SMÅLAND SOUTH OF SWEDEN
A SUMMER HOUSE ESCAPE
CYCLING FOR ALL IN
FROM IDYLLIC TO INNOVATIVE
ITINERARIES TO SMÅLAND STOCKHOLM
SMÅLAND Alvesta Halmstad Älmhult
on nd Grenå
Kalmar 213 Jönköping
IN SWEDEN, KIDS CAN BE KIDS
FROM IDYLL TO INNOVATION – A TOUR THROUGH SMÅLAND
Småland from the saddle............................................................6 Through Astrid's eyes............................................................... 10 Småland’s Distinctive Design District .................................... 13 Discover the playful Småland..................................................20 Meet the king of the forest..................................................... 22 Live like a Smålander................................................................ 23 Canoe through water wilderness............................................. 24 A world of islands...................................................................... 26 Welcome to Öland................................................................... 28 Both sides of Lake Vättern....................................................... 31 Fly through the wild.................................................................. 33 Småland Specialties.................................................................. 36 Hiking......................................................................................... 41 Spend the night in Småland..................................................... 42
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’S NATIONAL PARKS
Welcome to Småland!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Alexander Hall, Anna Hållams, Annie
Patrik Svedberg, Pelle Wahlgren, Per Pixel, Ramoa, Robin
Smålands Turism AB, Box 1027, SE-551 11 Jönköping
Rosén, Astrid Lindgrens Värld, Bruno Mathsson International,
Visser, Robert Brolin, Sofia Ernerot, Stufvenäs Gästgifveri,
AB Destination Småland, Kronobergsg. 7, SE-352 33 Växjö
Boggi Reklambyrå, By Rydéns, Christian Alsing, David Wall,
The Common Wanderer, UpZone Studios, Wildernest
Region Kalmar län, Box 601, SE-391 26 Kalmar
Day Fotografi, Destination Jönköping, Emma Ivarsson, Hans
DESIGN AND PRODUCTION: GoBrave
Runesson, Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2019, Isaberg Mountain
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Alexander Hall
Resort, Jenna Lindstedt, Jimmy Wik, Joakim Nådell,
TEXT AND TRANSLATION: Stephanie Ford
Kulturgatan i Bodafors, Maddoc Photo, Mari Widetoft,
and the publishers
the Real Småland
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 nearbarren 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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, highlights – 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 attracts talented students from around Europe, and the world, to Kalmar’s spectacular castle, Småland showcases the best of Swedish culture.
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 Husqvarna 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.
Mountain biking in Småland FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/CYCLING
Whether 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 MTB-enthusiasts:
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.
Biking South East
Isaberg Mountain Resort
Trail biking is 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 Småland’s South East. For instance, you might like Svartbäcksmåla outside Kalmar. While the trails here vary
The Isaberg Mountain Resort is a favourite for cyclists of all ages and ability. It boasts 12 trails, 2 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.
E-Biking in Åsnen l“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.
Countryside roads 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.
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
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
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 THE WORLD
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/ASTRIDLINDGREN
“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
Bike Tours Through Astrid Lindgren’s Film Sets Filmbyn Småland
mbrace your inner child in Astrid Lindgren’s hometown, Vimmerby. From the gardens around her childhood home 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.
Astrid Lindgren’s Näs Astrid’s childhood home, Näs, has been transformed into a destination for anyone curious to see where the world-famous writer cultivated her imagination. Rollick in the gardens, take a guided tour, and take in the exhibition, all in the same area where Astrid grew up.
Astrid Lindgren’s World 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 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.
Filmbyn Småland Mariannelund, just 20 km from Vimmerby, is where the Emil iLönneberga 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. Afterwards, you can see classic film clips, sing along to tracks from the films, and check out original props.
Explore the Landscapes Featured in the Films
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. One of the best ways to explore the landscapes featured in the films is by bike! There are guided and self-guided tours that start at Filmbyn (Film Village). The routes range in distance from 12 to 70km and take you through these iconic landscapes. All day bike rentals are available.
