Around Vättern

Page 1




Find the best hiking trails PAGES 4-7

PAGES 14-15

Silent places

Lake Vättern from the seaside PAGES 26-27


PAGES 36-37

Nostalgia for motor enthusiasts Mingle in the market






Facts about Lake Vättern Area: 1,912 km2 Length: 135 km Width: 31 km Greatest depth: 128 m • Vättern is Sweden’s second largest lake, and Europe’s seventh largest. The name Vättern simply means water. The greatest inflows are the River Forsviksån from Lakes Unden and Viken, along with the River Huskvarnaån. The outlet is the River Motala Ström. • Vättern is a rift formation. On the eastern side, there is Omberg, a raised geological formation, in this case an outcrop of the primary rock, which is a remnant of the mountain massif which sank through displacement along a geological fault. • There are almost 30 species of fish in Lake Vättern, including grayling, smelt, char, European whitefish and Vättern salmon, which, funnily enough, is not a salmon but a trout. During the summer, Vättern fish can be seen at the Vättern-Akvariet aquarium in Motala.


Around Lake Vättern 2019 Find the perfect hiking trail

There are a vast number of hiking trails around Lake Vättern and areas made for experiencing nature. Our reporter Johanna Svensson tried out five of the trails. Some are best suited for running or biking, others are great excursions, with or without children. Pages 4-7

Would you care for a chocolate?

Around Lake Vättern there is plenty of goodies. There are the classic peppermint rock candy sticks and all the farm shops with their delicacies but also a number of chocolatiers. We paid a few of them a visit and tasted what they had to offer. Pages 8-9

Silent places

In our stressful everyday lives, filled with noises, silent places becomes a desirable rarity. There are some places where it actually is really quiet. Our reporter Josefine Gustafsson gives you the tour of silence. Pages 14-15

A day at the lake

Staying by the Lake Vättern might awaken the urge to also go out on the water. There are several ways to experience Lake Vättern from the top, so to speak. Either with your own boat, a rented kayak or board or on any of the ships that tour the lake. Pages 26-27

Presentation of the places around Vättern Askersund 20-21 Motala 24-25 Mjölby-Skänninge 28-29 Vadstena 30-31 Ödeshög 34-35 38-39 Gränna/Visingsö Jönköping/Huskvarna 44-45 Habo 50-51 Tidaholm 54-55 Hjo 56-57 Karlsborg 60-61

Production: Runt Vättern Media AB Skarpavägen 2, 563 32 Gränna · Tel 070-673 80 48 · Printing: Mittmedia Print 2019 Editing: Cecilia Lindheimer, Tigerform Advertising: Eva Sandegren Cover photo: Askersunds turistinformation Print run: 70 000 ex Publisher: Eva Sandegren

Waiting for your soul by Lake Vättern A feeling of total presence, of being here and now. That is what I find while standing, sitting or walking along the Lake Vättern shore. Sometimes I’m close, just by the water brow, sometimes a bit further away, enjoying the sunset at a distance. Or hiking at Mount Omberg, up high, looking down towards the waves of Lake Vättern. It’s magic in a way, regardless of the weather. For many of us who live here, Lake Vättern is a lifeline, a place for rest and peace in mind. My wish and driving force is to share this experience with all of you who visit our district. We all have different needs and in this years issue I want to encourage you to listen to your soul. What do you need to do on your holiday to feel good and refresh yourself with new energy and inspiration? What are the needs of your children, parents, cousins, grandparents? Perhaps you have a pet who also needs a day or two off? If you have a sweetheart, did you ask what he or she wants to do most on your vacation? Maybe the answer will be something totally unexpected. No matter what your or your loved ones desires are, I’m sure you can find most of it in, on or around Lake Vättern. Come with us on our trip around Lake Vättern, I promise you an exciting experience, regardless if you hike, take a trip on a boat, try chocolates or ride a moped to a nostalgia evening. Of course there are a bunch of tips for young and old with ants in their pants, if you would like to go to a market or rather go biking on your holiday. Whatever you choose, I hope you will find new ideas guided by this magazine. I would like to thank the editorial committee and all the municipalities and tourist companies contributing with articles and photos, giving the magazine a nice and rich content. If you prefer to read on your tablet or computer, the magazine is available as a pdf on the website Have a nice summer – and don’t forget to sit down and wait for your soul! Eva Sandegren, publisher

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Like an amusement park with extra everything

Are you training for a marathon? Do you need to let your kids run around while replenishing your own energy? Or do you just want to be surrounded by silence and breathe easy? If your answer is yes to any of the above, the solution can be found on a hiking trail near you.

Is there anything better for your wellbeing and your mood than a marked trail through nature? Soft paths, surrounded by lingonberry and fresh air, caressing winds, and chirping birds. Hiking trails usually suit both young and old. Okay, so maybe not always to begin with, but it usually changes once you get out. I, myself, love running on the soft forest paths. I mean, really love it. Preferably in new places, where I haven’t been before and where I don’t know what awaits me around the corner, behind the next hill, or two kilometres ahead.

Perfect exercise

Hiking trails are perfect from an exercise perspective, with their soft surfaces and marked

courses. You put kilometre after kilometre behind you without even noticing it. There is just so much atmosphere to take in. The trails are also a treasure for families with kids in search of adventure. You don’t have to be born with hiking boots and outdoor pants to enjoy the summer holiday’s most memorable days out in nature. A backpack with a snack will do just fine – along with some imagination and patience. Your kids will experience – and remember for years to come – the walk to “Grandma on the mountain”, or the search for forest gnomes and fairies.

Never alone

Even if you’re looking to gather your thoughts and prefer to go out on your own, you’ll still never have to feel alone on the trail. All the feet that have walked here before you provide a sense of community that is pleasant and, sometimes, quite enough. Hiking is good for the soul. Given the hectic life of so many people today, it is almost provoking how little acknowledgment, gratitude, and time hiking trails are given in our everyday life. Hiking has been proven to reduce the body’s stress levels while having a positive effect on your mood, lowering your blood pressure,


and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. So, more hiking to the people! The hiking trails just waiting to be discovered are like gigantic amusement parks – in the true sense of the word – filled with great pleasures that give us energy instead of draining and bankrupting us the way other amusement parks tend to do.


And even though the hiking trails are there for us, always, keep them in mind the next time you plan to go out, whether you’re strolling, hiking, or running. Pull out your backpack; fill it with a bottle of water, a good old sandwich, and an extra apple, and you’ll be just fine even if you decide to explore further parts of the trail, or if you miss a mark and add a few unplanned kilometres to your distance. Discover something new! Here are my suggestions for five trails around Lake Vättern worth hiking. Five of my favourites. I’ve walked them all. And once you’ve explored them, you can easily renew your experience. Just turn around and walk them the other way. Or run. I promise that you will make new discoveries every time. Happy hiking!



Hiking trails for everyone Archipelago, primeval forest, beech forest, eskers, and magnificent views. No, we’re not talking about all the country’s national parks. We’re talking about places just a stone’s throw away from the coastline of Lake Vättern. Most people associate hiking trails with the northernmost parts of Sweden, but you don’t have to travel far north to experience wonders that will take your breath away. The part of Sweden where you are right now is perfect for hiking, with nature experiences, adventures, and recreation. If you’re a family with young kids who want an outlet for all that energy, while breathing forest air and enjoying nature, we recommend that you: Pick the cherries from the cake! Choose only the best! The nature reserve with the Taberg Peak, which you’ll pass when walking Södra Vätterleden (South Lake Vättern Trail), is definitely one such cherry. The reward far exceeds the effort – about 1-kilometre uphill hike. Standing at the foot of the 121-metre mountain (343 metres above sea level), thinking “Let’s climb this mountain!” is exhilarating for all family members. It’s not for nothing that Carl von Linné called Taberg “The miracle of the Småland Province”. In addition to the incredible view – all the way to Jönköping and Lake Vättern – there is a mountain café waiting at the top, serving everything from real meals to ice cream and pancakes.

Quiet pine forests made for meditation are found on the west side of Lake Vättern. The hiking trails of Hökensås Nature Reserve are suitable for both recreation and training, no matter if you move on wheels or your feet.

Wanting more

Chances are Hjässan of Omberg Ecopark will leave the young ones wanting more. If you park by Hjässa Square, the highest peak is only a steep climb of about 400 metres away (261 metres above sea level). There may not be a café at the top, but the view of Lake Vättern, the Tåkern bird lake, and the plains of Östergötland are well worth the climb. And as far as cafés go, you can always visit the popular 31:ans Glass och Kök in Hästholmen. For families with older children, who want tougher challenges, the Ellen Key trail on Mount Omberg is a great option. Six kilometres of ridges, meadows, beech forests, expansive views, and a pond with frogs and toads. If you want to combine hiking with swimming in Lake Vättern, you can always hike the Östgöta Trail in Medevi – Västanvik.

Including an archipelago with rocks, sandy beaches, and pine forests, as well as wetlands with footbridges, this trail is varied with a rich bird life. Pensioners Eva Nyqvist and Rita Lårdh regularly walk this trail, all year round, a couple of hours at a time. +++

Facts about hiking trails on Hökensås Ridge Getting here: Hökensås Nature Reserve is located just under thirty kilometres north of Habo and nine kilometres west of national road 195 (there are signs from there). Start: The start of the hiking trails is across from Hökensås Camping and Stugby (address “Håkängen 1, Tidaholm”). Hiking trails: Red: 2 km. Suitable for strollers (though partially sandy). Blue: 5.5 km. Past Ibbe Lake, where you’ll find a substantial wind shelter with a large picnic area (the black and green trails also take you here). Green: 11.5 km. Rolling terrain, fun trail for running. Black: 19 km. Cycling is permitted clockwise. Hiking/running is counterclockwise. Surface: Mostly soft forest path. Degree of difficulty: Easy. All trails are slightly hilly except the red trail, which is flat.

The primeval forrest of Tiveden National Park is a surprising one. Here gathers beautiful beaches with enormous boulders. Don’t miss the caves Vitsandsgrottorna (picture).

Maps: Track maps are available at Search “Hökensås Semesterby” and then “spårkarta”. Bus: Difficult to reach the hiking trails by public transport. There are only a few buses from Tidaholm. Shop and café: • Hökensås Camping & Stugby has a minimarket, café, and restaurant. Open from mid-April to late October. • Brandstorp Lanthandel och Kafé is located along national road 195 (9 km from the start). Charming café a ’la 60s Rockabilly. Favourite: The entire nature reserve. Pick a trail to suit your mood and inhale the tranquillity of the pine forest. This 55 square kilometre nature reserve will make you feel far from civilisation and noisy roads. Good to know: Starting in the spring of 2019, the black trail is approved for cycling – a 19 km MTB trail! The area is very popular among anglers. Lakes contain mainly rainbow trout, trout, and char. Lake Björnsjön has accessible jetties.



+++ – Västanvik feels unique with its varied nature. This area is very dear to me, says Eva, who now lives around here. Rita, who lives in Motala, pays extra visits to Västanvik during summer, bringing her children and grandchildren. – For the lovely swim areas, she says.

Primeval forests and wilderness

West of Västanvik, on the other side of Lake Vättern, is “one of the wildest forests in southern Sweden”. The primeval forests of Tiveden National Park include over thirty kilometres of marked trails in a very hilly forest landscape, with wilderness lakes, caves, valleys, and enormous boulders from the ice sheet. This is nature that fascinates adventurers of all ages. For adults with a lot of energy, the Hökensås Nature Reserve is perfect. Hikers, runner, and cyclists all come here to train. And this year, the long 19-kilometre trail has been adapted and approved for mountain biking. The trails wind their way through heather and lingonberries, up on ridges, and past small, peaceful lakes. The surface is soft and relatively free from roots, and the markings are many and clear, just like in longer races.

Enjoy hiking trails all year! Childhood friends Eva Nyqvist andRita Lårdh (below) walk the trail of Rundslingan in Västanvik every month of the year. ”It’s very nice andra diverse, with the forrest and the lake”, says Eva. A bit more than half the trail, six kilometres, passes along the Lake Vättern shoreline.


If you want to get close to both nature and each other, you can do a several day long hike on Södra Vätterleden (South Lake Vättern Trail). The 80-kilometre trail from Mullsjö to Huskvarna passes four towns and seven nature reserves. This hike offers anything from the tranquillity and quiet of wondrous nature to the noise of urban areas and civilisation. Practical for those who want to take

public transport to and from the trail, as well as for those who want to make a detour and replenish their energy. And when all is said and done, you’ll find that the trails around Lake Vättern actually include more cherries than cake...

Facts about Tiveden National park

Facts about Södra Vätterleden (South Lake Vättern Trail)

Getting here: There are signs to Tiveden National Park from national road 49 between Karlsborg and Askersund. It is difficult to get to the park without a car.

Start: The trail runs from Mullsjö to Huskvarna past Bottnaryd, Taberg, Norrahammar, and the outskirts of Jönköping. Start wherever you want! This is a perfect trail for hiking between the different towns. Begin your adventure by train or bus, hike, and then take public transportation home from another town.

Café: • Landhs Konditori in Mullsjö is open daily. • Tabergstoppen in Taberg, café and restaurant. Open daily from the end of March through mid-October (closed Midsummer Eve). • Charming Konditori Kroatorpet in Huskvarna is open daily.

Distance and colour: The entire trail is just under 80 kilometres with orange markings.

Favourites: • If you’re hiking with children – don’t miss the incredible nature reserve in Taberg! Start at the mine and do the steep 1-kilometre climb to Södra Toppen (South Peak). At the top, you can enjoy great food (such as pancakes) and expansive views. Choose the Masugnstigen trail (moderate) or the Bergtempelstigen trail (difficult). • The hiking trail between Mullsjö and Bottnaryd, just under 30 kilometres along the narrow Lake Stråken, offers magical nature experiences.

Hiking trails: Nine different trails from 0.9 km to 9.5 round trip. The park has a total of 34 kilometres of marked trails. Start: There are three entrances to the national park: the main entrance, the Ösjönäs entrance, and the Vitsand entrance. The most popular trail, Stenkällerundan, which is 2.2 kilometres, starts and ends at the main entrance. Degree of difficulty: Overall hilly and demanding. Mellannäsrundan, which is 1.9 kilometres, is the easiest trail with an only slightly hilly ridge. The Junker Jägarerundan trail is suitable for strollers up until the giant boulder “Junker jägares sten” (just under 700 metres from the Vitsand entrance). The national park entrances are accessible thanks to wooden decks leading into nature. Maps: Useful information and maps are available at

Café/food: • Tivedstorp, 5.8 km from the main entrance. The café is open on weekends in June and daily from July to mid-August.The restaurant is open on weekends from the end of April to October and daily from July through mid-August. • Tivedens mat, krogen mitt i skogen. 12.3 km from the main entrance. Open Friday through Sunday between May and September and Tuesday through Sunday from 18 June to 18 August. Advance reservations are recommended! • Tivedens kafferosteri & Café, 13.8 km from the main entrance. Open Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays until the end of May. Open Wednesday through Sunday from June to September, and weekends during the rest of the year. Favourite: Don’t miss the Tärnekullrundan! A 1.3 km demanding trail past the Vitsandsgrottorna caves. Starts at the Vitsand entrance, which also features a great swim area. Good to know: The Fagertärn Nature Reserve, north-east of the national park, is known for its red water lilies. You’ll also find an accessible trail of about 500 metres along Lake Fagertärn.

Degree of difficulty: Easy to moderate. The trail is not suitable for wheelchairs. Maps: Available on the Jönköping Municipality website. Partially available in the app Naturkartan (the stretch from Mullsjö and half-way to Bottnaryd is missing). Bus: From Jönköping, there are buses and trains to Mullsjö, Norrahammar, Taberg, and Huskvarna. Buses go to Bottnaryd. Shop: The trail passes less than a kilometre from grocery stores in all towns except for Jönköping.

Good to know: Markings on this trail may be further apart, so pay attention.


Omberg, a mountain offering a variety of experiences in nature. Beech forests, breathtaking views, it’s all there.

Facts about the Östgötaleden Trail in Medevi – Västanvik Getting here: Drive to Medevi Brunn (16 km north of Motala). Colour: Orange, like the rest of the Östgöta Trail. Start: Recommended start at Medevi Brunn. Follow the Östgötaleden trail from the road sign “Odensberg 1”. The trail forks after 200 metres, keep right to access the Rundslingan loop in Västanvik (keep left to continue the Östgötaleden trail west). Distance: 12 km. Degree of difficulty: Easy to moderate. Mostly forest trail, some steeper parts. The trail is not suitable for wheelchairs. Maps: An information map is available in the app Naturleden, on their website: www. Bus: There are a few buses from Motala to Medevi on weekdays (line 628 or 629, The bus ride takes about 30 minutes.There are no buses on weekends.

Facts about Omberg Ecopark

Shop: You can find the country shop Axéns Lanthandel in Nykyrka, 6 km south of Medevi. Well-stocked and open daily.

Getting here: Omberg is located on the eastern shore of Lake Vättern, 5 km north of Ödeshög.

• Väderstad Centralkonditori is a popular café 21 km east of the ecopark. Open daily (except Midsummer weekend).

Café: Medevi Brunn’s café and restaurant are open daily from Midsummer into August.

Start: Start at Stocklycke. This is where both hiking trails and guided nature and cultural walks start.

Favourites: • Make your way up to Hjässan peak (261 metres above sea level) early in the morning as the sun is rising. You won’t regret it. • Mount Marberget. The perfect spot for enjoying a picnic, while looking out over Lake Vättern. • Bokskogen Beech Forest Nature Reserve. Magical beech and temperate broad-leaf forests on the slope towards Lake Vättern. Must be experienced.

Keep in mind that: This forest is protected through nature conservation agreements, which means that the area is as protected as a nature reserve (barbecuing is only permitted in designated areas). Favourites: • About half the trail goes along Lake Vättern, offering a pleasant archipelago feel, lookout points and lovely swim areas. • This trail is made with great care. You’ll find inviting seating areas, bird towers, barbecue pits, footbridges, and a solid wind shelter. Good to know: The area has a rich animal and bird life. If you bring your dog, make sure to keep it on a leash from March through August.

Hiking trails: There are six marked trails in the ecopark, ranging from 0.6 km to 27 km. Bus: Buses go between Ödeshög and Mjölby, stopping at Alvastra Gård, about 0.5 km from the ecopark. Timetables are available at Degree of difficulty: Easy to moderate. Maps: There is a good pdf with a map and information about the various trails at www. Café/food: • Stocklycke Hostel has a café. Open daily from 1 May to 1 September (except Midsummer Eve). Open weekends and holidays until mid-October.

Good to know: There are several tidy shelters in the park, strategically placed in beautiful surroundings. The Bokskogsstigen trail, 0.6 km, is accessible for wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers. The visually impaired can find their way using a guiding rope. If you want to experience more after your hike, you can explore Mount Omberg by kayak on Lake Vättern. This way, you can reach coves and caves not accessible from land.




Knowledge and pleasure in a sweet combination Around Vättern tries locally produced chocolate Organically and locally grown food has become the obvious choice for more and more people. It also increases our interest in the origin of other products. We ask more often at restaurants where the ingredients come from, and maybe you’re one of those who even ask how the leather is tanned at the shoe shop? Around Vättern has sought and found locally produced chocolate. Our awareness of the origin of products, both geographical and otherwise, means that we demand different products today, at least as a complement to the same old. Instead of persisting with our usual bag of candies, many people now choose a good chocolate, preferably dark with high cocoa content. Even chocolate like that is available in numerous brands, varieties, and types. White chocolate, truffles, pralines, chocolate bars. With the right guide in the chocolate jungle, your candy cravings may take on new expressions. Around Vättern has done some indepth research of chocolates around the lake. There are a number of chocolatiers around Lake Vättern, some small-scale, others lar-


ger. We visited two small producers and a chocolate café. In the town of Gränna, we find Gränna Chocolate Factory. The round, soft scent of chocolate that greets us is seductive. The word chocolate factory brings to mind Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where the small, diligent Oompa-Loompas work. But this is a small factory. While this place also has a tap from which chocolate flows, it’s still not the same.


Gränna Chocolate Factory has a large assortment of chocolates and pralines, all lovingly made on site in Gränna.

Christina Buckley and her daughter Hanna are stirring chocolate mixtures and fillings in different bowls and pots. Timing is crucial; if the chocolate mix becomes too cold or warm, the chocolate won’t solidify properly or become as glossy and beautiful as it should. It was the chocolatier Lindt, known from television commercials, who discovered the perfect way to heat and let it cool, Christina tells us.

Now she pours the finished mix into a container with small taps, places a tray with heart-shaped depressions under the taps and pulls a lever. Just the right amount of chocolate flows down and fills the depressions. The next row is filled the same way and soon, an entire tray of hearts is done. Once they sit for a while, they become small, perfect heart-shaped chocolates that will be flavoured with peppermint candy stick crush. The assortment is impressive and we receive a sample platter with many different varieties. Chocolate tastings are one of the activities you can always book at Gränna Chocolate Factory.

No common candy

No one can eat a dozen pralines just after breakfast, no matter how tasty they are, so we bring some in a bag for our continued journey. We note that chocolate of this type must be enjoyed in considerably smaller quantities than, for example, wine gums. This is not just any car candy. On the outskirts of Jönköping, we find



Chokladverkstan’s stuffed pralines look delicious in the counter.

