SMÅLAND SOUTH OF SWEDEN
CYCLING FOR ALL IN
TIPS – EMBRACE YOUR
A SUMMER HOUSE
ITINERARIES TO SMÅLAND STOCKHOLM
Alvesta Halmstad Älmhult
TRAIN FLIGHT FERRY BRIDGE
Welcome to Småland!
DISCOVERING THE REAL SMÅLAND
MORE FROM THE PLAYFUL SMÅLAND
Whether you know a lot about Småland or come without expectations, we would love to help you make the most of your visit. Roam free in our natural playground, that is in fact one of the things our region is best suited for, or take some advice from us, Smålänningarna, i.e. the people of Småland. You can read this magazine from beginning to end, or browse through it and stop at whatever catches your attention. We are not trying to tell you how to enjoy Småland, feel free, but these are some of the things we would love to show you. We hope you’ll enjoy your stay. Welcome!
Småland from the saddle............................................................6 Through Astrid's eyes............................................................... 10 The design districts.................................................................... 15 A summer house escape........................................................... 18 Meet the king of the forest..................................................... 23 Welcome to Öland................................................................... 26 Citylife....................................................................................... 28 A world of islands......................................................................30 Live like a Smålander................................................................. 31 Canoe through watery wilderness........................................... 32 Accommodation close to nature............................................. 34 Picturesque Småland................................................................ 35 A grand tour.............................................................................. 36 Småland's National Parks.......................................................... 41
FOOD IN SMÅLAND
The Land of Legends................................................................. 12
PHOTOGRAPHY: Anna Hållams, Alexander Hall, Daniel
Svedberg, Emma Jansson, Jönköpings läns museum,
Smålands Turism AB, Box 1027, SE-551 11 Jönköping
Breece, Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2019, Magdalena Löwe,
Kulturgatan Bodafors, John Nelander, Skullaryd Älgpark,
AB Destination Småland, Kronobergsg. 7, SE-352 33 Växjö
Sofia Ernerot, Destination Kalmar, Adam Humlesol, Marcus
High Chaparral, Destination Jönköping, Göran Assner, Hooks
Region Kalmar län, Box 601, SE-391 26 Kalmar
Funke/Maddoc Photography, Vimmerby Turistbyrå, Ölands
Herrgård, Christoffer Collin, Nathalie Chávez.
DESIGN AND PRODUCTION: GoBrave
Turismorganisation, UpZone Studios, Magnus Bremefors,
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Anna Hållams
David Wall, Attraktiva Oskarshamn AB, Jörgen Tannerstedt,
TEXT AND TRANSLATION: Stephanie Ford
Lex van den Bosch, Astrid Lindgrens Näs, Astrid Lindgrens
and the publishers
Värld, Emma Ivarsson, Alexander C Svensson, Patrik
Småland will inspire you to choose the road less travelled. With so many sites that are quintessentially Swedish, you’ll want to take time to search for all of Småland’s hidden treasures. How else do you expect to discover why Småland is known as ‘Sweden for real’?
måland stretches from the stunning inland lake Vättern to the eastern coastline. The variation in the landscape is dramatic as the fairy tale forests open into the beautiful eastern archipelago. It’s this mix of personalities that makes Småland an incredible choice for visitors hoping to experience the real Sweden.
A glimpse into the past Well-preserved sites that provide insight into Småland’s fascinating history can be found throughout the region. The
landscapes are dotted with hand-built stone walls dating back to the 19th century. Back then, the stones were pulled from the soil to mark boundaries and fence in farm animals. Today, the hand-built stone walls are monuments to the tremendous effort farmers put into farming the near-barren land. Åsens By, near Huskvarna, and Stensjö By, just outside Oskarshamn, are both cultural treasures. Time has stood still in the small villages for more than a century. It’s little wonder that the mazes of adorable red
cottages, barns and fields have served as sets for films based on Astrid Lindgren’s novels.
Why red? Can you think of anything more typically Swedish than a red cottage with white trim? The red paint is widely used throughout Småland. You might know that ‘Falu Red’ protects the façade of the houses from the tough Swedish weather. What you might not know is that Sweden’s famous red buildings started as a scam.
a natural playground with something for everyone: vast and vibrant meadows perfect for hikers, quiet lakes brimming with fish, beautiful archipelagos, and deep forests that are just begging to be explored.
In the 16th century, Falu Red was used to imitate the more expensive materials favoured by European architects in cathedrals and renaissance palaces. Despite it being an imitation product, the paint was reserved exclusively for the aristocracy until the mid-19th century. There’s little wonder it exploded in popularity in Småland when it became available for everyone to use.
A natural playground Sweden’s love affair with the wilderness is unsurprising given how incredible it is. The varied landscapes across Småland offer
Getting into Småland’s incredible nature is an easy way to discover your inner Swede. The vast forests are in pristine condition and are never crowded, yet evidence of the Swedish love for nature is visible – if you look for it. Small path markers, picnic areas and even works of art can be found by those exploring Småland by foot.
From buzzing forests to bustling cities Småland’s bigger cities, Jönköping, Kalmar and Växjö, are as full of life as its vibrant nature. They boast a mix of natural, historical and cultural sites and highlight a different side of Småland – one that's livelier and more modern.
The entire region is an amalgamation of century-old historical sites interwoven with incredible innovation. From the prestigious universities, that attract talented students from around Europe, and the world, to Kalmar’s spectacular castle, Småland showcases the best of Swedish culture.
See the real Småland for yourself With so much to discover, Småland packs an immense amount of Sweden’s history, natural beauty and way of life into a small and easily accessible region. It’s easy to rent an authentic red cottage and lose yourself in Småland’s countless forests or find yourself in one of Småland’s charming and vibrant cities – whatever you choose, you’ll love exploring the real Sweden.
Småland from the Saddle What draws people to Småland? The incredible wilderness, of course! And biking is one of the best ways to experience it. There is a route for every cyclist – from beginners to world-class mountain bikers. Challenge yourself on the technical and hilly stage of the 2016 European Mountain Biking Championships in Huskvarna or jump on your saddle and set off down a paved path to discover Småland with your family. Picture-perfect picnic spots and adrenaline-inducing hills are both just down the road.
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/CYCLING
hether you’re hoping to find your thrills on some technical terrain or hone your skills on pump tracks, Småland is the perfect setting for mountain bikers looking for that next challenge. The top-notch trails, and incredible views of Lake Vättern, near Huskvarna were thrown into the spotlight during the European Championships, but Småland has plenty more to offer MTBenthusiasts:
Biking South East Trail biking is a more relaxed form of mountain biking that’s exactly what it sounds like – cycling on trails. Biking South East is a cycling network that will help you find your place in the vast network of trails and MTB routes in Eastern Småland. For instance, you might like Svartbäcksmåla outside Kalmar. While the trails here vary in difficulty from green (with small hills and rocky portions) to red (with steep hills, tight curves and technical terrain), navigation is always easy. All the trails are loops, so finding your way back to where you started couldn’t
be simpler! Once you’re back you can use the park’s facilities – including washrooms, pump tracks, and a scenic picnic area.
Isaberg Mountain Resort Isaberg Mountain Resort is a favourite for cyclists of all ages and ability. It boasts 12 trails, two pump tracks, a MTB-trail purpose built for the Swedish championships, and a MTB-arena with technical challenges and obstacles designed to push your limits (and your balance) – including rock gardens, berms, bridges, drop zones, and jumps. The trails surrounding the mountain cater to everyone and range from green trails, perfect for kids and beginners, through to challenging red and black trails. You can race down the hill and ride back up it – or take the roads or chairlifts if you’ve worn yourself out. And for those looking for something to challenge their endurance, there are two longer blue routes that’ll take you through some spectacular scenery.