“Be Cheeky. And Wild. And Wonderful.” – Astrid Lindgren
Kingdom of Crystal – 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 colorful glassware that you can purchase for yourself – or a special someone back home.ome
Småland’s Distinctive Design District THE FURNITURE DISTRICT
VANDALORUM - WHERE ART AND DESIGN INTERSECT
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 result: beautiful, practical and daring designs that are appreciated by a global audience. Lammhult is a hub for nationally and internationally renowned furniture stores. It’s a popular destination for locals and tourists looking to be inspired by the best Scandinavian designers. You’ll find stores for exclusive brands like Norrgavel and Svenssons in Lammhult has a passion for good design and classic furniture with 200 different brands. Each with phenomenal store displays illustrating that beauty doesn’t need to be sacrificed for functionality. Creative inspiration doesn’t need to be the only thing you take away though – with plenty of the stores offering interior details that will fit in your suitcase.
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.
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. Reisegepäck passen.
FIND OUT MORE: WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/DESIGN 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 organic food made from locally sourced ingredients that transforms into a play space for grownups with music workshops and lectures.
Kulturgatan Bodafors 13
Where Timeless Design & Modern Functionality Meet The people of Småland have long been known for their craftsmanship, innovation, and impeccable sense of style. It’s little wonder that our region is littered with world-famous designers and talented locals. Explore these boutique stores to bring some Småland style home with you.
BY RYDÉNS IN GNOSJÖ Do you love designer lamps? Do you love sales? What about designer lamps on sale? The Light Factory sells an assortment of BY Rydéns samples, unpackaged items, and show products. The store is only open on select dates, with the hours published on social media and their website in advance.
NORRGAVEL IN LAMMHULT The furniture from Norrgavel is characterized by simplicity, passion, and presence. The brand promotes an approach to design – and life in general – those priorities the environment and humanism. Svenssons, which is as much an exhibition as it is a store, is also nearby.
JOHN BAUER MUSEUM AND SHOP The Jönköping County Museum houses exhibitions and a gift shop with thoughtful and beautiful presents for adults and children. There are items inspired by the worlds created by John Bauer, quirky design products as well as a large range of books.
VANDALORUM’S DESIGN SHOP Vandalorum’s Design Store boasts an exquisite range of curated products from leading Nordic designers. Here you will find art, books, organic and sustainable toys, postcards, posters, decor and much more.
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”. FIND OUT MORE WW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/IKEAMUSEUM
A world up-side-down, the IKEA museum will offer you unexpected 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.
IN A WOODED OASIS:
“In Sweden, kids can be kids” In a red cottage with white trim, surrounded by a maze of trees, flowering meadows, and grazing cows, the Raggi family has found their paradise. It is here that the German family of five enjoys forest adventures, fishing, and other activities during their annual holiday.
At the restaurant the kids get served first, so they don’t have to wait for their food or drinks. And in the men’s room, there is of course a changing table!
packed beach bag lays by the door. There must be a lot of bathing suits swimming around in the bag packed for a family with three children. While there are several lakes nearby, their favorite swimming spot has a pier from which you can dive and fish. –There is much more freedom here than in Germany. The children can cause commotion and that’s completely fine!
Winning a Småland Cottage The Raggi family consists of Katarina (mother), Emanuel (father), Emil (11), Theodor (7), and Ida (2). They have holidayed in the small city of Valeryd in Småland each year for the past eight years. The landscapes here are reminiscent of Astrid Lindgren’s stories, and quaint red cottages with white trim appear at every corner along the winding roads. So how is it that the family of five from Frankfurt found themselves here?
Emanuel laughs at the memory, before explaining that he saw an ad on Facebook 8 years ago about a competition in Sweden where you could win your own cottage. He entered the competition for himself and Katarina, who was heavily pregnant at the time. As it turns out, they won! And they thus became the thrilled and very surprised owners of a Småland cottage.
Forests and Football Now they travel to the idyllic Swedish forest as often as they can, even in winter. Their neighbours in the village help keep an eye on the cottage when the family isn’t there. – Our neighbors, who don’t speak a word of English, bring firewood over on their tractors in winter, explains Emanuel. The cottage has a wooded area right on the plot. The children’s favorite activity is building huts from twigs and branches they find in the forest. – “The huts even have their own entrance!” – explains the eldest son Emil, proudly. Of course, the children have the most fun when other children come to visit. – All the children love the huts, they always run straight to them. Others play football in the clearing, or swing high on the tree swing, explains Katarina.
