Elongated off the coast of Småland, Öland is a picturesque island in Sweden’s south-east. It’s one of the country’s smallest traditional provinces and is largely occupied by farmland, with its fertile plains and mild weather making it ideal for agriculture. Öland is connected to mainland Sweden via a six-kilometre-long bridge, the Ölandsbron.
Things to do in Öland Island
Overlooking Öland's west coast is the ruined Borgholm Castle, which was originally built in the 13th century and has been reconstructed several times since. It’s open to the public as a museum, with magnificent views across the island from its towers. Coincide your visit with a concert or theatrical performance in the inner courtyard.
South of Borgholm Castle is Solliden Palace, a whitewashed residence that serves as the summer home of the Swedish royal family. Follow the winding pathways that lead through its landscaped grounds where plants indigenous to Öland can be found. Stroll through the Dutch Garden (gifted by Queen Wilhelmina) and browse the changing royal exhibitions in the Pavilion.
Sprawling across the south of Öland is the Stora Alvaret, an immense limestone plain that has been UNESCO-listed as part of the Agricultural Landscape of Southern Öland. It’s renowned for its biodiversity and rare orchid species and is home to the remains of prehistoric settlements. In addition to ancient tombs, ring forts and foundations, bone spears and elk antler harpoons have been discovered here.
Getting around Öland Island
Öland is around 15 minutes’ drive from Kalmar (on mainland Sweden) and Kalmar Öland Airport, which has regular flights to Stockholm and seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. During the summertime, ferries also connect from Kalmar to the town of Färjestaden. Buses travel around the island, although renting a car or bicycle will give you greater freedom to explore.