Discover Hästholmen-Ytterön-A large Nature Reserve

We are lucky enough to live in southern Sweden.  Blekinge, our part of Sweden, has an archipelago made up of 1650 islands, skerries, and islets.  With the great transport system of archipelago boats, and county buses (we moved from the UK where buses were a little hit and miss!!), exploring the archipelago is very easy.  We started exploring our archipelago a little last spring and summer, but this year, with a little more research, we are going to go on a journey of discovery.  We will explore the archipelago looking at the background, how to get there, what to see and do, where to eat, and where to stay for each place we visit.  We would like to take you with us on this adventure via the blog, and you never know you may well find yourself booking a trip to discover this small part of the world 🙂  Enjoy the adventure with us….fifth up is the island of Hästholmen-Ytterön.

Background Information About


The earliest written records of habitation are from 1671, just after an earthquake, but objects have been found on this island that date back to the stone age.  Originally, the main livelihood was fishing, and then in the late 1600’s a pilot station was built on the island, and pilots worked on the island too.  During the 19th century, an increase in population meant that farming was developed which led to the more open landscapes that still remain today.  During the 20th century, farming eventually came to a stop, but three brothers set up a boat building industry on the island.  This stopped production in the 1990’s, but the history of boat building is still important to the island, often hosting classes or exhibitions.  As with most of the archipelago islands, there remains evidence of a previous military presence.  In 1965 the first ferry connection to the island was made and it also took cars as well.

Our Adventure To Hästholmen-Ytterön

It was a sunny Friday afternoon, and straight after school we left and drove to catch the 2 minute car ferry across the sea to the island.  Driving the car onto the ferry, even though it is only for 2 minutes, just adds to the sense of adventure for the children.  It was such a glorious early spring afternoon, and the island looked very beautiful.

It is quite a large island compared to quite a few, so having the car meant that we could see a lot more of it.  We have actually been over to this island before, but only for a rainy hike, campfire, and some geocaching.  Today we were more focused on seeing some of the heritage sites on the island.  Our first port of call was the Mårtensson’s Boat Building Yard.  This is where the three brothers set up and operated their boat building business on the island.  The children enjoyed peering in through the windows, looking at the equipment outside, and generally trying to work out what everything was for.

After this we drove to take a look at Battery Killeberget.  An old battery which started to be built in 1928.  It was in use between 1929-1955.  You can’t get inside it, but the few parts of it that are above ground lead to a lot of thinking about what on earth is under the ground where you are standing.  It is quite extensive.  The children enjoyed being able to go into one of the sentry boxes and peer out of the look out slits.

We saw much of the island taking a leisurely drive around it.  There are not many homes here, and a lot of natural countryside that makes it such a beautiful place to visit.  After touring the island, it was time to fill our tummies and have some play in nature, so we headed to one of the island’s sandy coves.  Although we had taken the buckets and spades, they remained untouched.  Double trouble leapt about on the great rock boulders, clambering around and making up stories for their play, while our little lady opted to do the cooking for the day.  

On the menu today we were trying for the first time pizza wraps, followed by an old favourite of chocolate orange brownies.  Everyone was happy and stuffed after, and it was time to head back for our ferry home after a good few hours of play in the fresh air.

How To Get To Hästholmen-Ytterön

There is an all year round cable ferry that takes cars from Yttre Park.  It is a VERY short distance taking only a few minutes, but a fun one none the less.  In the summer months you can take the archipelago ferries from either Karlskrona or Yttre Park.

What To Do And See On Hästholmen-Ytterön

  1. Nature Reserve:  Most of the island is a nature reserve.  You can meander through dramatic open landscapes, beach meadows, juniper heaths, and some forest areas as well.  There is a rich marine life and lots to see in the shallow coves.
  2. Geocaching:  There are a few dotted around the island.
  3. Beaches:  There are lovely beaches to be found at Dragsviken and Buddevik.
  4. Mission House:  There used to be three different mission houses, but today only one remains.
  5. Mårtensson’s Boat Building Yard:  This is where the three brothers set up and operated their boat building business on the island
  6. Battery Killeberget:  An old battery which started to be built in 1928 can be seen.  It was in use between 1929-1955.
  7. U137:  In 1981 there was a rather large diplomatic incident when a Russian submarine ran aground here.
  8. Visit Strannabacken:  A beautiful area where people can enjoy relaxing together for such occasions as midsummer celebrations.

Where To Eat On Hästholmen-Ytterön

This is very much on a self catering basis!  However, there a lot of lovely firepits around the nature reserve that you can utilise to cook on.  If you need inspiration for food, check out my outdoor cooking section for ideas.

Where To Stay On Hästholmen-Ytterön

There are no offical accomodation places, but you could always enjoy a spot of wild camping and utilise the benefits of allemansrätten but make sure you do it responsibly!

The island has a very comprehensive website so click and take a look around some more of the information.

We had such a lovely afternoon exploring, but I would recommend taking a whole day to enjoy the simplicity and natural beauty of this island, and its beaches.  We have been a few times now and it never fails to disappoint.

Discover Hästholmen-Ytterön, Hästholmen, Ytterön, Hastholmen, Ytteron, Blekinge, Sweden, Archipelago,

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