Something their German friends appreciate is that it is easier to go out to eat with children in Sweden than in Germany. – Children always get their food first, and no one complains if they sometimes are a little loud at the table, says Emanuel before adding that there are often changing tables for infants in the men’s bathrooms, too. Another popular activity is fishing – and in Sweden it is no more complicated than simply taking a fishing rod to a lake, casting the line, and hoping that something bites. – In some lakes, you might need a license, but it’s affordable and can be purchased online.
Fairy Tales and Flea Markets Astrid Lindgren’s World is where visitors can meet Pippi Longstocking, Emil, and Karlsson on the Roof. Since the beloved characters from the stories are close by, it is always a hit with the children. Meanwhile, Katarina likes to visit the flea markets, finding everything from paintings to porcelain there. There’s also a little shopping to be found in the larger city of Växjö. The IKEA Museum in Älmhult is worthwhile stop for families too, with Katarina urging families not to miss out on the restaurant there: – They have the best food: good, cheap and the whole family will love it!
Different Experiences In Småland, there are many interesting travel destinations for families and the Raggi family has visited many of them, including the Huseby Mill and its lovely Christmas market, the fairytale-themed hiking trails at Film Village (Filmbyn) where they got a glimpse into the world of film, and Astrid Lindgren’s childhood home Näs. But their favorite destination is the Kleva mine, a decommissioned iron ore mine which is now open for anyone seeking a journey of discovery. – It is super exciting and a truly unique experience, says Katarina.
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.
The Land of Legends and the Museum of Legends This is a magic destination for the whole family. You can visit trolls’ mountains and giants’ rocks, holy springs and the waters of the Necken, dragons’ treasures and magic trees, places of tragic death and haunted country manors. Start at the Museum of Legends in Ljungby and find the Legendary places with a map or GPS.
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.
Children’s Kingdom of Crystal Visit Kosta in the Kingdom of Crystal and experience the magic of glassblowing. Afterwards, continue to Målerås, where
a horse-drawn cart – remmalag – to the ruins of the historic Visingsborg castle and memorial sites for ancient knights. Be sure to enjoy a picnic in the scenic ruins before you return to Gränna on the ferry.
Want to quench your thirst for adventure? Then 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 offer tasty treats and are a welcome respite.
Trolley Cycling Isaberg Mountain Resort your children will be whisked away to a magical place. They can follow the exciting “Trolls Path” in the forest, tre glassblowing with a local witch or learn about how glass is created via an app.
Kalmar and Kalmar Castle Kalmar has plenty on offer for the whole family. There are pristine beaches right in the city centre, so swimming is always an option. Plus, children can let their imagination run wild as they run free at Kalmar’s main attraction – Kalmar Castle. They can meet a princess or a knight, do tricky challenges and be ceremoniously rewarded. That’s if they have the energy after the treasure hunt.
Discover the heart of Småland on an old inspection trolley for a truly unique adventure. These pedal-powered trolleys take you from town to town along small-gauge railway tracks. The scenery along the way is breathtaking, with deep pine forests and countless lakes, ensuring the journey is as enjoyable as the destination.
Little Rock Laze Zipline Zip through the forests and above the lakes at high speed to take your play to the next level. At Europe’s largest zipline course, you’ll choose between three 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.
Cycling on Visingsö
FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/FAMILY
Discover a beautiful underground lake as you learn about mining practices from the 17th to the 20th century in the Kleva mine. 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 rope courses, there´s plenty of adventure for children and adults alike.
Visingsö Visingsö is a beautiful island with a long and legendary history. The island was a strategic stronghold in the Middle Ages, since it lay in the heart of Sweden’s most powerful county. Today, you can rent a bike or take
TO LIVE LIKE A SMÅLANDER
Getting into our spectacular wilderness is favourite pastime for 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.
2. 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 4. 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.
3. EAT OUTDOORS Speaking of eating – come summertime, Swedes find any excuse they can to eat outdoors. You won’t be walking past a park without smelling the delicious dinners of countless locals. So, pack a picnic and take it to the seaside, bring some coffe and cake on your hike, but make sure you eat outdoors
5. TAKE AN EVENING DIP
1. 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.
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.
FIND OUT MORE: WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/MOOSEPARKS
Micke and Sune, Skullaryd Älgpark
Meet the king of the forest
Småland is one of Sweden´s most densly populated moose regions, but they are still difficult to spot in the wild!
