Västervik is a breezy, busy, summer holiday town with quaint cobbled streets, some semblance of nightlife, sandy beaches just east of town and 5000 islands on its doorstep. Yup, 5000. Don't try to see them all – that would just be silly. But a popular option is to take a cruise and at least see some of them.
Harried by the Danes in its early years, the town bloomed into a major shipbuilding centre between the 17th and 19th centuries. Today, it's a popular domestic holiday destination and an absolute delight if you can time your visit to that sweet spot either side of the Swedish school holidays when the weather is warm and the crowds are at bay.
In mid-July, Västervik welcomes thousands of excited Swedes for one of the nation's best-known song festivals.