Chokladverkstan is situated on the charming countryside, yet still in town.

Chokladverkstan, run by Christina Lööv. The chocolate is cooking and pralines are hand-crafted. Christina is passionate about fair trade products and speaks intensely about how slavery is still widespread in cocoa cultivation, and how you destroy forests to make room for cocoa cultivation, which is more profitable than, for example, orange trees. Naturally, she only works with fair trade products. Chokladverkstan also offers tastings and similar events. On the particular day that we visit, there is no production in process, but the counters are well-stocked with various kinds of pralines and truffles. Christina tells us that there are a large number of cocoa varieties, much like there are apple or coffee varieties. The most common

The temperature has to be exactly right.

Christina Buckley and her daughter Hanna making peppermint candy hearts – pralines with peppermint candy crush – which is a local specialty.

variety is called Forastero, which accounts for about 90% of the world’s production, as it is most hardy and yields the best return. She also tells us that there are 600 different aromas in a cocoa bean. No wonder you can’t eat as many pieces...

Educational board

The educational tasting board at Njuta starts with a cocoa bean and ends with an ordinary sugar shock.

In Hjo, we find the small café Njuta. They don’t make their own chocolate here, but they do serve high-quality chocolates from different producers and we get a new sample platter, or rather, a sample board. Placed on it are ten pieces of chocolate and two other items. Gabriella at Njuta explains: – First we have a crushed cocoa bean, then a dollop of cocoa butter. Then the chocolates come in order of strength; first the white 40% chocolate and, second to last, a piece with 95% cocoa content. What about the last piece? Well, that’s a “control piece”, an ordinary piece of Swedish milk chocolate of the kind most of us have tasted at some point. In order not to spoil the fun for those who have not yet been to a chocolate tasting, we won’t reveal more about this experience, other than that it was educational, to say the least. Full from chocolate, we leave, with brand new insights under our belt.



Herrestad Church, early 12th century.

The foundation of Sweden laid at Lake Vättern Just a few kilometres from the shores of Lake Vättern are some of Sweden’s oldest stone churches: Herrestad, Örberga, and Hagebyhöga. They bear witness to a time when these churches represented something revolutionary and new. With the establishment of Alvastra Monastery at the foot of Mount Omberg in 1143, a revolutionary era begins and institutions emerge, starting the process of establishing a state. There are many places that want to assert their significance in the birth of Sweden as a kingdom, claiming to be the cradle of Sweden’s national formation. But if you search for the fundamental basis from which Sweden emerges as a state, you will find that the most important institution is the church and everything that Christianity brings with it when established in the Nordic region. Christianity spreads according to continental patterns and the feudalism is the new

social system that runs parallel to the new religion in the 12th century. An agricultural system where the king is God’s deputy on earth and the vassals are the faithful, godly subjects. With large estates in exchange for loyalty and military forces, they form an entirely new state system. It is in the provinces of Västergötland and Östergötland that we first see the establishment of Christianity and, in its wake, the emergence of the Crown for a united kingdom. The churches, with their surrounding parishes, are like stitches in a web that are secured as the nation is formed. You can almost picture how the kingdom is knit together. Sometimes the stitches sit close, sometimes further apart. They were simply the pieces of a puzzle of a nation being born. TEXT: MÅRTEN FREDRIKSSON PHOTO: FREDRIK UNGER/SVENSKA KYRKAN

ry supreme sovereignties that sooner or later crumbled. This is not unique to Sweden. During the early Middle Ages, this happens in many places throughout Europe before permanent kingdoms are established. But Christianity was so much more than just a religion; it was a political vision, an idea of how society should be organised. So during the 12th century, the wealthiest gladly paid for such stone structures – monasteries, churches, and powerful church towers – instead of building towers and castles for themselves.

Temporary highnesses

During the Viking Age, local supreme sovereignties created empires for one or a few generations. Other chiefs obeyed these sovereignties, showing some form of inferiority and paying some kind of tribute. The sovereignties often ceased after a few generations, since they had to be continually recreated, requiring constant new oaths of allegiance and victories in war. Before Sweden became Christian, no institutions were created that established the country as a permanent kingdom, which is why there were tempora-

Pietà from Herrestad Church.


Christianity establishes innovations such as the art of writing, accounting knowledge, calendars, new construction technology, and a promise of a paradise after death. This results in tremendous power for those who control the religion, separating them from the old chief and tribal traditions, where those in control were themselves controlled by the gods. In Christianity, the king himself is God’s deputy and thus a part of the religion and the new cult. Today, we know that as early as the 10th century, during the Viking Age, the first wooden churches are built in the Province of Västergötland. During the 11th century, Christianity gains popularity and spreads even more in both Väster- and Östergötland. Great chiefs convert, via family ties or by marrying into Christian royalties in Europe, and build wooden churches adjacent to their farms.

The arrival of the stone church

A stone church revolution begins in the 12th century, when the old wooden churches are replaced by church buildings in stone, mainly influenced by monastic movements that take hold in Sweden at the time. With the monasteries come great knowledge in administration and construction technology, and the first monastery to be built in Sweden is Vreta Nunnery around the year 1100, when King Inge the Elder and his Queen Helena donate land to the Benedictines. While Vreta Nunnery is being built outside Linköping, there is reason to suspect that the construction technology spills over to powerful land owners who want to secure their ties to the ruling Crown and the new monastic movement by replacing previous wooden churches with real show-off structures in stone. During the first decades of the 12th century, a number of stone churches are built in the province along Lake Vättern, from Ödeshög up to Vadstena. Through dendrological examinations, it has been found that the joists in Herrestad Church consist of trees probably felled in 1112, the joists in Örberga Church of trees felled around 1117, and the joists in Hagebyhöga of trees felled sometime in the 1120s. This means that we can still see and visit some of Sweden’s oldest stone structures on these sites.

Alvastra and Nydala

Perhaps the most important event is when King Sverker the Elder and his Queen Ulvhild donate land in 1143 to the powerful Order of Cistercians in two locations in Sweden; namely, Nydala in the Province of Småland and Alvastra near Omberg. And when, a few years later, land was donated to the Cistercians in Varnhem, monks from Alvastra were able to start a third monastery in the Province of Västergötland. In the contact between the Cistercian monasteries, Lake Vättern becomes an important communication link and Alvastra Monastery will later be given fertile beach properties on the western shore of Lake Vättern, where they build monastery-


owned estates and farms. In this intense establishment of churches and monasteries, we find the most important institution of the state in the middle of Lake Vättern; the first royal castle – Näs on Visingsö Island.

Natural centre

Näs is built as a royal residence for the Sverker Family on the southernmost tip of Visingsö in order to further strengthen Lake Vättern as the natural centre in the process of uniting the kingdom. And a more central location in this young nation is hard to find. The location is perfectly protected, with Lake Vättern providing an enormous moat to the south, east, and west, and with the whole of Visingsö in the back to the north. An ultimate tactical and strategic position between the two Götaland provinces. It is only when the battle between the Erik and Sverker Families come to an end that another social movement changes the Power’s need of geographical location; the crusades in the east.

The crusades

It was not only the crusades to the Holy Land that went on in the 12th and 13th centuries; every king with power ambitions and respect considered it his duty to spread the Christian message to pagan people. The Swedish kings focused on Finland and the Baltic states, which made the administrative centre on Visingsö hopelessly remote. Thus, the royal administration is moved from Lake Vättern and Visingsö to the Baltic Sea and Lake Mälaren’s outlet. Stockholm was founded around 1250, with Birger Jarl, and before long, it becomes the administrative centre, as a hub in a nascent Baltic Sea Empire, and the nation formation process becomes a fixed and permanent state formation. When Birger Jarl’s son, Magnus “Ladulås” Birgersson, dies on Visingsö in 1290, he is not buried neither there nor in any of the Götaland provinces. Instead, he is transported to Stockholm and buried in

Ceiling paintings from Örberga Church. The church itself can be seen in the picture below.

the Riddarholm Church. Stockholm now becomes the nation’s natural centre of power and this is where you must be buried in order to establish the foundation for your own lineage, securing it for the future. When we see the old stone churches and monastery ruins in the area around Lake Vättern today, we can see the traces of a nation that emerged almost 1,000 years ago. A turning point in Swedish history, at which not only a new religion was established, but which involved a total social transformation, where former power structures came to an end. These first churches and monasteries should not be seen as old and primitive, but as the first step in something completely new that had never before been seen or experienced. They represented the modern and the efficient; that which felt like the victorious that you wanted to identify with, a starting point of a brand new state system.



A declaration of love for Lake Vättern in a new book “Lake Vättern is a mountain lake in southern Sweden”. It is cold, clear, and lacking in nutrition. The insect life resembles that found in Norrland County rivers with both char and grayling. You can read about this and much more in the recently published book Vättern – fisk och fiskare (Lake Vättern – fishing and fishermen). The book is personal, written by the experienced journalist Carl-Axel Fall, former editor of the magazine Sveriges Natur, which is published by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation. At first glance, this is a book for those who like fishing. But they are not the only ones who should read it. Those taking the time to read the book will find depth, and those who only want to browse the pictures will find beauty. But above all, this is a book about people’s relation to Lake Vättern, portrayed with great warmth and love. – For how long have you been pondering this idea?


Carl-Axel Fall has long been fascinated by Lake Vättern, its residents and users. Now his book on the subject has been published.

– I experienced my first fascination with Lake Vättern 25 years ago when we took the boat on Göta Canal, coming out onto the great, beautiful water, he says. He tells us that he worked actively with the book for about a year. One of the areas he finds particularly beautiful is by an island called Rinken in northern Lake Vättern’s archipelago by Medevi, not far from where he himself lives during the summer. Carl-Axel goes on telling us that fishermen often fantasise about life below the surface and that they carry a lot of quiet knowledge.


– Lake Vättern is unique with its char, salmon, and trout. Perhaps most special is the grayling, and we have to do everything we can to save it, says Carl-Axel. 20 years ago, the char was the fish in crisis. There have been improvements, maybe because the professional fishermen have largely switched to fishing for the more profitable crayfish. Another problem brought up in the book is the dioxin that ends up in the char and in other oily fish. The problem is slowly being alleviated and maybe it won’t be a problem in two or three generations. When it comes to the effects of climate change, you can’t go ice fishing, skating, and everything else associated with a frozen Lake Vättern nearly as often as before. – Not being able to fish for perch is a cultural loss. The perch has also increasingly disappeared from shallow waters. It used to be a popular family activity – everyone could go down and fish for perch. But Carl-Axel believes that there is great potential for fishing tourism in Lake Vättern. For example, the tourism industry could recommend tourists to book guided tours by anglers or join knowledgeable professional fishermen out on the lake.

Save Lake Vättern! The military plans to multiply its exercises with shootings on Lake Vättern.


- find fishing regulations and information:

A mine is planned for Gränna, with high risk for the drinking water supply.

Let drinking water and habitat be more important than exploitation! Support our efforts to save Lake Vättern!

Would you like to develop your business linked to fishing in Lake Vättern? Apply for financial support at

Read more about the threats to drinking water on our website! JOIN US! Become a member! Membership fee SEK 100 Giro account: 196-7157 Swish: 123 694 80 87 http//


Adam Johansson works with Leader Vättern, which supports enterprises with connection to lake Vättern and fishing.

Leader Vättern supports book project Adam Johansson is the Director of Leader Vättern that has made the ambitious book project Vättern – fisk och fiske (Lake Vättern – fish and fishery) possible by funding the project. What made Leader Vättern invest in this particular project? – Among other things, we felt that if we can publish a book that is appealing, we have a greater chance of reaching out with information about Lake Vättern, rather than if it’s just a report sitting with an authority. It will be great marketing of Lake Vättern, says Adam. Adam also tells us about another Leader project with similar purpose that we can’t miss out on. The photo exhibit Below/Vättern. This summer, it will be on display in Karlsborg. Leader Vättern thus funds projects linked to fish and fishing in Lake Vättern. – Funds are not merely directed at fishing companies. We can, for example, fund a restaurant or a housing facility

that wants to be closely linked to fish and fishery. Not least to extend the season, as fishing on Lake Vättern is ongoing all year round. I also think it’s essential to emphasise the importance of connecting more companies in the tourism industry. Professional fishery and the hospitality industry have a lot to gain from working together. Even the service provided to the visitors who come to Lake Vättern to fish could be developed in terms of accommodation, guides, and food, says Adam. Leader Vättern recently started its own project. It involves creating a long-term sustainable organisation for coordinating tourism around Lake Vättern. Leader Vättern’s money comes from the EU Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the equivalent of the Rural Development Programme. The projects have to fit into one of four areas: fishery conservation and environmental monitoring, business development, information and collaboration, and accessibility. If you have an idea, please contact Adam Johansson. That way, you can get immediate feedback on whether your idea fits any of the categories.

EvaS Kultur & Reklam Mediabyrå Sales, project management, education & events +46 706 738 048

Summer opening hours:

Wed-Thu 13-19 Fri-Sun 10-16 Mon-Tue Closed

Kyrkallén 60 Skärstad +46 (0)36-133333




Out on Lake Vättern, you can really enjoy the silence.

We yearn for quiet places to go on holiday During holiday periods, many of us leave stressful cities and work in search of peace and quiet. So what is it that attracts us when choosing a location in which to spend our precious time off? We look at the map. How far is the accommodation from roads and other houses? Preferably, we want to be close to a lake as well. Lake Vättern is bright and dangerously beautiful. I look out towards Visingsö Island, located right between Östra Vätterbranterna (East Vättern Scarp Landscape), where I’m at, and the Hökensås Ridge on the other side. It’s quiet inside the cottage, which has been here since 1840. Today, a gravel road runs right below, but back then, you had to walk on a narrow, steep path from the harbour along Lake Vättern to get here. Your other option to get to the cottage was via the forest road from the village of Smedjeberg about ten kilometres south of Gränna.

Lost in time and space

This was the road chosen by the author and member of the Swedish Academy, Elin Wäg-

ner, when she came here to visit family in the late 1930s. At the time, she was writing her book Tusen år i Småland (A Thousand Years in Småland). In Smedjeberg, Elin looked up and was captivated by the magical view and the great silence. There, on the old, winding, and hilly road, she stood on an April morning, gazing out over a breath-taking Lake Vättern. The experience inspired her so much that she wrote it down, and those words became the beginning of the book:


“A few miles north of the southern tip of Lake Vättern, the eastern shore bulges out, while rising tall and steep out of the water. A small number of red Småland farms gather here, forming a community called Smedjeberg. One early April morning, a dear friend was driving me through the forest separating the village from the big road between Stockholm and Jönköping. At the edge of the forest, we were met by a view so magnificent and bold that it took our breath away. Under the heavy, grey light of the morning, the ice-white, empty infinity spread out before us. A tight, blue, curved line lay like a lasso thrown into the vastness. The view was so dreamlike and confusing that we strayed and got lost in time and space.” from A Thousand Years in Småland (1939) by Elin Wägner

That’s what it was like in 1939. If you stand in the same spot today, gazing out over the vast Lake Vättern, it won’t be the silence that strikes you, but the roar of the E4 motorway. Elin Wägner’s journey through the Province of Småland took place 20 years before the E4 even existed. Its construction in the 1960s must have been the most profound thing to happen to the landscape on the east side of the lake since the invention of the boat. It’s almost impossible to imagine a sound landscape without the E4, but Elin Wägner’s description got me thinking about the significance of silence when experiencing a place. ”The view was so dreamlike and confusing that we strayed and got lost in time and space.” Could this possibly be a description of what we’re looking for when we want to escape the stress, the information overload, and the expectations of everyday life? The feeling of losing yourself in time and space, whether on a beach in India or on a tree stump in the forest? And where do we find quiet, peaceful places around Lake Vättern?

Quiet in the forest

To get away from the E4, which can be heard even outside the cottage where I’m writing, I head for the “silence” in the Råbyskogen Forest a few miles away. The Råbyskogen Forest is a nature reserve located east of the


community of Skärstad. Here can you experience old coniferous trees and hilly terrain with beautiful forest tarns and a John Bauer feel. The Bauer Trail runs right through here. On weekdays, the forest is visited by, among others, high school students studying nature. The excursions are organised by the nature school Ekobussen. An exercise that is practised extensively, just as it is in the rest of the 100 nature schools in Sweden, is the sensuous exercise of “sitting quietly in nature”. The strange thing about this exercise is that it creates a lot of emotion in children, adolescents, and adults alike. Some get a little scared, others almost fall asleep. The most common reaction is to want to continue. The silence and the tranquillity leave us wanting more.

“the gift of being relaxed”. In other words, no phones. Following their stay, comments like “this is one of the best things I’ve ever experienced” are common. Rosie believes that when we meet without words, we meet at a deeper level, because in the silence, our senses are sharpened. The contrast to how we normally live is stark. She says that “we live on the surface”, missing the opportunity to marvel at and be fascinated by what we have around us here and now.

Rävafallet Waterfall – loud but not noisy

In my continued search of quiet places around Lake Vättern, I visit the Hökensås Ridge on the west side. Parts of Hökensås are marked on the County Administrative Board’s map of undisturbed areas. At the recommendation of the locals, I make my way to Rävafallet Waterfall a few kilometres south of Brandstorp. The rippling waterfall is stunning. The place is enchanting and unbelievably beautiful. There is a campfire site among the large boulders and the old pines. But it’s not quiet! Still, I am filled with the atmosphere of this place and a desire to stay. I’m not bothered by the relatively loud sound of the waterfall. If you want to be completely alone in a vast ancient forest, you should head further north to Tiveden National Park. The Tiveden area

Forest bath

Similarly, a forest bath entails using your senses in the forest with the help of guidance. Since a year back, you can take a forest bath at the ecotourism facility Urnatur outside Ödeshög in Östergötland. Ulrika Krynitz is an ecologist and one of the founders of Urnatur. Together with Åsa Ottosson, she offers forest baths in the summer. Ulrika explains that the idea originates from Japan. Forest baths, Shinrin-yoku, have been common there since the 80s. In Japan, forests found to be particularly good for your well-being are even certified. During the forest bath, participants are encouraged to activate their senses by, for example, tasting edible plants, smelling moss, and quietly listening to the sounds of the forest. Ulrika explains that the scents of nature have a naturally relaxing effect. She also notes that the forest’s own sounds, such as the whisper of the wind through the trees and birds chirping, are not perceived as distracting, but as calming. This is different from how the brain is affected by the continuous noise of the city. Ulrika has noticed an increased interest in Urnatur and in spending the night in the treehouses, especially from the younger generation. One of the most positive and powerful experiences that visitors testify to is the darkness and the silence of the forest in the absence of electricity.

Silent retreat

Something similar to a forest bath is the silent retreat often held in a scenic location with beautiful and tranquil surroundings. Wettershus Retreatgård is located about ten kilometres south of Gränna. You get here via an underpass under the E4 motorway. Some hundred metres down, it quickly becomes quieter! Soon, I hear the ripples of Lake Vättern against the shore. The walk partially goes along the Franciscusleden Trail. The place is magical. The low, brown houses blend into the landscape. I’m greeted by Rosie Gard, Director of Wettershus Retreatgård. She tells me that if you sign up for one of the retreats, you get to come here and just be, walk on the slopes, and meditate in silence. Rosie calls herself a spiritual healer. When visitors come here, they are told that they will experience

The Franciscusleden Trail, where the Wettershus silent walks take place, goes through UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve Östra Vätterbranterna.


has a true wilderness feel. You’re welcome to put up your tent for a night and make a fire in designated places. Venture out into the forest by yourself or join one of the knowledgeable nature guides. As I take a break in my writing, following my journey of exploring quiet places around Lake Vättern, I step outside my cottage for fresh air. As usual, I hear the E4 rumble in the background. Still, I take my coffee and sit down on the porch, where the house provides a sound barrier. The morning sun is nice and warm, the birds are chirping in the cherry blossom trees – it’s enjoyable!

Some quiet places • North of Örserum and on the lakes of Ören and Bunn • Råbyskogen Forest – Mount Uvaberget – Ramsjön Lake • Hökensås Nature Reserve – Rävafallet in Holmån about 2 km south of Brandstorp • Tiveden National Park • The islands in the northern archipelago of Vättern outside Askersund • Mount Omberg • Holaveden • Lake Vättern Although quiet all year round, it is the quietest in the summer when the trees are leafy, or during snowy winters.



Lake Vättern cycling your own way Are you craving 300 kilometres of high pulse, steep hill intervals, or do you “just” want to experience the gems of Lake Vättern at a leisurely pace? Regardless, cycling around Lake Vättern is a nature experience beyond the ordinary. Since 1966, the bike race Vätternrundan has attracted cyclists from all over the world. And because so many come from afar, the organisers of this year’s event are introducing something new. In collaboration with a bicycle rental site, Vätternrundan can offer all participants the opportunity to book their racing bike online and pick it up in the event area. – Through this collaboration, all participants, especially the international ones, have the opportunity to rent a good bike for the race. At the same time, we help contribute to a slightly more sustainable world, says Ulrika Smith Svenstedt, Marketing Director at Vätternrundan. Do you think 300 kilometres on the bike saddle is too far? In that case, you can always try Vätternrundan 100 km – where you’re actually allowed to ride an electric bike.