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. There are plenty of parks where you can take a ride in an open carriage and get up close and personal with the majestic giants. If you’d rather search the forest yourself, you can drive through the park at Smålandet Moose Safari in Markaryd in your own car.
Moose on the Loose Erik Öster, Sweden’s youngest moose park owner, runs Skullaryd Moose Park in Eksjö. He dreamed of owning a moose park from when he was a young boy and the passion he has for the majestic creatures is obvious.
MOOSE PARKS IN SMÅLAND:
The moose attend staff meetings (that’s what Erik calls their feeding times) twice a day – “It takes an hour to feed all the animals. It’s important to take time to bond with the animals and it gets very personal to feed them.”
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.
The park is also home to Karl, a young moose that became a hit on social media when he moved in with Erik after being rejected by his mother. He quickly grew from an 11-kilo calf into a 250kg giant, devouring a total of 660 litres of milk. Today, you’ll find him in the moose park with the other stars of the show. While Karl is the only one that calls Erik ‘mum’, it’s easy to see that Erik cares deeply for all the animals at Skullaryd.
• Grönåsen Älg- och Lantdjurspark, Kosta
• Elinge Älgpark, Ljungby • Laganland Älgpark, Lagan
• Målilla Älgpark • Virum Älgpark, Vimmerby • Glasrikets Älgpark, Nybro • Skullaryd Älgpark, Nässjö • Smålandet Markaryds Älgsafari • Kosta Safaripark
CANOE THROUGH SMÅLAND'S
Småland’s untouched wilderness, lakes, seas and waterways is 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.
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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. As 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, and 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 the 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.
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A magical world of islands
The Tjust Archipelago is a mosaic of beautiful islands, islets and skerries, scattered along the Baltic Sea coastline.
here is something about the smell of brackish water, one part fresh and one part salt, that fills your lungs with optimism. If you live by the Baltic Sea, you get a dose whenever you breathe in. And in Västervik, Sweden’s Summer City of the Year for 2020 and 2021 and the hometown of ABBA’s Björn Ulvaues, you can inhale the Baltic Sea uninhibited. In the city centre, you will find the biggest guest harbour on the east coast. This is where you’ll find ferries waiting to take you for an archipelago adventure. The
Tjust Archipelago is a unique paradise with 5000 islands and skerries, a burgeoning restaurant scene, guided tours, rentals and accommodation - as well as a rare chance to find your very own archipelago oasis. Windswept skerries in the outer archipelago or a full-blown visitors’ island with restaurants, cafés, footpaths, activities and tons of archipelago charm. There’s so much fresh air and natural beauty that you’ll pinch yourself to be sure it’s not a dream. When it comes to outdoor activities, Västervik is of international top class. The Småland coast offers unforgettable
adventures, like climbing, kayaking, diving, fishing, swimrun, hiking and cycling to name a few. Why not join an eagle and seal safari off the coast of Idö Island or rent a bike on Hasselö Island to experience the archipelago lifestyle. Or stay in Västervik and enjoy the delights of the archipelago right in the heart of town with a visit to Slottsholmen On Water, a high-class hotel that’s built partially above ground and partially on water, and its restaurant run by Björn Ulvaeus.
– National Park and adventure for everyone If you had to describe Destination Åsnen in just three words, they would be: Nature, Space, and Silence!
he Åsnen area is one of a kind, comprised of an immense lake, a mosaic of 1000 islands, and 700km of shoreline. Wherever you go within the Åsnen area, you are close to water – so swimming, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking abound. The nature here is a highlight reel of Sweden’s wilderness. Shimmering deciduous trees tower above you, with the canopy serving as the roof in this cathedral of nature. The marshes, which smell of Marsh Labrador Tea and pine, often conceal moose – making Åsnen a destination for anyone
hoping to see the king of the forest in the wild. The pristine lake archipelago is also home to unique birds, including the Blackthroated Diver which you may hear calling between the islands. Much of the wilderness you’ll find at Åsnen is protected, hinting at just how ecologically special the area is. Yet Åsnen National Park, and its 15 nature reserves, make nature accessible for everyone. There are wide, easy-to-walk paths for those who prefer even ground beneath them, and technical terrain for hikers keen to clamber over logs and rocks, like a child exploring a playground. In addition to the hiking, there are a range of options for cyclists.
