She emerges above the horizon, as you look out to sea from Oskarshamn: the mythical, enigmatic island of Blå Jungfrun. Stunning countryside and a tranquillity that is rarely to be found.
“A trip to Blå Jungfrun promises a wonderful experience in all its simplicity,” says Åse Möller, who works as a guide on the island in the summer.
The title “The enigmatic isle” is stolen from the book of the same name.
“It’s a fantastic book of photographs by Martin Borg and Ola Karlsson that I would really recommend,” says Åse.
She’s something of a Blå Jungfru veteran, and first set foot on the island when she was very little.
“I was one and a half years old the first time,” she recalls, smiling. “Since then there have been a number of visits and I’m now a guide there together with my husband for a few weeks every summer.”
Daughters Liv and Lisa are following in their mum’s footsteps and come along. Every year up to ten guide pairs manage the jobs on the island and receive all the tourists who come ashore.
“We go in twos and spend at least a week at a time out there,” explains Åse. “We need to keep things in order on the island, give visitors tips on experiences and in some cases we also advise on the natural harbours they can use if they bring their own boat.”
However, the vast majority of visitors arrive on the M/S Solkust or M/S Solfrun, which depart from both Oskarshamn and Byxelkrok.
You can book both the boat journey and overnight stays at solkustturer.se.
“Yes, for the past three years now it’s been possible to stay the night in one of the island’s two shelters,” says Åse. “But you have to book first and you can only sleep in the shelters, not on the rocks.”
Each shelter sleeps four people, so that’s room for a total of eight people per night. Blå Jungfrun, or Blåkulla as it is also known, has long been a popular destination. Åse has noticed a strong trend in recent years.
“There are a lot of people travelling a long way to take the boat out to the island, far more than the local population.”
For Åse and Magnus Möller, the rest of the team of guides and Solkustturer’s Thomas Palmquist and his crew, there’s an intensive period ahead.
“Those of us who work as guides start the season in Midsummer week and continue a good way into August,” says Åse.
Solkustturer makes its final trip of the year on 1 September.
In 1741, the world-famous botanist and Smålander Carl Linnaeus visited Blåkulla, as the island was called back then. His stay didn’t seem to have been to his taste, as he described his visit with these words: “For if any place in the world looks frightful, then this is certainly one of the worst.”
It’s hard to agree with Linnaeus if you’ve ever set foot on Blå Jungfrun, or seen her from a distance from a boat out in Kalmar Sound. Because the environment is overwhelmingly beautiful, and if you’re not up for trekking round the island and clambering over the terrain, then you can just find a spot on one of the fantastic rocks and just relish the peaceful atmosphere.