Jönköping a golden spot for cycling


In 2017, Jönköping was named Sports City of the Year. According to cyclist enthusiast Elna Dahlstrand, you can also find top-class cycling on Mount Huskvarna, overlooking Lake Vättern and the cities of Huskvarna and Jönköping. – Challenging hills, steep downhill runs, magical spots in which to stop and enjoy nature, and several technical runs for different skill levels. In the summer, the ski slope is great for really effective hill intervals, and there are both a bicycle wash and shower facilities here – the IKHP facility is simply a great place, she says.

Beautiful bike route for everyone

A 420 kilometre bike route. No, it’s no utopia ... The well-marked Runt Vättern route runs through cities and magnificent nature. 75 percent of the paths are paved. The route passes all the towns along interesting paths on your way around the lake. The route touches Lake Vättern through Motala, Askersund, Karlsborg, Hjo, and along the entire southernmost part around Jönköping. Svenska Cykelsällskapet’s (SCS) bicycle route was inaugurated in 2000, in collaboration with all the municipalities around the lake. The Runt Vättern route is also linked to other SCS projects in the area (the Sweden

route, the Vättern-Sommen route, and the Västgöta route). Source: and SCS.

Bring your competitive spirit to life

The traditional 300 kilometre Vätternrundan in all its glory, but if you like competing and doing so in the vicinity of Lake Vättern, you have several options to choose from. A small selection: MTB Vättern: Entrance race with two distances – 50 km and 25 km. Fast paved passages alternate with forest roads, hills, and more technical cycling on trails. Cykelrallarn: You start in Bottnaryd and make a loop around the district. Among other things, you pass two mountains and reach the highest point of the course at 323 metres above sea level. Hallbyrundan: The terrain is hilly and varied with elements of both forest and open fields.

Nature from the bike saddle

Do you prefer to experience the countryside with your eyes wide open rather than pedalling full-speed in search of high pulse and thrills? The Omberg district is perfect for cycling – regardless of preference. Here you can find everything from smooth asphalt roads to challenging trails through enchanting forests. The ultimate Instagram picture is never more than a click away.


Castles & huts

Sometimes, the accommodation itself can be reason enough to travel. Some dream of staying at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, others of staying in a bamboo hut on a beach. If you keep to more climate-friendly travel in Sweden, you can experience more or less odd accommodations around Lake Vättern. A tree stump, an 18th century castle on the countryside, a wooden cabin in the forest, or why not a tree tent? Just take your pick!

Urnatur outside Ödeshög offers various accommodations. Some of them are houses in trees, others are more down-to-earth, such as the charcoal worker hut or the hexagonal “hattstugan” (hat cottage). It’s peaceful and quiet here – and no electricity. Perfect for those who really want to escape the stress and commitments of everyday life.


Hjällö Castle outside Hjo (above) offers guestrooms in the castle as well as an entire wing for big families. Weddings or other big parties can also be organised here. Hjällö is located right on the shore of Lake Vättern and has its own park and a small swim area, discreetly embedded in greenery. Despite the 18th century splendour, the accommodation is quite simple and has no dining options.

Västanå Castle outside Gränna offers conference rooms, banquet halls, and a restaurant. You can also bring your horse and book a “bed & box” if you want to take a dressage lesson with a grand prix rider. At Karlsborg Campsite (on the right), in addition to camping with your caravan, motorhome, or tent, you can also rent a cabin or a tree stump. The stumps are popular and have all the amenities you could wish for.

Do you feel weird about settling into a hotel bed? Then stay the night in a tent on the Borgmästareholmen Islet – within walking distance from central Askersund. Or do you want something even more adventurous? Rent one of the cool tree tents on the islet and experience the night from the squirrel’s perspective. And be sure to enjoy small-town life before settling in for the night! You can easily reach the central parts and Askersund Harbour via the footbridge. Discover cosy shops, enjoy a delicious dinner, play boule by the promenade, or why not take a leisurely stroll to the cultural heritage centre before ending your evening with an ice cream in the harbour?




The area around Lake Vättern contains not just Sweden’s oldest golf course, Ryfors Golf, but also what is probably the most varied selection of courses you could ever come across in such a limited area. Everything from rolling flat lakeside courses to hilly and challenging forest courses.






6 5


11 9 10

Welcome to us at Sand Golf Club.


We have a spectacular links course with 63 beds accommodation by the course, a fully stocked golf shop and a tasteful good restaurant. We look forward to your visit. For a lunch, for an overnight stay or for a round of golf. Read more at Quite simply, an experience beyond the ordinary.







Golf & Conference


at one of Sweden’s best facilities


Welcome to Ryfors GK! Golf since 1888. Ryfors golf course is a historic gem and Nordic region’s first golf course. Enchanting nature and generous greens are part of the unforgettable golf experience!

Booking: +46 144 121 60

Tel: 0392-128 84 I Email: I

1. Brevikens Golfklubb 2. Askersunds Golfklubb 3. Motala Golfklubb 4. Vadstena Golfklubb 5. Ombergs Golf 6. Östad Golf 7. Mjölby Golfklubb 8. Visingsö Golfklubb 9. Gränna Golfklubb 10. Wiredaholms Golfbana 11. Tranås Golfklubb 12. Hooks Golfklubb 13. A6 Golfklubb 14. Jönköpings Golfklubb 15. Skinnarebo G & CC 16. Sand GC 17. Ryfors golfklubb 18. Hökensås Golfklubb




Three swings and all of a sudden, you’re a golfer A moment of motherly care, and suddenly you feel the need to wear a pastel coloured wool sweater around your shoulders. From never having set my foot on a golf course until the beginning of August last year, I am now a caddy for my youngest son. – Mom, can I have my 9-iron? We felt that our 7-year old needed an activity. Football, like his older brother? No. Tennis? No. Judo? No. Indoor field hockey? No. Play an instrument? Theatre? Coding? All our suggestions were met with a no. As we discussed the matter in front of the TV one evening, the summary of a golf tournament suddenly started. We looked at the TV, at each other, and said in unison. Yes! Let’s just sign him up! Said and done; the next day we told our little boy that this Wednesday, mom will go with you to play golf. He didn’t put up a fight, although he hesitated a bit in the parking lot. With the agreement that we would try it out this one time and quit if it turned out to be boring, we went out onto the green. Seven eager children between the ages of 5 and 8 were gathered. Some had played for a while. They had their own clubs that they gripped with ease. Gustav was given clubs to borrow. Three strokes later, it was a done deal: – Mom, this is so much fun! Now I have a sport too! Wise from experience, we waited a while before giving him his own clubs, but at some point during the autumn season, he got them – a desirable kit with a bag, a putter, a 9-iron, a sand wedge, a wood, and a box of balls, of course. Although fetching a bucket of balls from the machine is the most fun. Gustav thinks that the different exercises during practice are varied and fun. Sometimes, they stand on the driving range, hitting buckets. The first balls may be a bit tricky, but after a while, they fly farther and farther! Other times, they practice putting or play on the pay and play. As I stand there with his bag watching him tee off, it looks rather fun... Do they have beginner’s classes for adults? Maybe it would be good for... My thoughts are interrupted when he politely asks for his putter, apparently for the second time. I got a bit carried away there, but I’ll ask the coach later. I hit a ball with a club that is much too short, but at least I hit the ball! Maybe I should sign up... Most courses around Lake Vättern have some type of children’s activities and sections of the courses are available for children and those of us who still don’t have a green card.


Gustav addresses the ball. It flies away, not very far but far enough for a first time.

Nice greens this year despite last summer’s drought The extremely hot and dry summer of last year had some short-term consequences for the country’s golf courses. Runt Vättern has taken the pulse of the courses in our area for the 2019 season. – It was probably mainly as far as the eye could see, says Jon Molneklev, Operations Manager at Omberg Golf. The grass looked dry but the balls rolled nicely anyway. We have a type of grass that can withstand droughts quite well. Motala Golf Club expects a nice course this year, despite some damages from last year’s drought. As in many other places, the wet autumn helped the courses recover. In Jönköping, Jönköping GK thinks the course will be in good shape sometime by

May, despite some damages. They expect the damages to mend during spring. Several of the golf clubs we speak to tell us that they’ve prioritised watering the fine-cut parts and thus managed to keep the courses in good condition. – Last summer was extreme for all golf courses in Sweden, and we are very grateful to have managed as well as we did and to be able to start the season without any major consequences, says Camilla Wernersson at Mjölby Golf Club. – Our course managed well thanks to the little rain that actually did fall a few times during the summer. The drought affected the two fairways that don’t have irrigation and some of the tees, says Mats Bergmar, Club Manager at Vadstena Golf Club. Thanks to rain and the long, warm autumn, the course recovered quickly and was back to normal by winter.



Highlights 2019 MAY 4-5 Art Tour 9 Charity Concert for UNHCR and Min Stora Dag (My Special Day) 23-25 Ekoloppet. Multisport race start in Tiveden, finish in Askersund 24-26 Askersund Outdoor Festival JUNE 1 20 June- 21 July 30

Åsaflåset, cycling race Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, Lerbäck Theatre Antiques & Curiosities Market in Åmmeberg

JULY 6 8-11 12 13 13 17 30-31

Lerbäck market Children’s Week Midnight Sun Rally, lunch stop in Askersund Car- & Bike Meet Gnällbälte Blues in Lerbäck Jan Johansen Trio on the harbour stage Historical ships in the harbour, tours, etc.

AUGUST 3 10-11 23 28

Antiques Market in Askersund National dog show Expedition Life, Anders Lundin. Sjöängen Autumn Market

SEPTEMBER 7 Rune of Mine. Running race, Knalla Mine OCTOBER 18 Stand-up with Marika Karlsson For more events, please visit TOURIST


Askersunds Turist- & Evenemangsbyrå Visiting address: Drottning Kristinas väg 2 Visiting address during summer: Askersund Harbour Phone: +46-583-810 88

Askersund – Lake Vättern’s Archipelago Askersund is a quaint little town with a cosy atmosphere, situated at the northern tip of Lake Vättern. Big and small events give this town pulse and the new cultural centre, Sjöängen, attracts visitors with performances all year round. Cafés, local pubs, and small shops welcome you among alleys and cobblestone squares. Enjoy the harbour, the promenade, and the proximity to Sweden’s most tucked away archipelago, and, just around the corner, a large selection of nature reserves as well as hiking and cycling trails. In Askersund, you are close to everything. Close to town, to nature and the archipelago, as well as to cultural activities and events. Askersund Harbour greets you with restaurants and cafés, small craft shops, exhibits, and kiosks. You’ll also find a guest harbour, a central RV park, and cosy accommodation. The beautiful promenade stretches from here along the town, just a block away from the old alleys and the lovely squares. In the wooden town of Askersund, everyone can find their own personal pleasure – young and old, culture and art enthusiasts, nature lovers, and adventurers. What will be your first choice among our top 10 destinations? - - - - - - - - - -

Stjernsund Castle Knalla Mine Askersund Heritage Centre M/S Wettervik tour boat Hargebaden – Närke County’s Riviera Mariedamm’s blast furnace Lerbäck Theatre Oden II playground Mini-train ride along the promenade Sjöängen Cultural Centre

Boat life in Askersund Harbour.



Nearby, there are plenty of beautiful and varied nature areas for all to discover – for big and small, for adventurers and the cautious. Mount your bike in Askersund and make your way out to Northern Europe’s largest mountain bike area, Bergslagen Cycling, with over 1,200 kilometres of MTB trails. Or put your hiking boots on and stroll through unbeatable nature that offers diversity all year round. Welcome to Askersund!

Traceless in Tiveden Guided tours with wooden canoe

Tel +46 730 24 65 15


STOCKSH A M M A R kitchen design and interiors

Lovely small-town shopping

Stroll around and visit shops, cafés and restaurants in our quaint wooden town. Personal service – Free parking. A lot of family events summertime. 8 – 14 July: The Children’s Week, Midnight Sun Rally and more.

Design products of the season in one of the country’s prettiest shops. – Café – Stockshammar Gård 2 km south of Askersund



The tourist ambassadors

– We work because it’s fun Names: Marlies and Hein de Kort Unexpected special interest: The animals, the dog Senna, cats, hens, and sheep.


he de Kort family is taking a lunch break from the construction of a jetty. As always, the atmosphere is homely and welcoming. How did you end up in Tiveden all the way from the Netherlands? – It was a coincidence. Nine years ago, we came to Tiveden and stayed here at the campsite. We really enjoyed it; it felt like we had come home. We talked a lot to those who ran the campsite and found out it was for sale. So we decided to move here. It was never something we had dreamt about, but it felt right. When the heart matters, things happen. The amazing thing about Tiveden, in addition to the beautiful nature, is that you feel so welcomed. There is a sense of community here; even though everyone is busy with their own stuff, we come together in our love for the area. – What do you want to offer your camping guests when they stay here? – We want everyone to have their own space, but also pleasant common areas. We try to provide conditions for

a relaxing holiday where guests do things together at their own initiative. We run this campsite because we think it’s fun and because it enables us to do what we’re good at together with – and for – the whole family. We are the campsite and the campsite is us. Naturally, we strive to grow, but not too big. And we want it clean and genuine; we do as much as we can ourselves. Our conversation moves along and their love for Tiveden and their work is constantly evident. A love that gently whispers “welcome to a campsite where the heart matters”.

”350 METERS ” ? D N U O R G R E D N U 019 SEPTEMBERERB 7, 2 019

Once a year we replace our mining trucks with running shoes. Race down our daylight ramp and back up again, the trail under ground has a 15 % grade and the change in altitude is 350 meters. Six or ten kilometers, the choice is up to you! Either way, we´ll lend you a helmet. Welcome to Run of Mine in Zinkgruvan!

Secure your spot!

ALWAYS HOME COOKED In peaceful historic surroundings close to nature, we offer: Lunch A la carte Coffee with sandwiches, ice cream, bread

Hembygdsgården, Askersund Phone +46 583-71 13 80



Hiking in the archipelago

On the northern tip of Lake Vättern, you’ll find the unique freshwater archipelago, an ecopark with almost 250 islands, islets, and rocks. Walk or swim? In Askersund, you don’t have to choose. You can hike the trails along the archipelago rocks and end your excursion with a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters of Lake Vättern. Several nature reserves feature excellent hiking trails with beautiful views of the lake. Make sure to discover them on your trip around Lake Vättern. On the eastern edge, Råå Uddar offers a walk through enchanting forests and over rocks, with tucked-away coves inviting you to go swimming in the turquoise water. Further north, you can go on a day excursion along the coast of Lake Vättern. Hike over rocks and cliffs, on partially demanding trails, through three nature reserves: Harge Uddar, Klåvudden, and Verkanäset. In clear weather, you can enjoy magnificent views of the lake. You’ll also find shelters, barbecue pits, and swim areas along the way. Utnäset Nature Reserve on the western shore of Lake Vättern is worth a visit as well. Walk along the water and enjoy the view of the southern part of the archipelago. Want to check out the islands? Rent a kayak and venture out! That way, you can combine kayaking with hiking. There are great hiking trails on several of the islands, taking you through almost unspoiled forests. Stora Aspön, the largest island of the archipelago, offers a wonderful and varied landscape shaped by the ice sheet. Here you will find small gorges and even a giant pothole. If you need more time to explore the area, you can always bring a tent. A number of the islands allow tenting for up to two nights. Several of them are equipped with barbecue pits, waste bins, and toilets.


Great selection of quality restaurants There is an unexpectedly great selection of White Guide (Sweden’s equivalent to the Michelin Guide) restaurants and cafés around Lake Vättern. Many of the White Guide top ratings go to restaurants in big cities, of course, but even smaller towns around Lake Vättern are represented. The guide has rated 600 restaurants. The ratings are Global Master Class, Master Class, Very high class, High class, and Recommended. Ten restaurants in Sweden have the highest rating,

Delicacies from France, Italy and England. Table cloths and ceramics from Provence.

Verner von Heidenstams birthplace

Welcome to Stjernsunds Castle, Askersund Guided tours Giftshop · Café

* Café, Restaurant, Hotel * Shows of St. Bridget’s Church and Verner von Heidenstam memorial room * Open all year round Located at the northern Vättern archipelago adjacent to Olshammars Marina +46 583 504 30, +46 70 300 02 47

Norströmsg.1 Hamnmagasinet Askersund

Opening hours at Telephone 0046-70-231 99 59

Warmly Welcome!

Open daily May 15th – Aug 31st (castle) May 1st – Aug 31st (café) Closed June 21th More information Castle +46 58310004 · Café +46 58312688

Global Master Class, 50 have Master Class, and 153 have Very high class. The highest rating in the Lake Vättern area goes to Ombergs Turisthotell and Hörnet in Vadstena, as well as Sjön, Den Småländska kolonin, and Izakaya Moshi in Jönköping, which are all rated Very high class. Four other places in Jönköping and one in Tiveden are rated Recommended. This is not the first year that Ombergs Turisthotell is mentioned in the guide, but Linda Johansson, one of the owners, is extra happy this year: – The motivation this year was so nicely written, and we’re happy and proud of our staff who have helped us get this far. Turisthotellet’s speciality is the local and seasonal ingredients.





At the lake Und erie






Road directions & opening hours:


Baggekärr 2 i Tived +46 (0) 584 47 40 83



Highlights 2019 MAY 18-19 JUNE 7-10 13 14-15 28-29 29

Trädgård & Uterum Fair (Garden and Veranda Fair) at Medevi Brunn MTB Vättern, Tjejvättern (Girls’ Vättern), Halvvättern (Half Vättern), minivättern (Mini Vättern) Vättern GP Vätternrundan American Power Tour Vättern Festival

JULY 7,14,21,28 Motala Bay Islands with M/S Kung Sverker 13-14 Medieval Medevi 16-20 Motala Folk Race Festival 25-27 Motala City Festival AUGUST 10 16-17 17 24

Boat Day in Motala Harbour Medevi Fair, Jakt & fritid (Hunting & Leisure) Arts and Crafts Market in Old Motala Verkstad Motala Canal Swim

SEPTEMBER Husbyfjöl Market 7 in Borensberg 7-8 Östgötadagarna Days 21 Nya Broloppet Race

Motalas Besöksservice Phone +46 141-101 205

Discover Motala! In Motala, we’re proud of the access to water we have around here. Did you know that a third of the municipal residents have less than 500 metres to the nearest water? When visiting Motala, you simply must go to the Varamobaden swim area – northern Europe’s largest lake swim area with as much as five kilometres of sandy beaches! The water in Lake Varamon is clean and clear, which makes it the perfect beach for the whole family. But Motala has a lot more to offer than its ideal location on Lake Vättern, its many beaches, Boren Lake, Motala Ström, Göta Canal, and more than a hundred lakes in the municipality.

Baltzar von Platen

Baltzar von Platen is one of the people who have meant a lot to Motala. Baltzar founded the Göta Canal 1810–1832, which came to be of great importance for the advent of Motala Verkstad. In central Motala, you’ll find one of Sweden’s most beautiful lakes and Göta Canal’s largest guest harbour. The harbour area has become a natural meeting place, filled with life and movement. The harbour is also the location of Sweden’s most visited motor museum, Motala Motor Museum, which offers a nostalgic experience for the entire family. Baltzar von Platen wanted the canal’s capital to be geographically located on the middle of the canal, which is why Motala is called the capital of Göta Canal. The stretch of the canal passing through Motala is an incredibly

beautiful experience. The tranquillity along the canal bank makes it the perfect place for recuperation and recreation.

Leading industry

Motala Verkstad started as a repair workshop for the construction of the canal (1822) and grew to become one of the country’s leading industries in the mid-1800s. Today, Motala Verkstad is referred to as “The cradle of the Swedish engineering industry”. Take a stroll and enjoy the atmosphere that still permeates the air in the “Old Motala Verkstad”, the area around the workshop. Here you’ll find streets named Liverpool Street, Fraser Street, and England Street; streets named after people who brought special knowledge and contributed to the development of Motala Verkstad. Located in the area is also Motala Industrial Museum, which you can visit in connection with a waffle break at Mallboden’s Café and Hostel. If you continue your journey through Motala along the canal, you’ll soon arrive at the Borenshult locks that connect the Göta Canal with Lake Boren. The height difference between the lake and the canal is 15 metres, which makes the five-lock flight the canal’s steepest flight. Witness the spectacle that takes place as boats are raised and lowered; watch the old meet the new, and marvel at the fact that the ancient technology still holds up today. An exciting and popular destination! You can easily navigate Motala by bicycle, whether you want to stay in the urban area or venture beyond central Motala. Those who want to embark on a longer bike adventure can ride the 20 kilometres to Borensberg, where a wonderful stretch of another 20


kilometres on the old roads along the Göta Canal to Berg awaits. A car-free route that suits the whole family!


