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Belfast Taxman

Porvoo - A relaxing excursion? And what to do in Visby?

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We are Baltic cruising in August for 12 nights (including Amsterdam and Zeebrugge). Compared to previous cruises we have taken elsewhere this cruise looks very port intensive (only one day at sea) and many of the ports themselves seem to us to require extensive exploration, not least the three days in St.P. We also have a two night pre-cruise in Stockholm.

although we are reasonably mobile and fit, day after day of extensive walking does not seem the perfect holiday, so we have identified two ports where we intend to try and take things a bit easier, namely Helsinki and Visby. Please do not think that I am downgrading these locations in any way, we simply felt we needed to limit ourselves for our own good.

we are cruising on Regent Seven Seas and excursions are included, so we felt that completely slobbing  on board for these two days was going a bit too far in the relaxation stakes. Hence we looked at comparatively walk free options.

For Helsinki, which is our first port of call and sandwiched between our days in Stockholm and St.P, there is a quick panoramic bus tour of Helsinki where the bus then drives to Porvoo for the opportunity to do a limited amount of walking, drinking coffee and eating cinnamon buns which all sounds different to museums, art galleries and lots of city walking. But is it? Are we going to get to Porvoo and suddenly feel a need for greater exploration? Or are we making a big mistake in semi-ignoring Helsinki?

For Visby, which we visit in the middle of the cruise and is our only tender port, the excursions offered by Regent all involve considerable walking, mainly round the walls and old town, or, for the still energetic, bicycle tours. What would you recommend in Visby for the lazy ( well, to be fair, the knackered rather than the lazy!)?

 

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6 hours ago, Belfast Taxman said:

For Visby, which we visit in the middle of the cruise and is our only tender port, the excursions offered by Regent all involve considerable walking, mainly round the walls and old town, or, for the still energetic, bicycle tours. What would you recommend in Visby for the lazy ( well, to be fair, the knackered rather than the lazy!)?

Visby is quite small, and with its narrow streets, there aren't a lot of options for getting around besides on foot. It's only about 20 minutes' walk from one side to the other, so it wouldn't require extensive walking. If you're not up for walking the full 3.5 km of city walls, I'd suggest a casual wander around the old town. Find a cozy cafe for a coffee and cake in the afternoon to enjoy Sweden's famous "fika" tradition!

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Visited Visby several years ago and would agree with kaisatsu, although on the day we visited the weather was absolutely vile,had booked a ships tour  town and walls  it was that wet and miserable that a lot of people didn't turn up or like me abandoned it  midtour.

 The only reason that I have a fond memory of Visby, is that walking back to the tender point,we came across a coffee shop/icecream parlour called Glassmagasinet where we sat inside for an icecream which was difficult choosing as they had over 150 flavours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I don’t think you will wish you had more time to explore Porvoo. It is basically two streets with a market, shops, and a cafe or two. If they take you to the church, you will be walking up a pretty steep hill. 

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We had a very port intensive itinerary, mostly to capital cities day after day, and by the time we reached Visby we were ready for a more relaxed non-touring day.

 

It helps that Visby is attractive, also that we had good weather so really enjoyed simply strolling around the town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage town and  known for "roses and ruins". It is also quite compact but many photo ops along the way, especially if you find some of the tiny lanes.

 

Suggest you go on to Tripadvisor Visby for photos and reviews, and do a simple internet search for Visby for further info and photos.

 

I think you will enjoy your time here.

 

 

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