I’m a big fan of Sweden, and all of the Scandinavian countries. From the fabulously fresh air of the Nordic climate, and the stunning snow landscapes and sky in winter time.
These are major attractions for me, but the real reason why I keep visiting Sweden is quite simple: it’s the minimalist, and yet laid-back lifestyle along with the endless nature that I admire and want to be apart of.
I go there as often as I can, and always keep my travel costs to a minimum, so that I can keep an eye on my resources to fund my Nordic adventure. There are some good bargains to be had, that will get you to your next destination quickly and in relative comfort. Find out more in Opodo Twitter, which is a great resource for finding affordable flights and good ideas to inspire your next adventure.
The Magic of the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland
Daylight is brief, the climate is tough, but there are other compensations at night, when the famed Aurora Borealis comes out to play.
When your face starts to slowly freeze in temperatures below minus 20 and you trample through a village in deep snow, with ice crystals twinkling all around, something rather magical about Lapland in the winter.
The northern lights offer a fantastic display of green, yellow, and orange lights appearing in the sky. You will soon forget the cold, and will instantly be blown away by the awesome majesty of nature.
Sweden, too, has territory within the Arctic Circle and that’s a must visit to any one visiting the Lapland region in the very near future.
Dalarna: Lakes, Forests and Viking History
The region of Dalarna, which is located right in the middle of Sweden, a bit north and west of Stockholm.
It has the best of everything, including natural lakes for swimming in summer, campsites, plenty of winter sports such as cross-country skiing, and the most wonderful forests with masses of wildlife.
There are bears, lynx, elk and many more species. I love the wooden houses, stained rusty red to protect the wood from the cold and damp, and the Viking arches and carvings that are dotted all over the landscape.
Even the round-pole fences are constructed in an ancient Viking fashion, using saplings from the abundant forests of Dalarna. You can see how the crafts of the Iron Age are continued today, with carved wooden horses painted in bright colours, distinctive pottery styles, fine weaving and leatherwork.
Sweden’s Southern Archipelago
Most people’s first taste of Sweden is a visit to the capital, Stockholm, or the southern industrial city of Gothenburg. That’s where the major transport hubs are located, but it really pays to go off the beaten track and explore the surrounding countryside such as Sweden’s Southern Archipelago.
I am fortunate to have made some great friends in Southern Sweden, and this has given me some access to the hidden places that local people use for weekends and holidays.
Many people have a summer house for guests near their main residence, or a holiday cabin somewhere near the coast, and these are often hired out informally to friends and family.
Facilities are sometimes basic, but this is a great way to live frugally and enjoy Southern Sweden’s astounding natural beauty. Kayaking along a rocky shore is one of my most treasured memories of this part of the world.
Midsummer As You Have Never Imagined It!
Growing up in London, I never really noticed the passing of midsummer. That’s probably because summer in the UK can be a very hit-and-miss affair.
No two days are the same, and the seasons merge into one another all the time. In Sweden, though, midsummer is the year’s biggest event. People gather in their village halls or spacious gardens and sing songs, it’s a big deal.
They dance, have a few drinks, and talk long into the night, because it never really gets dark. You can sit outdoors and watch how dusk slides into dawn, enjoying good friends and happy times together.
Swedes appreciate the simple things: the light and warmth of the sun, natural food and a few drinks with friends. Why not make the most of the nature and sunshine and try out some Scandinavian camping which is free across most areas of Sweden.
Thank you for reading my blog post all about visiting Sweden and I hope you’re looking forward to your next Nordic adventure soon.