Treat yourself to an overnight stay on the island of Stora Karlsö off the coast of Gotland. Enjoy a leisurely evening walk, take in the sunset or rise early to the sound of birds chirping. Dare to take an early morning swim rounded off with breakfast before the day’s guests arrive on the first boat. This is another world, far away from all the musts of everyday life. Feel how wonderful life can be.
Several summer romances, weddings and children are linked to Stora Karlsö. It is a romantic place, and it is hardly a coincidence that tens of thousands of birds choose to nest here!
The boat trip from Klintehamn takes only half an hour, but the feeling of coming to another world is palpable. The island became a protected nature reserve as early as 1889, the second in the world after Yellowstone National Park in the United States.
The Karlsö islands are known for their flora and birdlife. Over 250 bird species have been spotted here, and the islands are home to nearly 600 plant species. On the bird cliff nest guillemots, razorbills and black guillemots. Their main hangout in the Baltic Sea are the Karlsö islands, which have Baltic’s only real bird cliffs. May and early June mark orchid season, full of elder-flowered orchids and early purple orchids amongst small pasque flowers, cowslips and the meadow saxifrage.
If you choose to stay a night or more, you begin with a guided tour and then the island is exclusively for you and the other overnight guests to enjoy. Next, it’s time for a walk before the evening meal at the restaurant. The pace and direction are up to you. After dinner, there are more chances to take a stroll while the sun sinks into the west.
Your accommodation in the lighthouse includes full board, towels, bedding, cleaning after check-out and a magnificent view of the island and sea.
For the early risers, we recommend waking up with the nightingales, and maybe rosefinch, barred warblers and other songbirds accompanied by surreal background vocals from thousands of guillemots and razorbills on the hunt for small fish or on the way to feed their hungry chicks. An early morning dip is never a bad choice, especially not on a quiet morning in early summer when the sea is like mirrored glass.
Stillness together with the bird cliff’s songs, silence broken by the waves breaking against rocky beaches or lush greenery in contrast to barren flower meadows. Stora Karlsö is not like the rest of Sweden - welcome out and enjoy the essentials of life in a place unlike any other.