18 kilometres east of Motala, idyllic Borensberg is situated right on Lake Boren and is a popular residential area and summer resort. Just as in Motala, both the Göta Canal and Motala Ström run through Borensberg. The beautiful bridge across the stream dates back to 1797. So clearly, there is a lot of well-preserved history to be found here! The lock here is a single lock and the only one in the Province of Östergötland that can be operated by hand. Motala’s surroundings consist of varied nature, with plains, deep forests, and the proximity to water. The great variation in nature provides many outdoor recreational areas. In the urban area, you’ll find Råssnäs, a recreational site with walking paths, swimming, a marina, exercise tracks, and lawns for boule, varpa, and football. In the northern part of the municipality, you’ll find the Trolleflod Nature Reserve, with its magic forest of swamps, marshes, and ponds. If you want to go on a lovely hike in varied nature, you can follow the 10-kilometre Skönnarboleden Trail that winds its way through the Tylöskogen Forest, located just less than 10 kilometres north of Tjällmo, about 40 kilometres northeast of Motala. Welcome to Motala, the seaside city of Östergötland!

The Varamo beach is five kilometres long and the largest lake swim area in northern Europe.

The tourist ambassadors

100 years of boating

Name: Janne William Age: 50 Lives: on the farm where he grew up at outside Motala Family: wife and two sons Works: as the CEO of the family business AB Motala Båtvarv Unexpected special interest: Icelandic horses. Architecture.


t was Janne’s grandfather Ivar who started the boatyard with focus on wooden and recreational boats. This year, Motala Båtvarv celebrates 100 years. They no longer have any boat production, but they do have a yard and great renovation expertise. Janne has been working on the boatyard since he was a young kid and both his brothers as well as his oldest son work here. Janne says that he likes everything related to water. – Lake Vättern is amazing! You can take a glass of clean and clear water from the lake and drink it right away. Salt and seaweed certainly have their charm, but Lake Vättern offers a pure feeling that is different from the coast, says Janne. The old boatyard is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Vättern, just by

the Göta Canal opening in Motala. They have a well-stocked Watski shop and can accommodate more than 100 boats of all sizes in summer and winter. Janny encounters many visitors and he gladly recommends those arriving by boat to make their way to the beautiful, slightly hard-to-access, secluded beaches. There is a wonderful world of islands in the whole of northern Lake Vättern. Gopön Island north of Motala towards Medevi is a lovely rocky island. Sandön Island features amazing nature. The archipelago in the northwest is fantastic, and on Lilla Röknen, you can find a beautiful lagoon, a favourite spot for Janne’s own family.

Fruit and berry products · CAFÉ FARM SHOP & RESTAURANT Visit Brunneby Musteri for a flavourful experience. Farm Shop opening hours: Mon-fri 9-18, sat 10-16, sun 11-16. Brunneby Musteri, Borensberg



Experience Lake Vättern from the seaside Olaf Svensson in Motala has lived with and on Lake Vättern for over 40 years. For 15 years, he has run Motala Kanaltrafik AB. As a skipper on the M/S Kung Sverker, he wants to give people a great lake experience, not least all those who don’t have a boat of their own. – Sometimes, Motala locals come aboard saying that they have lived here for years, but never been out on the lake, says Olaf. – When they see Motala from the lake, or when we sail all the way up to the castle in Vadstena, they’re impressed. It’s simply an amazing lake. I mean, we’re sailing on drinking water. On the M/S Kung Sverker, Olaf Svensson offers nature cruises on Lake Vättern throughout the summer. He also sails on the Göta Canal. Both a guide and a great storyteller, passengers are captivated by the skipper’s interesting and educational stories. – I tell them about the history of the canal and about the islands and other interesting

Smooth sailing on an open Lake Vättern outside Visingsö Island. PHOTO: WEINE AHLSTRAND

things out there on the lake. At least half of it is true, says Olaf with a big smile.

in Lake Vättern in 1856. Olaf points out the site and describes how the brothers, as young amateur divers, managed to find the wreck that others had been trying to find for years. Today, the ship’s history is preserved in Forsvik, where the Eric Nordevall II has been built, bringing passengers out on Lake Vättern.


The beautiful islands in Motala Bay

During a three-hour cruise, passengers get to experience the beautiful islands in Motala Bay: Fjuk, Åholmen, and Sandön. – 22 people once lived on the tiny island of Fjuk. There was even a school with a teacher, says Olaf Svensson. And that story is true. Kung Sverker’s passengers also get to hear the exciting story of when Olaf Svensson and his brother Åke found the shipwreck of the Eric Nordevall, the paddle steamer that sank

“We don’t sell boats, we sell a boating life.” • We perform every kind of work when it comes to boats, and handle boats up to about 25 tons • We have our own service workshop, with knowledgeable boat builders and engine mechanics • Sales of new and used boats and engines constitute a significant part of our business, as well as our very well-stocked accessory store • Our sales staff will help you with the right products, making your boating life both trouble-free and expedient

Mainly, however, Olaf Svensson and the M/S Kung Sverker offer cruises on the Göta Canal. The cruise passes several cultural-historical sites, such as the grave of the canal founder, Baltzar von Platen, Motala Ström, Charlot-


Experience the steepest locks on the canal

Welcome to the William family with staff!

Book now +46 70-626 02 49 AB Motala Båtvarv · Fabriksgatan 26, Motala · +46 141-381800 · Opening hours: mon-fri 9AM-6PM, lunch 1PM-2PM, sat 9AM-1PM

Cruises on the Göta Canal

Booking and information

Cruise on the Göta Canal

Daily from mid May to mid September With M/S Kung Sverker you will experience a guided tour along the most beautiful part of the canal and the steepest locks on the canal. During the journey, which takes 5 hours, we will pass 12 locks. Motala 10.30 => Borensberg 12.30 Borensberg 13.10 => Motala 15.30 Roundtrip SEK 500, single trip SEK 450:-, children 6-12 y half price. Lunch SEK 200, (main course, softdrink, coffee & dessert)

Restaurant with full rights Only pre-booking


tenborg Castle, and Motala Verkstad’s old factory site. Included in the cruise is also the flight of locks in Borenshult, which is the steepest one on the canal, consisting of five interlinked locks with a total height difference of more than 15 metres. A spectacular experience, to say the least. And, of course, skipper Olaf Svensson shares interesting stories about the locks and the entire creation of the Göta Canal.

The northern archipelago of Lake Vättern

“Sweden’s most tucked away archipelago.” This is what they call Lake Vättern’s northern archipelago, which is both a nature reserve and an ecopark. About 250 islands, islets, and rocks await the archipelago visitors. And you don’t have to have your own boat to get there. Throughout the summer season, the M/S Wettervik takes passengers out into the unique freshwater archipelago. The passenger boat is based in Askersund Harbour and offers both longer and shorter cruises. The M/S Wettervik can also be rented for parties – even weddings – out in the beautiful archipelago. Captain Johan Bergsten is ordained to marry couples, both at sea and ashore.

Some of the islands on Lake Vättern even allow tenting or staying the night in a wind shelter. PHOTO: TORD HELGESSON

A boat for everyone

The company Askersund Skärgårdstrafik AB and the M/S Wettervik are run by Johan and Marita Bergsten. Their keyword is accessibility. – Our motto is “A boat for everyone”. Thus we work to make the boat accessible, so that even people with various disabilities can get out on the lake, says Johan Bergsten. The M/S Wettervik, as well as the company’s smaller boat Pricken, also provides an opportunity for Askersund locals to experience the Lake Vättern archipelago from time to time. – Many people return and go on one or several trips with us every summer. We also have a number of bus groups that come from all over central Sweden. Johan Bergsten is well aware of what a lovely workplace he has: – Yes, it’s most definitely a great one. It’s incredibly beautiful out there – clear water and wondrous nature. I love being able to show this to our passengers, he says.

Olaf Svensson is a great storyteller, entertaining his passengers with both facts and fiction about Lake Vättern.

rience Lake Vättern. Another way is to rent your own boat for a day or two. There are plenty of rental places with anything from sailboats (with or without skipper) to smaller fishing boats. Or why not rent a canoe or a kayak? The best way to find a boat rental is to contact the tourism office of the relevant municipal. Kersti Beck Larsson is a tourism strategist at Askersund Municipality and herself an avid kayaker. – I have kayaked in many places, both in Sweden and abroad, but nothing beats kayaking on Lake Vättern, she says. You can see three to four metres straight down into the blue. You can take a cup of water directly from the lake without worrying about the quality of it. You have untouched nature along the shores and on the islands, and an amazing birdlife. That Kersti Beck Larsson is happy out there is clear for everyone to see. She also encourages others to take an interest by staking out kayak routes and offering kayak classes and group excursions. Kersti Beck Larsson’s favourites for kayaking: • Outside the Utnäset Nature Reserve. You’ll find low rocks and islets. And if you lift your gaze, you can see Storvättern out there. • Harge Uddar Peninsula. • The Rödgaveln cave outside Omberg. Remember: Go kayaking according to your own ability. Never kayak alone. Check the weather (winds). Bring your mobile phone and an extra set of clothes in a waterproof bag or case.

Olshammar’s picturesque harbour

Åmmeberg’s cosy marina in northern Lake Vättern. PHOTO: WEINE AHLSTRAND

S/S Trafik in Hjo

The S/S Trafik in Hjo is one of Sweden’s oldest and best preserved steamboats. The ship is K-marked (listed) by the Maritime Museum, considered to have “particularly great cultural-historical value”. It is maintained and operated by the non-profit organisation Sällskapet S/S Trafiks Vänner. During the summer, the ship goes to Visingsö Island. Once a year, you can also experience the steamer’s original route between Hjo and Hästholmen. This trip takes place in connection with the Crafts Fair in Hjo. Also once a year is the trip across Lake Vättern to Vadstena.

An excellent way to go out on Lake Vättern by canoe, kayak, or boat is to start from the small and picturesque marina in Olshammar. From here, you can quickly and easily reach “Sweden’s most tucked away archipelago”, with its many large and small islands. Several of them have natural harbours. Some of the islands even allow tenting or staying the night in a wind shelter. On Stora Aspön, you can stretch your legs along the hiking trail that goes around the island. Once you’re out here, make sure you don’t miss the idyllic islands of Stora and Lilla Hjortsholmarna, a favourite among the boat people. Here, among all the islands, you really get to experience the changes of nature – both calm and dramatic ones. As well as a rich wildlife. With some luck, the sea eagle will soar above you in a clear, blue sky.

Renting a boat

Rent a boat or a kayak

The passenger boats are a great way to expe-


Kayaking is a great way to experience Lake Vättern. PHOTO: ANNE HELGESSON

Do you want to rent a boat, canoe, kayak, or perhaps a stand-up paddle board? There are many boat rentals around Lake Vättern. The best way to find them is to contact the relevant tourism office, or visit the municipal website. And if you do rent: Think about your safety; be careful, don’t take any risks, and go according to your own ability.



Highlights 2019 MAY 4 27 29

Car boot sale, Mjölby Dancing, Ekliden V. Harg Music in Gästisparken Park, Mjölby (every Wednesday until 3 Jul and 14 Aug

JUNE 1 V75 Horse Race, Mantorptravet 5 Cruising in Skänninge 6 National Day Celebration with motor show, Skänninge 6 National Day Celebration with ski festival, Mjölby 28 Broarnas dag (Bridge Day), Mjölby 29 Lindbladsdagen and Bonnamarknad (Farmer’s Market), Skänninge JULY 25-28

Mantorp Dragracing Revival, Mantorp Park

AUGUSTI 8 Skänninge Market 10 Garden Market, Mjölby 10 Öjebro Day 16–18 Mjölby Art Tour 23–25 Mantorp Classic Festival 30 Mjölbykalaset 31 Mjölby’s largest children’s party SEPTEMBER 26-29 Gatebil, Mantorp Park OCTOBER 4-5 Grande Finale, Mantorp Park You can find guided nature and historic tours around the municipality at

Tourist informationen in Mjölby Stora torget 2, Skänninge Phone +46 142-850 03

Visit the many gems in Mjölby and Skänninge History enthusiasts will find plenty to discover in our area! Charming Skänninge is one of the country’s oldest towns, with preserved wooden houses and cobblestone alleys. According to the global search engine Skyscanner, Skänninge is also one of Sweden’s 20 most beautiful and worthwhile small towns. Birger Jarl, the founder of Stockholm, was born in Bjälbo in 1210 and you can still see the lovely and mighty church tower that Birger’s mother had built. Legend has it that she is entombed in one of the walls. Östergötland’s very own Stonehenge can be found on Lunds backe (Lund’s Hill) outside Skänninge. This is one of the county’s most important burial sites from the Iron Age, with 175 ancient remains and a mysterious solar calendar of standing stones. In the forest outside Västra Harg lie the ruins of the medieval castle Svaneholm, which was abandoned in the 14th century. The castle was heavily fortified and you can still see the mighty moats in the surrounding nature.Next is a presentation of our lovely accommodations!

Stay the night with Swedish history around the corner! Enjoy locally produced food in beautiful surroundings. At Himmelsby Gårdshotell, you can even sit in a salt cave! Enjoy the health benefits of this most unique experience. Afterwards, you can go for a swim in the Roman bath, a 20-metre pool in a wondrous Roman-inspired setting. The facility offers various spa treatments, delicious cuisine, and, with several newly built rooms, you’re guaranteed to have a lovely experience out here in the country. Want to play a round of golf in Mjölby? Check into the cosy Hotell Miskarp, located right next to the golf course! The owners always make you feel very welcomed. Eat a well-prepared meal and enjoy a moment by the pool. Skänninge Stadshotell is a traditional hotel in the middle of historic Skänninge. Several of the rooms are newly built, all with their own special touch. Stay in “The Potato Room” and learn that the surrounding area houses the largest potato fields in the Province of Östergötland. Or try “The Elephant Room”, as the elephant has historical significance in this town. Following a tasty meal, you can stroll through the old quarters of Skänninge. Located by the railway station, Mjölby Stadshotell has received a makeover in the last year


– of both guestrooms and dining rooms. The kitchen is known for its delicious and fresh food. STF Vandrarhem (Hostel) in Mjölby is located on a lush islet in Svartån River right in central Mjölby. It also happens to be situated in the middle of Mjölby Heritage Centre, surrounded by historical buildings. This is truly an oasis, just a short walk away from restaurants and shopping. Skenninge B&B and One Room 27 are located in the historic town of Skänninge. Both offer a relaxing and cosy atmosphere. Skenninge B&B is just a stone’s throw away from the town square, Vårfru Church, and the historic quarters. A small house with a charming courtyard, One Room 27, is situated on one of the oldest streets in town. Bjälbo Gästhem is a tasteful B&B located next to the historic Bjälbo Church. If you’re lucky, Kristin has baked something tasty for you as a welcome greeting. Located just outside the small community of Väderstad in the beautiful countryside, is Villa Vista B&B. Roger will gladly show you the farm museum, for example, featuring objects from an old corner shop. Spångholmens B&B in Spångsholm is beautifully situated by the lush beachfront of Svartå River. Quiet and comfortable, this accommodation has nature right around the corner. With its stylish interior, Uljeberg B&B is located in the middle of the vegetable garden on the outskirts of Mantorp. You’ll be well received by the owner, who has made this accommodation so elegant. Before crawling into bed in one of the cabins, you can try your fishing luck at Östanbäcks fiske, where Anders, the owner, happily helps you figure out the gear. You can also spend the night at Drive-in Motell, located amidst the “restaurant Mecca” along the E4 outside Mjölby, before continuing toward new destinations.


Both Skänninge Stadshotell (above) and Himmelsby Gårdshotell (below) offers nice accommodations.

The tourist ambassadors

Mjölby Konstrunda August 16 - 18 2019 We serve organic, plant-based and incredibly tasty food in Sweden’s most cozy railway station in Sya, outside Mjölby, just off the E4.

Open: Friday 5.30 – 8 pm Saturday, Sunday 11 am – 5 pm

Name: Erika Frost Age: 35 Lives: in the upstairs apartment of the station house in Sya Family: Jonas Frost, chef and co-owner of the café, a baby and a station cat named Börje Unexpected special interest: loves gardening and cultivation

Erika Frost has spent her life cooking and baking. It was in the summer of Mjölbyvägen 8, Mjölby • 2017 that the Frost couple accidentally stumbled upon the station house in Sya. They immediately fell in love with the house and its location. Shortly after moving in, they opened Open New Doors Bahnhof, a café, restaurant and bakery with focus on organic, locally grown, and 100% plant-based products. Här kan ni ströva runt i vår vackra trädgård, fylld av perenner, träd och buskar. – We thought it would be pretty quiet the first summer. It’s kind of Härstroll hittararound du trädgårdsgungor, exklusivagarden, krukor och m.m. trees and Here you can in our beautiful full stenbänkar of perennials, special what we do – with completely har garden allt du behöver förexclusive att skapa en vacker shrubs.You willVifind swings, pots andträdgård! stone benches etc. plant-based, mostly locally grown and In our relaxing and cozy restaurant offer from our green pea lax med organic food. But 500 guests came to I vår avkopplande och mysiga restaurang erbjuder vi we allt från våreverything Östgötska grön ärstsoppa till varmrökt soup topotatissallad. warm smoked homemade vår hemlagade Läckra salmon smörgåsarwith och our en rad fina bakverk.potato Hos oss salad. finner Delicious du även interiör och the opening! says Erika. sandwiches and En a variety of fine Youborta, will vialso finddigthings fordet interior närodlade produkter. grönskande miljöpastries. är inte långt hjälper att finna i din vardag! Is it difficult to get hold of local and and locally grown products. organic produce? – It has been easy to get hold of Öppettider everything. 95% of what we sell is mån-fre 10-18 Vetagatan 22 lör 10-16 595 50 Mjölby organic. In the summer, more than sön 12-18 0142 - 109 91 half of the vegetables come from

Välkommen Välkommen


New café in the station house in Sya

neighbouring farms! Sya is located about seven kilometres from Mjölby and three minutes from the E4. – It’s so beautiful here. With the river right next to us, we have proximity to water and the possibility of swimming. This region is extremely hospitable. We were received with open arms, says Erika enthusiastically. Visitors looking for nature experiences can walk the road down to Svartå River, where there is a public swim area. Also close by is the “Nostalgia House” with its flea market for retro objects, such as jukeboxes and the like. In the summer, there are several other flea markets in the area.



Highlights 2019 MAY 10–11 11 18–19 25

Vadstena Fair Castle Day Vadstena’s Gardens Vårkalaset Trade Market

JUNE 14–15 Vätternrundan Stora Knyppeldagen 28 (Great Pillow Lace Day) JULY 5–6 Sommarknäppen Vadstena Summer Festival Medieval Market 6–7 at Vadstena Castle 8–14 Vadstena Golf Week 21 Laleh at Vadstena Castle Ulf Lundell at 27 Vadstena Castle AUGUST Borghamn Day 24 Vadstena Triathlon 30-31 SEPTEMBER Östgötadagarna Days 7-8 Art Walk - Local art within 13-15 walking distance! 22 Vadstena Pride Museum Day 28 19 local museums are open with free admission. RECURRING Nostalgia Evening every Wednesday between 22 May and 14 August For a complete event calendar, please visit

Vadstena InfoCenter Storgatan 28 Phone +46 143-315 70

Vadstena – magical atmosphere among medieval buildings You can’t really touch it. But the town of Vadstena has a very unique, almost magical atmosphere. Maybe it’s the result of the medieval buildings, the presence of Lake Vättern, the beautiful landscape of the Östgöta Plains, or the pride the locals take in their town. Either way, the atmosphere brings peace and quiet and creates energy and movement at the same time. For centuries, people have come here in search of recreation and inspiration. Vadstena has always been a place to marvel at, to visit, to return to, to enjoy, and to stay in. Vadstena doesn’t only have one history – it has many. And we form them together. Nature is varied and very close by, with the bird-rich Lake Tåkern, the lovely fertile Östgöta Plains, and, of course, Lake Vättern. You’ll find food made with locally grown ingredients and you can visit market gardens and farm shops. Lake Vättern invites you to go swimming, fishing, kayaking, and boating. The plains are bicycle-friendly with

small, winding roads between churches and rolling cornfields. Vätterviksbadet swim area is shallow and perfect for children. The guest harbour at Vadstena Castle is welcoming. At the foot of the mythical Mount Omberg lies Borghamn, where limestone quarrying and fishing have been the main sources of livelihood for almost a thousand years. The impressive nature of the mountain is perfect for hiking and adventures. The Östgötaleden Trail, also known as the Pilgrim Trail, guides you from Ödeshög, over Mount Omberg, to Vadstena.

Amidst history

In Vadstena, you’ll find yourself amidst history – among castles, courtyards, abbeys, and medieval buildings. The picturesque and quaint city centre with cobbled streets and old, preserved wooden houses is charming, authentic, and vibrant. A stroll through town will take you through centuries of history and architecture, but also past cosy shops and delightful dining venues. History enthusiasts will enjoy the guided local tours, the museums along the cultural route, and the in-depth information in the app Upptäck Vadstena. The Folkungaätten’s (House of Folkung) palace was built in 1260 and, during the 14th century, it became part of the first abbey of the Bridgettine Nuns. In 1400, Vadstena received its town charter, after which the construction of a “helgeandshus” (a house combining nursing home, poorhouse, and hospital) and a town hall commenced. In 1430, the Abbey


Church was inaugurated and the abbey gained increasing cultural and economic significance. Gustav Vasa started the construction of Vadstena Castle in 1545 and, in 1595, the abbey was closed as a result of the reformation.