Road and gravel biking Småland has roads (asphalt and gravel) with minimal traffic, maximal views and phenomenal cafés, making it the perfect arena for two-wheeled exploration. Road cyclists are spoiled for choice – with plenty of asphalt bike routes for you to soak up the stunning Swedish scenery – while gravel grinders can enjoy discovering glittering lakes, some seriously steep hills and deep, green forests.
Guided tours with Café Muff in Älmhult At Café Muff you are treated with lots of vegan delicacies and local culture. One of their special interest is cycling and the café offers three different guided bike tours to places of interest in the area with a local in the front who leads the way, in both Swedish and English. It is also possible to book tailor-made bike tours, anything from small half-day tours to larger group full-day adventures where catering is included and other activities, like kayaking or hiking, can be tied in.
Electric biking in Åsnen “Åsnen Runt” is a 140km bike route that takes you on a scenic route around Lake Åsnen and through Åsnen National Park. Taking an electric bike means you’ll have plenty of time to switch off and enjoy the spectacular nature. Åsnen has a varied landscape that shows off features typical of nature in the north and the south – untouched wilderness, deciduous forests and huge bodies of water with blackthroated divers and ospreys that soar overhead. You can choose to cycle parts of the route or book a four-day package with overnight stays in cosy accommodations. Electric bikes can be booked and collected in several places around Åsnen.
Free coffee for cyclists in Jönköping Jönköping is a hotspot for cyclists in the know. One popular 90km route for intermediate cyclists takes you up past Lake Bunn to the open landscapes near Land Lake. These roads are beloved by cyclists in Småland for both their natural beauty and the fact that they’re reasonably quiet. You’ll eventually find yourself at Gårdsrosteriet – a café and coffee shop owned by the cycling enthusiast Ingo. He is so passionate about cycling that any person who arrives on a bike receives a free coffee! On the way back to Jönköping, you’ll pass the spectacular lookout at Vista Kulle before making your way through apple orchards on the gentle descent into Jönköping.
Road and gravel biking The Rusken loop This gentle 60km loop is perfect for anyone who likes deep forests, fresh air, and gentle rolling hills through beautiful landscapes. Make a day of it and stop by the ruins of the medieval abbey in Nydala and the weather station in Hagshult. There are a number of notable cafés along the route with incredible coffee, including Nydala café and Ohs järnvägscafé.
The South East Trail – Sydostleden In 2016, the national "South East Trail" was opened. It runs from Växjö, in the heart of Småland, to Simrishamn on the coast. Covering a total of 270 kilometres, the asphalt bike trail is mostly car-free and entirely care free. Växjö is easily accessible by train. You can bring your bike with you or rent one in Växjö. It’s easy to arrange collection from wherever you want to finish your cycling adventure.
Flexible bike rental Rentbike.se makes it easy for you to rent bikes at different locations around southern Sweden. They are conveniently located wherever you need them – close to nature, culture and bike trails. They offer electric bikes, mountain bikes, children's bikes, and women's bikes. Transport and package tours are also offered on the website.
Biking made easy Sweden’s outstanding biking culture means that there’s always an incredible range of bikes available. Trekking bikes will help you navigate Småland’s varied terrain. Their wider tires make it easy for you to tackle whatever the forests and meadows have in store. Electric bikes (e-bikes) are also rapidly gaining popularity in Sweden and now feature in the range offered by any professional bike hire operation – in both touring and mountain bike variants.
Through Astrid’s Eyes
“She wasn’t one of those mothers who would sit quietly on a park bench watching their children play. She wanted to play herself, and I suspected that she had at least as much fun as we did”, reminisces Astrid Lindgren’s son, Lasse.
Astrid Lindgren’s World
Astrid Lindgren's Näs Filmbyn Småland
mbrace your inner child in Astrid Lindgren’s hometown, Vimmerby. From the gardens around her childhood home at “Näs” to the familiar sets from films based on Astrid’s work, it’s easy to let your imagination run wonderfully wild in this charming town.
you truly immerse yourself in the stories of Astrid Lindgren: You can leap across the Hell’s Gap chasm with Ronja the Robber’s Daughter, meet Katla the dragon with the Brothers Lionheart or watch That Emil hoist little Ida up the flagpole.
2020 will mark the 75th birthday of Pippi Longstocking and there’s no better place to celebrate than in the alleyways and forests that inspired Astrid. For fans of Astrid’s work, Vimmerby will feel unshakably familiar - as if Pippi Longstocking herself might walk out of the sweet shop.
In anticipation of Pippi's 75th anniversary celebrations, the area of the park devoted to Pippi Longstocking will undergo some exciting changes. It’ll be better equipped to cope with the influx of guests and will provide more opportunities for play. At the premiere on 15 May 2020, an entirely new and much roomier version of the Villa Villekulla will be unveiled.
Astrid Lindgren’s World
Film Village Småland
75 years of Pippi Longstocking
Astrid Lindgren’s World theatre park is where the characters and settings from Astrid’s most famous books are brought to life. This theatre park in Vimmerby lets
Mariannelund, just 20 km from Vimmerby, is where the Emil of Lönneberga films were set. The interactive Filmbyn Småland will give you a behind the scenes look into the lives of
the actors, directors and other workers who brought the films to life. It lets you step into the magical world of film in a setting that could have been created by Astrid Lindgren herself. There’s an activity park with a builtin parkour area for you to channel your inner adventurer and you can see classic film clips, sing along to tracks from the films and check out original props.
Film locations Plus, some of the nearby film locations are still recognisable today. Katthult, for example, is actually called Gibberyd and is probably one of the most photographed farms in Småland. While the quaint village Sevedstorp became Bullerby/Noisy Village in the films. Fittingly, this hamlet was the childhood home of Astrid Lindgren’s father.
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/ASTRIDLINDGREN
Bullerbyn/Noisy village, Sevedstorp
The Land of Legends A magical part of Småland where invisible beings live in the limelight.
Find more Legendary Places – Download the “Sagobygden” app for iPhone and Android.
The Legendary Place at Trollberget
ou’ll find all things magical in Småland’s remarkable southwest – a magical destination for the whole family. The region is home to The Museum of Legends, the only one in the world, some mystical Legendary Places and storytellers who want to preserve the ancient oral tradition. Stories were passed from generation to generation as people gathered around the fireplace during the long, dark winters. The 1900s, where the tradition of storytelling almost disappeared from Sweden. Right through to the annual Storytelling Festival in Ljungby that attracts storytellers and researchers from around the world. The words of the storytellers will take you on an adventure through time and space. In addition to the Museum of Legends, you can visit the Legendary Places – including the troll mountain, the giant rocks, dragon treasures, magical trees and haunted manors. Something special has happened at each of the Legendary Places – you can feel it in the air and smell it in the soil. You’ll visit the sites of witchcraft, giant throws, sacrifice, and places where Näcken, a supernatural being who lures people into rivers and lakes to drown, has played. They are well signposted and easy to find.
The Museum of Legends in Ljungby The Museum of Legends is the heart of the Land of Legends. Learning about the ancient tradition of oral storytelling is entertaining and informative for both kids and adults. You can adventure through the museum yourself, but it’s always best to take a guide. You’ll learn so much about Småland’s mystic past, the good and the bad.
The legend of Blända Meg Nömgård is the director of the Land of Legends. She’s a talented storyteller who is happy to take time to talk about the legend of Småland’s brave women. We were lucky enough to hear a story about one of the Legendary Places with a bloody history. “The legend of Blända” tells the story of Blända who defeated the Danes at Bråvalla. They cunningly plied the soldiers with a banquet and plenty of drinks, before sneaking out with knives in hand once the soldiers fell asleep… the rest is history. The
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/LANDOFLEDGENDS
Danish King is said to be buried in the large cairn beside Lake Dansjön. Hence the name ’the King’s Cairn’. As a reward for their courage, the women received a generous inheritance equal to that of the men. A traditional dress now typical of the region Värend is said to have come from this victory. The special garment is adorned with silver and the kings monogram – it’s the only one in Sweden that features the royal mark. Today, it’s worn by women from Småland for example during Midsummer celebrations.
