Feedback on Gotland Medieval Festival

Sep 21st, 2014, 10:13 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 12
Feedback on Gotland Medieval Festival

We are in the early stages of planning a trip to Sweden, two adults and a 12 yr old, for 10 nights. Would like to start with 3 or 4 nights in Stockholm and spend the rest of our time in Gotland (have an ancestral connection so feel quite drawn to visit the island). The annual Gotland Medieval festival will be taking place while we are there. Has anyone been to Gotland during the festival and if so can you please comment? Our 12-year old is ecstatic at the prospect of seeing jousting.
Pilgrim5678 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2014, 10:55 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I've not been there during the festival, but have been there just before.

Though Visby can get very crowded in midsummer, there's limited accommodation on Gotland, so the rest of the island generally feels very empty, and a great deal of it is easily accessible by bike. I'm allergic, going on downright hostile, to cycling - but most of Gotland is extraordinarily benign for it.

Your joust-centric child might not be interested in this, but among Gotland's gems (festival or no festival) is the best-preserved, and most accessible, collection of medieval churches in Northern Europe.

Most of the rest of Protestant Europe vandalised their churches during the Reformation in a fit of Taliban-style dogmatism about images. Gotland seems to have been more civilised - and though there are far more of these churches than most sane people would want to see (church geeks like me can't get enough of them), a bike tour of them (details from the Visby tourist office) is a great focus for a couple of pleasant days pottering - by car on on a bike - along wonderfully empty, leafy, roads.
flanneruk is offline  
Sep 25th, 2014, 03:31 AM
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Thank you flanneruk, your comments make me feel better about being in Gotland for a whole week. Sounds like we can have a good balance of cultural, historical and natural explorations. And you are right about limited accommodations, I've gone ahead and booked a hotel as they are almost all sold out already!
Pilgrim5678 is offline  
Oct 17th, 2014, 08:19 AM
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Aside from Visby, there used to be a medieval festival about an hour South in Grötlingbö in a preserved medieval farm called Kattlundsgård. I did a little Googling and the festival itself didn't turn up but prehaps you can find something in the tourist literature. Anyway, it's worth a visit to the museum to take a look if there is no festival with the jousting etc.

Gotland is bike friendly but I wouldn't say it's easy to get from top to bottom even if the island is flat. It's quite a distance, in other words. And bikers share the road with vehicles.

Don't miss Burgsvik in the South and Fårö st the top. There are caves Lummelunda grottor right close to Visby which are fascinating for all. And in between- Gotland is known for high quality handcrafts in clay or wool from the plentiful sheep and also wonderful cafés. You can visit many studios on your journey, most of which will be open in the summer which is high season.

Gotland is usually the sunniest and often warmest part of Sweden in the summer so take swimsuits and head to the beaches!
Finecheapboxofwine is offline  
Dec 20th, 2014, 06:35 AM
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Thank you fcbw, I've been out of touch for awhile but back to planning our summer of 2015 Sweden trip. Do you by any chance have a recommendation on getting to Gotland - trying to decide on ferry vs. flying.
Pilgrim5678 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2014, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We travelled by boat last July ( 2013). It worked very well
We made a booking in advance and caught the dedicated bus from the terminal in Stockholm. This connected with the (massive) boat at Nynashamn and we repeated the process in reverse to return.
I loved Gotland
However it was very busy and even though we looked for accomodation in April we had quite a job.
Frances is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
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I've done both but we usually have a car and take the ferry from Oskarshamn which is not convenient to Stockholm. There is the ferry as Frances above mentioned. I can't remember how far from Stockholm to the Ferry terminal in Nynashamn but it is not in the city so you will need to make your way there. The bus transport sounds ideal, anyway. Ferries sometimes go speed ferry or longer journey so check the timetables. Flying will get you there in 45 min. Or less. Simple. But the ferry terminal is right in Visby so very convenient for arrival and departure.
Finecheapboxofwine is offline  

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