12 trips to take in Sweden
With its snow dressed mountains, incredible restaurant scene and buzzing nightlife, Åre is Sweden’s number one ski paradise. If you are up for an adventure there is plenty of other activities than downhill skiing to take part in – why not try a snowmobile safari, dog sledding, ice fishing or cross country skiing? The food scene is worth its own trip: Åre boasts of some of Sweden’s best restaurants – just outside the main village is where chef Magnus Nilsson heads up the new Nordic cuisine at world renowned Fäviken.
Cold cuts of reindeer meat, crowberry marmalade, Skabram cheese and bark bread are some of the local delicacies you will find at Jokkmokk market starting on the first Thursday in February. Since 1606 people have come here to experience genuine Swedish Lapland, full of culinary delights and handcraft. The market also offers tours of natural wonders such as the arctic light as well as Sámi settlements complete with dog sleds and reindeers.
Would you like to unwind from your hectic lifestyle? Well Active North has just launched the perfect experience – yoga on ice in Swedish Lapland where you are encouraged to find your inner self. Snowy mountains, widespread landscapes and dead silence are the backdrop of this retreat, which includes yoga, sauna rituals and some all-important time for personal reflection, everything bang in the middle of untouched nature.
Situated just an hour’s drive away from Stockholm, Dufweholms Manor in idyllic Sörmland, it is the perfect get-away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The manor house boasts of beautiful rooms full of character and history, as well as a modern spa overlooking the surrounding lake. Relax in the sauna, get a spa treatment or brace the chilly weather for a hot dip in the outside bubble pool.
Nothing beats a May city break in Stockholm. This is when Swedes are starting to really embrace the sunny weather, and you’ll be sure to spot the renowned latte dads pushing their prams, especially in the beautiful setting of the city park Djurgården. Take a break from your shopping to view the cherry blossoms in Kungsträdgården, and be sure to visit some of the city’s world-renowned museums, including the Modern Museum of Art, The Hallwyl museum and the Swedish Museum of natural history, all free of entry as of last year. If you want to combine art with sightseeing, catch a ferry to Artipelag, an art museum located on the island on Värmdö surrounded by stunning pine trees.
The famous Kiruna Icehotel is now open for business during June. Yes, that’s right – Icehotel 365 will welcome you to a very special midsummer; imagine combining dogsledding with boat trips on the Torne River beneath the midnight sun. The 2,100 square metre hotel, complete with 9 luxury suites with saunas and 11 art suites designed by selected artists, will be filled with ice from the river and solar panels will provide the rooms with enough energy to keep them frozen. You can also pop up to Björkliden and Riksgränsen for some midsummer skiing.
Summer on the west coast of Sweden truly is a unique experience. The Bohuslän salty ocean, smooth granite slabs and unspoilt fishing villages will literally take your breath away. Why not experience it up-close with island hopping through some of the 8000 islands stretching from Gothenburg right up to the boarder of Norway? The recommended trip, from Marstrand in the south, to Uddevalla in the north, includes stops such as the island of Tjörn and the “herring island” Klädesholmen as well as picturesque Mollösund and Ljungkile, home to the gothic Hotel Villa Sjötorp.
If you are up for an active bike holiday, make your way up Göta Canal, 190 kilometres of beautiful car-free scenery stretching from Sjötorp on Lake Vänern to Mem, Slätbacken. There are variations of planned routes you can take, including a two-day trip that takes you 68 kilometres with plenty of marinas on the way for some well-deserved refreshments. Don’t be surprised if you spot Swedes in groups with funny looking hats, singing silly songs and drinking schnapps during August, which is also crayfish party season. You can even fish your own at Norrqvarn located along Göta Canal.
Make two trips in one by visiting Malmö in the south of Sweden and then head across the bridge to Copenhagen. What better timing than to visit the two cities just ahead of The Bridge Season 4 premiere in the UK? But instead of just dwelling on Nordic noir, September is the perfect month to experience what the Danish concept hygge is all about; cosy autumn walks and perhaps a trip to renowned Kivik apple market in Skåne.
October 4 in Sweden means cinnamon bun day – in other words we have a real excuse to stuff our faces with the popular sweet pastry. Combine it with a trip to Gothenburg where café Husaren in the Haga neighbourhood bakes up Sweden’s largest bun, or make an excursion to Alingsås, the capital of the famous fika tradition, meaning there are cinnamon buns on nearly every street corner.
For you foodies out there – a visit to the Skåne region is a visit to the pantry of Sweden thanks to its many small-scale producers. Start off in Malmö where the new indoor food market is the perfect spot to get your hands on local produce. There are plenty of restaurants in town that makes the best out of the fresh ingredients. In total the region has four Michelin stars, one of them being Daniel Berlin Krog in Tranås, which has been acclaimed one of Sweden’s top restaurants. November 10 is also when the local tradition Mårten Gås takes place, now it’s time to indulge in goose!
The city of Gothenburg turns in to Christmas wonderland during the month of December when the three-kilometre Lane of Lights is lit up along the main boulevard all the way to the amusement park Liseberg, which in itself is a Christmas paradise (and Sweden’s biggest Christmas market). Five million lights, an ice-skating rink as well as 70 stalls selling seasonal foods and handcraft, make it spectacular. This season is also the time for the all-important Swedish Christmas food, consisting of delights such as roasted ham, herring and marzipan pigs – so make sure to come hungry!