Öland is the second largest Swedish island and the smallest of the traditional provinces of Sweden. Öland has an area of 1,342 square kilometres and is located in the Baltic Sea just off the coast of Småland. The island has 25,000 inhabitants and is separated from the mainland by the Kalmar Strait and connected to it by the 6-kilometre-long Öland Bridge, which opened on 30 September 1972.
Öland is the second largest of the islands of Sweden and was historically divided into one chartered city and five hundreds.
Skördefest is an annual harvest festival on Öland, held every September, which attracts thousands of visitors. Pumpkins are placed upon the top of bales of hay, a signal to buyers that fall harvest goods are available for sale at the location. In Borgholm, a pumpagubbe (pumpkin man), a large scarecrow like figure, built entirely of gourds, is erected at town center. The pumpagubbe celebrates the bounty of the Fall Harvest.
Öland has a semi-continental oceanic climate with vast temperature differences between summer and winter. There are two main weather stations, one located at the northern edge and the other at the southern edge. In spite of the more northerly latitude, Öland's northern edge is far milder than its southern edge, since air warm over greater surrounding landmasses during days, whilst retaining heavy maritime features during night. It is also more representative for the island's general climate, with only the deep south being much cooler down a narrow peninsula.
Average highs range from just above freezing in winter to over 20 °C in summer, while nights are between slightly below zero to around 15 °C. Records stand at -28 °C and 32 °C. Average annual precipitation is just over 400mm and is quite evenly distributed throughout the year.
The nearest airport and railway is in Kalmar.
You get in by car or bus from Kalmar over the Ölandsbron bridge.
In summertime, there's a ferry from Kalmar to Färjestaden and back, on which you can bring your bike. It runs from mid-April to mid-August, from around seven in the morning until six in the evening during weekdays.
Public transport is limited. There is no railway on Öland. and the bus routes and bus departures are relatively few, even though the situation gets a lot better during the tourist season from the beginning of June to the middle of August. Taking the bus, however, remains the most convenient way to get around on the island, since they cover most of the island and can get you within biking distance of interesting sights and beautiful beaches. Bringing a bike would be great and convenient, as passengers are allowed to bring bikes on the buses. It's also the best way to experience the unique landscape of Öland. There are very nice biking trails along the long coast of Öland.
Kroppkaka is a Småland/Öland speciality. Smoked fish is another one. Berries are usually abundant throughout the summer and early autumn. Mushrooms are plentiful in autumn.
The island doesn't have much to offer in the nightlife department but if you head into the larger towns, e.g. Borgholm (in particular), Färjestaden and Mörbylånga you will see a few nice restaurants and bars. The Strand Hotel in Borgholm has a great nightclub in the summer.
Böda Sand is Sweden's biggest camping site with 1,350 camp sites and 125 cabins. It lies close to a beautiful beach, and its size makes it an attraction in itself.
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