Scenes of a Scandinavian Summer

03.09.18

Hey guys, it’s Holly! Long time no see. Last summer my family and I took to the road for a three week adventure through Denmark and the south East coast of Sweden, in search of nature, serenity and that Scandinavian charm we all love so much. We also camped for the very first time, and I am pleased to report that we survived, unscathed and still married, after staying at three different camp sites along the way (OK annnnd a boutique hotel and charming bed and breakfast because, well, balance)! It occurred to me that I shared some snaps over on Instagram but not here, and after revisiting the images for a photo album I’ve been making from the trip recently, I thought I’d channel the Scandi vibes once more and share some of what we saw and did with you!

Our journey took us from the Netherlands, through Hamburg, Germany, on to the south West coast of Denmark, across a few ferries to the south East coast of Sweden, hopping along the coast until we boarded a ferry to Gotland, and then all the way back home again. I’ve gathered a few of the highlights and for anyone wanting to embark on a similar adventure (with family in tow or solo) with some addresses we went to that we would recommended visit again.

DENMARK | >>

From the get-go, we were careful to drive only a few hours between each stop to give Lola enough time to enjoy her surroundings and play outside. This meant the journey was a slow one and we were just fine with that. To get to Denmark we had to drive across Germany and head North, so we cut the journey in half and stayed a night at the Gastwerk Hotel, a former gas plant carefully renovated to a loft-style, industrial boutique hotel that was a very comfortable start to what I fear was going to be a very uncomfortable few weeks. Well rested, inspired and energised for the next adventure, we headed north for Denmark, choosing a camping location not only close to the border but that was beautiful too. Before reaching our destination, we picnicked on a charming jetty in a rather remote place called Sønderborg, before stopping by the bustling town of Ribe for coffee and cake. By sundown we were set up at our first camp site and while I was figuring out how to make a well rounded dinner on a camping stove for my hungry travel companions, Lola picked wildflowers and arranged them in an empty beer bottle to decorate the table. Her mother’s daughter, what can I say?

We stayed at a fabulous, family oriented camping resort called Hvidbjerg Strand Resort which we would definitely visit again. You can choose to stay in an architect designed beach villa, charming thatched fisherman’s cottage on the pond, beach hotel, or park off in your caravan or tent. Kids can roam free with plenty to do, and there are also three beautiful restaurants and a spa in the resort. It was a great ‘taste test’ for our camping adventure, we were only sad to stay just a few nights.

We passed through Denmark swiftly, eager to explore the coast of Sweden and make our way up to Gotland. We decided against doing Copenhagen for various reasons, but mostly in an effort to really chase nature and serenity rather than the hustle and bustle of the city.

SWEDEN | >>

We took our time as we hopped along the Swedish coastline, staying at two camp sites along the way, all part for the First Camp branch. We stayed at Åhus-Kristianstand which offered very serene pine forests on beautiful beach front,  and Oknö-Mönsterås in the beautiful Swedish archipelago. We rowed boats, fished for guppies and just once dodged heavy rain with a visit to the nearby city of Kalmar, where, on this particularly wet Sunday there was one place open for real coffee (Balck Coffee) and it was literally food for the soul. Little did we know, we had forgotten to attach a vaguely important piece of fabric to the top of our tent which we later deduced was in fact the rain shield and we returned warm bellied and happy hearted to a small swimming pool. Good times! Not really.

GOTLAND | >>

Despite failing to book the ferry ride over to Gotland well in advance and finding oursleves at the back of a very long queue of cars for 6 hours in the blazing heat, in the hopes of making it on board after paying premium for the ride, we made it to the beautiful, serene island south of Stockholm that I had been desperate to visit for so long. And it was truly a highlight of the whole journey and worth every second of the wait on that hot tarmac and every penny of the fare across the Baltic sea.

We stayed at a charming self-contained holiday apartment Stenkyrka Mejeri Hotel, on the North-West coast of Gotland, just North of the capital Visby. I had wanted to visit Gotland for the nature but what I didn’t realise was that the island has a large ceramic and pottery culture, with studios dotted all over the island. I had the pleasure of discovering the work of one of the ceramicists who lives and works on the island, Lena Scharp, visiting her charming countryside studio and seeing her create her beautiful, graphic works of art. Our favourite stop for lunch was at the Lergrav Fisk Cafe on the North East coast, where we dined over fresh seafood in the sunshine on a jetty overlooking pristine waters and charming Nordic black and red boathouses, before climbing the rocky hill to catch some epic sea views.

We left the island relaxed, windswept, charmed to the core, with ceramics tucked into every cushioned of our overflowing car, every bit as eager to plan our next journey as we were to return home again. From the ferry dock back across the water at Oskarhamn, our journey back home was a much faster one, stopping just one for the night in Lund on the way.

So that was our little adventure, I hope you enjoyed seeing these beautiful scenes as much as we did. We can’t wait to explore more of Sweden and travel across to Norway next time too. And I dream of visiting Iceland and the beautiful Faroe Islands too one day. For now these sweet memories with me and my family have given us so much joy. Have you been to these areas of Denmark or Sweden before? Or do you have tips for our next Scandinavian adventure? We would love to read any tips in the comments below!

Holly x

2 Responses to “Scenes of a Scandinavian Summer”

  1. Hej!
    I really enjoyed this blog over Denmark and Sweden. I hope to visit Gotland one time too.
    We’ve been a 30 times to Denmark and 3 times to Sweden I think. I love it there!!!!
    The island Öland, east for Kalmar, is very beautiful too.

  2. Marie says:

    This looks so cool, I Make holidays in south tyrol next week 🙂

Leave a Reply