Find the Legendary Places with an app The Legendary Places app contains 42 stories about the mystical sites, plus clues that lead you to them. It includes places that are historically significant and stories from recent times. For instance, in 2020, the app will guide you to the memorial stone for deceased Metallica guitarist, Cliff Burton. You can listen to storytellers in English, German or Swedish on Apple or Android devices.
Treasure hunting in the Land of Legends Using Geocaching (and your phone’s GPS), you can hunt for treasures in the Land of Legends. Each point you find will unlock a secret phone number. You can call it and listen to a story that unfolded in the exact spot you’re standing. The treasure hunt will take you to exciting and beautiful places you might not have otherwise found – perhaps a forgotten cave where a child disappeared or a place with magical stones.
Recognised by UNESCO In 2018, the Land of Legends was adopted into the UNESCO Register for Good Safeguarding Practices – a register designed to protect the world’s intangible cultural heritage. It’s the first nomination of its type in Sweden and just the 20th adoption into this Register globally. Småland’s storytelling now sits alongside iconic traditions like boat building in Norway, fabric making in Uzbekistan and Fandango from Brazil.
DETAILS: The Museum of Legends
Märta Ljungbergsvägen 1, Ljungby Open all year Summer Season (June-August) Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 12.00-16.00 Ljungby Storytelling Festival June 11-14, 2020 There is an international section with program points throughout the festival
– The Illustrator of Fairy Tales John Bauer created fairy tale worlds through his art in ways that no one else could. He perfectly captured the mystery of the fairy tales in his paintings through the interaction of the characters with nature. The painting’s protagonist might emerge from mossy stones surrounded by crooked branches, while ugly trolls could be softened by John’s hand to convey their inner goodness. It’s little wonder that his illustrations have had such a profound impact on Swedish folklore and storytelling.
You can also experience the watery landscapes that served as inspiration for John Bauer in Lake Bunn and Lake Ören. Trolska båtturer, "Magical boat tours", follow the artists footsteps daily during the high season.
DETAILS: Jönköping County Museum Dag Hammarskjölds Place 2, Jönköping Open Tuesday-Sunday
Trolska båtturer Stora Roten 14, Gränna Daily tours during the high season
If you want to experience John Bauer’s artwork for yourself, Jönköping County Museum features an outstanding collection alongside an open workshop for children. They’ll turn into a troll, princess or prince right before your eyes.
John Bauerleden This is a 46 km hiking trail between Huskvarna and Bunn. It meanders between mystical areas that served as artistic inspiration for John Bauer – you can picture trolls and princesses roaming the vibrant forests.
At Home With IKEA
The story of IKEA begins in a small town in the southern Swedish province of Småland. The company’s first ever store in Älmhult is today home to an IKEA Museum, an exciting destination for everyone who wants to learn more about the company, its founder Ingvar Kamprad and the Swedish “people’s home”.
The upside-down world – the museum offers some new perspectives.
oing to IKEA at the weekend is something of a ritual in many families. But why not steer a course towards Älmhult, Småland instead? There is now a museum here that shares the story of the furnishing company, in an inviting, easily accessible way. “We want to welcome everybody to IKEA Museum,” says the museum’s Managing Director, Cecilia Johansson. “We’ve always been curious about life at home, and we know that a lot of people also want to know more about us and our history. At the museum, we want to create a meeting-place for the many people, where they can find out more about our roots and the way we work.” At the museum, you will learn more about the hard way of life in the farming community of Småland a century ago, the emergence of the Swedish welfare state
FACTS: and the “people’s home”, and how a young, industrious man called Ingvar Kamprad saw opportunities in meeting people’s needs in the many new homes that were being built in Sweden at the time. The museum offers a lot of nostalgia, with rooms reflecting every decade from more than 70 years of the company’s history. On show are more than 1,000 objects from the museum’s collection, from famous classics like the KLIPPAN sofa, to lesser-known furniture and furnishing details. And don’t forget to look up – there’s a surprise in the ceiling that will alter your perspectives. At the museum you can experience the large main exhibition The Story of IKEA, along with temporary exhibitions on design and life at home, targeting adults and children alike. And if you’d like a souvenir of your visit, you can have your photo appear on the cover of the IKEA catalogue!
Guided tours and children’s activities make the museum an experience for the whole family. The popular restaurant has a varied homemade menu. The museum shop is another well-liked part of the museum, with unique products not available in any store. You can stay overnight at IKEA Hotell which is right nearby, offering comfortable rooms at reasonable prices. IKEA Museum is in Älmhult, the heart of IKEA, a stone’s throw from the train station.
Kingdom of Crystal FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/DESIGN
– An experience that’ll leave you glowing
s with all good fairy tales, the magic in this story occurs in a deep forest. The enchanting Kingdom of Crystal is where glass pulp has been transformed into beautiful glassworks since the 1700s. While the appearance of the glass creations has changed over time, the ancient method used to create them has not.
Småland’s Kingdom of Crystal lies between Kalmar and Växjö. The Kingdom is sprawled out across various locations, so it’s perfect to visit on a road trip. There are 13 different glassworks and studios to choose between and each offers a unique experience. In some, you’ll feel the heat from the 1100-degree ovens as you discuss the ancient art with the friendly artists who create it. In others, you can try glassblowing yourself.
Be sure to leave enough time to visit a mix of the bigger works, for example Kosta and Målerås, and the smaller studios. The artists have their own flair, creating everything from elegant wine glasses to quirky pieces borne of collaboration between designers and glassblowers. There are plenty of beautiful and colourful glassware that you can purchase for yourself – or a special someone back home.
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/DESIGN Kulturgatan Bodafors
The Furniture District Småland’s culture of design extends beyond the glass it’s world famous for. The vast forests have served as inspiration also to woodworkers seeking fodder to fuel their creative fires. Their extensive technical knowledge combined with a playful streak has led to a culture of innovation in realm of furniture. The end result: beautiful, practical and daring designs that are appreciated by a global audience.
KULTURGATAN BODAFORS Kulturgatan Bodafors, in Nässjö, is a wonderland for anyone interested in furniture design, woodwork or the history of Småland’s design culture. It comes to life for 100 days each year, between June and September, to bring designers and people passionate about design together in a living meeting space. You can see amazing exhibitions, buy something incredible from the design store, or try something new in one of the hands-on workshops. There’s also a bakery offering ecological food made from locally-sourced ingredients that transforms into a play space for grownups with music workshops and lectures.
BRUNO MATHSSON Bruno Mathsson put Värnamo on the map as a design destination. His functional and modern designs with elements that harkened back to old Swedish craft traditions shot him to international fame. The Bruno Mathsson Centre is an iconic glass showroom built next door to Bruno’s childhood home. It’s filled with facts about Mathsson as well as an impressive selection of his striking designs. Guided tours are available.
VANDALORUM – WHERE ART AND DESIGN INTERSECT While Mathsson put Värnamo on the map, the work of countless others has kept it there. Vandalorum is a charming museum set amidst the fields on the outskirts of Värnamo. The building itself is a work of art that draws on an original concept by Renzo Piano, a celebrated Italian architect. While the furniture and permanent sculptures are by the likes of Mats Theselius, Joseph Kosuth and, of course, Bruno Mathsson. The 10-15 annual exhibitions are equally impressive, with influential pieces from local and international designers and artists being showcased.
“You were right! “Your” Sweden really is amazing” Sara Kroezen, a copywriter based in Amsterdam, has shared her experiences from a recent holiday in Småland. In the summer of 2019, she travelled with her family, husband Tom and daughters Emma (8) and Mia (6), to discover Småland like a local – a summer holiday in a typical Swedish cottage in Vimmerby.
