Discover Tjurkö – The Stone Cutter Island

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….third up is the island of Tjurkö.

Background Information About Tjurkö

Tjurkö has the nickname the “stone cutter island” due to its past history.  In 1862 it became a source of quarrying for rock and stone, and there was a small “village” of buildings built to accommodate both this production and the labourers who worked there.  Some of whom where prisoners.  Business boomed until World War 1, and then it never really recovered.  It was continued on a much smaller scale until the 1950’s when it ceased altogether.  Remains of the buildings can still be seen and visited.  There is evidence that people first settled on the island of Tjurkö around 400-500 AD, and the population is known to double in the summer months as those with summer cottages swell the permanent inhabitants’ numbers.

Our Adventure To Tjurkö

As it was only a fortnight since the snow left us, and we were not yet in the season for the archipelago boats, we were limited at the start of our adventures to islands with bridges (so we could drive), or all year round boats.  Tjurkö is the third island along in a string of three, all connected by bridges to each other and the main land.  The first thing on our agenda was to do the culture trail at Herrgården.  This is a 1.5km trail around the old stone quarries and accommodation.  The trail was really well marked out, with some really interesting buildings that you could read about on the information boards as you went around, and also take a look inside.  This was so exciting for my trio, who loved reading the history and role of a building and then looking inside.

After enjoying our really lovely and very scenic walk in the spring sunshine, we headed off to Tjurkö Skans, a fort in the middle of the island.  This underground military fort was used in both World Wars.  We have seen similar things in other places before all locked up, so imagine our delight when we could creep inside into the dark, damp, and cold interior to explore with only our torch for light.  It was a huge adventure, and twin 2 was a little bit scared.  The little lady, to my surprise, was all up for exploring every dark corner, and we all had fun going in and out of the empty rooms, before heading back into the sunshine to walk over the top of it.

With the “sightseeing” done, it was time to head to a sandy sheltered cove in Hägnaviken, to play in the sand and enjoy the views, whilst cooking on a small campfire .  My three always totally lose themselves in their play when they are allowed to just be on a beach somewhere, and today was no different.  The water was cold so we kept the boots and waterproof trousers on. But the sun was warm, the wind was asleep for once, and it was so lovely to ditch the hats, gloves, and coats.  They had a very happy few hours there.  I think they really enjoyed the freedom that having less bulky clothing on generates!

How To Get To Tjurkö

In the summer months you can take one of the archipelago ferries from the centre of Karlskrona.  It will stop at many islands on the way, you just alight at the right one.  There are also buses from the centre of Karlskrona all year round as part of the public transport system.  As the island is linked road bridges, it is also possible to drive there, the method we used outside of summer season.

What To See And Do On Tjurkö

  1. At Herrgården you can take the 1.5km cultural trail around the old stone quarrying area.  There are signs to read on the way about old building remains, or what happened there, and is a lovely little loop to amble gently round.
  2. Tjurkö Skans:  This is an old fortification used both in World War 1 and World War 2.  It is roughly placed in the centre of the island.
  3. Hägnaviken:  There is a lovely sandy beach to be found here, where lots of fun can be had!!
  4. Of course there are trails to be hiked as well like anywhere in this beautiful country.

Where To Eat On Tjurkö

  1. Öboden Cafe has supplies for refreshments, as well as a gallery and selling some souvenirs, but is only open in the summer months.
  2. Tjurkö Stengods is another coffee shop and sells stoneware as well, also only open in the summer months.

Where To Stay On Tjurkö

Stenbräcka Kurs och Lägergård is the perfect place to stay near the sandy beach on the island.  It offers camping (tent and caravans etc), or you can rent a stuga (cottages from 4-6 beds, with their own toilet facilities and some with kitchens, some without), or there are rooms in the youth hostel on site too.  You can find out more information on their website

This is a beautiful place with a very interesting history.  Everything is relaxed, even the sightseeing, as that meanders around a short and beautiful trail.Discover Tjurkö The Stone Cutter island, Tjurkö, Tjurko, Sweden, Blekinge,

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