Discover Tärnö And Sweden’s Oldest Wooden Lighthouse

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….fifteenth up is the island of Tärnö.

Background Information About Tärnö

For several centuries this large island had a permanent population, but in the 1950s and 1960s this declined, and now there are no all year round residents.  The population decline coincided with the decrease in profits in small scale fishing.  There are also traces of stone age settlements around the island. The island is home to Sweden’s oldest wooden lighthouse.  There is a tale that there is an “old silver cat” buried on the island that was discovered in 1862, and there are legends of dragons too.

Our Adventure To Tärnö

We caught our ferry from Matvik and headed out into the archipelago towards the island.  It was a VERY hot day, and the summer sun had now been shining for around 4 months with only the odd day’s rain here and there.  Cooking on open fires now had a ban well under way, with forest fires raging in much of the country.  So, we packed up our ready made food and headed for our adventure.  Once we alighted, the plan was to hike up to see the lighthouse, and then return back, via a sandy cove for a swim and play.

The trails are really well marked with colours, and there is a very good map down at the harbour that we took a photo of first so we had it with us.  It would have been lovely to have walked more of the trails, but with temperatures pushing high 20’s I needed to be sensible with the children.  So, we settled with climbing up to the top of the hill where the lighthouse was situated, so we had seen the main point of interest on this island.

Then after we’d made our way back down, it was time for a revitalising dip in the sea and a play for a few hours.

We then headed back to the main harbour to enjoy a much deserved ice cream whilst we waited for the ferry back home…..hoping he’d return, as last time out with this boat he’d whizzed past the island we were waiting on, and didn’t pick us up!!

Much to my relief the ferry did indeed return and stop at the jetty properly to collect its passengers!!

How To Get To Tärnö

The summer archipelago boats run from both Karlshamn and Matvik.

What To See And Do On Tärnö

  1. There are 2 nature reserve areas on Tärnö, so enjoy the trails and nature. The trails are well marked, with a good map at the harbour as well.
  2. Dragon Hill is the highest point on the island with lovely views, and apparently there is also treasure buried there, which has yet to be found.
  3. Lighthouse viewpoint is on the top of Dragon Hill and is Sweden’s oldest wooden lighthouse.  It is still in operation and was built in 1910.
  4. Enjoy the lovely clear waters for a spot of swimming.

Where To Eat In Tärnö

Laxboden is both a grocery store and a little place where you can buy some refreshments to enjoy.  It also has a postbox and refuse bins.  It is located where the archipelago boats come in.

There are also lots of fire pits sited around the island, making cooking outdoors a lovely part of the adventure.

Where To Stay In Tärnö

Contact Karlshamn tourist office for more information about boathouses you can stay in.  These have bunk beds and a kitchenette, a shared toilets and showers, plus a communal water supply.  There are also 2 apartments which have 2 rooms and a kitchen with cold water, a stove, fridge-freezer, and a microwave.  You share the toilet and shower facilities.  Email for more information.


This is a beautiful island and it was really bustling with people coming and going on their boats in the harbour when we were there.  Whether you just pop in for a few hours on your way somewhere else, or you make a day of it exploring all the trails around the island, you will enjoy this lovely island.Discover Tärnö, Tarno, Karlshamn, Blekinge, Sweden, Skärgård, Archipelago, lighthouse, fyren,


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