Shimmering in the heat haze on a summer day, the island of Blå Jungfrun (The Blue Maiden) is a sight you’ll never forget. It rises high out of the water like a slate blue granite dome, solitary and majestic.
The legends are many...
Blå Jungfrun is one of those wonderful freaks of nature, totally unlike any of the archipelago’s other islands. It inspires reverence and respect, and there are countless tales of alien creatures and adventures relating to it. The island is also known in Sweden as Blåkulla (Blockula), a place to which Easter witches fly on their broomsticks, as legend would have it. A place where indescribable rites take place every spring.
Blå Jungfrun has challenged our imagination throughout the centuries, and the tales about its strange inhabitants are many and varied. In folklore, the Easter witches share the place with mermaids and divine beings. In order not to incur the wrath of the supernatural, people left gloves, silk sashes and other articles on the island shore, as an act of appeasement.
The easiest way to reach the island is by coastal boat from Oskarshamn or Byxelkrok on Öland. The isolation and inaccessibility makes the Blå Jungfrun an exciting place for an excursion. You are met with terrain and large level differences. Close your eyes when visiting the island and conjure up a vision of the original inhabitants of this isolated granite rock. People in the Stone Age dwelt beneath a rock promontory facing south and left behind pieces of flint that you can still find there. If you want to get closer to those who lived on the island before you, take a walk through the Trojeborg labyrinth on the southern part of the island. No-one knows who created it, but it was already there in 1741 when the great botanist Carl Linnaeus visited the island during his famous Öland expedition.
If you make it all the way to the top of Blå Jungfrun, you are met with a spectacular view of the mainland coast, Kalmar strait and Öland - well worth the effort.
Black guillemots and white-tailed eagles
Today, no-one lives on Blå Jungfrun. Instead, you meet here winged friends such as black guillemots, eider ducks and rock pipits, and, circling high above you, a white-tailed eagle. The island’s course-grained red granite is thought to be 570 million years old and to have been worn smooth by an unrelenting ice age. Giant burrows and smoothly rounded rocks give the place a quiet, calm atmosphere, even when waves are smiting the shores. In the leafy, herb-rich woodlands on the southern side of the island you can walk beneath oaks, Swedish whitebeams, maples and aspen.
Don't challenge fate
If you go here, remember to not put even the smallest stone in your pocket when you leave the island! The myth says, that anyone who takes a stone with them from Blå Jungfrun will be persecuted by bad luck until the stone is returned to the island. The fact is that the municipality of Oskarshamn receives plenty of stones from remorseful tourists every year, who decided not to tempt fate after all. And every year the municipality makes sure that the stones are returned to the mystical island in Kalmar strait. It's safer that way.
Find out more about the national park Blå Jungfrun