Vadstena is one of the world’s destinations of pilgrimage and people from all over the world come here to hike, visit the Abbey Church, or just find peace and quiet in our beautiful surroundings. And there are plenty of beautiful surroundings. This year, Vadstena celebrates 500 years of healthcare tradition, having provided care to people since the 16th century. Back then, care was offered to the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame. Today, healthcare is offered through “Rikshospitalet” (“National Hospital”) and the Birgitta Hospital. Over the years, many have also turned to the church and to Vadstena Abbey for relief and guidance. The Pilgrim Centre upholds the tradition, welcoming everyone. Others find what they’re looking for on their own, through yoga, or in the spa. This is a place to feel good. Vadstena’s history is a great source of creativity and inspiration. Enthusiasts organise events, activities, and experiences with the town’s beautiful surroundings as a stage and source of inspiration. Some people come to learn or to enjoy the works of others. Experience a creative history. Welcome to Vadstena!

The PilgrimaroundTour Lake Tåkern Borghamn Strand Hotel / Hostel / Café

Borghamnsvägen 1, 592 93 Borghamn Tel 013-81000 • •



a pilgrimage on bicycle around the well-know bird lake Vadstena - Orlunda - Skänninge - Bjälbo Appuna - Kumla - Svanshals - Rök - Heda Rogslösa - Örberga - Nässja - Vadstena

The Pilgrim Center of Vadstena For more information: 0143-105 71,

Open May-Sep The Abbey area, Vadstena

+46 143 10031,




The tourist ambassadors

Summer 2019 at Vadstena Railway Station

Experience Vadstena by draisine


ten Mattson has a passion for old railway, trains, and draisines. Sten takes care of the 10 draisines that run on the narrow-gauge railway from Vadstena to Fågelsta. When asked why he does what he does, he says: – I want to give visitors the opportunity to see more of Vadstena’s surroundings, while reliving Sweden’s oldest preserved narrow-gauge railway. Sten’s favourite thing about his region is its wonderful nature, mixing plains, forests, and lakes. – We also have 10 km of the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway. Three Swedish feet wide. A track gauge like that is only found in Sweden! When Sten shares his best tips with Vadstena visitors, he chooses Lake Tåkern. – Tåkern is incredible and the light over the plains is unique. When it comes to cultural experiences, Vadstena has a vibrant cultural life all year


round! And, of course, the proximity to water. Here you can go for a city centre swim in Lake Vättern, says Sten enthusiastically. He recommends Ladugård 206 for dining. They have great food in a lovely setting – and you can ride the draisine there. There is also a railway café in the completely renovated café car. It’s open on Wednesday evenings for Nostalgia Evening and when there are Saturday and Sunday traffic days. In the summer, you can take the draisine out into nature all the way to Fågelsta. Three hours will give you plenty of time.

Ride trolley to Fågelsta Take the veteran train See the smithy in the the engine shed


Stay in the sleeping car Info: +46 73 150 72 97

Vadstena Vadstena Järnväg Järnväg


Name: Sten Mattsson Age: 66 Lives: in Vadstena Family: married and two grown children Works: as a librarian Unexpected interest: the archipelago

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Motor culture and nostalgia a great pleasure There is a natural breeding ground for motor interest around Lake Vättern. Cars, mopeds, and tractors all have their obvious function and one could easily be enthralled by the sense of community in a distinct culture. I ride my motorcycle to the industrial museum Fabriksmuseet in Huskvarna. It’s an interesting experience, not just for motorists. The Husqvarna company has manufactured everything from weapons to sewing machines and stoves. Before leaving Huskvarna, I go past Folkets Park, where the popular motor meets are held every Wednesday during summer. Last year, the park was named “Venue of the Year”. The sun is beating down and I head north on the old Riksettan road towards Gränna. I soon catch up to a young family on two mopeds, on their way to the island of Visingsö. The mom and dad each have a child on the back of the bike and they’re all enjoying themselves. We ride together through Gränna down to the ferry. With great enthusiasm, they tell me about riding around the scenic island. Apparently, there is a Nostalgia Museum on Visingsö. An old 50s BP petrol station in well-preserved condition.

Nostalgia Evening

Back on the mainland, I continue north on a small road along Lake Vättern, passing the quaint town of Ödeshög, where Husqvarna placed its motorcycle production in 1969. More than 100,000 motorcycles were manufactured there. After its closure in 1986, four of the engineers started their own business on Husaberg Peninsula, just south of Askersund. The place gave name to the Husaberg brand, which became highly successful in motocross and enduro. I continue to Vadstena where, for over

American Power Tour attracts a lot of people to Motala every summer.

twenty years, Nostalgia Evenings have been held at Slottsgården. Every Wednesday evening during summer, thousands of motorists come to socialise and listen to live music. Often playing is the local rockabilly band The HubCaps. The rockabilly style springs from the early rock music and the youth culture of the 1950s. Brylcreem, polka-dot dresses, rolled-up jeans, and old American cars. My bike takes me to Motala Harbour, the location of the popular Motor Museum. Open all year round, they continuously update their exhibitions. The city also organises cruising nights every month during summer. I enjoy a light lunch in Askersund Harbour, where the local vintage car club has its popular meets. After my meal, I head south through the scenic Tiveden. Just before Karlsborg, I encounter the Forsvik Mill, with 600 years of industrial history. The event “Fordon & fika i Forsvik” (“Cars & Coffee in Forsvik”) is held here twice during the summer. The meets welcome all types of vintage vehicles and their motto is “Anything on rails, belts, or wheels should meet every once in a while!” In Hjo, I roll past the City Park, where the British Motor Meet, focusing on British cars,

NOSTALGIA EVENING IN VADSTENA Every Wednesday throughout the summer! Cosy rooms!

useum Toy and camera m on! iti hib ex o ot with ph

Live Music an d magnificen t cars & motorbi kes to watch!

Welcome to our café!

Open every day

Hamngatan 3, Vadstena +46 143 - 292 75


is held. Then I swing by Tidaholm, a popular spot for cruisers. This is where Swedish artist Eddie Meduza started his first band in the 60s. I think I can actually hear familiar tones from the stereo of a beat-up old Chevrolet Impala down by the hot dog stand. I continue south on lovely, small roads through the nature around Hökensås. At Brandstorps Lanthandel & Café, I fill up the tank and enjoy a cup of coffee in the cosy nostalgia café. From a colourful jukebox, I hear Chuck Berry singing No Particular Place to Go. But I do actually have a destination to get to, so I pay for my coffee and continue on.

It just keeps on rolling

Celebrating 50 this year, the Vätterbygden Motorcycle Club has its club house in Domsand, Bankeryd. Chairman Jan-Åke Classon tells me that the members drive anything from touring bikes to custom and off-road bikes. The well-known Tändsticksträffen Meet is held each year, attracting bikers from near and far. The VMCK Campsite, beautifully situated at the sandbanks of Lake Vättern, was long Sweden’s only campsite for bikers. The traditional Wednesday Coffee during summer is well-attended by both bikers and other passers-by. The motor interest is certainly alive around Lake Vättern. The need to get around has created a motor culture that just keeps on rolling.



Highlights 2019 MAY 4 Tour of the Hässlevadet frame saw, Sättra 18 Car Boot Sale and Plant Market 24–26 Cultural Weekend Rainbow Theme, Hästholmens bygdegård 30 May–2 Jun ”Art around Mount Omberg” Art and Culture Tour JUNE 6 14 29–30

National Day Celebration with herring lunch in the town square Ödeshög Festival and Vätternrundan Klas Ingesson Memorial Cup

JULY 6 Heda Old-Fashioned Market 13 JohannaMarken, Ödeshög city centre 27 Oldringen, vintage MC rally AUGUST 3 3 3 17 24

International Lighthouse Day Crayfish Day, Hästholmen Ödeshögsträffen, vintage cars in Folkets park Ösjö 2-stroke moped rally Flea Market, Hästholmen

For a complete event calendar, please visit:

Ödeshögs Tourist Information Phone +46 144-351 67

Ödeshög offers nature, history, and good food Ödeshög has it all: top-quality food, historic sites, unique nature, and a very special kind of shopping. Ödeshög has put much effort into highlighting and promoting its history. This is not at all surprising, since the area is so rich in historic sites. Here you can find the Alvastra Abbey Ruins, the remains of the Cistercian monastery founded in 1143 and active until the reformation in the 16th century. Next to Röks Church, you’ll also find Rökstenen (the Rök Stone) from the 9th century, the world’s longest runic writings. Dramatized guided tours, or just regular tours, will give you some insight into the Viking Age. You can also visit Mount Omberg – on your own or accompanied by a guide. The mountain offers marvellous views, dramatic slopes, three ancient castles, footpaths, a zip-line, and the opportunity to visit the Ellen Keys Strand museum. Several hiking trails of varied nature and diffi-

culty wind their ways near Ödeshög and Mount Omberg. New for this year is the STF Signature Trail Omberg between Boxholm and Stocklycke on Mount Omberg, a total of 87 kilometres. In addition, you’ll find many nature reserves with calcareous fens, beech forests, meadows, and much more. Ödeshög has a great deal to offer those wanting to exercise, hike, go on excursions, or just relax. Perhaps enjoy the silence on Mount Omberg or in the Holaved Forests?

Mount Omberg

Ellen Key was a central figure in the Swedish cultural life in the late 19th century and early 20th century. She was a diligent debater and author. During peak season, tours of Ellen Key’s home, “Strand”, are offered every weekday except Mondays. If you get hungry during your Mount Omberg visit, there is food to find at Stocklycke Hostel or Ombergs Turisthotell. The latter has been rated by the White Guide. The bird lake Tåkern and Naturum Tåkern



are situated at the foot of Mount Omberg. Naturum has exhibitions, information on animals and plants in the area, and much more.

Lots of fun for the kids

There is plenty for the kids to see and do at and around Naturum. Princess Estelle’s fairy-tale trail is an educational trail through the forest and along the shore of Lake Tåkern. This spring, a new nature playground will open for kids of all ages. There are several birds tower by Lake Tåkern, as well as suitable spots for observing the many species that pass through here during the year. Lake Tåkern is considered an internationally valuable bird lake, with both a rich bird life and lush flora on the meadows around the lake. There are four different visitor areas around Tåkern, each with its own bird tower.

From the lakeside you get to see things that is otherwise not visible, like the caves at Omberg.

Go diving and kayaking

By Lake Tåkern you find Naturum, where visitors can watch birds from the towers or with at large set of binoculars. There is also a posibility to se exhibitions and take part in guided tours indoors as well as outdoors.

In the harbour community of Hästholmen, you can swim, dive, go kayaking, eat award-winning ice cream, and even moor your own boat. You’ll also find the tourism office here. The compact city centre of Ödeshög offers a wide variety of small-scale shops with anything from fish, toys, and shoes to bicycles, car service, and car accessories. But above all, it is the nature and culture that give this area its character and that make people want to return for more.

Fiskboden in Ödeshög Locally fished from nearby lakes!

· Hostel · Café · Conferences · For information and booking:

Welcome says Hanna and the staff!

Art around Omberg • • • •

Pike-perch Perch Pike Redding

• • • •

Trout Crayfish Pike paté Smoked fish

• • • •

Salmon pudding Eat-ready dishes Take away And much more!

Art Tour, always during Ascension Day weekend: • 2019: 30 May-2 June • 2020: 21-24 May

Gallery OMKULTUR in the heart of Ödeshög! Stora torget 4, Ödeshög Open tue 10 -13, wed 14-18, thu-fri 10 -18, sat 10 -13 Open for groups other times according to agreement. Contact: see homepage

Fresh fish subject to availability and season.

Welcome to our fishmarket at Torget Stora torget 4, Ödeshög. Open: Call 076-8270361, or see FB Gallery Omkultur shows and sells local products. Here you will find art and crafts.

Kulturföreningen OMKULTUR •



The tourist ambassadors

Nature rich in species surrounds the hostel Nam3: Hanna Theel Age: 38 Lives: in a house in Alvastra, Omberg Family: Björn and the daughters Allie, 9 and Olivia, 3 Unexpected special interest: I am a trained make-up artist.


he attraction to Omberg and the rich nature around the shore of Lake Vättern has always been great. Lovers of nature, literature, and spirituality all pilgrimage here from near and far. In the middle of Ecopark Omberg lies Stocklycke Hostel, run by Hanna Theel. She loves welcoming and meeting the guests who come here. – The season started early this year! We started getting busy as early as March, and the weather has been great. The wild garlic has started to come up; we make use of that, as well as the stinging nettles and other things. Hanna has been in the business since 2010, when she and her husband Björn bought the old parish home by Lake Tåkern, which they carefully renovated and opened as a hostel. The Tåkern Hostel has won several Swedish Tourist Association awards and, in 2016, it was named Hostel of the Year. During the season, many bird watchers make their way to Lake Tåkern. In 2018, the couple took over the hostel in Stocklycke, which is what Hanna now focuses on. Here you wake up to the sounds of rippling streams and chirping birds, and the café serves home-baked goods and lighter dishes with organic, locally grown vegetables.

Long hiking trails start from Stocklycke and located nearby is Ellen Key’s villa Strand with its vast beech forest, Alvastra Abbey Ruins, and the town of Vadstena. An addition this year is the microbrewery – Omma bryggeri – that will make locally brewed beer with different flavours, including spruce. In 2014, Princess Estelle’s fairy-tale trail was inaugurated at Naturum on Lake Tåkern. – Our kids never grow tired of walking that trail, with all its wooden animals hidden in nature, concludes Hanna.

Markets around Lake Vättern One of the simple pleasures in life is going to the market. The season for markets around Lake Vättern is long. You’ll find everything from Sweden’s largest market, Skänninge Market, to harvest markets and Christmas markets. Thirty years ago, I bought an enamelled colander at Skänninge Market. I still use it. Although the enamel is a bit dull, it works just fine. Perhaps an exceptionally long life, considering what you tend to find in markets – but there are so many different kinds of markets and so many different things to buy. Vegetables, fabrics, association memberships, helium balloons, butter knives, arts and crafts, and, of course, the mandatory coconut tops. Around Lake Vättern, you can find all different kinds of markets. Most of them take place in the summer, but a few occur during spring or autumn. Of course, there are also Christmas markets in various locations. 2018-03-19 15:59 Sida 1 2018-03-19 15:59 Sida 1

Oldfashioned country fair Heda village

Art & Crafts KonstQuality och Konsthantverk with 130 exhibitors Ca 130 utställare – Underhållning hela dagen Entertainment – Food Servering

Saturday July76 juli fromkl 1010–17 t 5 o’clock Lördag

Cotton candy - always at the market.


Sweden’s largest market

Skänninge market.

Skänninge Market is the largest in Sweden, with about 120,000 visitors, some 1,700 vendors, and with a long history going back as far as 1,000 years, when Skänninge became a major trading place. It’s easy to believe that the Kivik Market in the Province of Skåne is the largest, but that market has both fewer vendors and fewer visitors. It does, however, go on for three days instead of Skänninge’s two. At Skänninge Market, you can find anything from houseware to locally grown vegetables and, of course, cotton candy, a Tivoli, and much more. A traditional feature of markets is the man with the headset, demonstrating a “miracle product”, often for washing windows or chopping and slicing vegetables. Well, he may not be selling the same product, but the fast-talking man with the microphone can be recognised from market to market, regardless of product.

Wheel market and Christmas market

Hjulmarknaden (the Wheel Market) takes place in Motala near the start of the popular and wellvisited Vätternrundan. An arts and crafts market is held in late summer, a Christmas market, and, of course, Borensberg’s annual highlight: Husbyfjöl Market in early September. The town of Vadstena offers a slightly more unusual market, a Candlemas market of the old kind, often visited by some historic person, such as Gustav Vasa or one of his sons, played by one of the town’s talented guides. In Heda, between Vadstena and Ödeshög, you can find an old-fashioned market with arts and crafts and an early 20th century atmosphere. The organisers appreciate if even visitors dress the part, although it’s not a requirement! A more traditional market, Johanna Marken, is usually held in central Ödeshög in July every year.

Antiques and crafts

The market journey continues from the Province of Östergötland to the area around Askersund, where you’ll find an antiques market held annually, as well as Sannerud Market on the last Saturday of every August. Karlsborg has the Karlsborg Market on 6 June as well as a Christmas market, which you can also find in Forsvik, where the old industrial environment provides a great atmosphere. In Hjo, you can visit the crafts fair, a large market for arts and crafts held for a few days in early July every year. Also found here is the traditional Grönköping Market held every year on Ascension Day. All of Hjo is filled with market vendors and Hjo locals, sharing the space of this little town. Opportunities for market socialising and bargains are also to be found in the larger city of Jönköping. Spring and autumn markets are held every year in Huskvarna and, in September, people head to Ale marken in Adelöv, located between Gränna and Tranås. Here you’ll find one of the country’s oldest markets with all of 45,000 visitors. You can ride the carousels and, of course, enjoy traditional market candies. Gränna has markets all year round and for one atmospheric and fun-filled day before Christmas, the streets and yards are filled with market stalls and crowds. Since way back, Visingsö Island features a popular harvest market.

Skänninge market.




Highlights in Gränna/Visingsö 2019 JUNE 1 Family Day on Visingsö, Leklandet 6 National Day Celebrations, Södra parken Gränna 22 Festival in the Park, Eklunden Park, Visingsö JULY 6–7 Gränna Handicraft Festival 6–14 Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, Visingsborg, Visingsö 10 Gränna Summar Market Diggiloo Concert, 11 Ribbavallen Gränna 21 Festival in the Park, Eklunden Park, Visingsö AUGUST 2–4 Visingsö Art Tour, 3 Visingsö Open Water, Visingsö 17–18 Visingsö Jousting, Hotellplan 18 Grenna Bluegrass, Grännaberget SEPTEMBER 14–15 Visingsö Harvest Festival Subject to changes. For more information, please see

What would you like to experience?

Phone +46 771-211 300

Gränna and Visingsö – two county gems On the south-eastern shore of Lake Vättern, the town of Gränna is a typical Swedish idyll with beautiful old wooden houses, well-kept gardens, and cobbled streets. From the harbour, ferries depart frequently for Visingsö Island – the gem of Lake Vättern! Both Gränna and Visingsö offer beautiful views, castles, cobblestones, charming wooden houses, castle ruins, trails, and oak forests. And not least, a fascinating history. Wherever you set foot, you find yourself amidst history. You can come here to enjoy the tranquillity, nature, and atmosphere, but you can also choose from a wide selection of culture, activities, and adventures. Every year, during a weekend in August, Visingsö is transported back in time to its heyday. Experience medieval jousting with knights, jesters, and a market with both food and clothing inspired by the era. In the middle of August, it’s also time for the Bluegrass Festival in Gränna. Enjoy a unique music festival of lovely folk music mixed with country in a beautiful setting.

Nature experiences

For nature enthusiasts and botanists, this region is a paradise, with nature reserves, amazing views, and one of Sweden’s largest oak forests. The gorgeous nature is rich in unique plant and animal species, several of which are rare or even threatened. With hiking trails and charming country roads for cycling, both in Gränna and on Visingsö, this area is well suited for all outdoor people. On Visingsö, you can take a tour with “remmalag”, the popular horse-drawn carriages that have transported people around the beautiful island for over 100 years. The ride is at a leisurely pace, allowing you to enjoy both scents and nature.

Exciting history

Whether you are on Visingsö or in Gränna, you’ll find plenty of remnants from past periods of glory. In Gränna, you can visit the Grenna Museum, which highlights the polar history with, for example, the exhibit on S A Andrée’s famous polar expedition. Several castle ruins and towers in the county bear witness to former periods of great power. In Näs, on Visingsö’s southern tip, lies the ruin of Sweden’s first royal castle from the 12th century. The Visingsborg Castle Ruin, located at Visingsö Harbour, is another relic from the count era of the 16th and 17th centuries.



Yet another popular remnant from the same period is Brahehus, beautifully situated at the top of northern Gränna with an amazing view of the town and the water. Röttle Village, just south of Gränna, is Count Per Brahe’s industrial village from the 17th century. Here you can visit the Rasmus Mill and see how they used to grind flour back in the day.

Local delicacies

Peppermint candy sticks! Most people in Sweden associate Gränna with “polkagrisar”, the red-and-white striped candy. Production started in Gränna in the 1850s by the poor widow Amalia Erikson. Ever since, peppermint candy sticks have been made here, and every year, new, exciting flavours and shapes of this highly popular souvenir are introduced. Today, there are numerous shops in Gränna where you can watch the production process. In some, you can even try making your own candy sticks. But Gränna and Visingsö are so much more than just sweet peppermint candies. You’ll find several local delicacies in the form of home-made must, tea, chocolate, and more. Recently, the popular hard bread Gränna Knäcket has taken the market by storm. In the small shop on Brahegatan in central Gränna, you can botanise among all the goodies and even see how they are made. And if you’d like to try making your own hard bread, you’re welcome to book an appointment for that.

From the air, both Gränna (on the left) and Visingsö (above) give a powerful impression. Maybe simply because this used to be the centre of power during the 11th and early 12th centuries. Sweden’s first royal castle, Näs Castle, was built here at the southern tip of Visingsö, and this is also where several of the Swedish kings died. More history on this can be found on pages 10–11. Later, in the 17th and 18th centuries, this area was part of the estate of the Brahe counts. Today, the county comprises Gränna, Visingsö, and the surrounding area. At the time, the county included an even larger region, but the various counts were forced to give parts of the area up.

