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View of Karlskrona, Blekinge
Blekinge is known for its unique archipelago, world-class fishing and the naval city of Karlskrona.
Photo credit: HeliAir Sweden/Visit Karlskrona

Blekinge – a small county with great archipelago adventures

Blekinge serves up magnificent coastal nature and culture, including the Karlskrona World Heritage Site. Manageable in size, you can explore much of the region in as little as a weekend. With a variety of activities and scenery, however, there’s plenty to keep you entertained for longer stays as well.

Blekinge county in Sweden’s southeast might be the country’s smallest province, but the experiences you can expect are anything but scaled down. The varied terrain ranges from peaceful pastures to stunning archipelago and Blekinge is home to over 100 nature reserves, half of which can be found in the archipelago. The must-visit islands include Hanö, Tjärö, Aspö and Utklippan.

Karlskrona – a World Heritage Site and the capital of the region – is spread across 30 islands and boasts a remarkably well-preserved naval base. There’s also plenty to discover in the towns of Karlshamn, Ronneby and Sölvesborg.

Whether you’re the adventurous type or simply seeking a beautiful change of scenery, you’ll find the perfect holiday or family vacation in Blekinge.

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Tjärö in Blekinge archipelago

Tjärö in Blekinge is an idyllic archipelago island with red cottages, free-grazing animals, a generous guest jetty, a café and a restaurant.

Photo: Per Pixel Petersson

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Tjärö in Blekinge archipelago

Photo: Per Pixel Petersson

Karlshamn in Blekinge

Photo: Per Pixel Petersson

Karlskrona archipelago

Photo: Andreas Blomlöf

Outdoor adventures in Blekinge archipelago

Blekinge offers up a compelling array of natural experiences; the waters are ideal for kayaking and canoeing. Rent a kayak at Paddelkompaniet and set off on an independent seal safari. Utklippan in the outer part of Blekinge archipelago is a good place to start as this is a favourite haunt of a large grey seal colony. (Please be aware that the waters this far out can be unpredictable, so avoid paddling solo.)

If you prefer an organised seal experience, consider Saltstänk’s diving and boating excursions. Your odds of encountering these charming creatures are highest in late summer and early autumn.

Fishing in Blekinge’s waters – sea, lakes and streams – is a peaceful way to take in the scenery. The stunning nature reserve found on the island of Tjärö (accessible by ferry from Karlshamn and Järnavik) is a good location to catch sea trout, pike and perch, while the beaches of Eriksberg are excellent for pike fishing. There are a number of fishing companies offering excursions in Blekinge – Dragsö Sportfishing in Karlskrona among them. You’ll soon understand why Karlskrona archipelago has been nicknamed ‘Gäddriket’ (Pike Kingdom). If you’re into flyfishing, Mörrums Kronolaxfiske offers various packages.

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Kayaking in Blekinge

Kayaking in Karlskrona archipelago, Blekinge.

Photo: Linda Åkerberg/wilderness-stories.com

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Kayaking in Blekinge

Photo: Linda Åkerberg/wilderness-stories.com

Hiking in Blekinge

Photo: Linda Åkerberg/wilderness-stories.com

Fishing in Karlshamn

Photo: Jacob Zockerman/ark56.se

Top trails for hikers and bikers

Blekinge is ideal for hiking and biking. You’ll get a good snapshot of the region’s varied terrain along the Blekingeleden (Blekinge Trail). This 270 kilometre stretch is divided into 15 sections, taking you through peaceful pastures, woodland and glittering lakes, with access to accommodation along the way.

Another not-to-miss route is ARK56 – a 13-point network of trails snaking through the spectacular biosphere reserve. You can discover this unexploited natural terrain – defined by its beautiful bays, untouched isles and well-preserved historic sites – via a range of modes: cycling, hiking, canoeing, kayaking and sailing.

Blekinge’s largest lake, Halen, also offers trails for hiking as well as canoeing possibilities. Don’t miss the suspension bridge Frickabron, which has become Olofström’s most photographed spot.

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Karlskrona in Blekinge

Karlskrona gained World Heritage Site status in 1998 for its well-preserved architecture and city plan.

