/
Close
Newsletters  | Mobile

European Island Finder

Sweden: Gotland

Gotland looks pretty and wholesome—rose-covered cottages; Gothic churches; green pastures—but this is Sweden’s island of hidden hedonism. Every July a wave of hip young Stockholmers transforms the sleepy medieval town of Visby into that rarest of things: a Unesco World Heritage site with a kicking party scene. Within its 13th-century walls, restaurants serving cutting-edge Nordic cuisine sit alongside old-fashioned bakeries selling cinnamon buns. Lazy days are spent on blond beaches surrounded by blond people; long summer twilights strolling Visby’s cobblestoned streets (stop for a glass of rosé under the evening sky at café-bar Vinäger). Dinner might be a classic fish dish in the simple white-tiled room at Bakfickan, or a riff on modern Swedish cuisine—grilled Baltic turbot with browned butter, beets, and horseradish, say—on the terrace of 50 Kvadrat. Later, take your pick of the summer-only clubs, such as Gutekällaren, which pulls in big Swedish musical acts. The best hotels are away from Visby. Fabriken Furillen, in the northeast, pairs luxury (Hästens beds; Bang & Olufsen electronics) with a starkly beautiful postindustrial setting. Or head south to the eight-room Djupvik Hotel. With its white chaise longues lined up by the pool, it looks as if it stopped in Gotland en route to some Greek isle and decided to stay. —Stephen Whitlock

Advertisement

Sign Up


Connect With Travel + Leisure
  • Travel+Leisure
  • Tablet
  • Available devices

Already a subscriber?
Get FREE ACCESS to the digital edition


Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Marketplace