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Swedish Autumn Getaways

YOUR GUIDE TO: GREEN GETAWAYS, CONFERENCE VENUES, AND WEEKEND GETAWAYS

PROMOTING BRAND SCANDINAVIA MAY 2012

A GUIDE BY SCAN MAGAZINE


Contents Green Getaways .................................. 4 The general travel mentality is going through some profound changes, with more and more people recognising the impact they have on their surroundings, and thus looking for more sustainable alternatives when it comes to holidaymaking.

Green Conference Venues.................. 15 There are plenty of conference venues in Sweden that are known for their sustainability efforts and green agenda, and they will certainly leave guests inspired, fully content and with a clear conscience.

Weekend Getaways ............................ 18 For a relaxing weekend break head to Sweden to explore its gorgeous countryside or to discover a tranquil oasis within one of its bustling cities. The striking autumn colours of Sweden are sure to bring people closer together and create the perfect backdrop for a quick getaway holiday.

SWEDISH AUTUMN GETAWAYS Published by Scan Magazine Ltd Insert to Scan Magazine, Issue 40, May 2012 Published on 08.05.2012 Executive Editor: Thomas Winther Creative Director: Mads E. Petersen Editor: Nia Kajastie Copy Editor: Mark Rogers Sales and Key Accounts Manager: Miriam Wesslén Dechicha Cover and Introduction photos: Imagebank.sweden.se Scan Magazine Limited 4 Baden Place, Crosby Row, London SE1 1YW Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423 info@scanmagazine.co.uk www.scanmagazine.co.uk © All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Magazine Ltd. Scan Magazine® is a registered trademark of Scan Magazine Ltd. This guide contains advertorials/ promotional articles.

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Swedish Autumn Getaways | Introduction

Enjoy Sweden this autumn Welcome to our guide to Swedish autumn getaways: a comprehensive introduction to short breaks in Sweden. Here, we will introduce you to green holiday options as well as great destinations for weekend getaways within Sweden. We have also included some excellent conference venues known for their sustainability efforts and green agenda. The general travel mentality is going through some profound changes, with more and more people recognising the impact they have on their surroundings, and thus looking for more sustainable alternatives when it comes to holidaymaking. Our travel guide includes some of the most green travel experiences in Sweden for the autumn.

Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people� (TIES, 1990, The International Ecotourism Society). This new way of thinking combines commercial tourism with a respectful approach to local cultures, and as a result creates new, sustainable tourism economies. Perhaps you are also looking for those gorgeous Swedish landscapes or an oasis in a bustling city, where you can enjoy a romantic or relaxing weekend break. In an increasingly stressful and demanding society, it is exceedingly important to stop, look and listen to our hearts once in a while. The guide will introduce you to the striking autumn colours of Sweden that are sure to bring people closer together and create the perfect backdrop for a quick getaway holiday.

From quaint, personalised accommodation to lovely views sitting by a lake surrounded by stunning nature, Sweden has it all. You are definitely in for a treat, if you decide to travel to Sweden this autumn. And even if you are not travelling for leisure, the green conference venues in Sweden will leave you inspired, fully content and with a clear conscience. Read on to find out more about the best autumn getaways and eco-friendly conference venues in Sweden.

Nia Kajastie, Editor

A GUIDE BY

SCAN M A G A Z I N E

A Guide by Scan Magazine | May 2012 | 3


Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Getaways


Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Getaways

Green Getaways Introduction:

Swedish eco-tourism’s quality-labelling by Nature’s Best... lot during their visit. Together with the label’s skilled entrepreneurs, Nature’s Best has been the driving force behind an increasing selection of exciting experiences from Abisko in the north to Skåne’s Österlen in the south of Sweden – a collaboration that has been honoured with a number of national awards, and that is constantly being complemented as the label’s approved organisers receive new local awards. ...Makes it easy for you to enjoy yourself in a sustainable way ...Leads the way to the most exciting parts of Swedish nature Nature’s Best is a quality assurer that has highlighted close to 250 exciting Swedish nature experiences, including lobster safaris, archipelago canoeing, bear watching, mountain hiking with Sami reindeer herders, Baltic Sea sailings, eagle safaris, alpine weeks, forest rides with spa experiences, wolf tracking, dog sledding with Jacuzzi bubble baths, winter sleigh tours with folk music, national park visits, moose hunting, trout fishing, forest hermitage in tree houses, oyster tasting, and much more – experiences which have received a lot of media coverage in the international press and mass media. ...Gathers a selection of Sweden’s most renowned nature experience organisers Swedish eco-tourism quality-labelling draws on a number of basic principles

