Häradskär has to be experienced

Read more about John and Maria's week which began with aimless island cruising and ended up with plans of selling "Herbs on demand".

A love journey through Gryt's archipelago

The plan was to end our journey in Harstena – after travelling along the Göta and Kinda canals, cruising in the S:t Anna archpelago and enjoyed Arkösund. But in the end, we decided to keep going as far as we could into the Gryt archipelago, to Häradskär.

Here, after debarking on the craggy beaches, we just wander around chitchatting and enjoying being together. We bathe from the cliffs, we work on our tans and allow ourselves to dream. ”Imagine having a place around here”, we say almost simultaneously.

Maybe we could move in to the old pilot house? Sure, it’s a bit worn out – but it has got buckets of charm. It’s actually quite beautiful. Or, even better! We will build our own house, in harmony with these ragged lands and the nature surrounding us! With nothing but a simple axe, we will cut down the crooked trees and build our own dream home with our own bare hands!

I mean, we already know a lot about building. Anyway, we know it can be done. When we visited the S:t Anna archipelago and the Capella Ecumenica, we learned that Hilding Bielkhammar built the church by hand – from stones that he found lying around.

Yep, that’s what we’ll do! A fresh start. Right here, on Häradskär! Bye, bye, ordinary people! We will arrive as outcast, but end up as locals. And there will be no commuting, mark my words! We need to keep things really genuine. We’ll simply have to find some work around here. Pathfinder, perhaps? Bird watching guide? I mean, there are LOTS of birds here..! Or maybe we’ll become a firsherman and a fisherwoman?

It’s like I’ve been directly connected to cosmos itself. But, of course, it’s hard to really explain to someone who hasn’t been here.
/John and Maria

Or maybe start over as some kind of entrepreneur? Boat taxis? Actually, we did talk about that when we were in Söderköping and started planning a re-make of the classic Madicken movies (for all you non-Swedes, google it!). Transporting tourists between the Gryt archipelago and the S:t Anna archipelago, via Göta canal. There’s got to be money in that!

If so, we would have to do some digging. But the basic work is already done. We’ll simply keep going where the people of 1832 stopped. Imagine that! Poems and songs will be written in our memory. Perhaps someone will make a movie about this grand project some day?

Or maybe we could start selling herbs, because Häradskär is full of herbs! ”Herbs on demand”, perhaps? Whatever we do, naturally, we’ll have to do some preparation before. Learn more about boats and carpentry, for example. And do some reading about plants – so one doesn’t start chewing away on any herb. Like I did…

Your mind really becomes clear when you spend time in nature, near the water and in places where generation after generation has laid down hard labour – as well as enjoyed their lives. I mean, what I have written above is just a few of all the great ideas I’ve had during our week in Östergötland. It’s like I’ve been directly connected to cosmos itself. But, of course, it’s hard to really explain to someone who hasn’t been here.

  • Häradskär is an island located at the far end of the Östergötland Archipelago.
  • Here is an old fishing village and a harbor and the island is located in the part of the archipelago called Gryt outside of Valdemarsvik.
  • Häradskär is best known for its 29 meter high and red-painted lighthouse which was designed by Gustaf von Heidenstam and was built in 1863.
  • You can come here with your own boat but also by taxi boat. From Fyrudden it takes about 20 minutes by boat.
  • You can spend the night in the old lighthouse keepers' houses on the island.

  • Stroll hand in hand along the Göta Canal.
  • Try Glamping along the Kinda canal.
  • Share an ice cream at the famous ice cream parlour Smultronstället in Söderköping.
  • Take an archipelago tour by boat from Arkösund.
  • Post a selfie at Stegeborg.

More inspiration

Read more travel diaries from our fictional main characters.

Travel here

Trollegaters position

Gryts skärgård, Valdemarsvik

About the area

Utsikt över skärgården från Ekön

Imagine a deep blue sea that awakens a longing for freedom, fresh breezes and adventure. In this beautiful archipelago of Östergötland it’s easy to find your favourite islands, whether you prefer peace and relaxation or exciting adventures.


Kärlekspar vid Häradskär fyr

This is a poster used for marketing, click on the button below to see it in full size.

Till startsidan för Visit Östergötland

A part of Region Östergötland

Visit Östergötland

Social media