Our first full day on Gotland we wanted to discover as much as possible and decided to head north and east (the next day we went south and west) and our first stop was the Lummelunda Cave, one of Scandinavia’s biggest caves.
It’s pretty touristy, but well worth a visit as it’s both pretty cool to see, but it’s also interesting to hear how the cave was discovered. I remember visiting when I was four years old, and although it was probably more amazing experiencing the cave as a child it was still nice to come back as an adult and experience it in a different way.
After the cave experience we took the car ferry to Fårö where the nature is absolutely amazing. The island is barren and stony, but also eerie and pretty. And there’s sheep (and sheep huts) almost everywhere (Fårö translates as Sheep Island).
We found the most amazing café here, just by following a sign I thought looked promising, that I would recommend everyone to visit, but we also stopped for fika at the famous and more traditional Sylvis Döttrar bakery. Reviews to follow.
After that we drove back to Gotland and headed east to Furillen, a former limestone quarry that’s extremely beautiful. The restaurant was closed unfortunately, but it was worth stopping here for the nature alone.
We covered quite a lot of the island just driving around (and stopping when we saw a good photo opportunity).
Although Gotland is small there are things to see and do (and eat!) just about everywhere, so it’s good to be selective. The Gotland Guide from the ferry over is great to use and we kept one in the car the whole time.
We arrived Visby in the afternoon, having been up since 5am, so we were quite happy just walking around the town for a bit (taking some photos) and then have an early no-fuss dinner.
We ended up at Donners Brasserie and sat outside people-watching (so much fun when most people were dressed in medieval attire). You could tell it was the end of the season as none of the restaurants were full up but at least we were not alone dining here.
The menu was quite simple and although the smoked prawns for a starter appealed we were all
hungry starving and went straight for the main course.
Mother had arctic char with potatoes baked in tin foil and served with a coriander mayo. Not ground-breaking but it was cooked well.
I had the steak with bearnaise sauce and fries. The meat was slightly over-cooked but still nice.
Father had the largest portion (so generous!) of lamb racks I’ve ever seen, with sautéed vegetables and a potato salad.
The food was nice, and not very elaborate but I can see it appealing to the crowds in the summer. It was all fresh and cooked well just lacking a bit of oomph.
Donners Brasserie, Donners plats 3, 621 57 Visby, Sweden
Gotland is the largest island in Sweden and a real summer island. I imagine it’s pretty much only locals here during the rest of the year, but during the summer the tourists come invading – both Swedish and from abroad – and they’re joined by summer guests making the city all buzzing with parties and people milling about.
Visby, the only city on the island, is the best preserved medieval city in Scandinavia and hosts an annual medieval festival in the summer. The city dates back to around 900 AD, which you see traces of all over town.
The city wall is the most prominent feature, but there are also lots of church ruins, a medieval cathedral and lots of houses dating back to that time. It feels like even the cobbled streets tell a story of olden times. So much heritage!
We, my parents and I, were here during the medieval festival (by coincidence) and it was great fun walking around the city seeing people dressed in medieval outfits – some more elaborate than others.
Visby has a modern side too though, with a nice harbour, lots of restaurants and shops and a nice botanical garden.
They also have these super cute sheep cast from cement scattered all over town which are modelled after the local Gotland variety gute sheep.
Stay tuned for more posts about this lovely island!