Flower shop & garden market in a unique environment Make a visit to John Bauer’s unique surroundings

In the middle of Gränna, just next to the town square, that’s were you’ll find us. We are a candy cookery and a tourist shop in one. We have something for the whole family. Come and bake with us or just watch when the Reigning World Champion and his bakers are making candy canes. Open every day. Welcome to us!

Welcome to BauerGården in idyllic Bunn between Gränna and Jönköping, just 10 minutes from the E4. A hotel and conference center located in the middle of the artist’s magical landscape. Our restaurant serves tasty dishes with the best ingredients. We also offer well equipped parking facilities for motorhomes. Bunn, SE-563 93 Gränna • 036-540 06 • Koordinater: N 57° 56’ 11.1” – E 14° 29’ 31”

Brahegatan 47, Gränna Skiftesvägen 6, Gränna

find us at Facebook and Instagram

Follow us on Facebook:

Brahegatan 45 56332 Gränna +46 761424281

CANDY STICKS We are making the original candy stick with legacy from the recipe of Amalia, anno 1859. Visit us in Gränna at Brahegatan 39 for more history. Dont forget to visit Amalia’s ice cream cafe in Gränna harbour. Brahegatan 43 0390-123 08

Brahegatan 43

0390-100 57




NOSTA16t museet F;;,,, r/ig Jou<, gäJura, � r/ig 1JllJ;ah,,...

120 m2 exhibilion on Visinl!sö with 50th .:entury apartment, .:ale, old vehit:les, radios, BP-eas station, and more. 1708-241688




Welcome to visit us in Grevskapet Gränna-Visingsö! – There’s an app for that!


In the app you will find everything that is going on and you get full overview over accommodation, cafes, restaurants, shops, museums and other activities. Of course you will also find events like concerts, festivals, markets and the like. As an added bonus great deals of different types will show up in your phone depending on where you are!


Welcome to Grevskapet Gränna-Visingsö!


Wisingsö Hotell & Konferens is located in the heart of historic Visingsö, surrounded by delightful gardens that provides a peaceful setting for all types of meetings and celebrations. With us you can enjoy the peace and quiet or fill your visit with activities and experiences. Our hotel rooms are 3-star. We have a total of 52 rooms. In the area there is a restaurant, library, museum & tennis court. You can also rent bicycles. We can offer a 20% discount on hotellpaket. The discount applies to web bookings and the code you provide to receive the offer is RuntVättern Tel. 0390-56600 E-post:

Restaurang Framnäs with its stylish interior, is housed in the hotel’s most beautiful building, completed in 1892. The inside has been adapted to be able to function as a meeting place for both larger and smaller groups. We serve a breakfast buffet, lunch buffet, dinner buffets and 2-3 course dinners in our cosy dining room. During the high season we serve various BBQ buffets on Fridays & Saturdays, and on Sundays to Thursdays we offer a la carte dining. Bar evenings, with troubadour, quizzes & other fun events, happen at regular intervals. We also serve coffee, coffee & light meals.

Visingsö Vandrarhem is situated in the middle of the island and is about 2.8 km from the harbour. We have both single and multi-bed rooms. Showers and kitchens / meeting rooms are located in an adjacent building. There are ample, lovely grassy areas with barbecue grills around the houses. Of course, you have access to free Wi-Fi throughout the facility and you can park right next to your accommodation. At Visingsö Vandrarhem there are a total of 120 beds.

Tel. 0390-56608

Tel. 0390-40191 E-post:

We give a 20% discount on accommodation. The discount applies to web bookings and the code you provide to receive the offer is RuntVättern



The tourist ambassadors

Unique eco café on Lake Vättern


The clinic in Gränna Medical massage therapy, classic Swedish massage Book a treatment +46-(0)735-34 45 97 Daniel Winneräng Brahegatan 55, Gränna

odil Antonsson devoted eight years to realising her life-long dream and vision about a natural house that inspires sustainable construction. Uppgrenna Naturhus is one of its kind in the world. When asked if it’s not a bit un-Swedish to dream so big, she says: – I didn’t have a choice. My vision was so powerful that I could almost touch the house before it existed. I listened to those saying – Wow, what a great idea! That gave me the courage I needed. And perhaps I’m just naive enough to believe anything is possible. It took me eight years to finish and now I feel great responsibility to make sure everything works. The business has to grow! When you enter the house, you’re greeted by a lovely jungle of plants and trees. You can see straight through the house, out over Lake Vättern. Everything on the menu is organic, almost always offering something picked from the greenhouse, such as

sun-warmed nectaEd rines to go with the ice cream. This is a Erstad place for peace and Erstad kärr Naturreservat quiet – a break from everyday life. Bodil loves the countryside around Gränna. EspeciallySäby the feeling of living Avlösa between mountains Domarring and water. Uppgränna is beautifully Malm situated, surrounded by theParola grand Kumlaby Torp Lake Vättern, the unique nature, the hiking trails, and the steep slopes in Vrixlösa the middle Tunnerstad of UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve Östra Vätterbranterna (The KungsEast Vättern Scarp Landscape). The ladorna area offers plenty to see and do, both Kungseken Rökingeaway. nearby and further Stora silvergranen Hällkista – I usually recommend the nature Loastenen reserve Girabäcken. From there, you can access Lake Vättern. If you want Husgärde a mountain feel, you can hike up to Brahehus. AndRönäs Visingsö is always wonderful! Around August, Stigby I recommend blueberry self-picking on the blueberry Asby farm. It’s so beautiful to sit on that field and gaze out over Lake Vättern. 1 km Näs Visingsöformationerna And don’t forget to visit the museum Ellen Keys Strand! The guided tour there is very interesting, says Bodil emphatically. Flygfält


Name: Bodil Antonsson Age: 58 Lives: in Uppgränna Family: three boys, one of whom lives at home Unexpected special interest: existential matters, philosophy, and animals

Grenna Glass Always!

3D0-70% iscount!


Summer openings: Weekdays 10-18. Sat 10-18. Sun 10-16. Regular openings: Weekdays 10-18 | Sat 10-14 | Brahegatan 41, Gränna

We have a little bit of everything, stuff that fits most! Traditional hardware store where you will find a little of everything, from fishing licenses, recreational and household goods to paint, tools and electric equipment. In you will find bargain-hunt goods for just 10 Swedish Kronor each! Welcome! Brahegatan 53, Gränna Phone +46 390 100 43

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Fishing licenses




Summer hours: 10 AM to 8 PM all days from July 1 to July 28! Food, cheese and charcuterie, many local and organic products

Tingeling Kropp&Själ

Welcome to

Ängs Gård

Foot Care, Zone therapy, Ear acupuncture/acupressure, Natural facelift, Medial guidance etc.

Exhibition garden Crafts & Arts Flea market

Torget 5, Gränna Booking: 0722-81 09 45 +46 390 500 52, +46 73 718 01 85


Welcome to our churches

Welcome to Getingaryds Camping & Cabins Playground Miniature golf | Fishing Boats | Bikes




9 km north of Gränna along the tourist road between Gränna and Ödeshög. Phone +46 390-210 15, +46 70-723 31 72

GRÄNNA VISINGSÖ Brahegatan 24, Gränna Tel +46 390-561 30

Creative workshop in Gränna

Make your own paper by hand – with fresh flowers, grass and herbs or white acid-free sheets for watercolours GRÄNNA KYRKA


Brahegatan, Gränna.



Wisingsborg, Visingsö.

Information and opening hours:



Fresh barbeque • Fresh saladbar Manual delicatessen • Our own delicious shrimp sandwich


6-23 Gränna

Book family, friends or your colleagues at work Call +46 (0)70-673 80 48 or e-mail:

BUSINESS FOR SALE Jönköping & Linköping Call Per-Anders Gath +46 705 10 93 50

A café with a sparkle After much searching, in Sweden as well as throughout Europe, Nicklas and Bernt Thudén finally decided to buy the beautiful, centrally located pink house – formerly known as Amalia’s Restaurant – with views of Lake Vättern. Since 14 December 2018, they live here in the town of Gränna. As long-time café owners, they bring a great deal of experience into the task of having a year-round open venue for people of all ages. Gränna local Winnie Knudsen is also part of the team nowadays. Her role is that of manager. Winnie is originally from Denmark. Nicke is from the Province of Dalarna and Bernt, also known as Tudde, is from Stockholm. The result is traditional Swedish home cooked cuisine with a twist of Danish smørrebrød, love and great service. – There will be a smaller kitchen and a modest but wholesome and varied menu, says Nicke. Between 1998 and 2013, the pair ran Nickes & Tuddes Café Rosenhill in Grödinge outside Stockholm. It was a popular spot, not least for bikers, who returned year after year. And that’s exactly what they want. They even ground a special coffee for the bikers. They called it Knuttebrygg på Rosenhill (“Bikers’ Brew at Rosenhill”). They then moved to Florida and opened a Swedish

café, Johan’s Joe, in West Palm Beach. Now they’re back in Sweden, longing for a life with returning customers who sit and talk over a cup of coffee or a beer. Amalia’s Café and Bistro will serve various sandwiches, home-baked favourites, delicious coffee drinks from the espresso bar, and homemade dishes prepared with the finest ingredients and seasoned with love. – We bake only with butter, says Tudde. We walk around the bright, newly renovated premises. Nicke describes how here, in one of the rooms, there will be sofas where, for example, young people can hang out, sipping tasty coffee drinks. There will also be plenty of power outlets to charge your mobile. In addition, they will organise cultural events, such as Schlager Evenings. Outside, on the terrace, the sun is beaming down on us, making us yearn for long afternoons and evenings of sunsets and drinks. – We will have a bar out here, says Nicke with excitement. Since Nicke and Tudde moved to Gränna, lots of spontaneous visitors have stopped by during the renovations. – I’ve never seen anything like it. We have received such a warm welcome from the locals and we can’t wait to open the doors and meet everyone, says Nicke, the more talkative of the three. Tudde and Winnie smile and nod their heads in agreement.




Own production of Swedish design. Shop without middle hands at good prices. We like sustainable fashion! Here you will also find beautiful jewelry. New for 2019: Home decor in linen.

Clothes in linen & wool


Open 2019

May – August every day:

mon - fri 11-18, sat - sun 11-16 The rest of the year: wed - fri 11-18, sat - sun 11-16 Niklas and Bernt Thudén is running Amalias Café & Bistro in central Gränna together with Winnie Knudsen.




Discover Upptech! If you happen to get tired of swimming in Lake Vättern, or if your kids demand something child-friendly after having been dragged around to boring museums, you’ll find the solution in Jönköping. This is the place of Upptech, a paradise for curious kids of all ages who want to explore things like the laws of physics or take on all kinds of tricky challenges. There are mirrors that will make you tall or short or wide or just really, really funny-looking. There is a giant touchscreen that displays 3D images that you can twist and turn whichever way you want. You can choose to see various animals, such as a housefly, a hammerhead shark, a chimpanzee, a lion, the brain, or why not a mummy? Once you’ve selected what you want to see, you can choose among the different layers. The mummy has many layers, a bit like a Russian doll. Sarcophagus, inner coffin, linen bandages, and, inside, the mummy itself... Exciting!

Upptech has four distinct themes: man, nature, space, and experiments. Under nature, you can see various types of nature, what the inside of mines looked like before, you can look at plants, birds, and other animals and their habitats.

Popular forest machine

Test-driving a forest mini-machine is so popular that the queues are often very long. Aiming right and fetching a log, and then lifting it to the right place is not an easy thing to do, but it’s fun and most people don’t want to stop. – Let me more. I want to try to fit them all. Great concentration is required for this delicate work. In another end of the premises, you can put together a jigsaw puzzle using a lifting device. The puzzle represents Jönköping County, with all its municipalities and a small part of Lake Vättern. Each municipality is a piece of the puzzle with a hook in the middle that must be hooked onto another hook that hangs down from a lifting device. What comes next requires cooperation. To control the hook, you have to pull the different ropes holding the

Now, where is Aneby again? Have I been there? I know I went to Habo, because I had ice cream there...

At Upptech, you can also try to take a lie detector test.

whole thing together. If you pull on a rope, the hook goes one way. If you pull on another rope at the same time, it goes another way. Once you’re happy with the position of the piece, you have to lower it, and oops – there goes Habo way off course! Nothing to do but to start all over. Or, you can just give up and put the jigsaw puzzle together by hand. That works too. At least you may have learned some geography. To put together the puzzle using the ropes, you may need a few partners.

How far does the frog jump?

You can also learn things about how far various animals can jump, about space, about how electricity works, and about how important water is. You can conduct your own experiments and if you have any questions, there are people around to answer them. The planetarium has scheduled viewing times since it involves staff showing and telling you about space. But other than that, you’re free to try out anything you see. There’s a lot to see!

open Always ers! p for cam

e Welcom ! t a by bo



Match museum that stands out Free entrance

He is here now. New exhibition on polar history and S A Andrée’s North Pole Expedition.


JUNE – AUG Mon– Fri 10–17 Sat–Sun 10–15 +46 36-10 38 90

2019_BAUER_Jonkopingslansmuseum_RuntVattern_ENGLISH.indd 1

SEP–MAY Thue–Sun 11–15 Mon closed

May-September October-April Weekdays: 10-17 Weekdays: 10-15 Weekends: 12-16 Weekends: 12-16

Moose singing and snow falling in a magical setting John Bauer’s artwork in a playful exhibition Free entry

036-14 611462 • +46 (0)36 61 62 2019-05-10 09:55:41



Highlights 2019 MAY 18 Park Sounds, Huskvarna Folkets Park 24-26 Jönköping Market 30 May-1 Jun Elmia Game Fair JUNE 6 ATEA Jönköping Swimrun DreamHack Summer, 15-18 Elmia 28 American Power Tour JULY 7 IRONMAN 70.3, Jönköping AUGUSTI Jönköping Summer 2-4 Dressage, Jönköpings Fältrittklubb Swedish Cup in tempo 14-18 cycling, Jönköping 22-24 Jönköping Marathon, Jönköping 31 Fallens dag, Huskvarna SEPTEMBER 4-7 Student European Cup in rowing, Lake Munksjön Harvest Festival in Äpple7 dalen, Kaxholmen 11-15 Elmia Caravan Motorhome OCTOBER 30 Oct- 3 Nov Jönköping Horse Show, Elmia NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 29 Nov- 1 Dec DreamHack Winter, Elmia Subject to changes. For more information, please see What would you like

to experience?

Tourist information phone +46 771-211 300

City pulse and beach life in Jönköping Jönköping is beautifully situated along the southern shore of Lake Vättern. Here you can enjoy city pulse, beach life, and nature. Jönköping’s city centre features cosy alleys and canals that open up to three lakes. The old mill town of Huskvarna, east of Jönköping, offers a wealth of cultural treasures to discover. Central Jönköping has a wide selection of shops and lovely restaurants. The pier is one of Jönköping’s watering holes, providing a place for food, socialising, or just an ice

cream in the sun on what may be Sweden’s longest park bench. From the pier, the beach promenade, a path of several kilometres of sandy beaches, stretches along the crystal clear waters of Lake Vättern. In central Jönköping, on the north-eastern shore of Lake Munksjön, is the Atollen. Here you’ll find restaurants, cafés, and shops, and during summer, there are numerous activities on and around the lake. Some of the events on the water this summer include IRONMAN 70.3, ATEA Jönköping Swimrun, and Jönköping Open Water. If you’d like to experience the area by bike, there are plenty of lovely country roads to discover. If you’re looking for something a little more challenging, there are several MTB trails in the municipality.



Huskvarna has developed around its worldfamous industry. Today, visitors come to, for example, Husqvarna Museum, where products such as rifles, motorcycles, stoves, and sewing machines are on display, along with many other products made in the factory for 325 years. Right next door is Smedbyn with its charming red cabins, housing handicraft studios, cafés, and galleries. This summer, Huskvarna Folkets Park features big artists

like Laleh, Ulf Lundell, and Norlie & KKV. During summer, in addition to popular concerts, the park also hosts the traditional Car and MC Meets every Wednesday.


In the area where the match factory once was situated is now the unique Match Museum. You’ll also find galleries, various craftsmen, and restaurants here. The Jönköping County Museum is located just a short distance away. An art and cultural-historical museum where you can visit the painter John Bauer’s magical fairy tale world. Let your kids experience what it’s like to be a troll or a fairy in the fairy tale closet. Higher up, and with an amazing view of Jönköping, is the City Park. You’ll find restaurants and coffee shops, as well as scenic hiking trails along animal enclosures. The park also features Fröjden, a popular outdoor dance venue open spring, summer, and autumn, an open-air museum, and a unique bird museum. On Gunillaberg, south of Bottnaryd, the Danish floral artist Tage Andersen has transformed the beautiful manor into a cultural and floral paradise in the middle of the forest. There is a lot more to say about Jönköping and its surroundings – but now it’s time to explore it. Welcome!


GUNILLABERG Gunillaberg Säteri, 565 97 Bottnaryd, • Open daily 19 May – 16 September 11-18,

Foto: Bent Rej

And if you want shopping, you’ll find various cosy shops in the city, or why not head to Asecs, a shopping centre, conveniently located along the E4, with about 80 shops, open seven days a week, all year round. Recently, Jönköping has been recognised as a Mecca of sushi restaurants. So if you’re in the mood for healthy and delicious food with Asian influences, you’ve come to the right place. In addition to sushi, there are plenty of highquality restaurants with different food cultures. Jönköping offers many beautiful views. If you want to experience a great view of the city, there are several lookout points to choose from. Some of them include the peak of Mount Taberg in Taberg, Vattenledningsparken, Jönköping City Park, and Utsikten in Huskvarna. The perfect destination to go with a tasty picnic basket and good company.




The tourist ambassadors

A contrast between nature and extravagance

Name: Tage Andersen Age: 72 Lives: in Copenhagen and Gunillaberg in Småland. Family: Monz, who runs the shop. Unexpected special interest: Everything I do!

A visit to Gunillaberg in Bottnaryd is like stopping time – while allowing yourself to be constantly surprised by newly added elements. I March and April, the camellia is in full bloom in the Orangery. The

oriental flower is also a symbol of perfection, which seems to permeate every detail here. You’re filled with a special feeling in the contrast of extravagant, timeless splendour and the down-to-earth encounter with nature and the contented animals. The sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, pigs, and bulls of old country breeds that are reared on the farm all thrive here. Gunillaberg’s park and manor, which, in the 17th century, was Queen

Kristina’s hunting castle, is now a unique art, architecture, and nature gem impossible to describe in words; it has to be experienced on site. Standing behind it is the worldfamous floral artist Tage Andersen, with his ability to highlight nature’s infinite wealth of details and make them visible again – in his own unique way. This ingenious work process permeates everything – his gardening as well as his glasses, furniture, and interior design in interaction with the works of guest artists. Tage commutes between his shop and gallery in Copenhagen and here in Småland, which has become his second home since the start eleven years ago. The combination of big city pulse and forest tranquillity suits him perfectly. He constantly has new commissioned projects and exhibitions – in Sweden as well as internationally. In Höganäs 19–21 July, as part of a larger event, “Det Goda Livet” (The Good Life) in the newly opened Blå Hallen. – I will be creating floral compositions with exciting flowers, he says. The summer season always features a few carefully selected cultural events. Over the years, these have included

ballet performances and concerts of the highest class. This year, the popular cellist Andreas Brantelid and pianist Bengt Forsberg will perform on 6 July. Visitors will be welcomed with an aperitif and for those who want it, Gunillaberg’s own delicatessen platter. What do you want people to experience when they come here? – Visitors have to give a bit of themselves in exchange, in order to gain from the experience, he exclaims enthusiastically with his Danish accent.

Jönköping Science Center

challenges for the whole family open all summer mon-fri at 10-16 show ium nt etar rime e plan p x le nica ow h s s tech nt rime expe cars tric elec

V. Holmgatan 34A, Kålgården, Jönköping Tfn 036-10 60 77,

Södra Vätterbygdens artshow 2019

120 painters and applied artists. Unifed exhibition with painters and applied artists.

Pick up bargains here this summer! And enjoy a cup of coffee for a good cause.

Opens on September 6th 11am-8pm with opening ceremony at 6pm, will then be open September 7th-8th between 11am-5pm. The artists ateliers and show rooms will be open September 7th-8th 11am-5pm. Kulturhuset, Svavelsticksgränd 7, 553 15 Jönköping


Herkulesv 56 JÖNKÖPING 036-33 00 222 Tuesday, thursday 12-18, saturday 10-14 Birkag 38 HUSKVARNA 036-14 30 90 Tuesday, thursday 14-18, saturday 10-14 Bagaregatan 3 HABO 036-770 19 00 Thursday 14-19, saturday 10-14

We are open regular hours!


rudenstams gårdsbutik & kafé

in our farm store you will find selected products from our local suppliers and the café is filled with cakes made of apples from our farm. lunch is served daily. welcome!

Open: Mon-Fri 10.00-18.00, Sat 10.00-15.00.

