Life of Surfing

Classe Johansson and his family chose Gotland over Stockholm. Not an obvious choice, but a simple one. Here, they've found their place in the world, their existence, and never for a second regretted the move. The nature, sea and agreeable tempo make life on the island peaceful and fulfilling. More time for family and interests. And more time for surfing!

Classe, age 51, runs Själsö Bageri a bakery, with his partner Fredrik Ekman and Fredrik's wife Sofia
Anna, age 46, night nurse at Visby Hospital
Greta, age 12, och Hedda, age 9
Live: in Brissund, approx. 10 km north of Visby, with their dog Freddie and their horses Kopar and Frecka

The Johansson family moved to Gotland seven years ago. Dad Classe, mum Anna and daughters Greta (age 12) and Hedda (age 9). And since moving, there are three new additions to the family: two horses and a dog. Their house in Brissund, right on the sea, is their own little piece of paradise and they couldn’t dream of a better place to live. When asked to describe what he appreciates most about Gotland, Classe thinks long and hard. And in spite of his contemplation, he answers, : 
– Everything! But then he continues,  
– Being close to nature and the sea. A slower tempo. As a family, we can live the kind of life that we wouldn’t be able to in a city. Gotland allows us more time for family and our interests. We have horses and a dog, and it’s not in the least bit inconvenient.

Neither Classe nor Anna had any direct connection to the island, yet the decision to move to Gotland was an easy one. After two stints of living in Costa Rica, both had difficulty adjusting to life in the big city upon moving back. They longed for another lifestyle. Quieter. Simpler. 

–  When we explored the alternatives in Sweden, Gotland ended up being the obvious choice. In our eyes, the island has everything we were looking for: freedom, enchanting nature and a more pleasant tempo. 

If you happen to love surfing and would prefer not to move abroad, Gotland is a great alternative. Classe is an inveterate surfer whose favourite time of year is autumn. The storms at this time of year provide fantastic waves and he spends much of his time on his board. He used to travel the globe to find the best surfing, but since they moved to Gotland he’s had plenty of good surfing and finds himself travelling less often. Gotland gives the sensation of eternal vacation and freedom, he says. 

Surfing on Tofta beach, Gotland

His daughters, Hedda and Greta, have practically grown up with surfboards under their feet, and during the summer months they often squeeze into their wet suits and tackle the waves. But their equestrian interests have also grown strong, not least for Greta who rides and spends time in the stables every day of the year. Anna once again mentions how simple life is here. The family mostly moves between their home, the stables, the beach and work, and the children have been able to enjoy freedom from an early age. nbsp;
–  It feels safe to live on an island, she says. 
–  It isolates us a bit from the rest of the world. Fortunately...

The family's best Gotland tips:

Själsö Bageri

Since Classe runs the bakery, it's only natural that we spend a lot of time there. Bread is baked in the wood fired stone oven, delicious sandwiches with various fillings are served at breakfast and lunch and wonderfully moist buns can be enjoyed at coffee time. The view of Själsö Harbour is an added bonus! Själsö Bageri is located about10 km north of Visby, along road 149.

Hourse riding on Fårö

On Fårös Islandshästars ponies, you can experience amazing rides and unrivalled natural experiences. It's magical to enjoy the beautiful lighting and the sunset on horseback! More info at


Here, you’ll find something for everyone. We like to take visitors here, especially on rainy days. You can go on a Gotland history learning adventure through a number of exhibits. Fornsalen - Gotlands museum is located on Strandgatan in Visby.


We think Brissund Beach, with its fishing hamlets, is a magical place! Here, we often ride horses, preferably in the evening when the sun has begun to set. Or take a long walk with the dog. Brissund is located about 15 km north of Visby.


Every day at 8.30 a.m., playful dogs and their owners gather at Paviljongsplan to play freely. These play dates were worth their weight in gold when Freddie was a puppy, but now he’s totally uninterested in other dogs! Paviljongsplan in located right next to the Botanical Garden in Visby city center.

The family’s favourite beaches:

Norsta Auren

The kids favourites:

Smöjens Kalkbrott
Skateparken under Guteskolan