sightseeing Blekinge and Karlskrona

What to do in Karlskrona and sightseeing in Blekinge

Roadtrip with a lot to do and see

About the article

Author: Eva Oscarsson, Director Tourism & Rental at Motor Home rental


Phone: +46706438928

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Description: Short roadtrip vacation for sightseeing and exploring Blekinge and Karlskrona

Sightseeing cultural and nature road-trips for short vacations

Sightseeing in Blekinge and Karlskrona, a perfect region for short holiday! Don’t know what to do in Karlskrona? No worries! I am here to share my experience.

It is time for a sightseeing trip in the new year. I want to explore, but also meet up with friends and family. Blekinge is the perfect region to explore, small and well situated. In addition, I love coasts and ocean-views.  

Blekinge is surrounded by regions that I want to explore. On one side of the Blekinge and on the other side the Kalmar county. More importantly, the magic Baltic sea at my fingertips and the amazing Baltic Sea archipelago.

Secondly, Good friends of mine, Malin and Magnus, are often off on short holiday “escapes” with the motorhome and their bikes. They live on their countryside resort in the county of Kalmar, south eastern part of Småland. The Swedish South East coastline is just 30 minutes away from the holiday resort they run. 

 Thirdly, my friend Iwona lives in Karlskrona, the capital of Blekinge . She is a keen traveller herself and a local tour operator. As all seasoned travellers know, the best tips would typically always come from other travellers or explorative locals.

Planning for the roundtrip

The time frame, needs and realities

Here I am, on the first days of the New Year, planning a trip for spring time.

Spring is my high season workwise and it is the time of year when my energy level is dangerously high, the adrenaline has kicked in. From past experiences I know that by June I just want to escape to a calmer place and meet up with friends and family. I just need to breathe new air for some days.

This is why I am thinking of a maximum of 5 days tour, from Sunday evening to Friday evening.  I also know that I will have to work on my trip, answer e-emails and telephone calls. Naturally, I will also take notes in a diary and take photos that can be used to improve this text. I want to go to places where I can stay put and work in my campervan if needed. Small walks and a beautiful view is the only requirement . Nevertheless, the friends and family  I travel with could, without much planning, enjoy an active outdoors. 

My plan is to ask my  friends in Emmaboda to come along as well as luring my sister and friends from Stockholm to join me. 

Travelling to the Swedish South East Coast

I travel from Gothenburg early Sunday evening. I would go across the country to meet up with Malin at Ödevata Countryside resort. They have a campsite and, more importantly, several saunas by the lake. A great start for my vacation. As I love home dishes and goodies I will for sure check in Explore Småland´s online shop to see if there is anything going on. They are just around the corner from the Ödevata campsite. 

Then I would continue to Kalmar and it would be a perfect place to meet up with my sister from Stockholm, if she has time to join me. Another great and fun option is to take our web and content developer Mike along. A perfect opportunity to explore, write content about the Swedish countryside and take photos together.

Mike also lives in Stockholm. As he goes south, he is passing several stunning archipelagos and coastal destinations along the Baltic sea coastline. I will ask him to stop and take pictures. 

I have never been to Kalmar  and it seems like a perfect starting point. Ahead of us we have a 60 minutes- trip to the border of the county of Blekinge and then a 300 km coastline from Kristianopen to Sölvesborg. 

My roadtrip along the Swedish south East Coast will be focused on the outdoors, the ocean, nature sites, lakes and nature reserves.

As I will be travelling on one of our Carado campervans I can get close to nature and the locals. I am looking to get to know outdoor recreational swimming areas (with saunas)  and sandy beaches, cosy fishing communities, coastal towns and islands.

It is time to discover the Baltic sea, its people and it´s history. 

Road trip from south Sweden: Visit the most scenic rural industrial places

The Swedish South East Coast 

Malin says “I would love to join you as we love to go back to Blekinge. The more often we go the more we understand why all of these coastal places are are appreciated by so many”.

What I get from Malin is that it is a roundtrip full of local character, stunning landscapes, food heritage and Swedish culture. If you like Malin and Magnus like to go on their electric bikes, hike and just chill with waterside views, then you wouldn’t be disappointed. 

Coastal destinations: Islands, towns, villages and heritage

I have not been to Blekinge before, and Karlskrona is high up on my roadtrip list of Swedish destinations. Iwona lives here and I hope she wants to come along as a friend and as a personal Blekinge guide. I will make a one day stop in Karlskrona, which is becoming the next must visit place in Sweden. Not only is there beautiful scenery, but also it is a city full of history. Karlskrona was, and still is, a naval city.

