårö there are several free “ställplats” motorhome parking but also big campsites with good facilities.
Be aware that there can be huge queues during high season to get on the ferry to Fårö, but it really is worth the visit and will be one of the highlights of your road trip!
Up next, the blue lagoon! You really shouldn’t miss this if you are not too keen on bathing in the sea, because the blue lagoon has super clear water and is perfect for a swim on hot days. Otherwise, you can walk around the lagoon with its limestone cliffs. The lagoon is a former limestone quarry, now filled with water. On top of that there are BBQ places along the cliffs. But be aware that you have to pay for parking (during high season). So coming here during off season is a thing. Unfortunately, you will not be able to overnight park your campervan at the blue lagoon. Therefore, head towards Fårösund! If you have time left why don’t you check out one of the cafés in Fårösund.
You made it to Fårö with your cozy campervan!
First up on your Fårö road trip you can visit “Gamla Hamn”. It’s a beautiful long stone beach with impressive raukar (sea stacks). Here you can see the famous raukport which is called “kaffepannan “ or “hunden” - it’s a rock arch. Apart from that, there are the ruins of a chapel from around the year 1000. Also on the beach, just outside the nature reserve, there are about 15 viking graves, in form off “stone hills”. From the beach you can already see the small fishing village “lauterhorns fiskeläge” where you might want to stop next. From there you should drive all the way up north along a beautiful coastline (perfect street conditions). There you will find even more stunning rock formations, BBQ and picking areas, as well as parking spots spread along the coast. This is a long stretch of rock formations which makes the biggest area of sea stacks on Gotland and it is called “digerhuvud”. Here you might even find fossils in the limestone.
Once you made it all the way up north on Fårö you reach the “langhammars naturreservat” with again even more rock formations but also interesting vegetation. We can only recommend to stay on that parking where camping is allowed (WC available) and enjoy the sunset over the rocks before you snuggle up in your campervan bed. In summer you will most likely have some other campervans parking there but off season you might just have this beautiful spot on your own.
When it is getting calmer in the morning or evening there are big chances to spot eagles here! Last time we saw a beautiful “havsörn” white‑tailed eagle there ourselves - easily our highlight of that trip!
From the north of Fårö you can make a pitstop on one of the beaches on Fårö. Probably the most famous one and really pretty but rather crowded in high season is Sudersand. If you prefer a calmer spot you can find smaller also nice sandy beaches if you drive between Sudersand and the ferry terminal, parking is available near the beach. During high season getting off the island (Fårö) can be also a bit time consuming and it is recommended to take the ferry during off‑peak hours (e.g early afternoon). Otherwise you might find yourself stuck in long queues again. If you only want to come for a day trip and want to park your campervan on the main Island (Gotland) it´s a really nice thing to rent bikes and to explore Fårö nearly carbon neutral while skipping the queues.
Once you come back to the main island you will pass Bunge again and more limestone quarries by the coast. Driving off the largest road and taking some smaller ones near the coast is a really nice thing to do on your way along the east coast. You will find lots of rock formations to explore, possible swimming stops and lots of local farms that sell really good and fresh veggies, eggs, milk, meat and wool.
For example take a detour to Lergrav and visit the rock portal which has a really cozy café by the sea nearby. Then you can take the smaller gravel round along the cost to Slite.
In Slite you can see the big scale limestone quarries. Now you make your way down south and will always have the chance to stop by the beaches and cafés along the way. There are also numerous nature reserves to explore for little hikes.
For your next highlight leave road 146 in Kräklingbo towards Katthammarsvik and visit the Grogarnsberget nature reserve. Here you can do smaller or longer hikes and first of all enjoy the amazing view from the high cliffs. Another gem is the really cute picknick and BBQ spot if you take the small road down to the sea. Here you can take a rest or even find a parking spot for the night. Tip: If you drive the little gravel road you will get to the next harbor village called Herrvik without having to drive back and you will enjoy an amazing scenic drive along the coast.
Perfect for dinner, get some smoked fish in Sysne, super popular!
From Katthammarsvik make your way down south. A nice pitstop is in the village of Ljungarn with a long sand beach and lots of cafés and restaurants. Our personal favourite is the waffle place called Våffelmagasinet at the harbor. From the central parking you can take a beautiful walk along the water to get to the harbor.
Then continue your journey south.
A special view offers the Närsholmens fyr (lighthouse) in a stunning landscape.
The next highlight in southern Gotland is the rock formation of Hoburgsgubben, take the scenic route along the west coast on your way there.
While being still on your way back to Visby you might want to stop by an old viking grave, a beautiful stone ship right before Klintehamn (Gannarve Skeppssättning). For some relaxing hours at the beach, Tofta beach is well known and in easy reach from Visby. What you shouldn't miss is the viewpoint "Högklint" with an amazing view from the cliffs over Gotlands west coast.
Finally you made it back to Visby. Weather you planned to explore Visby in the beginning or end of you trip it's always worth to plan an extra day if you want enough time to explore the beautiful hanseatic city in your own pace.