You can circumnavigate the lake on car-free bike paths, including a part of Sydostleden – Sweden's second ‘national bike trail’. Some of the shorter bike routes use backroads to take you between local farm stores, with plenty of natural landmarks waiting to be uncovered along the way. The various cottages, bed and breakfasts and campsites around the lake ensure there’s plenty of accommodation. The campsites around Åsnen are spacious and always close to the water. You can camp in luxury Glamping or choose Wilderness camping on an unpowered site where you cut your own firewood. Åsnen is Nature for real.
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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.
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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 cafes 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, cafes and bakeries or pick up some fresh produce from farm stores and herb gardens with guidance
from smakapaoland.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 – potato dumplings – with some friends, we’re daring enough to promise that Öland has something for all tastes and occasions.
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
Love Öland gently
With or without sand between your toes
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.
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. The Kalmar Sound lies to the west, and the Baltic Sea to the east. There are sandy beaches on both sides of the island, with the Gulf of Botha and Köpingsvik's beach being the most wellknown. 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.
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.
Travel back in time in this delightful village near Oskarshamn. 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.
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.
LINNÉS RÅSHULT Råshult invites you to an amazing journey through time, back to the 18th century landscape and gardens. The childhood home of botanist Carl Linnaeus is now a tranquil cultural reserve with a café and shop. Experience the 18thcentury landscape for yourself or join a guided walk, led by the great man, Carl Linnaeus, himself.
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THE OLD TOWN OF KALMAR he 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.
Habo Church – One of Sweden’s Most Remarkable Churches Habo Church looks different today than it did when it was first built in the 1100s. The church acquired its current appearance in 1723 – and it is remarkable for reasons beyond its age. The interior of the church is filled with illustrations of Martin Luther’s catechism and wooden sculptures from the Middle Ages, including a baptismal font from 1250.
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Both sides of Lake Vättern A Genuine Taste of Gränna In 1858, widow Amalia Eriksson invented a whimsical new treat. Realising it could support her and her young daughter, Amalia petitioned the town and was permitted to open a bakery – making her one of Sweden’s first female entrepreneurs. Her incredible peppermint rock, known as polkagris, made her a wealthy and influential woman. Today, Amalia’s legacy doesn’t just live on, it is flourishing in the charming town of Gränna. Incredibly, the small town supports about 15 bakeries, where confectioners rely on traditional methods and knowledge passed from generation to generation to craft the peppermint sweets. Walking through the cheery bakeries, you’ll find redand-white-striped peppermint rocks made to Amalia’s original recipe alongside modern takes on the more-than-century-old treat You can watch lively demonstrations by candy makers or try making peppermint rocks yourself in Gränna year-round. There are plenty of treats to sample – and they make a great gift for loved ones back home too!
Historic Mills and Old-Growth Forests in Mullsjö Mullsjö lives up to its reputation as an outdoor mecca. And for good reasons! The region boasts 20 spectacular trails and plenty of notable landmarks. The Old Ryfors Mill, for example, has become somewhat of a destination in Mullsjö. The Ryfors Gammalskog national park, and its 350-year-old trees, is also a must see. For those of you who prefer exploring on two wheels, Mullsjö has gravel, pavement, and trails to ride up, race down and explore.
See you in Kalmar! 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.
Restaurants and bars, shopping and activities, culture and history - the three residential cities in Småland all have a lot to offer!
Always with a special touch of Växjö Here in the heart of Småland it's very much a question of detail. That special Växjö feeling permeates through everything. Take a shoreline stroll 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!
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 as one of Europe´s most beautiful places, top 20! FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/CITY
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Fly through the wild
Want to rise above the ordinary and get a new perspective on nature? Deep in the Småland forest, Europe’s biggest zipline adventure welcomes you to challenge your fear of heights. Suspended in the air, hanging in a harness, you fly over trees, streams and lakes at an impressive speed. Buckle up and let’s take off.