Photo: Birger Lallo/Visit Karlskrona

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Karlskrona in Blekinge

Photo: Birger Lallo/Visit Karlskrona

Kungsholm's fortress

Photo: Visit Karlskrona

Grevagården, Blekinge Museum

Photo: Ola Åkeborn

Marinmuseum in Karlskrona

Photo: Oliver Lindkvist

Brändaholm in Karlskrona

Photo: Anders Gustavson at Flickr.com

Kastellet in Karlshamn

Photo: Per Pixel

Karlskrona– a historic city on the sea

Karlskrona World Heritage Site is awash with historic splendour, reflecting its maritime heritage. As you wander around the city – built as a naval base in 1680 – you’ll take in fascinating fortifications, historic churches, elegant squares and boulevards. The city centre, with its impressively large town square, is located on Trossö island. Known for its baroque architecture, highlights include Trefaldighetskyrkan (Trinity Church), Fredrikskyrkan (Fredrik's Church) and the Town Hall.

Kungsholm's fortress – dating back to 1680 – is situated on the southern fairway into Karlskrona. While Drottningskär Citadel – considered one of Sweden’s most significant historic military structures – can be found on the island of Aspö, reachable by ferry from Karlskrona. Blekinge Museum and Marinmuseum (The Naval Museum) are other cultural encounters worthy of a visit.

Keen to immerse yourself in a typically Swedish environment dotted with little red cottages? Then head to Brändaholm, a leafy community defined by its 1920s houses and quaint streets, ideal for leisurely strolls.

Karlshamn is another gem. This small town boasts historic highlights such as Kastellet fortress and Asschierska huset, a half-timbered 17th century building that served as a town hall and prison.

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Restaurant Visenten

Visenten is one of two restaurants in the spectacular wildlife park Eriksberg Hotel & Nature Reserve.

Photo: Angelica Zander

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Restaurant Visenten

Photo: Angelica Zander

Brygghus 19 in Karlshamn

Photo: Brygghus19

Café Mandeltårtan in Ronneby

Photo: Café Mandeltårtan

Blekinge’s culinary highlights

Blekinge has a proud culinary culture with an increasing focus on sustainable cuisine based on local produce sourced across water and land. Ronneby-based Äggaboden is a small-scale poultry farm in an idyllic rural setting. They offer lunch and ‘fika’, and there’s also a well-stocked farm shop full of vegetables, fruit and freshly laid eggs. Should you struggle to leave, there’s a cosy onsite B&B.

For fine dining, consider Visenten – a high-end affair in the spectacular wildlife park Eriksberg Hotel & Nature Reserve. The menu is season-led, based around game sourced right on the doorstep and complemented with locally harvested produce. Astensmåla Mat & Vingård, in the outskirts of Olofström, offers top-class farm dinner packages.

Smoked fish is a Blekinge specialty, and salmon – smoked and cured – is the order of the day at Wägga Fisk & Delikatessrökeri in Karlshamn, Blomlöfs on Saltö and Dagmars Hamnkrog in Hällevik.

Blekinge is also rich in unique cafés and microbreweries, such as Brygghus 19 in Karlshamn and Karlskrona’s Bryggeri Skeppsgossen. Sweet treats and delicious food are served up at Ronneby-based Café Mandeltårtan, which also runs a cosy B&B. Make sure to order its lovely almond cake, the café’s namesake.

Whether sampling local flavours or exploring the broad spectrum of historic and natural highlights, you’ll quickly realise that despite its modest size, Blekinge county offers mighty experiences that you’ll never forget.

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Deer at Eriksberg Hotel & Nature Reserve

Wake up with wild animals outside the window. Eriksberg Hotel & Nature Reserve is one of Blekinge’s biggest draws.

Photo: Angelica Zander/Eriksberg

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Deer at Eriksberg Hotel & Nature Reserve

Photo: Angelica Zander/Eriksberg

The Manor House at Eriksberg

Photo: Angelica Zander/Eriksberg

Kronohäktet Karlskrona

Photo: compani56

Kronohäktet Karlskrona

Photo: compani56

Ronneby Brunnsbad

Photo: Jeanette Rosander

Barnens Gård in Karlskrona

Photo: Barnens Gård

Practical information before your trip to Blekinge