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Once upon a time...
...when giants lived and ruled in Sweden, there was a giant called Vist who lived with his wife on the east side of Lake Vättern. One day they went to a family gathering on the other side of the lake. It was a jolly and exhilarating party with a lot of delicious food. When the giant Vist and his wife finally headed home Mrs Vist had gained so much weight that she doubted that she would be able to get across the lake in a single bound. Therefore, her considerate husband threw a turf of grass out into the lake so she could make it home without getting wet. And it's still there, the little flattened turf: Visingsö.
This is one of the many legends told about this beautiful island which has been inhabited for thousands of years. It is likely that the Stone Age people came here as soon as the ice melted away and the land started to rise from the water nearly 8000 years ago. Probably the island soon after became an important place for the people and has remained so during the years. The large prehistoric burial grounds are testament that the population was quite prominent in previous times. Most of the approximately eight hundred graves are from the the Viking Era (about 800-1050 AD).
Exploring the island
Visingsö is a peaceful little island in the middle of Lake Vättern, only 30 km away from Jönköping. You can find tiny villages, old churches, beautiful fields, forests and of course beaches on the island.
The best way to get around Visingsö is to rent a bike right at the harbour. This way you will be able to reach and explore every part of the island easily and quickly. It costs just 50 SEK for 3 hours and 80 SEK for an entire day.
It is also possible to walk around the island, as it is only 14 km long and 3 km wide, but it takes more time to reach the further parts this way.
During the summer period (between mid-June and mid-August) there is also a bus service around the island, but it is rather infrequent, and takes away the real Visingsö-experience.
On the way to or from Visingsö, it is worth spending a little time in Gränna, where the ferry to Visingsö leaves from. Walk up from the harbour to Gränna's main street, where you can find many small shops producing the famous local sweet called Polkagris.
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