In late August last year (2017) we decided to go somewhere on a mini vacation with our half year old daughter Wilma. We decided we wanted to go somewhere calm but still nice and not too far away from home. Some place we could reach within a couple of hours drive and Visingsö seemed like a good place to go. I’ve been here before, but I was very small so I don’t remember much. Visingsö is an island located in the middle of the second largest lake in Sweden, called Vättern.
Our first and only real stop at our journey from home to Visingsö was at Gyllene Uttern, just outside of Gränna. It’s an old inn with a stunning view over Vättern and Visingsö. Basically it was just a stop for lunch and a way to spend some time waiting for the ferry that would take us from Gränna to Visingsö. We had pre-booked a slot time on the ferry to make sure we would fit. Getting on the ferry was easy and the ride only took about 25 minutes.
We had booked a room on a pension (lodging) called Visingsö Pensionat and it was situated just a couple of minutes driving from the harbour, right behind the church. After checking in we got informed that we were just off season (missed the season with justone week) so much would be closed on the island (restaurants and hotels). So we made our way into the small community of Tunnerstad and the grossery store there to buy some food for us. It was a quite quiet evening considering we have a 7 month old baby.
Waking up the next day to a stunning day we took off exploring the island a bit. While Sofia slept in a bit me and Wilma took a walk (I pushed Wilma in her stroller) in the oak forest before breakfast. We begun to the south and passed an mulberry groove which was cozy but not much to see really. We continued soutwards until we reached the southern part of the island. Here we found Näs castle ruin that clings on to the erroded cliffs. Parts of the castle has already fallen down into the lakes cold water. This castle was once a home to several of the Swedish kings in the early ages. The castle ruin has a quite interesting history to tell.
Turning back north again we stopped at Sverkers Oak, a place where king Sverker is said to be slain by his enemies. We also stopped at a cist grave but found it was not much to see there. We headed back to the docks as it was time for lunch and one of the few places still open during the off season was Restaurant Solbacken. Had a good lunch and then we took a stroll down to Visingsborg castle ruin, which ones both housed Swedish nobility and later on russian prisoners of war. After this we took the car northbound on the island but did not really find much of interest there. We were looking for a store that was supposed to sell clothing but it had closed for the season so we turned back home to the pension again.
During a walk in the afternoon/evening we came upon a nostalgia museum (BP gas station). We spent some time looking at the incredible collection. The museum is free of charge but volontairly donations are welcome!
The coming morning I took Wilma in the stroller again and took a walk around the Brahe church and got some gorgeous shots of it in the early morning sun. After breakfast we checked out and took the ferry over to the mainland again to explore the town of Gränna. Gränna is mostly famous for their peppermint rocks and the Gränna Museum with it’s exhibit about the Andrée expedition to the north pole. We entered one of the many peppermint rock stores/factories but the show off how the candy is made was closed for the season (seem to be a curse following us here). We bought some candy and then decided it was time to go home. At first we had planned to visit Brahe hus, yet anther castle ruin but the weather started to turn from nice to bad so driving home felt more appealing.
Check out the gallery for some more pictures from Visingsö and Gränna.
Visingsö official: Visingsö
Trafikverket: Ferry tickets, prices & time table
Gränna official: Gränna