“Mum, are moose able to sneeze?”
look with surprise at my daughter and barely manage to keep a straight face. “I’m not sure darling, but I guess they are used to all the nature around them”. Mia sniffs her freshly picked flowers, sneezes, but seems satisfied with my answer and skips on to her sister. Emma and Mia have already spent the whole morning searching for the most beautiful flowers around our cottage. Sneezing moose? I think about Mia’s question and can no longer suppress my laughter. From the array of freshly-picked flowers, we build summery wreaths, while making plans for the afternoon. It is time for some action. And there is more than enough to do in Småland!
A dream come true We are on holiday in Småland, a dream come true for me. Other than the time we’ve spent relaxing and spending time playing endless card games in our gorgeous cottage, we really haven’t sat still. Here, nature begins at the front door and we are thoroughly enjoying that. The girls are turning out to be true nature lovers and, during our hikes and bike rides, they are continuously searching for the abundant treasures from nature. As for me, I’m certainly happy with the breaks in between, especially when we take part in the Swedish tradition of “Fika”. It’s a tradition deeply embedded in Swedish culture that mostly involves eating pastries, drinking coffee and making time for a chat. The Swedish pastries
belonging to this tradition are dangerously delicious. And Tom? He has rediscovered an old passion: his mountain bike… Biking the zigzagging paths in the forest is certainly not for me, but I’m happy for him to wear himself out enjoying this muddy hobby.
My Småland is amazing Tom comes outside with two mugs of coffee and carefully sits down next to me. His hair still wet from the morning swim, he turns to me and says: “You were right! “Your” Sweden really is amazing!” That Sweden is mine is a slight exaggeration, I think, smiling. My mother’s family has roots here, so, it was only logical for us to travel here for holidays sometimes while I was growing up. While this was many years ago, the memories of the wonderful Swedish summers have remained strong in my mind. This is exactly what I wanted Tom and the girls to experience. That’s why we are sitting here on a sunny summer’s day in Småland. The decision to choose Småland as a destination was an easy one. It is nearby by car from the Netherlands and the region offers everything we desire: The beautiful archipelago with idyllic islands on the east coast, the big lakes and the richness of
green forests, hills, the typical red houses and above all… enough to do. I instantly fell in love, when I came across our cute little red wooden cottage, called a stuga in Swedish.
A stone’s throw away Tom was not difficult to convince, and we found ourselves mapping out our route the very same evening: A short ferry crossing between Germany and Denmark – making the kids happy – and, after driving across the impressive Öresund Bridge, a beautiful route through southern Sweden. Now, here we are. My bare feet are happily playing with the lush grass and I take a deep breath of the fresh air… Abruptly, I’m awakened from my daydream by a towel brushing over my face. “Muuuum, come on!” Emma shouts, as she races past me straight into the glittering lake. Alright, time for the second swim of the day!
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/HOLIDAYCOTTAGE
“So much fun!”
Hi Emil! Our cottage is located close to the village of Vimmerby. And this just happens to be the cradle of all my childhood idols: Pippi Longstocking and Emil of Lönneberga. The characters from the books, written by Astrid Lindgren, literally come to life in Astrid Lindgren's World, the large themepark. Who didn’t grow up with her books? I totally devoured them in my childhood and now Emma and Mia have followed in my footsteps. They especially love the adventures of Emil. Mia can’t help but scream out loud when we enter the park and she spots his character: “Mum, look! It’s really him!” We walk across the farm of Lönneberga, which has been fully reconstructed here. Emma and Mia are so excited, Tom and I struggle to keep up on our way through the park; admiring the castle of Ronja the Robber’s Daughter and laughing at Pippi’s mischief.
can now say, “I did it!”. Emma, it turns out, is much braver than I am, as she screeches with joy when it’s her turn. The set-up truly is ideal, as Mia can ride the zipline in tandem with a guide. Emma, clearly comfortable alone, happily chats to our Dutch guide “how fast can we actually go?”.
Candy in Gränna “Hurry up!!” Mia is calling us impatiently, ten metres in front. We are in the idyllic town of Gränna, gorgeously situated on the great lake Vättern. Tom and I are happily strolling along the charming streets with wooden houses and small shops. But this daytrip is high on the children’s wishlist for a very special reason. In Gränna the traditional
Swedish candy, the Polkagris, is still produced by hand and according to a recipe from 1859. Not only can we watch it being made, but we have booked an appointment to make it ourselves. Finally, we arrive. The girls rush into the store. Within minutes, we find ourselves dressed up as candy chefs. Emma is fascinated by the process and really gives it her best effort… Mia’s comment “it looks like a giant snot” has both girls in fits of laughter… Kids! Half an hour later, happily savouring our self-made polkagris, we stroll down the hill to lake Vättern. In the distance, I see the island Visingsö. Next time we must go there!
Swishing through the treetops I have to steady myself with a really deep breath, but I’ve never been as close to the sensation of truly flying as I am right now. My hair is blowing out from beneath the helmet and I swish quickly downwards. Only ten seconds ago, I had my feet firmly on the ground … now I am standing on a narrow platform in a tree! The view over the treetops is fantastic, and what an amazing experience! Little Rock Lake Zipline in Klavreström is the largest zipline course in Europe with 4 km of ziplining set up. And I
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/FAMILY
Meet the king of the forest
MEET A MOOSE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/MOOSEPARKS
Småland is one of Sweden’s most moose dense regions but the big animals are still not easily spotted in the wild.
MOOSE PARKS IN SMÅLAND: About 30,000 moose roam and rule the forests of Småland. In the region’s many moose parks, you can spot them from touching distance. • Elinge Älgpark, Ljungby • Laganland Älgpark, Lagan • Grönåsen Älg- och Lantdjurspark, Kosta • Målilla Älgpark • Virum Älgpark, Vimmerby • Glasrikets Älgpark, Nybro • Skullaryd Älgpark, Nässjö • Smålandet Markaryds Älgsafari
Micke and Sune in Skullaryd
Småland has one of the densest moose populations in Sweden, yet the big animals are still not easy to find in the wild. Visiting a moose park is a safe and fun way to get close to Sweden’s shy king of the forest. Erik Öster runs Skullaryd Moose Park. He stands among the animals as we visit him. The animals are fed twice a day, a procedure he calls the moose’s ‘staff meeting’. “It takes about an hour to feed all the animals. It’s important to take time to bond with the animals and it gets very personal when you feed them. That’s when you can tell if they are doing well – which is the most important thing. The moose just started eating again. Mid-September was mating season and then the bulls eat nothing. Then they can only think of one thing – and that’s not their food.”
Erik dreamed of owning a moose park already when he was a young boy, and a few years back he opened his moose park and became the youngest moose park owner in Sweden. The passion he has for the majestic creatures is obvious and each animal has a name. Karl, for example, the young moose that became a hit on social media when he moved in with Erik after being rejected from this mother, was hand-fed by Erik with a bottle. How is Karl doing now? “Great,” Erik says smiling. “He received a bottle every three hours, and in total I fed him 660 litres of milk. When he was born, he weighed 11 kilograms, and after five months 150. Today he is two years old and weighs 250 kilograms.” In the enclosure, Karl immediately recognises Erik. “Yes, we have a special relationship. I’m his mom after all.”
There’s no shortage of exciting things for children to do when holidaying in Småland. All over the region, there are (child friendly) activities for anyone who likes to play – no matter their age or their definition of fun. In a way, Småland is a giant playground for kids and kids at heart. Getnö Gård – Lake Åsnen Resort Lake Åsnen’s Getnö Gård offers unforgettable experiences on nature’s terms. A children’s programme runs each summer - with a nature school, Viking
adventures, games, fishing, and much more for your little critters. You can choose a down to earth experience and camp, or you can hire a cottage and sleep in style with wilderness at your doorstep.
A World of Dinosaurs Kalmar is home to Europe’s largest dinosaur exhibition – “A World of Dinosaurs”. The exhibition is aimed at people of all ages and shows dinosaurs from all over the world. Discover the wonder of more than 150 fossils, a hall full of awe-inspiring lifesized dinosaurs and “living” dinosaurs that breathe, move and rumble.
