Helena Elm - Penåsa Rest Area
Feb 05 2022
Öland lovers Tips

Öland lovers advise on winter activities!

What do you most like to do on your day off on Öland at this time of year? A question we asked our friends on Facebook and Instagram. Here below we have collected the tips! Get inspired!

1. Discover the secrets of the Enchanted Forest

Visit the forest at the northern tip of Öland, the forest that becomes even more magical and mysterious during this season, especially when the sea roars and the wind howls among the crooked pines. Find a spot in the lee and pick up a warming picnic or look for the Swiks wreck that sank in December 1926. There are three trails in the nature reserve, ranging from shorter accessible trails on ropes to a longer trail that takes you all the way to the northern tip. Read more about the joints here.

2. Take a walk in the crown jewel Halltorps Hage

Halltorp's meadow is the crown jewel among the deciduous forests along Öland's west coast. So many species live here that the area is considered one of the richest in species in Sweden. The most exclusive live in the ancient oaks found in Halltorp's meadow. If you walk the Lilla Lundstigen, you will see these magnificent tree giants. Don't miss the beach promenade and the beautiful leafy meadow either! 


3. Cycle along the trails in the newly formed nature reserve Rälla-Ekerum

Along Öland's west coast, adjacent to Ekerum's golf course, lies the newly forming nature reserve Rälla-Ekerum. An impressive number of endangered species have been found in the reserve. Imaginative names such as large cone bee, saffron finger fungus, Öland comb claw beetle and devil's mushroom are just some of the representatives of this diversity. Next to Ekerum Resort's golf courses there are marked loops that lead you through Rällaskogen, they are anywhere from 2,5 km to 7,2 km long. 

4. Play hide and seek in Ismantorp castle

Put on your warm clothes and head to Ismantorp Castle, the mysterious castle in the Midland Forest with old house foundations that are still clearly visible. If the children are there, it's a fantastic place to play hide and seek, and if you have your hiking boots on, there are hiking trails here. Here you can take part in all the sights and hiking trails that are in Mittlandsskogen! If you want to go on a longer trip of 50 km, there is a trail between Ismantorp's castle and Gråborg, take a look at the map of the trail here.


5. Gråborg with coffee basket

When the winter sun is shining, it is best to go on excursions on the island. Gråborg and St Knut's Chapel, located near Algutsrum just outside Färjestaden, is a perfect excursion destination that offers beautiful views and lets you experience both nature and culture. Biggest, best and most beautiful, yes maybe, at least Gråborg is Öland's largest ancient castle and also one of Sweden's largest ring walls of its kind. Helena Elm and her family made a trip to Gråborg last spring, take part in her trip to the castle here and let yourself be inspired for your next excursion on the island.

6. Look for birds in Beijershamn

The bird tower in Beijershamn not only gives you the opportunity to spy on all the birds that absolutely love the place, but it also gives you an incredibly nice view of Kalmar Sound. A few kilometers south of Färjestaden you will find the Beijershamn nature reserve, one of Öland's most important locations for birds by the water, so here you have to be careful and not disturb or destroy them. When you have finished scouting in the bird tower, there is a hiking trail of just over 5 km that will take you around the reserve. Share the map here.


7. Winter excursion to Penåsa

Join us on a winter excursion to Penåsa deserted village on Öland! Pack the coffee basket full of winter coffee and head to Penåsa near Kastlösa on Öland for a wonderful winter excursion. Read more about the trip together with Helena Elm and her family.

8. Look for sea eagles in Ottenby

If you haven't visited Öland's southern cape during the winter months, now is the time to do so! In addition to the fantastic expanses and nice walking loops, you now also have the chance to see white-tailed sea eagles, which have been attracted here by the open water and the large numbers of seabirds. It is also now that you have the chance to see Starlings, which look for food under the water, the passing Silktails, which fly from rowan to rowan in search of the good berries, or the Winter Hämpling, which winters in the southern parts of the country. What birds can you find? If you are looking for a bird tower, it is of course in the southern parts of Ottenby lund. The view from the tower is always breathtaking. From here you can look out over the Schäferian meadows towards the ocean. When you're done scouting, you can display your picnic basket and enjoy all the goodies you've packed with you.

9. Refreshing cold bath

Have you noticed that many people have started taking cold baths? Incredibly good as it has so many health benefits! Have you taken a cold bath before? If not, maybe it's time to take a dip along Öland's coast this winter.

To bring with you:

  • Wear warm and loose-fitting clothes.
  • Feel free to use bathing shoes or rag socks and a hat. 
  • Bring a large towel to dry yourself with, maybe a bathrobe and a small towel to stand on when you change.
  • Take a hot drink with you in a thermos that you can drink after the bath.

To think of:

  • Never swim alone! Bring a friend and keep an eye on each other. 
  • Take deep breaths and take it easy as you lower yourself into the water.
  • Keep track of the time in the water. Don't stay in the water for too long, even if it feels good after a while, two or three minutes is enough. Don't push yourself beyond limits that feel uncomfortable.
  • Do not dip your head when it is below freezing.

A cold bath stimulates three of the body's important hormones - serotonins that contribute to well-being and good self-esteem, oxytocins for peace and tranquility, and endorphins for feelings of happiness and pain relief. In addition, it is said that cold baths strengthen the immune system, reduce susceptibility to infection, pain and the risk of depression, increase oxygen absorption and the ability to handle stress and anxiety, and provide better sleep, more energy and make us mentally stronger.