Attracts active people and rock climbing is a popular activity in Vastervik
VASTERVIK, SWEDEN: My visit kicked off with a dinner at Gransö Slott, seated in the restaurant of the manor house. On the menu; A starter of Prawns blended with chili, lime and chives and crispy seaweed, trout roe and lime cream. What a taste and superb start of a five-star dinner experience and a first visit to a small city mostly known for the seaside, a music festival and a coastline of wild and unpopulated natural beauty with 5,000 islands and islets. No wonder Vastervik is a holiday favourite for the population of southern Sweden.
I was in reflected mood, and not just because of the glass walls and the green park but mainly the great mix of larch trees. Lot of linden, oaks and chestnut woods that are really big. My main course was as it was brought out of the nearby parkland; Maple glazed guinea fowl served with pumpkin puree, roasted butternut squash, beets, cabbage and pickled cherries.
Harbour and narrow passages
Vastervik is the archipelago city of Sweden. In the city centre, the east coast´s largest guest harbour. Several ferries who take you into the amazing coast and through narrow passages between small islets. Watch up for elks swimming from one islet to another! More surprises wait next summer in this beautiful archipelago, spiced with fresh wind and nature´s challenges.
Two islands. Don´t miss these two islands for your visit. Hasselö is the biggest island where pedal boats, kayak and bikes are waiting. Among the authentic boat houses is the restaurant Sjökanten serving smoked fish, the old school has become a hostel.
The island of Idö is another idyllic to paddle a kayak and catch a glimpse of a mighty eagle or just swim and enjoy delicious local food.
Outdoor activities. Vastervik attracts active people in all ages year around and rock climbing is an activity taking us to new challenges. My climbing session with Caroline Petersson at the granite cliffs of Valstadberget gave me the possibility to climb some nice classic routes. The main season is from April to October, and Caroline has lessons and courses for all ages and children as young as five.
Kayaking. This coastal strip is a paradise for kayakers. On a sea kayak, you can move everywhere – out of narrow passages between islets, under small bridges and in shallow waters. Johan Herbertsson has all the equipment for rent and invite you to join him on extraordinary kayaking between some of the 5,000 islands. You can paddle on your own, but if you like to be sure to find the best routes, and return back home, Johan is the guide to hire. If you are looking for a challenge, it is waiting for you just beyond the outer islands. Canoeing is another peaceful activity, to glide almost soundless and see the wildlife up close
City life and money
Walking the cobbled streets and alleys you will find Västervik´s centre with shops, restaurants and wooden houses in pastel colours. St Gertrude Church has been a part of the skyline since year 1400. Overums Mill Museum offers history of the iron industry in an old hammer mill. Smugglaren and Guldkant are two restaurants included in the Swedish White Guide.
ABBA-money. Every summer since 1966 Swedish top musicians and some international stars have graced the stage at Visfestivalen in the old castle ruin. Guests include legends like ABBA and Elvis Castello. ABBA-star Björn Ulvaeus grew up in Vastervik and now returns to his home town investing Money, Money, Money in building exclusive apartments, restaurant and a guest harbour with sea view in all directions.
“I’ve never lost connection with my old hometown”, Ulvaeus says – and want Vastervik to be discovered by more than Swedes.
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Touch Down: A journey to Västervik in Småland is by car and train. Many trains run daily from Linköping.
Stay: I stayed at Gransö Slott, also known as the 4-star beauty by the sea This hotel is located next to the sea is a successful blend of old manor house style and modern architecture – a balance between heritage and innovation. Västervik Resort is a summer paradise by the sea and within walking distance from the city centre. This is the place for camping, cabins and with five restaurants and a water park.
Eat: The typical taste comes from locally produced food, with respect for regional specialities. This is a strong trend in Sweden.
Play: Palladium is a nightclub in Vastervik with two dancefloors and outside lounge bar. Sahara is another night spot
Mini Guide: Discover the islands by the boat that delivers mail to the few islanders in the central parts of the archipelago. Captain Bengt Andersson and his wife Sussi runs the boat ”Sandra” with departure from Gransö Kanal three times a week. The couple lives all year on an island with three children and 20 cows. The Tourist Center is located in the central part can help with information, tips to see, where to eat and places to stay. Ask for free brochures and buy souvenirs. #visitvastervik Address; Rådhuset, Stora torget 4, 593 33 Vastervik