At the time of the Vikings, Gotland was an important centre of life and trade. Today, the Swedish island has lost none of its cultural and natural magic. On the west coast lies the beautiful cultural city of Visby with its cathedral and medieval city walls. But the island of Gotland also includes beautiful fishing and medieval villages – and Pippi Longstocking’s Villa Kunterbunt.
If you want to rent a campervan, you shouldn’t miss this beautiful island in the Baltic Sea. In fact, Gotland is the second largest island in the Baltic Sea after Denmark’s Zealand. As a result, it has many tourist attractions to offer. These include the beautiful nature – such as the limestone formations of Langhammars, the cave of Lummelunda or the coastal cliffs of Högklint. With a campervan, some of Gotland’s most popular routes are open to you. It’s a great way to get to know this fascinating Swedish island.
Gotland – Swedish History and Culture
Why is the Swedish island actually called Gotland? It’s not hard to guess, because the Goths are said to have lived here in the past. The Germanic tribe eventually moved to the European mainland, thanks to them the name Gotland, which is in common use today, came into being. The early history of Gotland was recorded in saga form in the so-called Gutasaga.
Archaeologists have discovered over 800 hoards from the Viking Age on the Viking island of Gotland, where seafaring culture once lived. Medieval villages and old fishing villages along the coast are reminders of the island’s long history today. Of course, also the beautiful city of Visby with its city walls and cathedral. Incidentally, Gotland is not only an island of medieval churches, but also of medieval festivals. One of the most famous is Medeltidsveckan, the annual medieval festival in Visby. It takes place every August for a week and is reminiscent of medieval Gotland.
If you want to rent a campervan and travel around the island of Gotland, you can arrive by ferry. From Sweden, the classic routes take you by ferry from Oskarshamn and Nynäshamn to Visby. The ferry route from Rostock to Visby is comparably new. Travellers to Gotland therefore have a number of options for arrival. The advantages: Enjoy the beautiful nature of Gotland directly with the campervan.
Places of interest – The most beautiful places on the island of Gotland
Rent a campervan and explore the island of Gotland: This is a dream of many holidaymakers who are interested in Scandinavia. The island thrives on its versatility between beautiful coastal nature and cultural sights. First and foremost is the medieval city of Visby, which makes a good first destination.
Visby’s historical roots can be traced back to pre-Christian times. Thanks in part to its strategically good coastal location, an important medieval town quickly grew up here. In the High Middle Ages there were even intensive trade contacts with the German Baltic cities. Visby’s long history is still evident in the cityscape today. Visby’s 13th-century city fortifications are still clearly visible. The former defensive fortification is now one of the city’s historical landmarks.
Some of the most important sights on the island of Gotland are located in Visby. The old town centre is now recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. If you travel to Visby with an autocaravana, you can discover Visby Cathedral, for example. The building’s origins date back to the 12th century and it was once built in the Romanesque style.
Visby was one of the important cities of the Hanseatic era and has retained much of its historic charm. The regular medieval festival Medeltidsveckan proves that the town is now also an important cultural centre on the island of Gotland. Of course, there are plenty of campsites around the city to experience the sights of Visby in a relaxed way.
Gotland is also a natural paradise with beautiful island nature. Many picturesque routes by campervan lead along the island’s coast – some with idyllic panoramic views of the sea. A popular stopping place for campers, for example, is at the small coastal village of Tofta, where there is a campsite not far from the sea. Gotland also offers beautiful hiking routes through nature. Some of these routes pass the Raukar of Gotland. The Raukar are the island’s typical limestone pillars, a natural landmark of Gotland.
There is a ferry from Gotland to the small island of Fårö, which is famous for its Raukar. The Langhammars Raukar are among the most famous limestone columns of their kind in the world. Nature lovers should also not miss the Lummelunda cave, which is one of Gotland’s most famous sights. The cliff landscape of Högklint is also one of the local natural wonders.
The island of Gotland also has something to offer passionate reading enthusiasts. Much of the theme park Kneippbyn near Visby revolves around the work of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Here you will find a replica of the famous Villa Kunterbunt, the setting for Pippi Longstocking. No wonder so many families are drawn to Kneippbyn every year.
The fact that Gotland is also a lively island with many events is proven not only by the Visby Medieval Festival. The island hosts the annual Gotland Grand National motorbike race. The race has been known for more than 30 years for its off-road motorbike enduro competition. The island of Gotland offers a whole range of opportunities to experience Swedish culture, nature and festivals with a campervan.
Gotland – Why a trip with a campervan is worthwhile
The Scandinavian coastal nature with its old fishing villages and natural rock formations offers some of the most beautiful sights of the Baltic Sea. If you travel in the right season, you can visit the popular Visby Medieval Festival in August. In general, the old trading town of Visby shines with medieval architecture and an important history. Travelling by campervan to Gotland allows you to get to know the Swedish island nature in an uncomplicated way.