Vacation At This Island In Europe Dominated By Beaches And Next To No Civilization

Our lives move pretty fast... didn't Ferris Bueller say something like that in a movie? Sometimes, taking a break from our cares, social media, and the hustle and bustle of work and family life is nice. If you like a sightseeing vacation packed with activities, great. There are many fascinating places in the world, like Rome, New York, Cairo, or Sydney, where you can shop, learn about history, and marvel at the creations of humankind. What if you want to get away from it all, though? What if all you want is to go far away from civilization and just commune with nature?

There is one such place in family-friendly Sweden that you should consider if the goal is to be alone, watch sunsets, hike, and rarely see another person. That place is Gotska Sandön island, about 25 miles north of Fårö. It's a tiny place, approximately five miles long and three miles wide. There are no permanent residents other than the animals and birds who live there, but there are lovely beaches, a forest, and a bit of that longed-for peace. Here's all the information you need about how to get there, where to stay, what to pack, and what you'll see on Gotska Sandön. Do note that this is a predominantly natural environment, so there is an expectation that visitors have the physicality necessary to stay there.

How to get to Gotska Sandön and what to bring

There are no official harbors here. If you have your own boat, you can go any time of year, but you'll probably have to drop an anchor offshore unless your boat can land on the beach. You can take a ferry from either Fårösund or Nynäshamn, which runs from the end of May through the beginning of September. It's a pretty well-sized ferry with snacks available on board. Depending on the weather, it takes around four hours to land on the sand at Las Palmas Beach. However, if the weather is bad enough that the ferry must land on another island, you'll be taken from there on a dinghy. You may have to hike quite a bit to get to the campsite, but fear not. Your luggage will get there by tractor.

You'll stay at Fyrbyn at the northwest tip, which has a church and a lighthouse. You can rent tents with a blanket, pillow, and a bed, or stay in the hostel or one of the cabins with a shared earth closet (a toilet where the waste is covered with soil). That said, there are no stores. You must bring everything you'll need, like food, clothing, and supplies.

What to do on Gotska Sandön

While the official website for Gotska Sandön National Park says it's okay to pick berries and edible mushrooms, we recommend that you be an expert in identifying them if you choose to do so. There are a few other rules you should know before you go. If you want to build a fire, for cooking or otherwise, you must get permission from a park ranger. You also can't use drones here. While you might think no one would notice, remember that the residents of this island are animals, and a drone can disturb them. Leave your pets at home, too, as they are prohibited for the same reason.

There are marked hiking trails, and you can wander the forest or hang out on the beach. Swimming is permitted, though it probably won't be warm. The island has much plant life, like the pretty helleborine orchids, though you cannot take anything home. Another big draw is the grey seals that breed and raise their pups (born in the spring) on the island. You cannot, however, enter their Säludden reserve.