Getnö Gård – Lake Åsnen Resort
A World of Dinosaurs
Isaberg Mountain Resort
Wind through the deep, dark shafts with a guide or explore the cold passages by yourself with a torch in hand and a helmet on your head.
Isaberg Mountain Resort Isaberg Mountain Resort is the perfect place for your next active escape. With tobogganing, hiking, paddling, golf, fishing, and a tree-top ropes course, there's plenty of adventure for children and adults alike.
Gränna/Visingsö Gränna is a candy-coated wonderland for kids and adults alike. The red and white “Polkagris” is one of the most recognisable treats in Europe. After exploring the stores, take a trip to the magical island Visingsö, in the middle of Lake Vättern. You’ll feel the presence of the past, learn about Småland’s giants, and go on a ‘Remmalag’ around the island, a traditional horse and carriage ride.
Children’s Kingdom of Crystal Visit Kosta in the Kingdom of Crystal and experience the magic of glassblowing. Afterwards, continue to Målerås, where your children will be whisked away to a magical place. They can follow the exciting “Troll's Path” in the forest, try glassblowing or learn about how glass is created via an app.
High Chaparral Want to quench your thirst for adventure? The theme park High Chaparral is for you (and your family). When you enter High Chaparral, you walk straight into 1870’s America. Hang out with cowboys, bandits, and gold prospectors and watch captivating shows about heroes and villains. The saloons offering tasty treats are the cherry on top.
Flea markets and antiques Think you’ll be feeling nostalgic for Småland after you leave? Bring a piece of it back with you! The people of Småland are known for their culture of buying second-hand goods. So, keep an eye out for signs saying 'Loppis' and, when you find one, prepare to be amazed. 'Loppis' stores sell used items that make for incredible souvenirs.
Little Rock Lake Zipline Zip through the forests and above the lakes at high speed to take your play to the next level. At Europe’s biggest zipline course, you’ll choose between five different adventures. Afterwards, you can chill out in the rock pool. And while the website says it’s for people between the ages of 5 and 99, we have it on good authority that it’ll be just as fun if you’ve turned 100. Children under 35kg will need to zip tandem with a guide.
Kalmar and Kalmar Castle Kalmar has plenty to offer for the whole family and you can even swim at several places right in the city centre. Plus, children can let their imagination run wild as they run free at Kalmar Castle, which in the summer, turns into the children's own castle. Here, they get the chance to challenge the Black Knight and to be ceremoniously dubbed in the castle hall. Or why not try the treasure hunt, or meet the castle princess?
Kleva Mine Discover a beautiful underground lake as you learn about mining practices from the 17th to the 20th century in the Kleva mine.
Little Rock Lake Zipline
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/FAMILY
Welcome to Öland
– THE ISLAND OF SUN AND WIND A six kilometre long bridge brings you to Öland, a tall island stretching along the mainland and Småland. Öland is dramatically different from the traditional and typically Swedish landscape in many ways, the scenic landscapes exist in tandem with the island’s fascinating history.
Neptuni åkrar 26
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here’s no shortage of stories about the island’s earlier inhabitants who lived in castles, fortresses and villages close to Öland’s distinctive natural features – alves, lakes, forests, and cultivated land. The palette of colours reveals a land that’s rich in shapes, flavours and activities for visitors of all ages. What is perceived by your eyes as untouched beauty is actually an incredible feat of cooperation between the island’s inhabitants and nature. And on Öland, your other senses are in for a treat too!
The tastes of Öland Öland boasts an expansive pantry stocked with unique flavours. Creative food and beverage entrepreneurs flock to Öland, so the island is no stranger to awards for service, quality and quirky experiences. But there are plenty of other reasons that Öland is known for its culinary experiences. Many of the restaurants and cafés value using ingredients sourced from the small local farms. The cheese is probably produced at the nearby dairy; the flour likely comes from the mill in a neighbouring village; and the vegetables are almost certainly grown at a farm not too far down the road. All of this means your experience at the local eateries will be as out of the ordinary as it will be delicious.
Stroll between the restaurants, cafés and bakeries or pick up some fresh produce from farm stores and herb gardens with guidance from smakerpaoland.se. Maybe you’ll find yourself on a journey down long, beautiful roads in search of the island’s best culinary experience. Whether you prefer to enjoy food in the wilderness, dine in a restaurant, or perhaps even cook a traditional local dish – "kroppkakor" – with some friends, we’re daring enough to promise that Öland has something for all tastes and occasions.
Love Öland gently Öland isn’t known for high peaks or deep valleys. Maybe that’s why it has become a destination for those who want to spend their time on holiday on a bike or on their feet. The island is famous for its long summer days and its unique nature that varies from the mainland. We believe this is a strong reason that it’s worth taking a closer look at the scenery either with a guide or on a self-guided trip. No matter which route you take, any trip through Öland is a scenic experience. The winding roads along the long sandy beaches and rugged coastal roads with endless views make way to meandering paths that snake through deciduous forests to lakes and meadows. You’ll notice how the immense difference between the north and the south invite new impressions with each passing mile.
We are privileged to have free access to the ever-changing nature on Öland, especially since it is protected. It’s important to remember that the freedom comes with responsibility. Öland is home to a fragile ecosystem and the plants and animals are all precious. We need to love Öland gently so we can continue to enjoy the unique environment year-round into the future.
With or without sand between your toes There’s no better way to finish a long day of exploring than with a refreshing dip in the sea as you enjoy the beautiful sunset views. Öland has two coasts, each with an entirely different personality. Kalmar Strait lies to the west, and the Baltic Sea to the east. There are sandy beaches on both sides of the island, with "Bödabukten" and Köpingsvik's beach being the most well-known. One on each coast. If you’d prefer not to have the sand between your toes, you’ll also find pebble beaches, rocky beaches and grassy beaches if you look. Throw in some family fun at a water adventure park, with pools, waterslides and no shortage of fun. Or, for those seeking a challenge in the sea, there are jetskis, surfboards and kayaks for rent.
See you in Kalmar – the historical but yet vibrant summer city by the sea that offers everything from sun and swimming to history, architecture and a wide range of activities and events. Kalmar offers the opportunities of a large city but also the proximity and charm of a smaller place. Within walking and bicycling distance, you can enjoy beaches, parks, forests, meadows, cobblestone streets, shops, museums, restaurants, cafés and galleries. And an honest-to-goodness castle with pinnacles and towers. Today Kalmar is a modern city, but wherever you go, you feel the pulse of history. There are music and cultural events all year round.
See you in Kalmar!
Restaurants and bars, shopping and activities, culture and history – the three residential cities in Småland all have a lot to offer!
Jönköping – Along the southern shore of Vättern
Beautifully situated in southern Sweden on the shores of lake Vättern, Jönköping offers a vibrant city pulse, beach life and nature on the doorstep. The city centre of Jönköping consists of picturesque alleys and canals opening the city up to the three lakes. East of Jönköping, lies the old mill town of Huskvarna where weapons, appliances and vehicles have been manufactured and sold under the world famous brand Husqvarna since the 17th century. Its industrial heritage has left many cultural treasures to enjoy. Lake Vättern was also listed by CNN (2019) as one of Europe´s most beautiful places, top 20!
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/CITY Here in the heart of Småland it's very much a question of detail. That special Växjö feeling permeates through everything. Take a shoreline promenade in the middle of the city. Stay at the first gastrohotel in Scandinavia or Sweden’s youngest castle. Experience a rich and varied cultural offering that contributes to an exciting atmosphere all year round. Or why not visit a famous one star awarded Guide Michelin restaurant with flavours inspired by forest, meadow and lake. From lively pulse in the city to 23 nature reserves - everything with 15 minutes reach. Welcome to the little “World City” Växjö!
