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South East Sweden

Around Karlskrona is a small archipelago, a sort of taster for the larger ones further north. A popular alternative stop en-route from the south is the uninhabited island of Utklippen. Round the corner, on the popular holiday Blue Coast of the shallow Kalmar Sound are a few interesting small harbours, most notably Kristianopel and Bergkvara, until the un-missable town of Kalmar itself is reached. North of Kalmar, the skerries start in earnest, limited at first until you get to Oskarsham, but then progressively more and more complicated and intense. Also in this area is the holiday island of Öland, with its rather disappointing town of Borgholm.

Borgholm Harbour Racers at Borgholm

Maybe we visited on a bad day, but Borgholm seemed to us rather reminiscent of Bognor Regis. Admittedly, we arrived in the middle of a race series, but actually that was the least of the problems, as the racers just holed up in the inner harbour. It was the hotel on the waterfront with its rather raucous entertainment, the harbour and the town being overrun with day trippers, and the slightly tacky air of the whole thing.

To add to the fun, in the marina there are far fewer stern bouys than berths so about 5 boats tie to each bouy. Swedes hate rafting, so instead of simply mooring alongside boats on the other side of the harbour where there was plenty of room, they just squeezed in wherever there was more than an inch of spare water.

The town itself has one major street, with the usual selection of shops, but nothing special. Just outside the town, by the tourist information is one mega caravan park. There is however a reasonable beach right alongside the marina, and the nearby resturant (albeit busy) served a good lunch.

Didnt do much for us, I'm afraid.

A far more interesting possibility, which we didn't actually experience, is the Waterhotel at Dämman Lighthouse. This is an old fort, built in the middle of Kalmar Sound and with its own landing stage within the fort walls. It is an exotic (if, I believe, rather expensive - £70 for a three course dinner) location. Booking is essential.

Kalmar at DawnKalmar Slot The guest harbour at dusk

There is lots to do in Kalmar, and a stop is thoroughly recommended.

The main shopping centre is next to the marina, within an old walled town. Built on a grid system, of sorts, it is quite compact and easy to get around. There are a wide range of good shops including a department store, and many resturants.

Karlmar Slot, the castle, is huge. Set jutting out into the Baltic, and surrounded by water, it is an impressive sight. It is open daily. Also in Kalmar is the Kronan exhibition. The Kronan one of the largest warships of the seventeenth century, went down with 800 souls when she turned in a hurry, flooded, then blew up. In the 1960s, many artifacts were retrieved from the wreck and are on display in a special exhibition.

The part of the harbour nearest to the town is given over from May to September to a guets harbour. It has a 110 berths, but nevertheless is full by about 4pm. Later boats can lie alongside the quays in the outer harbour.

Berthing is to stern bouy.

The marina is associated to the tourist office which is on the quay. A new shower and toilet block is next door, protected by a daily changing code. There is also a washing facility.

There is an excellent chandlers (Watski) opposite the marina, doing a roaring trade. An ICA supermarket is also alongside on the quay in the Baronen shopping centre.

Cost : Somewhat expensive at 150 SEK, plus 20 SEK for electricity.

Useful resources
North Sea Passage Pilot

Landsort - Skanor Excellent guide to marinas and nature harbours - in Swedish


Hafenhandbuch German loose leaf guide to marinas

The Baltic Sea

Baltic Sea

Contains some material on Southern Sweden

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