Romantic Hotel Hostel Yoga Phone +46 36 14 88 70, Odengatan 10, Huskvarna

“Under Ytan” visits ports around Lake Vättern With the making of the film “Under Ytan” (“Below the Surface”), Lake Vättern will be documented. Its geography, history, shipwrecks, as well as culture will be documented by the film project during each harbour visit. The film is based on m/s Mina, Sweden’s oldest functioning sailing vessel. The Vätternfonden association has applied and received funds to explore what Lake Vättern looks like below the surface. During the making of the film, the vessel will cruise around Lake Vättern, visiting its harbour towns. Staying overnight, the ship will offer musical entertainment as well as daily tours and information on board by, among others, lecturers from the organisation Aktion Rädda Vättern and others who will talk about freshwater biology, the history of Lake Vättern, and more. In addition, youth interested in sailing will be able to join the crew on board m/s Mina. During the sail, they will have the opportunity to experience life on board a 19th century sailing ship and exchange life experiences with each other and with the permanent crew, whose average age is somewhat higher. The sail starts in Lidköping on 20 July and goes to 15 different ports via Jönkö-

Heated pools – always 27oC





ping in the south, with its Swedish industrial history, to Askersund in the north, with its medieval alleys and vibrant harbour life. The ship then returns to Lidköping on 10 August.

Date and city of m/s Mina 20 Jul Lidköping-Sjötorp 21 Jul Sjötorp-Vassbacken 22 Jul Vassbacken-Forsvik 23 Jul Forsvik-Hästholmen 24 Jul Hästholmen-Vadstena 25 Jul Vadstena 26 Jul Vadstena-Motala 27 Jul Motala 28 Jul Motala-Askersund 30–30 Jul Askersund 31 Jul Hjo 1 Aug Visingsö 2–3 Aug Karlsborg 4 Aug Visingsö 5 Aug Visingsö-Jönköping 6 Aug Jönköping 7 Aug Jönköping-Karlsborg 8 Aug Karlsborg-Vassbacken 9 Aug Vassbacken-Sjötorp 10 Aug Sjötorp-Lidköping 8/8 Karlsborg-Vassbacken 9/8 Vassbacken-Sjötorp 10/8 Sjötorp-Lidköping




Highlights 2019 MAY 18 25-26

Habo market Habo Heli Meeting

JUNE - JULY 6 National Day Celebrations 15 Habo Challenge 21 Midsummer Celebrations in Brandstorp 21 Midsummer Celebrations in Drottningstorp 29-30 Habo Honda cup 25/6-11/8 Road Church at Habo Church daily 11 am–6 pm SEPTEMBER 7 Crayfish Saturday for the whole family 8 Allmoges Sunday Habo Church 28/9 -6/10 Art Festival at Spinnet OCTOBER 27 Trout Day DECEMBER 1 Christmas Market in Habo 19 Christmas Gift Evening until 8 pm

Tourist information Biblioteket/The Library Jönköpingsvägen 2 Phone +46-36-442 81 11

Habo – the town that has it all! Habo – the little town on the western shore of Lake Vättern. You’ll find bustling commerce both in the city centre and on the farms around the municipality. You’ll find bright, long beaches where you can cool off in the clear waters of Lake Vättern, or deep forests where the mystique thickens in spots like Hökensås. This summer, we’d like to introduce three different destinations for first-time visitors as well as for the residents of Habo. Let’s start with the unique and impressive Hökensås. A bedrock plateau originating from the last ice age, Hökensås is a large area extending across the municipalities of Hjo, Tidaholm, Mullsjö, and Habo. This is an area where nature is barren, the pine forest grows slowly, and the lakes are many. The Hökensås area offers various nature experiences and activities for the whole family. Several great bike trails, canoe rentals, and excellent trails for hiking through the county are just a few of the many options. In the past year, the entire Hökensås area has been inventoried, and you can find overview maps with useful information at

Almost all of Hökensås is a nature reserve and the rules of nature reserves can be found at Our second destination is located near the top of Hökensås: the adventurous farm Hagårds Lagård! The activities offered here are perfect for those who like adrenaline rushes and experiencing nature together with family and friends. Hagårds Lagård is run by the Hagård family. The farm has been in the family since 1854 or, to be more precise, since 28 August 1854. So the tall pine trees that you will climb and whiz past were planted by Håkan Hagård’s ancestors and, who knows, maybe Håkan’s and his wife Jessica’s children will be the next generation to run the family business!

Wuthering heights

At Hagårds Lagård, you can try out many fun activities, such as zip-lining, a high-altitude course, a climbing wall, or perhaps multisport? Does the high altitude sound a bit scary? Not to worry; Hagårds Lagård has self-securing cables and when you go zip-lining, you’re attached to the same cable from ground to ground. Activity number three is markedly different from the other two. Welcome to Kerstins Keramik by the shore of Lake Vättern’s. Botanise among Kerstin’s beautiful ceramics, with names such as Sunshine Breakfast and Heaven and Seas.


You can also book an appointment for you and your family or friends to create your own pieces! No advance knowledge is required. Kerstin will teach you all the steps of the pottery process and once the glazing and firing are done, you can pick up your very own work of art. Now, you may think that this is what we have to offer when you visit Habo? Oh no, this is merely a selection. You can see all our offerings if you visit!


with ziplines

High Ropes Course with ziplines

The tourist ambassadors

Lake Vättern the best thing about Habo


Welcome to your modern fish shop in the country! Fresh fish directly from the lake. Smokehouse. 036 - 434 10 |

Name: Marie Axmarker Age: 41 Lives: in Gustav Adolf north of Habo Family: husband and three kids Works:as a store manager at Erikshjälpen second hand in Habo Unexpected special interest: horse jumping Erikshjälpen second hand in Habo is popular. During summer, lots of people stop by the shop. Visitors come from, for example, Habo Campsite, and many of the Germans, Dutch, and Danes who have summer cabins around the area also like to visit. – Our café is kind of special. We have lots of homemade goodies and we’re open on Thursdays and Saturdays all summer. Marie Axmarker is passionate about people. Being able to share a little bit of life with people she meets is what gives her energy. She also believes that it’s important to protect the environment. – We have a slogan: “Your shopping makes a difference”. You do a good deed for the environment by reusing things. That’s sustainable shopping. The money then goes to aid organisations all over the world, always with focus on children’s right to education, health, and safety, says Marie. When asked what Marie likes most about her area, she says without hesitation: – Lake Vättern! Our incredible lake – I love it, and, of course, the forest around here. Her tip to visitors who want nature experiences is

to go to Lake Vättern, to Domsand or Baskarp, which are real gems.

Marie Axmarker

– The beech forest is lovely too! You’ll find it between the south and north entrance to Habo. From the parking lot, you just walk up into the beautiful deciduous forest. Another destination Marie recommends is Habo Church and its café. And if you get hungry, the kebab pizza and the kebab in Habo are extra tasty, she says. And there is also the cosy restaurant Lustfyllt, which is beautifully situated down by Lake Vättern.




Lake Vättern – an ancient transport route For a long time, Lake Vättern was the best link between the provinces of Östergötland and Västergötland, Närke and Småland. Today, vessel traffic consists mainly of Visingsö ferries, a handful of pleasure crafts, and leisure boats. Before cars and motorways entered our lives, people lived, worked, and died on Lake Vättern in a way that is hard to imagine for those of us born after the 60s, when maritime transport drastically decreased. Lorries took over the freight and the automotive progress was made possible by the construction of the E4 motorway and by other infrastructure investments. Lake Vättern skipper Janne Göthberg describes the traffic on Lake Vättern and the history of the skipper family during an evening at Grenna Museum. His unique graphic material shows the shipbuilding, cargo ships, jetties, ports, canals, and the people who worked on Lake Vättern. The photos reflect the history of and life on Lake Vättern for almost a century. Janne paints a picture of how Lake Vättern was packed with ships and smaller boats. In 1955, at the age of 14, Janne started his maritime career on the ship “Minna”. JanOlof’s diary entries describe the detailed experiences of a deckhand cook from the summer of 1955: We had gone up to Baskarp during night, from Motala where we unloaded pig iron the day before. We’re now moored at the sandpit jetty, loading sand for Västervik. It’s time to close off the loading room, and the conveyor belt is started. The sand comes in a steady


“Minna” unloading aspen timber for Jönköping’s match factory in 1954. Photo probably taken by Gustav Andersson

stream. Such “modern things” as loaders have now come to Baskarp. It looks like a tractor with a wire above the cab, lifting the bucket. This made the work a lot easier, compared to before when all the sand had to be shovelled by hand. Around eight, mother comes down with a large basket of food, containing 12–15 cakes of freshly baked rye bread and dinner that would be served later on, often meatballs and potatoes. It was great to sit down at a set table for once. Usually, I was the one who did the cooking. After all, I was the youngest on board.

Besides being hard work, life at sea meant long periods of time away from the family. Summers and winters were very different from each other. In the summer, wives and children joined the crew on board. Jan-Olof Göthberg retired from life as a skipper in 1963.

Jetties around Lake Vättern

Sturdy jetties were found all around Lake Vättern and played a significant role. Lots of goods and passengers, cattle, and various other things were loaded here. This is where it all happened. Today, only small remains are left of the jetties.

BOOK ABOUT FISHING IN VÄTTERN Remarkable Vättern Large, deep and with crystal clear water. Vättern is in many ways a remarkable lake. The most unique is maybe to be found below the surface. No other lake in Sweden has such a diversity of valuable species. In this book you will meet fishermen, recreational fishermen as well as professional. In between the adventures you also get knowledge of the fishery in the lake. It has been very successful. Be inspired by experienced fishermen who tell you where the fish is, how it behaves and how it should be caught.

The crew at ”Minna” in 1954. Brothers Janne and Bernhard Göthberg and their father Hilding Magnusson. Photo by Oskar Steen, Jönköping

Votumannons_Vättern Runt ENG.indd 1

2019-04-11 11:21:05


Ever since the Middle Ages, heavily loaded ships have transported iron, construction materials, passengers, and all kinds of agricultural products across Lake Vättern. In the early 20th century, cargos consisted mainly of farmers’ products being shipped to Jönköping for sale to urban residents at the markets. A lot of aspen timber was shipped to the match industries in Jönköping and Tidaholm via Hjo. The aspen timber arrived on larger boats from Russia or the Baltic States to Mem, where Göta Canal runs out into the Baltic Sea. The Munksjö Factory had four boats of its own. Pulp was transported from Olshammar to Germany. At the beginning of the 20th century, a limestone factory was built at Svedudden in Baskarp. It burned down in the 1920s, at which time a sand refinement plant was built to supply the foundries. Flint from Mön in Denmark was shipped and crushed in Baskarp for sandpaper production. It was an unhealthy business, which led to many people contracting chalicosis and dying.

“Anna” – August Magnusson’s first ship, was built in Svenshult, Källebäcken, in 1891. Photo from early 20th century by unknown photographer.

Passenger boats

Passengers, of course, constituted cargo as well. The passenger boat “Sveudden” went between Jönköping and Hjo. It moored at all the jetties between the two locations. The “Motala Express” was a passenger boat that initially went between Jönköping and Motala. One of the oldest preserved steamers, s/s Trafik, is still in traffic during summer, going between Hjo and Visingsö Island, and, at some point each summer, to Hästholmen.

“Munksjö 1” loading pulp in Olshammar in the early 1960s for transport to Lübeck. Photographer unknown.


30-70% lower pric e!


Open in summer: Weekdays 10-18, Sat 10-18, Sun 10-16.

Ordinary opening times: Weekdays 10-18, Sat 10-14. Garverigatan 15, Mullsjö

Skipper Janne Göthberg giving a talk at Grenna Museum. PHOTO: JOSEFINE GUSTAFSSON




Highlights 2019 MAY 4 24–25

Motor Saturday, Duck Swim, and Cruising,and drive-in weddings Tidaholm Blues Festival in Folkets Park


National Day Celebration with a multicultural party Programme from the Bruksville Park stage

JULY 8-13

Postnord U6 Cycle Tour

AUGUST 9 Crayfish Day – free angling for children in central Tidaholm 10 Kräftival – Tidaholm’s own crayfish festival at the Old Square with famous artists Kräftivalloppet Race 10 SEPTEMBER 14 Family Day in the Old Square 27–29 Art Night – Cultural Festival with hundreds of vendors DECEMBER 7 Christmas Market in the blacksmith houses on Turbinhusön Island and in the city centre See more events on:

Culture and wilderness in Tidaholm There is something magical about Tidaholm. In mere moments, you can switch from the bustling market in the Old Square, with cosy cafés and unique shops, to the enchanting forests with their great Hökensås fishing waters. The beautiful River Tidan ripples through the rural greenery and past the magnificent buildings in the city centre. It is around this river that the town of Tidaholm emerged. Small oases can be found everywhere along the water, filling you with either energy or the most peaceful tranquillity, depending on where you choose to sit down. Stroll around town and enjoy beautiful architecture and a cosy city centre with shops, restaurants, and cafés.

Islands in the River Tidan

Tidaholm Tourist Office Vulcanön, Vulcans väg 5 Phone +46 502-60 62 08

The two islands in the middle of the city invite you to experience all kinds of things. Turbinhusön is an idyllic island near the shore with a well-preserved cultural environment. Enjoy a warm and delicious cinnamon bun in Kaffestugan’s 19th century setting or on the outdoor terrace with lovely

views of the rippling waters of Tidan River. Visit the art gallery in the old turbine house and discover the blacksmith homes and the culture house, where the environment and the unique crafts are reminiscent of a bygone era. The Vulcanön Island provides an arena for culture and arts. The ancient and the contemporary mix with innovative creation and stories from the past. The Tidaholm Museum tells the story of Vulcan, which was once the world’s largest matchstick factory, of the mill, and of the car manufacturing that forms the basis for the history of this town. You’ll also find the well-preserved industrial forge, which was once a part of the matchstick factory and which is in use since 1870. The traditions of craftsmanship are passed on every time the fires are lit and the blacksmiths raise their hammers in the same way as they did a hundred and fifty years ago. The Tidaholm Lithographic Workshop is located in a section of the old premises of the matchstick factory. Creativity has been bursting here for as long as the forge has been in use. Today, Tidaholm is world-famous in art circles as a centre for lithographic art. Also found on the island is Marbodal Center, showing Marbodal kitchens, which are made right here in Tidaholm. With focus on wine, food, culture, and nature, Tidaholm’s own wine importer really lets you enjoy the good things in life.



Hiking and fishing in varied nature

Tidaholm offers many beautiful hiking trails. The Pilgrim Trail between Hjo and Kungslena is an adventure in nature’s own amusement park. The trail takes you from the idyllic wooden town of Hjo on the shore of Lake Vättern, over the barren landscape of Hökensås Ridge, through deep forests and open plains, up to the small medieval village of Kungslena at the foot of Mount Varvsberget. Along the 3-kilometre walking trail Ödegårdsstigen, you can clearly see the traces left in nature by the limestone industry. The lush beech forest hides both ruins and rippling waterfalls, and the shifting nature welcomes you all year round.

Wilderness with great nature value sites

Hökensås is a piece of wilderness of great nature value, deep forests, and soothing tranquillity. Hökensås Nature Reserve has lovely hiking trails and exercise tracks of varying distances. Pack your backpack and experience the enchanting nature at your own pace. There are also about fifty lakes and ponds, the majority of which are excellent for fishing. You’ll find plenty of berries and mushrooms, as well as a rich animal and bird life. Visiting the animal kingdom, you may encounter moose, deer, lynx, fox, hare, and a variety of bird species. Hökensås is a mecca for fishing enthusiasts and is known as one of Sweden’s best sport fishing areas. Try the popular guided family fishing, suitable for both beginners and fishing veterans of all ages. Guided family fishing on Hökensås Ridge is organised every Tuesday and Thursday during summer. In Baltak, just south of Tidaholm, you can fly-fish for rainbow trout in the flowing waters of the Tidan River. You’re guaranteed a great fishing experience on this beautiful stretch of river, which is about three kilometres long. Tidaholm offers activities for all ages, interests, and moods. In mere moments, you can go from magical nature experiences to the rich cultural offerings of the city. What is your adventure?

In Tidaholm you can both watch fancy cars and go crayfish fishing.

The tourist ambassadors Sweden’s only lithographic museum Name: Jean Michel Schmidt Age: 47 Lives: in Tidaholm since 2015 Family: family and friends Works: as a coordinator for the Lithographic Academy, teaches, and is responsible for the artist collective’s graphic arts workshop Unexpected special interest: Computer game graphics and animation, 3D software sculpting. Listens to punk

Hökensås Sportfiske AB – Sweden’s leading sport fishing company – since 1957

• Lake fishing • River fishing • Rental lakes • Store • Guiding • Courses • Business events • Accommodation/ camping +46 502 230 0502-230 00 00


he Lithographic Museum presents a varied programme with both historical exhibitions and contemporary art. Jean Michel Schmidt explains that the Lithographic Academy, which runs the museum, has been around since the end of the 1980s works closely with the Helliden Folk High School. They organise exhibitions, lectures, and, every four years, an international lithographic symposium. – Initially, lithographs were made for the matchstick industry here. The matchstick boy is the best known label. The museum has had exhibitions with lithographs by, among others, Miró

and Picasso, says Jean Michel. The last opening of the spring takes place on Walpurgis Night: an exhibition by Astrid Sylwan. She is a colourist, using explosive colours. – It’s like candy for the eye! Although abstract, I think many people will appreciate the exhibition, says Jean Michel. The exhibition will be on display for a month. During the year, the museum is open on weekends but closes during the summer. It opens again for the Art Night on the last weekend of September. If you want to visit the museum outside of ordinary opening hours, you can book a group tour.

Highlights 2019 JUNE 6 Asparagus’ Day at Vätternsparris 7-9 Hjo Art Tour Sweden’s oldest art tour 15 Vätternrundan passes Hjo and Guldkroksbadet swim area opens 28-29 American Power Tour American muscle cars visit Hjo 29 Hjo Harbour Day and Rock against Cancer in Hjo City Park JULY 5 & 27 Steamboat Jazz on S/S Trafik 12-14 Crafts Fair in Hjo City Parkk Health Week – a week 24-28 of health activities Hjo Square Festival 25 – with e.g. the Drifters 25-28 HJO-KO - Western horse riding at Maplerock Ranch 30 Vättern Kors & Tvärs – the first leg of the Hjo-Hästholmen sailing race AUGUST 3 10–11 14 17

British Motor Meet – British car meet in Hjo City Park, outdoor cinema in Hjo City Park, and Wild West Blues & Rockabilly at the Bison Farm Accordion Meet Open Farm Almnäs Bruk Veteran Car Run with car

AUTUMN & WINTER 28 Sep Harvest Festival ”Bonde röven” Frank Erichsen 23 Nov Hjo Christmas Market 6–8 Dec Fågelås Christmas Market at Almnäs Bruk More events on VISIT HJO, Hjo Tourist information Bangatan 1B, 544 30 Hjo Phone +46-503-352 55 Follow Visit Hjo on Facebook and Instagram #ilovehjo

Those of us who live here usually say that there is something special about Hjo. Something that is difficult to describe; it’s just there somehow. Maybe it has something to do with the shifting colours of Lake Vättern, the beautiful wooden town, the cobbled streets, and the tranquillity? Maybe it’s the small-town life, the welcoming atmosphere, and the feeling of living in the midst of a holiday dream? After all, people have travelled to Hjo for recreation for over 100 years. Our tradition as a spa resort from the late 19th century simply lives on, and people still come here to relax, recharge their batteries, and socialise.



The town of Hjo in its very best light The spa resort era and Hjo City Park

A monument since 2018, the City Park breathes history. At the end of the 19th century, the Hjo Vattenkuranstalt AB sanatorium was situated here. The sanatorium, unlike the spa, was a place where you swam and used water for external use in all kinds of cures. It was formed by four residents of Hjo: landlord Harald Röhss of Munkeberg, count Gustaf Sparre of Almnäs, merchant Gustaf Sjöstedt of Hjo, and the newly arrived provincial physician, Dr. Wilhelm Baggstedt, who saw the potential in Hjo’s proximity to Lake Vättern. They bought an estate in the form of a park and started building. Would you like to know more? Then join a guided tour through Hjo City Park this summer. Tours with the theme Hjo City Park and the Spa Resort Era start at 2 pm every Wednesday and Friday from 3 July to 9 August. You can also visit the Särdeles Sundt och Friskt (Particularly Sound and Healthy) exhibition that depicts the glory days of the spa resort, an exciting journey that will take you back to the bathing culture and the health-promoting lifestyle of Hjo over a hundred years ago. The exhibition is shown in Kulturkvarteret with free admission!

The old wooden town

Hjo is one of Skaraborg’s five medieval towns. In other words, an old town. Over 600 years,



to be more precise. You could say that Hjo’s history started at the Hjoå river mouth in the Middle Ages. When the monasteries of Alvastra, on the east side of Lake Vättern, and Varnhem, here on the west side, were established in the 12th century, the lake became a place of lively boat traffic and Hjo was frequently used as a landing stage. Not least for all the monks travelling between the two monasteries. This created the opportunity to start trading goods and services in Hjo and, over time, a community emerged – Hjo. In 1413, Hjo’s town charter was recorded in the tax book of Erik von Pomerania. This summer, you can join a guided walk through the wooden town. Tours start at 2 pm every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 2 July to 10 August. You can also visit the Skärvor av Hjo (Fragments of Hjo) exhibition that will tell you more about the history, life, and houses of Hjo. The exhibition is shown in Kulturkvarteret and admission is free.