Always with a special touch of Växjö
Magdalena (25). Tim (30). Yuna Valentina (3). With a good dose of humour and confidence in the luggage. Together, we run the online shop SOLT UN PEPER. On @sophies. journal and our own blog www.garlicforbreakfast.com we also share bits and moments from our everyday lives, take our readers with us on our journeys and share our favourite places. This summer, our trip went to south Sweden. 12 days by car through a country that deeply impresses us and that let us experience wonderful things.
DAYS THROUGH SOUTH SWEDEN – A FAMILY ROAD TRIP
In Markaryd, in the moose park Smålandet, we book a moose safari and get branches which we can feed to the moose during the tour. This way we experienced these impressive animals up close.
In Vimmerby, we find ourselves on a farm called Ingebo Hagar – an eco-café with a farm shop, animals and lots and lots of toys and discoveries for children. An absolute highlight: picnic baskets that you can enjoy in the large garden under an apple or pear tree.
In Gränna, a small town known for the production of “Polkagris” – traditional red and white candy canes, you can stock up on sweets of all shapes and colours and also watch them being made.
An absolute must on our trip is, of course, Astrid Lindgren's World, because we have the biggest Pippi Longstocking fan with us. An incredible day that our daughter will rave about for a long time.
At the bakery PM & Vänner Bröd och Sovel in Växjö, we stock up on cinnamon rolls and small delicacies for the journey. The showcases are packed full of the tastiest pastries and dishes that Sweden has to offer, and it's hard to decide what to get.
A magical world of Islands
The Tjust Archipelago welcomes you to a magical world of beautiful islands, islets and skerries, all scattered along the Baltic Sea coast line.
here is something about the smell of brackish water. One part fresh and one part salt. Lungs filled with the inland sea and optimism. If you live by the Baltic Sea you get a dose just by sticking your nose out. In northeastern Småland you’ll find Västervik, the hometown of ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, owner of Slottsholmen, and the Tjust Archipelago, where you can consume the Baltic Sea uninhibited. There’s so much fresh air and natural beauty that you have to pinch yourself to make sure it’s not a dream. A unique paradise in the world with 5 000 islands and skerries, a growing but tastefully dimensioned range of restaurants, guided tours, hire and accommodation options. And a rare chance to find your very own archipelago paradise. Windswept skerries in the outer archipelago or a full-blown visitors’ island with restaurants, cafés, footpaths, activities and tons of archipelago charm. Can you make out the scent?
“We have visitors from Sweden, Europe and the whole world and our environment does something to them. As well as being amazed by the archipelago scenery, it makes them calm. Our mix of natural coves and uninhabited islands combined with many islands with restaurants and activities makes for a wonderful and unique experience combination,” says Lina Johansson who works on the popular family island of Hasselö.
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/ARCHIPELAGO
Lina Johansson who works and lives on the island of Hasselö.
TO LIVE LIKE A SMÅLANDER
Spending time in the spectacular nature is quite natural for us Smålanders. We make a habit of enjoying nature as often as possible – preferably every day. Whether it’s for just a few hours or for the whole day, here are some activities you must try if you want to live like a Smålander.
PICK BERRIES AND MUSHROOMS In Småland, we love foraging for our own food in the great outdoors. There are berries and mushrooms in abundance just a short walk away – we promise. Grab a basket (or two) and head to a nearby forest and see what edible treats you can find. There’s no better feeling than eating food you’ve picked yourself. To be absolutely safe, stick to mushrooms and berries you know, consult a hand book - or a Smålander!
2 FOREST BATHING
Spending time connecting with nature in the forest has been shown to have incredible health benefits, like reducing stress and depression. While the term forest bathing was coined in Japan in the 1970s, Smålanders have turned to the fantastic nearby forests for centuries when they’ve needed to rejuvenate. The healing power of Småland’s nature is just a short walk away.
Speaking of eating - come summertime, Swedes find any excuse they can to eat outdoors. You won’t be walk past a park without smelling the delicious dinners of countless locals. So, pack a picnic and take it to the seaside, grab some meat for a BBQ or take some coffee and cake on your hike, but make sure you eat outdoors.
4 TAKE AN EVENING DIP
Småland’s lakes are a paradise for nature lovers. Rowing is the perfect way to escape from reality and just take in the sounds of the wildlife and wilderness. Many of those rustic red cottages for rent have a rowboat you can use. And if you’re at a campsite near a lake, you’re probably near a rowboat. So, get on the water and discover our Småland.
Picture this: the sky is painted in gentle pastel hues and the lake is still and inviting. The crisp evening air makes the water feel warm to the touch, so it’s easy to dive right in. Whether you want to take a few energising strokes or flop onto your back and lose yourself in the evening sky, Småland’s pristine lakes are the perfect way to finish your day. This is what bliss feels like. This is what it feels like to live like a Smålander.
Canoe through Småland’s watery wilderness Småland’s untouched wilderness, lakes, seas and waterways are perhaps best experienced from a canoe or kayak. Spectacular water routes permeate the area allowing you to quietly navigate your serene surroundings. Whether you’re on a relaxing day trip or an action-packed weeklong expedition, Småland’s wild and wonderful waters will satisfy the adventurer in you.
Become one with nature
Kayaking in the archipelago
Spend time in nature on nature’s terms
Gliding through water in a canoe is almost soundless. It allows you to experience the wildlife up close - a truly wonderful experience that will stay with you afterwards. The lakes and streams of Småland offer exceptional routes for canoeing and kayaking, and the mix of calm open water and narrow passages makes it ideal for both beginners and experienced canoeists. Enjoy being as close to nature as you can get and set up camp on an uninhabited island where you can sit by a fire and watch the sun set over the glistening waters. This is Småland at its best.
If you would rather propel your way through the water using a double-bladed paddle, Småland also has great opportunities for kayaking. Like canoeing, it is quite easy to learn, you do not need any prior knowledge. Kayaking can be done in the same waters the canoeists favour, but sea kayaking is also popular. Discover Småland’s archipelagos and spend the night on your own little island: there are plenty of islands but very few people. If you are lucky, you might even spot some sea eagles or seals among the islands and skerries.
Enjoying nature also comes with responsibilities. Visiting nature is all about showing respect to the animals, the environment, other visitors and landowners. Leave the places you visit in the same state as when you arrived. Also remember that fires are not permitted everywhere - so use prepared fireplaces instead. This way, we can keep Småland’s wonderful nature healthy and rubbish-free so we can all enjoy canoeing through the wilderness for many years to come.
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/PADDLING
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A natural awakening
– FROM CAMPGROUNDS TO MANOR HOUSES Västervik Resort
The best way to wake up in the morning is to the sound of birds singing in the wilderness. You can have this experience almost anywhere in Småland, no matter what your preferred accommodation. Whether you choose camping, a cute red cottage, or a luxurious manor house, you’ll be spoiled by the beautiful landscapes nearby. Camping is freedom
Rejuvenate in a manor
In Småland, camping means getting up close and personal with nature. There are more than 60 campsites throughout the region, ranging from resorts to unpowered campgrounds with simple facilities. The choice is yours: peace and quiet or a wide range of activities for the whole family?
Old manors with rich histories have been converted into hotels all over Småland. Our manors are relatively small, embedded in some of the most beautiful landscapes, many of which are situated with wonderful views of lakes and nature. Småland’s manor hotels are characterised by their historic
atmosphere and classic menus, perfect for balancing activities with relaxation. "Småland Resorts" collects both mansions and similar accommodations offering activities and recreation, all in close proximity to the tranquil nature with delicious food. Here, you can rejuvenate and regain balance.
"Västervik Resort" has one of Sweden's largest camping grounds. It’s a family favourite with fun activities for young and old. Spend your morning swimming before eating breakfast outdoors or burn the kids out on the playgrounds and water slides. Meanwhile, Hätteboda Wilderness Camping is an oasis for those seeking peace and quiet. The campsite melts into nature so as not to disturb the animals and there’s no electricity or running water. As for entertainment? You’re only limited by your imagination.