Little Rock Lake Zipline is situated in the true wilderness, deep in the Småland forest, 50 km north of Växjö. There are no houses for miles; nothing but forests and lakes. This zipline is the largest of its kind in Europe and offers a literally breathtaking experience. Wearing a safety harness, you travel on a cable suspended between towers, platforms and trees at a maximum speed of 75 km/h – as high as 52 meters above ground. The tours last between 1.5 – 4 hours and are led by two trained guides: one who meets you at the end of each section, and one who sees participants off, one at a time. The on-site café, Fine Forest, serves up incredible views of the nearby lake and forest as well as sandwiches and small dishes, and coffee.
Breathtaking speed in Rodel Adventure
Hurtle full speed down the mountain regardless of the weather. The tobogganing at Isaberg Mountain Resort is a true adrenaline rush! The mountain course zigzags down a total of one kilometre!
Climbing in Västervik Did you know that Västervik ranks as one of Europe’s top climbing destinations? The granite in Småland has created remarkable opportunities for bouldering, an athletic form of free climbing that relies on a landing mat instead of a rope for your security. There are also excellent climbing areas available that are pre-bolted with hangers, with pitches suited to beginners through to tougher challenges for the real enthusiasts
Kayaking Are you the type of person that prefers several days of challenging kayak paddling or would you prefer just a few restful hours of adventure? Do you prefer to explore the tranquil canoe trails inland or the beautiful islets and skerries of the archipelago? The choice is yours and there is an enormous variety to choose from. Kayaks, Canadian, canoes and SUPs can easily be rented in many places.
Forests, lakes, coasts, and in the midst of it all large and small places of interest, historical and modern elements, surprises and inspiration. Here are some tips and suggestions for a varied tour through Småland. Kalmar Castle
From idyll to innovation T
A TOUR THROUGH SMÅLAND
he café high up on Grännaberget provides holidaymakers with a stunning welcome to Småland: Lake Vättern glitters below in the sunshine, and the forested hills rise up on the skyline. There's time first for a relaxed fika, a coffee break with a view across the ‘Småland Lake’, before entering picturebook Småland; it really does exist!
In Åsens by, little seems to have changed in the last hundred years. This remarkably idyllic village is a cultural reserve, showing what life was like in Småland in days gone by. The houses and courtyards in Eksjö are even older. No fire has managed to ravage the wooden buildings, the guide tells visitors on a tour through the courtyards and lanes of the old town. What a gem! And certainly no museum piece! The day comes to an end with a tasting of non-alcoholic beverages in the Stadshotell.
Innovation is also what it's all about in the Småland Film Village in Mariannelund. In the interactive experience centre based around the Astrid Lindgren films you become Little Ida, and Emil hoists you up the flagpole. A bit of fun you’re never too old for! Before moving on to Västervik there is time to pay your respects to Astrid Lindgren and visit Vimmerby in the heritage site of Astrid Lindgrens Näs. Sea breezes and the cry of gulls. Quiet coves and flapping sails. It’s not until you're on the water that you really feel the magic of the rocky islets. Fortunately excursion boats sail from Västervik to the archipelago off the Småland coast!
Astrid Lindgrens Näs
Mönsterås Kustväg Then, in the south: Be sure to travel along the lonely coastal road from Mönsterås! Ancient avenues and age-old low walls next to the sea. And then the contrast: Kalmar welcomes visitors with the splendour of the Renaissance and its castle. The history of Kalmar Castle stretches far back into the Middle Ages. Here you can immerse yourself in 800 years of Swedish history. This fortress was long regarded as the key to the kingdom owing to its strategic location. Today it plays an important cultural role in Småland, as a venue for exhibitions, with guided tours, a restaurant and a wide range of activities for children. The journey to the Kingdom of Crystal takes us back to the friendly and colourful present. Artists work on new creations in that fascinating material glass. Still glowing red and molten – and soon afterwards solid and fragile. Due homage can be paid to this art by enjoying a drink in the glass bar designed by the artist Kjell Engman in the Kosta Boda Art Hotel. From the contemporary creative side of Småland we return to the historical
Eksjö Teleborg Castle aspect: In Lessebo paper is created in the old-fashioned way, and visitors can try it out for themselves! Craftsmanship from the good old days! The fairytale castle with its tower rooms, gala staircase and the aura of historical splendour is a good match. Hotel Teleborg Slott was once the wedding gift of a count to his young wife. How down-to-earth, by
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contrast, does the childhood home of Carl Linneaus seem? Who could have imagined that it was here in Råshult, deep in Småland that one of the greatest naturalists of the 19th century grew up? And just a few villages further away, another world-famous success story had its beginnings: You can learn more about this at the IKEA Museum in Älmhult. Before the circle closes and the tour of Småland comes to an end at Lake Vättern, the art and design centre Vandalorum in Värnamo provides one more dose of creative inspiration. And the Husqvarna Museum leaves visitors with memories of favourite items from their childhood: waffle irons, bicycles and Granny's kitchen range – made in Småland.
