Sölvesborg is an absolute gem – one of my (many) favourite places so far.
It doesn’t have any major tourist attractions – the main draw, the castle ruins, are much more ruin than castle – but it is a beautiful town at the top of an inlet with all the right ingredients – working harbour, marina, a couple of town squares, cobbled streets, parks and a café where we had a fab feta & sundried tomato focaccia for lunch.
The gardens around the marina are particularly lovely. They were created by a Dutch designer, Pier Odulf, who concentrated on the shape, structure and silhouettes of the plants more so than the colour or flowers. The end result is a garden that looks good all year round, even when the plants are dying back, which must be an important factor in a country that has long winters.
Sölvesborg’s biggest claim to fame is the Sweden Rock Festival, held in a little village in the area. Normally the village has a population of 800, but every summer more than 35,000 hard rock fans descend for Sweden’s largest festival. The area is also home to one of the Swedish premier-league football teams and the tourism brochure boasts that “Kids made in Sölvesborg have football in the blood and take in heavy metal in their mother’s milk”!
We were able to get free wifi in the tourist office, together with a parking disc allowing us to park free of charge and ‘permission’ to stay overnight at the harbour. Well, not permission exactly, but the lady told us that lots of motorhomes do it and there were no police around to tell us to move on!