Oland

Overview

Introduction

Oland is an island of windmills and beautiful flora 175 mi/280 km south of Stockholm. There are also remnants of Viking history, including a Viking grave reminiscent of Stonehenge. This isn't to say that Olanders are stuck in the past—the bridge that connects Oland to the mainland at Kalmar is an engineering marvel: At 4 mi/6 km, it's one of the longest in northern Europe. Bike rentals are the preferred way to travel this island, but you have to be in good shape if you want to see it all.

Those with an interest in Vikings will want to visit the archaeological site of Eketorp, an ancient fort where Viking excavations are under way. It was built in three different stages between AD 300 and 1300 and has been reconstructed using ancient building methods.

Everyone should see Solliden, the summer residence of the Swedish royal family (its gardens are lovely in the summer). Other distinguished structures include a medieval church at Gardslosa, the remains of Borgholm Castle (just a few miles/kilometers north of Solliden) and the Lange Jan (Long John) Lighthouse on the southern tip of the island (getting there requires a long, hard bike ride). For more information, visit http://www.olandsturist.se.

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