Västervik Archipelago & Hasselö Island — Småland, Sweden
*We were kindly hosted by Visit Sweden during our entire stay in the country but all words, pictures and opinions are our own.*
We took a boat trip from Slottsholmen in Västervik out to explore the archipelago and landed on Hasselö, a small island with a population of just 35. Following that our guide, Thomas, took us onto (the even smaller) island of Sladö where he lives with his wife and dog. The population on Sladö is 5… and the dog. We don’t think we’ve ever been anywhere like it.
We enjoyed homemade soup in the village pub - the Thirsty Winter Swan as it’s called during the colder months (Sjökanten the rest of the year!) and some really stunning apple cake to finish. This was a place we could imagine full of happy people singing their hearts out on snowy nights as they fight the temperatures with schnapps. The stuff of tv adverts in theory but in reality the kind of place that is an essential part of the community.
This was one of our favourite parts of our time in Sweden - not least because Thomas (our guide) was possibly the most entertaining person we’ve ever had the pleasure to meet but because it felt like a warm and friendly place despite only seeing 3 or 4 people the whole day we were there. Rural Sweden at its finest. Also that apple cake really was exceptionally good.
You can learn more about Hasselö here.