Småland is one of Sweden’s larger provinces. It is dominated by a high forest plain and has huge forests and cultivated flatlands in the south.
The countryside of Småland will have you high-fiving for its variation and variety of outdoor pursuits and activities on offer, for example its hiking trails that include the Store Mosse National Park and Isaberg, a beautiful forest and lake area between the towns of Jönköping and Halmstad. Bundles of activities are on offer such as cycling, canoeing, horse-riding and fishing. Or rent a cabin here and do zilch for a couple of weeks and let the kids do the activities.
And how about that east coast and archipelago? Sandy beaches, swimming, boat trips, shimmering rocky isles and waterside dining (yes, we’re in Sweden).
Three famous smålänningar
Three very famous people come from Småland. One is Astrid Lindgren, the world famous children’s books author. She has her own world at Astrid Lindgren’s World in Vimmerby where she grew up. All the characters form her books are here; Karlsson, Emil and Rasmus and the strongest girl in the world Pippi Longstocking. Kids love this place and you just might too for the impressive settings, theatres, live performances and kid-centric activities. If you want to stay over there is chalet and campsite accommodation. In the town of Vimmerby there are many Astrid Lindgren-centred attractions and activities.
From world famous author to world famous mega furniture concern IKEA. Ingvar Kamprad, founder of the company is from Småland. Want to visit the very first IKEA store? Then pay a visit to the ‘IKEA through the Ages’ exhibition at the spiritual home of the company in Älmhult. Still on the design theme, did you know that world famous furniture designer Bruno Mathsson was from Småland? Now that you do, pay the Bruno Mathsson Center in Värnamo a visit.
Yes, in Småland there is the Kingdom of Crystal and the Kingdom of Furniture. They have been making world famous glass in this part of Småland since 1742 and this kingdom spreads across four municipalities, 13 glassworks and studios, some 20 hotels and all of it revolves around glass. In some of the glassworks you can try glass blowing and you can also get some glass retail therapy at the factory seconds stores in the area. For glass-themed accommodation look no further than the Kosta Boda Art Hotel.
The Kingdom of Furniture meanwhile is the collective name for the area around the town of Lammhult in Småland. This is the heart of the Swedish furniture design industry and around the region you’ll find world famous furniture design names like Svenssons in Lammhult, Bruno Mathsson International, Källemo, Abstracta and others. If you like Swedish furniture design, you’ll love this.
Ever wanted to see a wooden town, a museum dedicated to matchsticks, or take a steamboat adventure? Now you can, in Småland. Go here for Småland museums, manor houses and other cultural attractions.
Food culture and restaurants
Isterband (pork, barley and potato sausage) with pickled beetroot and dilled potatoes is a classic Småland dish. And there are many other delicious dishes from the region. You can find out more about Småland’s culinary heritage here and check out the list of restaurants, cafés and other eateries in the province serving authentic dishes.