Beach + Island

World's Sexiest Beaches 2008

by Jason H. Harper

Site: Gotland, Sweden

Bring the heat: The funny thing about Stockholm is that when it finally gets warm, all the Swedes leave. They make for their summer homes on the thousands of islands that dot the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland. There they roast in saunas, sit by the shores of lakes and the Baltic, and drink bottomless bottles of aquavit. If you think the Swedes are good-looking people, and you would like to get to know them and their mating rituals better, get thee to the thousands of islands in the Åland Archipelago.

Select Sand: Gotland is the biggest island in the north Baltic Sea, drawing ruddy-cheeked visitors from around Sweden. The countryside is a riot of greenery, and as the sun never sets in the summer, you can spend as much time as you like on the miles of empty beaches.

Hookup potential: What's the Swedish phrase for "sure thing"? The society is quite permissive, and Midsummer's Eve is the biggest (and longest) party day of the year.

Privacy rating: 10. The Åland Archipelago is packed with 6,500-plus islands.

Pillow talk: While the medieval town of Visby is the place to go out at night, better to base yourself in Gotland's countryside. Hotel Toftagården is close to the water, has its own sauna (an important thing to the Swedes), and has both cute little private cabins and traditional hotel rooms to choose from.

Hotel Toftagården
Tel: 46 498 29 7000
Doubles from $215, cabins from $316

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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