STENSJÖ BY Travel back in time in this delightful village near Oskars hamn. Pack a picnic and stroll among the carefully preserved buildings that served as the film set for ‘The Children of Noisy Village’, based on a book by Astrid Lindgren.
KORRÖ CRAFT VILLAGE A former craft village located by the Ronneby Stream, Korrö played an important role in regional manufacturing during the 19th century. Back then, you could find for example a tannery, sawmill and a shop here. Today, the historic buildings house a restaurant, a café, a hostel and a hotel.
THE OLD TOWN OF KALMAR The city of Kalmar has a rich history. Before you visit Kalmar Castle, you can stroll through the cobblestone streets and visit buildings from the middle ages in Kalmar’s Old Town. There are plenty of buildings from the 18th and 19th century that will take you back to earlier days as you wander down the winding alleys.
Picturesque Småland Driving from farm to farm on Småland’s winding country lanes, it seems that little has changed since Astrid Lindgren was a child. Many of the wooden houses are painted red or yellow, providing joyous accents to the lush green countryside. Coupled with the historic buildings in the villages and the old farmyards in the local history museums, it’s easy to imagine you’ve been transported to the Småland of Astrid Lindgren.
EKSJÖ – A UNIQUE WOODEN TOWN Having largely escaped damage from fires, Eksjö is one of the best-preserved wooden towns in Sweden. It has been awarded a ‘Europa Nostra Diploma’ for the remarkable renovation of the traditional buildings. Take a guided tour to fully experience this wonderful part of history.
ÅSENS BY The quaint village of Åsens by is a cultural treasure where time has stood still for more than a hundred years. The village is made up of red houses, barns and ancient but beautiful fences around the fields. Today, the village is a cultural reserve with a café, a hostel and a country store.
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/CULTURE
tour of Småland A GRAND
Experience the precious gems of nature and culture in Småland with plenty of time on your hands. Here, we suggest a route and give you tips on spots and places worth seeing.
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/GRANDTOUR
1. IKEA Museum, Älmhult
Experience the story of IKEA where it began - in Älmhult. The IKEA Museum takes you on a journey from the roots to the the global powerhouse it is today.
2. Linnés Råshult, Diö
Carl Linnaeus is one of the most famous botanists and zoologists to have ever lived. Linnés Råshult is where he was born and now a culture reserve with gardens and a café.
3. Åsnen National Park
Åsnen National Park is an inland lake archipelago with untouched islands and a truly wild feel. You can go hiking, canoeing, biking, birdwatching and just… relax.
Sirkövägen is a road that runs from Urshult in direction of Växjö. It boasts spectacular views of Lake Åsnen and the surrounding wilderness mixed with meadows and apple trees.
5. Huseby Bruk
Stop by this immaculately-preserved manor from the 19th century and take a step back in time. The park and garden have been kept in their original form.
10. The mythical Blå Jungfrun
Pay a visit to the beautiful island and national park, located all on its own in the Kalmar Strait between Oskarshamn and northern Öland.
11. Västervik Archipelago
Come to north-eastern Småland and you will find Västervik and the Tjust Archipelago, a paradise with 5 000 islands and skerries.
12. Astrid Lindgren’s Vimmerby
5 6. Växjö
Visit the Cathedral, the Swedish Glass Museum and the ruins of Kronoberg castle. Växjö is also a paradise for food lovers with for example Michelin-starred restaurant PM & Vänner.
7. The Kingdom of Crystal
The glassworks and studios in the Kingdom of Crystal all have their own distinctive character for you to discover. Make a tour!
8. Kalmar Castle
Kalmar Castle goes back 800 years in history, to the Middle Ages and was known as the key to the kingdom for a long period in time, due to its strategic location.Today it plays an important role for culture in Småland, hosting exhibitions, guided tours, a restaurant and a lots of activities for children.
9. Mönsterås coastal road – a detour worth taking
Escape the summer traffic on the E22. The cruise on the Mönsterås coastal road alongside the avenues, stone walls and sea is definitely worth a detour.
Pop into the charming town of Vimmerby, the hometown of Astrid Lindgren. Näs, Astrid’s birthplace, is still here for you to visit.
13. Trolley cycling on Smalspåret
Take a trolley cycle for a really enjoyable and environmentally friendly way to travel on the narrow-gauge railway.
14. Eksjö – the unique wooden town Get to know Eksjö, one of the best-preserved wooden towns in Europe. The idyllic town has more than 50 listed wooden houses.
15. Boxholm II, Tranås
This beautifully restored S/S Boxholm II is a steamboat that has been in operation since 1904. It’s one of the last working wood-fired steamships in Sweden.
16. Grenna Museum
Gränna is the birthplace of S A Andrée – an enterprising Swede who attempted to reach the North Pole by hot air balloon in 1897. Follow his expedition at Grenna Museum.
17. Jönköping - Bryggan
Relax in the sun on a wooden dock with the gentle waves of Munksjön, lapping at your feet. Bryggan is a meeting place in Jönköping’s vibrant city centre.
15 18. Husqvarna Museum
The Husqvarna Museum delves into the factory’s fascinating production history that encompasses everything from weapons to kitchen equipment.
19. Habo Church
Originating from the 13th century this unique wooden church is famous for the intricate paintings that cover the entire interior of Habo Church.
20. Tage Andersen’s Gunillaberg, Bottnaryd
Delve into Tage Andersen’s tribute to transience! The floral wonderland at Gunillaberg will make you feel like you’ve entered a magical new world.
21. Vandalorum, Värnamo
Explore Vandalorum! Works by prominent contemporary designers and artists from around the world are exhibited within the exquisite museum building.
22. Store Mosse National Park
The marshlands at Store Mosse are fitted out with more than 40 km of footpaths so visitors can explore the unique flora and fauna.
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/FOOD
Pantry in Småland
PLUCK FOOD FROM NATURE’S
We are proud of the incredible food we have at our fingertips in the forests and fields of Småland. So, it’s not unusual to find locally-sourced produce on the menu in Småland’s bars and restaurants.
Using local ingredients has become trendy in recent years, but there’s a long tradition of hunting and picking berries in the forest and fishing in the lakes of Småland. Two restaurants in particular, Wallby Säteri och Asa Herrgård, offer outstanding locally-sourced food cooked in the open – either by a chef or by you!
Open meadows and lake view at Wallby At Wallby Säteri, you can fill baskets with herbs, edible vegetation and berries, even wild strawberries if you’re lucky. It’s truly blissful to wander through the meadows and forage for edible treats straight from nature. What’s even more incredible is arriving back at picturesque lake to find a talented chef waiting to help you turn your natural treats into a hearty warm meal.
Discovering the “Edible Country” In the deep forest at Asa Mansion Dutch traveller Bonnie Dubois foraged for food in the picturesque landscapes around Asa. Bonnie has run her blog OHIMP (OneHandInMyPocket) since 2013. A lover of nature and travelling, OHIMP has 65 000 unique visitors to her blog each month and you can find her (and her 13 000 followers on instagram @bonniedubois. This is what she has to say about her time at Asa: I went on a trip to my favourite holiday destination Sweden, to the region Småland, with my friends, where we were planning to indulge in delicious food and activities in nature… Am I dreaming? Please pinch me… First stop is Asa Herrgård where you can experience “The Edible Country”. First, I didn’t have a clue what to do.
If you haven't tried fishing for perch, you're in for a treat! You’ll find plenty of perch in the nets, perfect for grilling over the open fire nearby – from lake to table in no time. The Dinner is complete with vegetables from the local farm, beef from free-range cattle, cheese and sausage. After you cook it on an open fire by the lake, you’ll eat it on a table with freshly-cut flowers and spectacular views. Do we even need to mention that it’ll taste amazing?