Here’s just some of the things that I know Iwona will show me;

  1. The Naval Museum in Karlskrona. This is definitely a must-see destination. It is one of the few places in the world with a full-sized submarine that you can visit the inside.
  2. There are about 420 bunkers in Karlskrona. It is because Karlskrona was a war city, and lots of the bunkers were constructed during the Cold War.
  3. Colorful wooden houses next to the sea. The genuine quarter of Björkholmen attracts visitors, you can even rent a small house here – ask Cross Baltica! . There has always been a shortage of wood on the rocky island where the center is situated, so the shipyard workers smuggled pieces of wood to build the cottages.

I will probably be travelling early or mid May and this is still the off season in Sweden. There are many quaint and historic sites and villages to choose from, in and around Karlskrona.

In general, if you travel in Sweden off-season it is good to know that while coastal locations are full of life in the summertime, low season it might be a different story altogether. 

On my list I want to visit at least one island. The best option is to choose  islands close to the mainland and with regular ferry traffic. 

Islands off the Swedish south East Coast 

Going to an island at the start of the holiday seems to be a smart thing to do. In the eastern archipelago there are smaller islands of which some of them  have inhabitants. I think I will go for one with people living on the island. There are  ferries from Torhamn to islands such as Stenshamn and Långören. It seems that it is possible to go island hopping. One stop that seems interesting is the  island Ungskär you can enjoy an intact  fishing village with buildings from far back

Nearby Torhamn you can get a glimpse of the seals, migrant birds in the Torhamns Udde nature reserve, and enjoy swimming in the Baltic sea. Follow Kustvägen – a panoramic way connecting Kristianopel and Torhamn, with a lots of local farmer shops and nice cafés open summertime.

Ytterön and Östra Hästholmarna have two joint islands and one of the biggest nature reserves in Blekinge. Could be an option, but I would have to ask Iwona about the place. 

sightseeing in Blekinge

West of Karlskrona toward the country of Skåne

If there is time left on my trip, the island Hanö looks interesting. It is located in the Hanö Bay and is close to Sölvesborg. The entire island Hanö is a protected area of Natura 2000 which could get a status of a National Park in the future. Hanö can be reached by ferry from Nogersund.

Mainland Coastal towns and camping

My first stop, coming from Kalmar, is Kristianopel. A village full of heritage from the Danish time and a dramatic history back to the war between Sweden and Denmark. You could even get confused seeing Danish flags and street names – but yes, you are still in Sweden! You can visit a beautiful medieval church and go along the old fortress walls. A yacht port is well visited thanks to Café Sött och Salt – a “must visit” point. It is too early to enjoy the rose gardens but if the day is clear it says that we would get a view of the island of Öland.

A 60-70  minutes car drive to the west of Karlskrona and you will reach beautiful coastal fishing villages of Nogersund and Hörvik, in the southeastern part of the peninsula Listerland.

Nature reserves, the Biosphere reserve and trekking

A must on my trip is to take long walks. Hiking is just the best outdoor activity and the best place is in a nature reserve nearby.

sightseeing Blekinge and Karlskrona

In Blekinge the terrains are easy going and you can choose different trail length according to your liking. Check out the hiking and bikes trails in ARK56 app.

East of Karlskrona

Enjoy hiking in the nature reserve Färskesjön. In Möckleryd you can visit the second largest iron age rock carvings in Sweden.

West of Karlskrona 

Listershuvud, one of the largest nature reserves in the Blekinge. It is a mountain with the highest point, approximately 80 meters with a fantastic view of the Baltic sea.

Outdoor bath houses with saunas and the opportunity to dip in the cold sea are a must on my 5-day trip

As a kid we had a sauna in my childhood home. My father was a keen sauna lover. Like many Swedes of his generation they kept the traditions of sauna, a beer  and a cold bath afterwards.

My father knew what he was doing it seemed. Current research on regular and weekly Sauna baths seem to show that it is good for your health. In an article at the Uppsala University website from 2020 adjunct professor at Department of Medical Sciences Hans Häggslund says that the scientific studies show that there is a substance to say that Sauna baths are good for people at risk of cardiovascular diseases  as well as dementia and stroke. It also helps us to sleep better and feel less anxious. Aches and pains also seem to improve your sleep, reduced anxiety, and relief of aches and pains.

So I am looking to, if not, everyday, at least once or twice, find a local sauna place and then plunge myself into the Baltic Sea water or lake. Refreshing and great to relieve stress.

Open-air bath houses and saunas I would like to try

  • Karlshamns open-air swim-bath is a modern and beautiful building. It is a completely unique area with indoor baths, outdoor baths, sea baths and cold baths.
  • Many resorts, camping and hotels have saunas: Nevertheless, I want to meet up with locals and found Hembygdsförening (association for local historians and heritage) with saunas.

On my way back to Gothenburg

On my way back to Gothenburg, I will go past the lake Ivö just on the border of Blekinge in Skåne. It is the largest and deepest lake of Skåne.