A flight to Visby from Bromma Stockholm Airport takes just thirty minutes; the ferry is a scenic three-hour alternative. During the busiest weeks of summer, you’ll find Gotland full of life. There are beaches with golden sand, plus ice cream stands and alfresco lunches to be enjoyed. But it is during the off-season, when it’s possible to not see a single person for hours, that the spirit of Bergman is most present.
To continue your Bergman safari, head for the free car ferry that runs between Fårösund, at the northern tip of Gotland, and Broa, in the southwest of Fårö. At the height of summer, when visitor numbers swell, the ferry runs every ten minutes, while off-season it usually leaves every half hour. A ten-minute drive from Broa, along an unnamed road, will lead you to the Bergman Center—a modern concrete cultural center that celebrates the director’s life and work through exhibitions and a weeklong festival at the end of June (the center is open only between June and September). Visitors can enjoy a glass of wild yeast wine (there are several vineyards on Gotland) or a fresh lunch at the center’s café, Törst, before visiting one of three barn-like movie theaters on the island.
There is a well-known photograph of the director on Fårö, walking along the rocky beach at Langhammars with a handful of tall, ice-age limestone formations—known as rauk—behind him. There are several nature reserves on both islands where these limestone columns can be seen, but Langhammars is home to perhaps the most famous (indeed, they feature on Swedish 200-kronor banknotes). The nearly 1,200-acre (486 km) reserve, set on a peninsula, is a good place for a long, contemplative walk along the coast.
Bergman sought answers to big questions in many of his films—no less weighty topics than the meaning of life and the inevitability of death. For a visitor who is looking for silence and solitude on vacation, who hopes to be steeped in the sort of breathtaking, muted beauty that inspires inner contemplation, a summer spent on the islands of Gotland and Fårö would be difficult to beat.