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The region Småland in Sweden is mostly known for its woods and rural charm, but Småland also as a wonderful archipelago on the east coast. The area is pleasantly unspoiled with more than 5000 little islands which makes it easy to find your very own island to settle on with tent and kayak. Or you can take the taxi boat from the town Västervik to the larger islands Hasselö, Idö or Rågö and stay comfortably in a traditional red wooden cabin. On a sunny day in May our trip took us to the little island Hasselö.
The archipelago town of Västervik
Before our trip to Hasselö we spend the night in cozy Västervik. The nature experience already starts here with the pretty floral wallpaper and plants at Hotell Park. In the morning we take a walk among the colourful houses of Västervik before boarding our taxi boat to Hasselö.
You can book the ferry sailing to Hasselö right here
Quiet and idyllic Hasselö
After a twenty minutes boat ride through the beautiful archipelago we arrive in the tiny harbour at Hasselö. The moment after we are settled in at the local hostel – a cozy red wooden house which used to be the local school. In fact, we don’t see a single house at the island that is not a cute traditional red one. There are no cars either. If you want to explore the island you can rent bikes and kayaks by the harbour.
It’s sunday afternoon and it doesn’t take long before the weekend guests leave the island and we have it all entirely to ourselves. It is wonderfully quiet. A true summer holiday kind of quiet that instantly make us completely stress free. All there is to do is just to be present and enjoy the beautiful nature – and I love it.
During the summer holiday (end June to start August) the island has a small grocery shop, a cafe and a restaurant. Outside the main season the shop and the cafe is closed but the restaurant is open every Saturday.
Book a room at the hostel right here (in Swedish)
Rent a wooden cabin (in Swedish)
Hiking in Sladö Nature Reserve
Hasselö consist of two individual islands separated by a small canal. On the other side of the canal the island Sladö begins. The entire Sladö is a nature reserve and together the two islands are 9 kilometers long – the perfect size for a biking trip. We bike through the beech forest along the quiet gravel roads. By the end of the road we park our bikes and follow the winding trail along the coast of Sladö. We walk trough meadows blooming with wild orchids and through woods covered by blueberry bushes. I wish I could come back here in autumn to pick all of those delicious berries!
Get an overview of the island with this map (In Swedish)
The Elder-flowered Orchid is pretty rare in my home country Denmark but luckily more common in Sweden
In autumn this place will be teeming with blueberries!
We follow the marked trail through the woods.
I am a big fan of cotton grass
Cliffs in sight!
Suddenly the wood opens up and we reach the rugged coast. What a sight! Some of the cliffs are wild and dramatic while others are round and soft – the perfect spot for a swim. And even though the water is pretty cold in May, the cliffs are warm absorbing the sun and quickly warms us up again. It’s such a lovely place to hang out and we stay for a while having our fika in the sun (the swedish word for coffee and cake). Later when the day ends, and the sun sets over the cliffs, the archipelago is the most beautiful sight ever.
Back to Västervik with the school boat
The next morning, we get to see a bit more of the archipelago when we sail with the school boat back to Västervik. There are no longer a school on the islands (it was turned into the hostel we stayed in) so the school kids are transported to Västervik every morning and back. It must be a special kind of life. No cars but a lot of silence and beautiful nature. A more relaxed and simple way of living. But still only 20 minutes away from the Swedish mainland and civilization.
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