Exhibition summer in Kulturkvarteret


On 7 June, the Lyxiga Parfymflaskor Då och Nu (Luxurious Perfume Bottles Then and Now) exhibition opens at Kulturkvarteret Pedagogien in Hjo. The exhibition is an exposé of the history of perfumes from the year 2000 BC until today, featuring both Swedish and international perfumes. Focus is on the shifting designs of the bottles. The exhibition is on display until 15 September. – Perfumes and fragrances have always captivated people. Fragrances awaken unforgettable memories in life. My interest in perfume bottles is mainly about the shape and design of the bottles and their exciting cultural history, says art historian and former museum director Christina Lindvall-Nordin from Laholm. Another summer highlight is the Josef Frank Watercolours exhibition. Josef Frank is world-famous for his classic furniture, lamps, and patterns – but few people know that he also painted watercolours. Celebrate the summer by enjoying a selection of watercolours in Hjo, handpicked by Anna Sievert. The exhibition will be shown in Kulturkvarteret from 8 June to 15 September. For information on more exhibitions, please visit



Bisonfarmen i Gate

between Hjo and Jönköping Experience Sweden's largest Bisonfarm! Safari - Saloon - Farm shop

Motorhome camping - Quad bike rental

Röda Stallet Bed & Breakfast Nice accommodation just south of Hjo 300 m from the lake Vättern. 11 rooms with shower / wc and direct exit to the patio. Röda Stallet B & B, Spakås, SE-544 94 Hjo Phone: +46 503 121 12 Mobile: +46 702 05 86 60 Email:

BIG STORE 3500m2

With almost everything for your home, from garbage bags to crystal glass.



V e r y l o w p r i ce s Åsgatan 1, HJO

Family business founded in 1975



The tourist ambassadors

Scenic Hjo has many temptations Name: Annika Karlberg Age: 56 Lives: in an apartment in the old stable building Röda Stallet, Hjo (between Hjo and the Norra Fågelås Church) Family: the Tibetan terriers Mimmi and Nessie Oväntat specialintresse: Horse riding and a desire for time to play golf.


he well-preserved and Europe Nostra-rated wooden town of Hjo attracts lots of visitors in the summer. You can also stay the night in the countryside. Röda Stallet B&B offers accommodation in a charming old stable building, converted in the late 1980s. Annika Karlberg had long considered starting her own business and bought the property in 2006. She had moved here from the island

of Gotland, where she worked as a tour operator. – On Gotland, properties have metropolitan prices. It was cheaper in Hjo and since the flow of people visiting is so great, it felt right to start something here. Initially, she intended to be closed during winter, but now guests arrive all year round so, just like running a farm, it became a lifestyle. Röda Stallet B&B is considered a Hotel Garni – with hotel standards but without a restaurant. – Everything is included, even breakfast. Each room has its own exit with a porch, where you can sit and enjoy your mornings or barbecue in the evening. Lake Vättern is only 300 metres away, within easy reach for a swim. – Hjo is incredibly scenic, my favou-

rite is the valley of Hjoån River, a nature reserve where the river runs from Lake Mullsjön down via waterfalls, flowing out into Lake Vättern, and where you can follow the trout migration upwards when it’s time to play. For those wanting to swim, the Beach Promenade, the swim area in Hjo Harbour, or Brevik’s sandy beach all provide great spots. There are beautiful wooden houses all over town and the City Park is a wonderful place to just stroll around. Hjo is also known for its arts and crafts, ice cream kiosks, and the interior design company Svenskt Tenn. In the harbour, they serve Lake Vättern whitefish and local delicacies. – With 27 holes, three loops, and amazing views, the golf course at Hökensås is well worth a visit.

18 km south of Hjo, right next to Lake Vätterns shore is Hjällö Slott. A special oasis that offers both B & B and room for festivities. +46 503 210 90 · +46 706 426 540

Restaurant, Stellplatz & cabins

1,5 km from central Hjo lat: 58.31165 - long: 14.25405

Beautiful nature and biking paths

Phone: +46 73 983 51 09

hand crafted products for body & soul! cold-stirred soaps, lipbalms, bathsalts, massagebars, beardbalms, soy wax candles... Natural & Organic

Hamngatan 4, Hjo




Möt e n Ma t Mä nni sk or

ivana vukadinovi c

Discover exciting restaurants, old mills, and innovative eco cafés, which also offer recipes and exciting mee­ tings, visit Ellen Key’s home Strand, the industrial environment at Forsviks Bruk and much more.

desiré östergren

Ivana Vukadinovic (text) Desiré Östergren (photo)

Text Ivana Vukadinovic

foto Desiré Östergren



HJO – VISINGSÖ Dep. HJO 10:00 – arr. HJO 18:15 Sundays: 9.6, 16.6, 30.6, 7.7, 21.7, 28.7, 4.8, 11.8 and 18.8 with JOUSTING on Visingsö, arriving at 19.00


Sat. 29.6: “Harbour´s Day”, 2 round trips. Dep. HJO 11:00. We will meet “Byabåtarna” from Visingsö, return 12:00. Dep 14:00, arrival 15:00. Fri. 5.7: Dep: HJO 15:00, arrival HJO 16:00. “STEAM BOAT JAZZ” at night DIXIE TALKS Dep. HJO 19:00 Arr. 22.00 Sun. 14.7: Dep. HJO 12:00 & 14:00, arrival 13 & 15 .Sat. 27.7: Music on board. Dep: HJO 15:00, arrival HJO 16:00.“STEAM BOAT JAZZ” at night PEORIA JAZZBAND Dep. HJO 19:00 Arr. 22.00 Sat. 3.8 Dep. 11:00 & 14:00, Arr. 12:00 & 15:00


Visit places located around the beau­ tiful, mighty and mysterious Vättern, with golden rapeseed fields, apple cultivations in strict lines, giant rocky formations and wild Ronja Rövardotter forrests.

Sat. 13.7: HJO – HÄSTHOLMEN HJO CRAFT’S FAIR Dep. HJO 9:00 – arr. HÄSTHOLMEN 10:30 Dep. HÄSTHOLMEN 11:15 – arr. HJO 12:45 Dep. HJO 17:00 – arr. HÄSTHOLMEN 18:30 Dep. HÄSTHOLMEN 18:45 – arr. HJO 20:15 ROUND TRIP Dep. HJO 13:30, arr. HJO 14:30 Fri. 19.7: HJO – VADSTENA Dep. HJO 9:30 – arr. VADSTENA 12:25 Dep. VADSTENA 16:00 – arr HJO 18:55

CAFÉ & SOUVENIRS ON BOARD Only cash payment on board · Pre-bookings: HJO Tourist Information. Phone +46 503-352 55 and


Västergötland Möte n Mat Människor

They have Känsla (Feeling)

Västergötland Möten Mat Människor

Ingrid Eliasson Bill Mason

son Ingrid Eliasson & Bill Ma 02/04/2019 15:31

New book on foods from Västergötland Province


If you are looking to go on excursions with a food theme on the west side of Lake Vättern, there is now a new book from Isaberg Publishing House in the series Mat Möten Människor (Food Meetings People). Last year, a book was published with focus on Lake Vättern. This year, the book is about the Province of Västergötland. Here is an excerpt from the book.

As we drive into Hjo, we catch a glimpse of Lake Vättern. The water that unfolds before us has a deep, blue colour. The town has a beautiful collection of old wooden houses with their courtyards, narrow streets, and a generous marketplace. Along the shores of Lake Vättern, in addition to the spectacular buildings and a lovely marina, you find the famous cabanas. Känsla, a restaurant and deli, is owned by the wonderful, generous, and enthusiastic Lena Gustafsson. “My employees mean everything to me”, she says, and they really do look like a close-knit team. Ricardo and Andreas cook the food and Pernilla serves it. Born in Portugal and brought up in Switzerland, Ricardo brings international influences. It is thus no coincidence that moules-frites have become such a famous dish here. They also offer an extensive menu of dishes that sound absolutely delicious, as well as a carefully selected assortment of wine and beer, just as you would expect from a fine restaurant like this one. Lena really wants her guests to treasure their time at Känsla and encourages them to enjoy the moment without disruptions (yes, we’re talking about mobiles on the table!). Dogs are also welcome. Local guests come here, as do guests from near and far, and they are so disappointed when we don’t have any tables available. This is also the practice venue for the local darts team who meet here for happy hour beer and to practice on the four dartboards.

Sounds just about the right amount of serious. As we leave, Lena gives us piles of cheese and chutney from her wonderful selection of local produce. Something we happily enjoy at home while reminiscing about at our cosy visit to Känsla.




Highlights 2019

JULY 1 5 8 12 13 15 17 22 26 29

Music in Forsvik Sing-along by the Canal with Charlotte Perelli Music in Forsvik Sing-along by the Canal with Christer Sjögren Tiveden Trail Music in Forsvik Sing-along by the Canal with Andreas Lundstedt Music in Forsvik Sing-along by the Canal with Shirley Clamp Music in Forsvik

AUGUST 2 Flamingo World Cup (unofficial) 2–4 Karlsborgskalaset, a water, outdoor, and activity festival from Öltappen to the Fortress 5 Music in Forsvik Music in Forsvik 12 26 Antiques Road Show SEPTEMBER 1 Karlsborgs Triathlon 21 Farmer’s Market DECEMBER Christmas Market at Karlsborg Fortress Christmas Market anno 1906, Forsvik Mill

Karlsborgs Turism AB Storgatan 65 (vid Göta kanal) Phone +46 505-173 50

Karlsborg Fortress 200 Years Charles XIV John had been king of Sweden for only a year when, in 1819, he took the initiative with Baltzar von Platen to build Karlsborg Fortress, which thus celebrates 200 years this year. Or 110 years, if you count from when it was completed, which took quite a while... When Charles XIV John came to Sweden in 1810, we had just lost Finland to Russia and our capital was more vulnerable than ever. Meanwhile, a decision had just been made on the construction of Göta Canal. The digging started in Forsvik and von Platen felt that Vanäs Peninsula, a bit further south, would be a suitable location for a military defence. Perhaps even for a new capital. It would be better protected from the Russians and from other vicious warlords. Because of Vanäs Peninsula’s location on Lake Vättern, a fortress there would provide a position with water on two sides. It can’t get much better than that. The construction started with substantial lakeside protection. Tall sand mounds with iron fences on top. At both ends, so-called caponiers were built – round, tower-like corner structures.

walls, several caponiers, and bastions, etc. The entire project was supposed to take ten years, but things don’t always turn out as planned. Only in 1866 was the “slutvärn” finished and at that point, the security situation was quite different than when the plan for the fortress was adopted. The threat was no longer the same and a future war would be waged in ways other than what the Karlsborg Fortress would be useful for. There was, however, no reason to feel that the construction had been in vain, as new areas of use were identified. In the 90 years it took to complete the fortress, needs changed. The Royal Residence was built in 1893, quite early in the construction process, and was meant to house the royal family in a crisis situation. The Garrison Church found above the Fortress Museum

Long construction time

The enormous work took fifteen years. After that, they continued building landside protection, since an attack there was most likely to be expected. 678 metres of “slutvärn” can now been found towards the landside, an intricate system of various defences, including moats,


JUNE 1 Guldfesten (Gold Festival) 6 National Day Celebra- tions, Karlsborg Fortress 8 Fästningshoppet, agility competition 14–15 Vätternrundan 28–30 Forsvik Days

Come get the gold treasure, if you dare!


was intended as a Parliament House, in the event that the parliament and the government would be forced to flee Stockholm. In case of risk of war or other tension, the country’s gold reserve would also be kept in the fortress. Today, the Karlsborg Fortress is one of Sweden’s largest training garrisons. This impressive 200-year old will obviously be celebrated all year with various events that can be found via Karlsborgs Fästning 200 år on Facebook, via the podcast Fästningspodden, at, and other media.

Characterised by water

In addition to the fortress and its exciting history, Karlsborg is characterised by water, the 35 kilometres of beaches (not just along Lake Vättern), nature experiences, and, of course, Forsvik and its industrial cradle. The industrial environment has been preserved since the early 1900s and is a listed building. Here you can also see the steamer Eric Nordevall II, which usually lies at anchor below Forsvik’s mill, wrapped in a scent of tar. Forsvik also has Göta Canal’s oldest lock and a number of lovely spots for shopping and eating. But Karlsborg is much more than this. Karlsborg is one of the municipalities comprising Tiveden and its enchanting nature reserve. Here you’ll find Fagertärn, our only lake with wild red water lilies. You’ll find Ösjönäs with its high-altitude course. You’ll also find numerous hiking and cycling trails, as well as opportunities for horseback riding, canoeing, or just sitting on a stump in the forest, breathing in the fresh air and the smell of trees and moss. Moments to treasure.

In the Karlsborg harbour there are occasionally sing-alongs or other entertaining events. If you like a more casual and quiet surrounding , you can always have a little something in Forsvik.

The tourist ambassadors

Busy times in the Swedish industrial cradle Name: Charlotta Haskovec Works: runs the Canal Shops 5 knop and Sail In, director of Hela Sverige ska leva, Skaraborg, vice chairman of Karlsborgs turism AB, board member of Forsvik’s charter school, responsible for the RV Park in Forsvik, and various association activities Age: 49 Lives: in Forsvik since 2002 Family: domestic partner, two children Unexpected interest: reading is my rest and baking my way to regain strength and energy.


hen I meet Charlotta Haskovec, I am struck by the energy she exudes. With bright eyes, she exclaims: – The hardest part is to prioritise. There are simply too few hours in the day! She quickly makes you understand that things happen around her. The commitment to a living countryside is one of her strongest drives. Charlotta shares her best tips to visitors coming to Forsvik and Karlsborg: – In terms of nature experiences, my absolute best tip is a visit to Tiveden National Park. The quiet there is deafening. For cultural

experiences, the Forsvik Mill and Karlsborg Fortress are obvious destinations. Forsvik’s industrial environment is beautiful in an original and genuine way. The best places to eat are Forsviks Café och Mat as well as Tivedens mat. The best accommodation right now is Hotell Villa Göta, a newly renovated luxury hotel in Forsvik. There is also a great outdoor centre in Granvik, called Granvik Event. Among other things, you can go RIB boating there. But Göta Canal is usually the main reason why both yachters and others are drawn to Forsvik. The sing-alongs, featuring guest artists, by the canal in Karlsborg on Fridays in July attract lots of people. With its beauty, swim-friendly beaches, and coastal feel, the area around Ombo islands is popular as well. The fact that Charlotta has such a great interest in the countryside stems from herself being brought up there. She has always seen the benefits of living in the country. – Fresh air and no stress. Being close to nature and following the seasonal changes is invaluable. It gives you a broader perspective on life. Charlotta’s wish is for more people to discover that. Which is why she wants to work for us to be able live and work in the countryside.




Now you have only two pages of Around Vättern 2019 left. You will find yet more interesting reading and suggestions for destinations at

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram facebook/ #runtvattern Stay in a goblins tree stump - An experience for both young and old! Swim, sunbathe and fall asleep to the sound of waves. Our goblins tree stumps has the best location directly on the beach and are equipped with shower, toilet, kitchenette and TV.

Phone +46 505 120 22




HISTORICAL ADVENTURE TOUR Karlsborgs Turism AB Storgatan 65 546 32 Karlsborg

0505-173 50



Find the coffins, loose the scratches and then gossip for the commander where the treasure is hidden!



Camping pitches round Vättern

New camping pitches for motor caravans are being introduced in line with the very strong increase in interest in motor caravans and motorhomes. We don't claim that we can give a complete list of camping pitches round Vättern, but below we have a summary of what we have been able to find in catalogues and on various websites. We decided to limit ourselves to camping pitches which offer firstly, electricity and secondly also water, disposal facilities, showers and WC. Abbreviations used in the list SP: Ställplats [camping pitch] C: Camping with room for motorhomes RP: Halting place

KARLSBORG / TIVEDEN / WESTERN GÖTA CANAL Breviks Camping & Ställplats, Karlsborg Camp Skagern, Finnerödja Camping Tiveden, Tived Carlsborgs Segelsällskap, Karlsborg Forsviks sluss, Göta Canal, Forsvik Hajstorps Slusscafé & Vandrarhem, Töreboda Jonsboda Café & Camping, Töreboda Karlsborgs Camping, Karlsborg Lyrestad Gästhamn Göta Canal, Lyrestad Norrqvarn Hotell and Konferens, Lyrestad Revelbadets Camping, Laxå Stenkällegårdens Camping Tiveden, Karlsborg Strömsnäs Naturcamping, Forsvik

HJO Bisonfarmen i Gate Stellplatz, Hjo Hjo Camping, Hjo Hökensås Golfklubb, Hjo Stampens kvarn Stellplatz, Hjo

HABO - MULLSJÖ - TIDAHOLM Habo Camping & Stugby, Habo Ryfors Golfklubb, Mullsjö Camp Fjället ,Tidaholm Hökensås Camping & Stugby, Tidaholm Kyrkekvarn Sörgården, Sandhem Ljungbacken, Tidaholm Mullsjö Camping, Mullsjö Tidaholms Camping, Tidaholm Kohagens badplats, Sandhem

ASKERSUND Askersunds Golfklubb, Åmmeberg Askersunds Ställplats Marinan, Askersund Aspa Båtklubb, Ställplats & Gästhamn, Olshammar Harge Bad & Camping, Hammar Husabergsuddes Camping, Askersunds Kommun Mariedamms Ställplats, Mariedamm Stora Hammarsundet, Trafikverkets Rastplats Tivedsporten Eco Camp, Askersund



MOTALA SP Borenshults slussområde, Motala DHR Motala, Vättersol Stugor and Camping, Motala C Furulid, Motala C Kaffeteriet vid Göta Canal, Borensberg SP Mallbodens Cafe and vandrarhem/ Motala Verkstad, Motala SP Småängens Camping, Tjällmo C STF Vandrarhem Glasbruket, Borensberg SP Strandbadets Camping, Borensberg C SP Södra Hamnen, Motala Z-Parkens Camping, Motala C

MJÖLBY/SKÄNNINGE SP Gripenbergs Gårdsbutik, Skänninge Väderkvarnsbacken, Skänninge SP Skogssjöbadens Camping, Mjölby C Östad golf, Väderstad SP SP Rastplats Albacken, Mjölby


VADSTENA C Vadstena Camping, Vadstena Vadstena Gästhamn and Ställplats, Vadstena SP Vadstena Golfklubb SP

ÖDESHÖG C, SP Hästholmens hamn Camping Ödeshög SP Rökstenen Besökscentrum Naturum, Tåkern SP Östgötaporten, Trafikverkets rastplats RP, SP

C SP C C SP SP C C SP JÖNKÖPING / HUSKVARNA C Axamostrand Camping, Jönköping Hyltena Nattcamp/Quickstop, Jönköping SP C Lovsjöbadens Camping, Jönköping Skinnarebo Hobby Caravan Golf, Jönköping SP Villa Björkhagen, Jönköping C RC Hotel, Jönköping SP

The number of camping pitches with services such as electricity, showers, WC, water and disposal points is increasing all the time. Stampens kvarn Stellplatz is beside Route 195 around 1.5 km outside Hjo. Stampens kvarn is a 17th-century building which has been used as a restaurant and party facility for the past 10 years.

GRÄNNA / VISINGSÖ SP Bauergården Gästgiveri & Konferens Getingaryds Familjecamping Gränna C Grenna Hamn Gränna SP Grännastrandens Familjecamping Gränna C Gyllene Uttern, Trafikverkets Rastplats RP, SP Svensgården, Visingsö SP Visingsö Ställplats SP C Camping Vättersmålen, Gränna Visingsö natur ställplats SP Näs ställplats SP

In Forsvik, camping pitches for motorhomes are available below the Göta Canals oldest locks.



With the camp site as a base, you have experiences for a whole week within reach of one of the largest tourist regions.


Phone +46 143 127 30

Train trips

Cozy pub


Mini Golf

Choo-choo train ”Rödingen”. Children’s stages at the camp. Trips to Vadstena for city walks and visits to the Toy Museum. Shopping and evening tours.

Pub with à la carte menu. Full rights. Large screen TV. Open: 18:00 to 23:00. Please try our self-caught crayfish.

Service shop with long opening hours where we bake bread every morning.

Challenge your friends in miniature golf. Our beautiful 18hole course is located right next to the beach and restaurant.

1. Reception and shop 2. Restaurant, pub, café, and take-away food 3. Water slide

4. Toilets, showers, dishwashing area, kitchen, lounge, TV, childrens playroom, relaxing room, family room, sauna and jacuzzi 5. Toilets, showers, baby changing area, dishwashing area, family room, laundrette, kitchen and dining room 6. Toilets for visitors to the swimming baths

7. Storage 8. Toilets, baby changing area, emptying point for motorcaravans, kitchen, dining room, showers and family room 9. Cottages 10. Chalets 11. Mini Golf 12. Open-air dance floor 13. Dog bathing area 14. Toilets, showers, water and emptying point for ren campers hild


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