Småland Specialties W Keep an eye out for signs saying ‘hembakat’ (homemade) or ‘närodlat’ (locally grown), since they give hints about where to find the best food! Enjoying the good food in Småland isn’t just about the taste, it’s about the experience too. You can see with your own eyes where the food comes from. In September, there are harvest festivals and markets all over Småland where you can buy raw produce directly from the farmers. Handhelds and baked treats are available too, made from locally-sourced ingredients – of course.
In fact, all of Småland is a pantry, if you know where to look. Keep your eyes peeled when you’re in the forest or by a lake, because that’s where the chefs for Sweden’s Michelin-star restaurants and Nobel prize ceremony dinners source their ingredients. Yet, food from Småland’s pantry isn’t just for special occasions, it is served every day in homes and restaurants – and you can enjoy it too, if you follow our tips:
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herever you are in Småland, you’ll notice the emphasis on local and organic produce. Urban farms are cropping up in many cities, while small farms (and farm shops) abound outside the city limits. These farms are a great place to find traditional Småland delicacies, like ‘isterband’ (a traditional pork sausage) and ‘ostkaka’ (a Småland take on cheesecake!). How do they taste? They are divine - especially when enjoyed onsite. You’ll find these Småland specialties, and many more, when you visit cafes and restaurants in the cities and regionally.
Fast Facts for Foodies: Småland’s Michelin restaurant 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. Feel free to combine this with a visit to Hotell Borgholm on the island Öland, which has also received a Michelin star. Rudenstams Frukt & Bär supplies the drinks enjoyed by Royalty and Nobelprize 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.
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 ranked amongst the best in the world 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 On Water 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 cafes 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 Kroppkakor are a specialty in Småland and on Öland. It is a kind of potato dumpling filled with meat and spices. Linnés Råshult offers a tasty, completely vegan version filled with peas. Traditionally, they are served with cowberry jam, cream and/or butter. We have placed tables at some of the most beautiful locations in Småland. The goal is to increase interest in experiencing nature and eating Swedish food, together. The ‘Edible & Drinkable Country in Småland’ is a unique culinary experience that combines good food with good company and incredible scenery.
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. You can learn how to bake these tasty treats at the wonderfully fun bakeries in Gränna.
Walk on the Wild Side in Småland’s National Parks
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!
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
Nationalpark Norra Kvill
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
Nationalpark Åsnen 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
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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 – a mystical blue island
Nationalpark Store Mosse
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.
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In The Footsteps of Emigrants Between the mid-1800s to the 1920s about 1.5 million Swedes emigrated to North America. The rate of emigration was particularly high between 1867-1869, where many starving Swedes were dreaming of a better life. Residents of the rocky, less farmable land in south-eastern Småland were particularly likely to move, leaving entire villages empty in some cases.
oday, we think of this this oncedeserted landscape as picturesque, with its stone walls, red cottages, and winding wooded trails. The 100km-long Emigrant Trail (Utvandraleden) meanders through these scenic landscapes, allowing you to enjoy them by foot or bike. The signposted trail makes navigation easy in the depths of the forests. Writer Vilhelm Moberg wrote a four-part epic called The Emigrants, telling of the many challenges the starving Swedes faced before and after they arrived in their new
country – and on the long boat ride there. Not knowing about the challenges she would face, the protagonist, Kristina, longed to return to Duvemåla. This and the many other local names will be familiar to anyone who has read the novels, since Vilhelm grew up amongst the places and people who inspired the books. The Emigrant Trail also passes through the Kingdom of Crystal. The remoteness of the trail and the history and memory of the emigrants is offset by the culture of the glassworks, making it a worthwhile stop on this multi-faceted adventure. You will find a range of comfortable accommodations on offer along Utvandraleden. There are four locations where you can book an overnight stay and stock up on food. Windbreaks along the path are ideal for rest stops or overnight camping. The many cool lakes are perfect for cooling off along the way too.
