Length 13.6 km (8.4 miles), terrain: flat, gain 39 meters
NOTE: I was lucky, and did this run during the annual Kalmar town festival!
Sweden is modernizing quickly, with free wifi everywhere, lots of cafés and restaurants with outside seating, tourists from all over the world. But provincial towns like Kalmar still retain their quiet, remote charm, and I love exploring the neighborhoods.
This route takes you through all the best sights in town, combining the downtown/old-town, the castle, the Kalmarsund waterfront and some unspoiled Swedish nature out along the Stensö peninsula.
So if you want to see Kalmar's best side, come along for the run!
|The main square and cathedral during the town festival|
|Along Norra Långgatan|
Now turn right to the next street, Storgatan and start running southwest down this main shopping street through the whole old town until you come to the smaller square, Larmtorget, with its fountain and bandstand.
|Västerport and the water tower|
|Running out across the footbridge|
Run south into the city park with its pretty, little pond and the art museum and we will now continue following the waterfront until the turnaround spot in another 5 kilometers.
Once past the museum, stay close to the water as we approach the most famous Kalmar landmark: the castle, Kalmar Slot, at the 2-kilometer mark.
|Kalmar Castle with fencing tournament|
The Danes settled and occupied the southern tip of what is now Sweden, and Kalmar was the southernmost Swedish castle, and was the scene of various battles and sieges. Finally, the Swedes won out and conquered the Danish lands south of here, so the castle lost its importance and fell into disuse. It was restored to its present glory during the last century.
You can only get inside the castle if you buy a ticket, but you can at least run inside the first gate to get a closer look.
Now run out to the main entrance to the cemetery and run to its little, circular chapel, then turn left to get back to the waterside trail.
|The waterside trail|
|The marina, with little fishermen's huts|
At this end of Stensö, there is a mini-golf course and a campground. Later there is just pure nature. Smell the pine trees, feel the breeze on your skin and enjoy the view out over the Baltic waves, we're in the Swedish countryside.
|The Stensö shore|
So, now follow the main trail that heads up north, through the middle of the peninsula.
Take the trail to the left when it splits off, to go through the campground, then head north, on the paved road, leaving the peninsula along Stensövägen. This pleasant street is lined by trees on the one side and by typical Swedish wooden homes along the other. This is our chance to get a look at how lots of Kalmar people live.
|Typical Swedish house|
Eventually, at about the 12-kilometer mark, you'll see a stone wall and further dirt walls of the castle defenses to the left, and lines of trees on the right. We're back at the cemetery, and turn to the right there at Skansgatan.
Run to the chapel and turn left and now basically follow the same way back to the starting point as we originally came here.
When you cross the train tracks again, you can just follow Olof Palmes Gata right back into the old town and you'll find yourself on Storgatan again.
For something different, you might want to turn right to then head northeast along Södra Långgatan back to the main square.