Gotska Sandön (literally translated as "The Gotlandic Sand Island") is an uninhabited Swedish island north of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. It has been a national park since 1909.
Gotska Sandön is situated 38 km (24 mi) north of Fårö in the Baltic Sea. Legally a part of Gotland province, it is approximately 9 km (5.6 mi) long and 6 km (3.7 mi) wide, with a total area of approximately 36 km2 (14 sq mi). The island is part of Fårö socken (not to be confused with parish). It comprises the same area as the administrative Fårö District, established on 1 January 2016.
On the northwest tip of the island is a church, Gotska Sandön Chapel. As of 2019, Gotska Sandön Chapel along with Fårö Church belong to Fårö parish in Norra Gotlands pastorat.
During the summer, there are regular boat tours from Fårö Island and Nynäshamn on the mainland.
The island consists mostly of sand and is dominated by beaches, dunes and especially pine forests. Aside from a colony of grey seals, the higher fauna is not very rich. Terrestrial or aerial mammals include mountain hares and bats. However, the island is home to many rare insects and plants, including the Kashubian vetch and several species of orchid.
There are a couple of ways to reach the national park. You can use your own boat or go with the passenger boats from Fårösund or Nynäshamn. There is no official harbour on the island and you would therefore need to board the island from the beach. The passenger boats primarily sails during the summer.
When to visit
The most popular time to visit the national park is during summer. The passenger boat leaves for the island mostly during summer. Reaching the island in the other seasons can be a little tricky.
Map of Gotska Sandön National Park
Image gallery of Gotska Sandön National Park
Sights in Gotska Sandön National Park
Some national parks contain more than just natural wonders. This list shows you some of the sights that are located in the national park. This includes museums, cathedrals, bridges, dams and much more.
Hiking trails in Gotska Sandön National Park
Almost all national parks have some opportunities for hiking. You can see some of the more popular trails here. You should get local information for detailed information on all trails of the national park.
Wildlife in Gotska Sandön National Park
These sections shows you some of the characteristic wildlife to the national park.
Bears in Gotska Sandön National Park
No bears in the park
This national park has no bears and you do not need to take precautions.