STAY OVERNIGHT: • Grimsnäs Herrgård • Korrö Hantverksby • Moshults vandrarhem • Långasjö vandrarhem www.utvandarleden.se
Hiking FIND OUT MORE WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/HIKING
Hikes through protected nature on well-signposted paths and with places to rest in attractive locations provide terrific natural experiences. The trails, or parts of them, are often also suitable for people with disabilities and are wheelchair-accessible.
ikes through protected nature on well-signposted paths and with places to rest in attractive locations provide terrific natural experiences. The trails, or parts of them, are often also suitable for people with disabilities and are wheelchair-accessible.
There are also excellent hiking trials in most of the nature reserves in Småland, suited to both day-long excursions and shorter walks. And almost anywhere you can ask someone to suggest about a pleasant loop that's just the right length for you. Morning and evening walks in nature come natural to us Swedes. Aboda Klint, for example: From the almost 40 metre high escarpment there is a breathtaking view across the forests and fields and the small Lake Kleven. And if it’s open, you can even take in the panorama from the café. Pines, thick deciduous forest, deep gorges and the River Röttle: The Västanå nature reserve near Gränna is an area full of contrasts. It's particularly popular in the spring with its blue, white and yellow anemones. The climb though the gorge of Skurugata near Eksjö.is quite adventurous. The nature reserve also contains Skuruhatt with views from the peak stretching for miles across the Småland uplands.
Årshultsmyren is the largest pristine area of marshland in southern Småland, with ponds, lakes and forested islands. Waymarked trails between one and four and half kilometres in length lead through this otherwise somewhat inaccessible nature reserve near Ljungby. You can also opt for a longer adventure on a hike lasting several days. Perhaps spending the night in a shelter, in a comfortable hotel, in a guest-house or in a youth hostel. Longer trails that can be recommended include Bauerleden, Höglandsleden, Ostkustleden, Kalmarsundsleden and Utvandrarleden.
Spend the Aufwachen Night in
in Småland der Natur
FIND OUT MORE: WWW.VISITSMALAND.SE/EN/UNIQUELIVING
The people in Småland really value unique experiences in our incredible nature. Those values are mirrored in these four unique accommodation options, where you can sleep amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in Småland:
Garpens Lighthouse Garpens is an island in the Kalmar Strait, about two kilometres from Bergkvara. This scenic location is ideal for anyone who wants to escapeto somewhere with a slower tempo – where there’s ample time and space to sit back and enjoy the water, nature, sunsets, and stillness. Come nightfall, the Bed and Breakfast accommodations at Garpens Lighthouse all have waterfront views, so you can sleep and wake to the harbour’s breeze. You’ll actually be staying in the former lighthouse keeper’s residences, guaranteeing an experience beyond the ordinary.
Ramoa's Island In the middle of a lake lies Ramoa’s island, no bigger than a few square meters, and in the middle of the tiny island, there’s a wooden cabin where you can stay the night. You’ll take a canoe to get there, and that same canoe serves as a vessel for you to explore the area around the island. There are more places to stay on the water of Lake Klockesjön too! Flotellet is a floating cabin, where you can go straight from your bed to your morning dip.
Trakt Forest Hotel – New This Year! Trakt is a unique hotel with elevated individual suites that “float” in the deep forests of the Småland highlands. Designed by Swedish architect Gert Wingård, the rooms combine Scandinavian simplicity, luxurious comfort and the experience of sleeping in the heart of the forest. The rooms are designed using natural materials and with a minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
Tree camping at Wildernest Småland! Spend a night in a tree-tent or hammock. Your bed floats underneath the canopy of pine trees, so you’ll be rocked to sleep by the gentle thrum of the forest. Wake up the next morning to deep forests and a delicious meal.
Guests experience a unique stay suspended up the trees, with bright, open views of the surrounding sky and woodlands.
Discover Southern Sweden with Krösatågen trains. Deep forests, barren bogs and coastal landscapes – Småland offers lots of excursions for the whole family. Krösatågen will take you to beautiful views and exciting places, towns and cities in Southern Sweden. You too can become an explorer. Krösatågen links the big with the small.
John Bauerleden We link together Southern Sweden, with the traveller at the centre www.krosatagen.se