Bergkvara, Småland, Exploring Sweden

Bergkvara, Småland – Exploring Sweden

Bergkvara is a coastal locality in the province of Småland in southern Sweden. Not too far out there in the Baltic Sea, across the Kalmar Strait, is the southernmost tip of the island of Öland. A bit closer is an island and lighthouse named Garpen that domestically is known from TV shows.

Here along the Baltic Coast is also the district Dalskär. This is a small skerry or islet that attracts many tourists during the summer. Here you can visit the local marina, the camping, and a sandy beach. The residential areas, with around 1200 inhabitants, are in large parts between the coast and the road E22.

A Short History of Bergkvara

Bergkvara has developed within the boundaries of the former Söderåkra Parish. It probably has a long history as a harbor, with goods passing by here for centuries. The first known written mention of Bergkvara is the acknowledgment of the then-illegal harbor and marketplace in the 17th century. That changed in 1616 when merchants from Kalmar received the right to arrange markets in Bergkvara. In 1683, that would to the establishment of Bergkvara as a market town controlled by the towns of Kalmar and Karlskrona.

Throughout its history, the main income in Bergkvara has been connected to the sea, both in the form of shipping but also shipbuilding. These trades saw a decline in the early 20th century and halfway through the century most of the shipping companies and shipyards had been discontinued. It was instead the railway and other industries that grew during this period. The railway was established in 1902 and silos for storing grain were built in the 1950s. The railway closed in the 1960s. The silos faced a similar fate, they disappeared from Bergkvara’s skyline in 2019. Tourism has since been developing around the small marina.

Things to Do and See

With the Baltic Sea at its doorstep and the many fields of southern Småland at its backdoor, there is no lack of possibilities to spend time outdoors. In addition, there are also a few places where you can find cover on a rainy day.

Bergkvara sjöfartsmuseum

The local maritime museum is in one of the century-old harbor warehouses. The museum exhibits a large collection of maritime memorabilia and artifacts from the long era of shipping and shipbuilding.

Dalskär Marina

The Dalskär Marina is almost a small lagoon. The protected marina offers some nice views of the calm waters but also views out over the Baltic Sea.

Dalskär Beach

Dalskär Beach is right next to the local camping and is a sandy beach with many amenities in its vicinity. There is also a playground for the kids in addition to good swimming possibilities.

Garpen Lighthouse

Garpen Lighthouse is on an island in the Kalmar Strait. The island is open to the public during the summer months with boats departing from the Dalskär Marina in Bergkvara. The current lighthouse replaced the original one from 1893 and was built in 1934. It was automated in 1967, removing the need to keep workers on the island.

Bergkvara Chapel

Bergkvara Chapel is a part of Söderåkra Congregation and was built in 1958. The building consists of its two-floor white main church building as well as an external clock tower.

How to Get to Bergkvara

  • Flights: The closest airport is Kalmar Airport (KLR) 40 kilometers away. The airport has a few domestic routes as well as seasonal charter flights.
  • Car: Bergkvara is along road E22 between Kalmar and Karlskrona.
  • Bus: Buses from Kalmar Länstrafik connect Bergkvara with the surrounding region.

The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:

Stockholm – 451 kilometers (5 h 1 min)
Gothenburg – 342 kilometers (4 h 17 min)
Malmö – 240 kilometers (2 h 41 min)
Linköping – 265 kilometers (3 h 21 min)
Kiruna – 1681 kilometers (19 h 2 min)

Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden

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