But, all of a sudden, I was hiking through the enchanting forests of Asa, one hand holding a gigantic chanterelle and the other holding a picking basket. It really does feel like I’m dreaming and that I’m in heaven… At the same time, nothing is more real, this down to earth, back to nature experience. It certainly is the perfect getaway from my normal busy city life in the Netherlands. With my group of friends, we booked an amazing cooking experience: We find ourselves being supervised by chef Pontus deep in the forest, where we are foraging for ingredients for lunch. Picking mushrooms, herbs and berries too, warming up by cracking fires thereafter, where the pots and pans were already waiting for us. With the chef, we prepared a mouth-watering lunch, which we relished at a long rustic table on the middle of the forest. I’d love to do this every day! /Bonnie Dubois
Småland’s Michelin restaurant – PM & Vänner PM & Vänner is a fine-dining restaurant in Växjö built on the philosophy ‘forest, lake and meadow’. It relies on locally-sourced ingredients, boasts an outstanding selection of more than 5000 wines and attracts guests from around the world. PM & Vänner is the only restaurant in Sweden awarded a Grand Award by Winespectator.
Brasserie 1742, a restaurant in the famous Kosta Boda Art Hotel, is also on track to receive Michelin status for its luxurious and playful French food. It was awarded the Plate in the 2019 Nordic Michelin Guide. Greeting from the forest, PM & Vänner
Fast Facts for Foodies: Rudenstams Frukt & Bär supplies the drinks enjoyed by Royalty and Nobel-prize laureates at one of Sweden’s most extravagant parties. You can try their famous beverage for yourself at Rudenstams Café in Äppledalen – and feel like royalty.
Småland is teeming with fresh ecological produce. You can purchase some for yourself at the plentiful local farm stores. Enjoy an authentic old-fashioned breakfast at the Culture Reserve in Åsens By. Once the farm animals are fed and watered, it’s time for you to enjoy bread, butter, eggs and honey sourced from the animals and fields around you. Småland’s ‘Polkagris’ is one of Scandinavia’s most famous souvenirs.
At Nilssons Patisserie and Bakery in Oskarshamn you’ll find freshly-brewed coffee and a delectable selection of pastries and bread made with love by a pastry chef who in 2017 was awarded “World Confectioner of the Year” by UIBC. Sweden’s biggest harvest festival takes place on Öland each September. People travel from all over to experience the island’s divine produce for themselves.
Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA fame has touched people around the world through his music. He wants to do achieve the same thing with the food at Slottsholmen Hotel in Västervik. There is a story behind every delightful dish so you learn about his travels and experiences as you eat. Some of Småland’s restaurants and cafés can be found in the ‘White Guide’ – a guide to the best dining experiences in Sweden. You can find the entire list on our website. Crayfish parties are a beloved tradition in Småland. You’ll find places around Småland where you can enjoy fishing for crayfish using cages and eating your catch – but consider yourself warned, the party is a feast for all the senses (including your ears!).
Småland’s National Parks
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE IN
Småland boasts Scandinavia’s southernmost wilderness. Store Mosse, Norra Kvill, Blå Jungfrun and Åsnen comprise the region’s national parks. They are protected areas that invite you to enjoy the splendour of nature. Each park will inspire you to hike, birdwatch and be enthralled – but always on nature’s terms. Welcome to the wild!
Store Mosse National Park
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/NATIONALPARKS Åsnen National Park
rimeval forests and the flight of the osprey. Untouched wetlands and a mystic blue island. Småland is brimming with trees, lakes and wildlife. Almost everywhere you look, nature greets you with an organic smile. With four national parks and plenty of nature reserves, the region is richly endowed with spectacular natural scenery. As a visitor, you are welcome to share this protected nature with the locals. The only thing we ask is that you respect it. Whether you want to bring a picnic on a shorter walk or spend a few days exploring, you will find experiences that suit you. Just remember these places are protected for a reason: the scenery you’ll find here is truly something else.
Åsnen – where the osprey breeds Åsnen is a unique, untouched lake archipelago with over a thousand islands. It boasts distinctive natural features and unpolluted air where rare species thrive. The diversity of nature is notable, and visitors will find a mix of lakes, wetlands, shore meadows, marshes, old deciduous forests and wild fruit trees. Walking through the primeval forest with its ancient trees and huge boulders, you’ll discover a mysterious, bewitching atmosphere. Moose are not uncommon in the area and the birdlife is exceptional: ospreys have breeding sites here, white-tailed eagles soar above the trees, and you can hear black-throated divers call out on the lake. Åsnen National Park is located in the lake’s north-western region and has two entrances, one in Sunnabron and one in Trollberget.
Norra Kvill – mesmerising trees and water lilies Norra Kvill National Park consists of an enchanting, untouched forest that has not been logged for 150 years. Some of the pine trees are more than 350 years old and there are giant spruces that tower at more than 35 metres high. A hike through the peaceful region is an authentic natural experience. You will encounter fallen trees, fungi, undulating moss-covered boulders, forest ponds and, if you are lucky, wildlife like the capercaillie. Hiking up to the park’s highest mountain, Idhöjden, will reward you with magnificent views. There’s also a scenic hiking trail that goes around the park’s two lakes, one of which is Stora Idgölen lake, with gorgeous water lilies and star-like bogbean flowers.
Store Mosse – the accessible wild A completely different natural experience awaits in Store Mosse National Park. Store Mosse is Sweden’s largest untouched wetland south of Lapland, with an atmosphere and landscape reminiscent of that found in the northernmost reaches of Sweden. Walk and explore on your own by following one of the footpaths or go on a guided snowshoe walk in the wet bog – in the middle of summer! The paths in the park run across foot-bridges and vary in length from 300 metres to 14 kilometres. The park is also home to a diverse range of plants and birds that are found only in the north. Here you will find everything from lakes and marshes, to cranes, moose and eagles. The famous lake Kävsjön, which is one of the most important breeding sites for cranes in southern Sweden, is also situated here.
Blå Jungfrun National Park
Blå Jungfrun – a mystical blue island Beautiful Blå Jungfrun, a national park that is also an island, rises in lonely majesty from the Kalmar strait. Distinguished by its shape and size, the mystical island that consists partly of bare rock with the remainder covered in dense forest has always attracted visitors. Hiking here is both demanding and rewarding. There are several caves to discover as well as an ancient stone labyrinth from which it is forbidden to remove stones. Keep your eyes open and you might spot a black guillemot or white-tailed eagle.
Considering the colours of the island’s contours and the isolated location, it is no surprise that Blå Jungfrun is featured in local folklore and myths: according to stories from Medieval times, witches rode out to Blå Jungfrun, or Blåkulla, on their broomsticks at Easter.
Wander in the wild Walking through protected nature on clearly marked tracks with beautifully situated resting places is a great experience. There are usually one or more paths that are accessible by wheelchair too. The national parks have paths that highlight the best features of the park. In Store Mosse, you can walk across foot bridges or enjoy guided tours on snowshoes. In Åsnen, there are paths on land and across the water – if you include paddling. There is even a footpath across the barren cliffs on the island of Blå Jungfrun. In Norra Kvill, near Vimmerby, the tracks run through the expansive forest.
Småland's national parks and nature reserves have signposted paths suitable for day excursions. And you can always ask locally if you want to find out more about the paths. Most of us Swedes get out in nature as often as possible, so we’re probably familiar with the tracks. If you want to go on a longer adventure, there are plenty of routes that let you walk during the day and bring you to a wind shelter or hotel, guest house or youth hostel for the night. We suggest the following long-distance paths: Bauerleden, Höglands leden, Ostkustleden, Kalmarsundsleden and Utvandrarleden.
Norra Kvill National Park
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/HIKING
John Bauerleden, hiking trail
Småland in southern Sweden is a region known for its untouched nature with glittering lakes, deep forests and a 270 km long coastline at the...
Published on Jan 8, 2020
Småland in southern Sweden is a region known for its untouched nature with glittering lakes, deep forests and a 270 km long coastline at the...