that can be summarised by key phrases, such as quality, continuous improvement, putting the quality of the guest’s experiences first, competent and stimulating guides, comfortable or alternative accommodation, plates of local delicacies, and active conservation and protection of cultural heritage. Simply put, it is all about enjoyable nature experiences, all in collaboration with and with respect for the nature, culture and people of the destination.

Nature’s Best always emphasises the guest’s holistic experience. It is not exclusively about fantastic encounters with Swedish nature and the country’s cultural heritage. Many experience packages, though not all, focus just as much on providing opportunities to taste local delicacies, stay in comfort and travel with ease: simply being able to enjoy Swedish nature to the fullest.

...Provides tomorrow’s nature experiences from north to south According to numerous trend spotters, the future is bright for Nature’s Best experiences. It is all about satisfying a demand among a growing group of travellers who want to experience more, meet the locals, travel in harmony with nature and cultural heritage, and ideally learn a

Text by Nature’s Best Photos: Fredrik Broman/imagebank.sweden.se For more information, please visit: www.naturesbestsweden.com

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Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Getaways

A perfect getaway on the Swedish High Coast

offers great shopping, culture and transport links. There are, for example, direct flights from Gothenburg to Sundsvall/ Härnösand with Skyways.

If you are longing to escape the stress of city life and searching for an extraordinary, remote location, Lotsstugan, situated high on the cliffs with panoramic views of the Gulf of Bothnia in the north of Sweden, is your answer. This wonderful cottage is simply breathtaking. By Emelie Krugly Hill | Photos: Lotsstugan

Lotsstugan welcomes pre-booked groups, and the entire facility is available to them with full board and full service, for a minimum of seven people. “This is the perfect place for parents or grandparents who want a comfortable base for an exciting adventure with their relatives, or for friends who are seeking experiences in the High Coast nature. It's also a great place for teambuilding and for companies to develop ideas, or business planning,” says Annika Höök, who has been running the facility since 2002. Lotsstugan lovingly prepares dishes based on carefully selected high-quality ingredients. “We have a great love for good

food, the menus are seasonal and 80% of our food is locally produced and organic,” explains Annika. The interior is pleasing with sea views from all of the 11 rooms containing around 20 beds. If you are lucky, you may spot an eagle or a seal from your window. The cottage and its owners are very much environmentally conscious. “Our heating is provided by solar and pellet heating, electricity comes from a wind energy cooperative and the food is locally produced or organic,” says Annika. Lotsstugan is open all year around, apart from July. The cottage is situated seven kilometres from Härnösand, which

Explore one of the longest trails in Scandinavia The Sörmlandsleden trail guides you through the beautiful Swedish county of Sörmland, famous for its natural beauty, oak pastures, manor houses and castles. It stretches for more than 1,000 kilometres and takes you along the shores of the Baltic Sea, through woodlands, past forest lakes and historical sites. By Sara Schedin | Photo: Sörmlandsleden

“The trail is a great way to discover the Swedish wilderness, both for those looking for a casual stroll and for those wanting a multi-day adventure,” says Karin Reibring, registry officer at the volunteer association Sörmlandsleden, which works to maintain the trail. Sörmlandsleden consists of 100 or so

sections, and the entire trail is marked with orange circles. Information is displayed at the beginning of each section making it a safer way to experience the Sörmland nature. The trail starts at the tube station Björkhagen in the south of Stockholm and continues all the way down to the large

For more information, please visit: www.lotsstugan.com

forest Kolmården, which separates Sörmland from the county Östergötland. You can even begin your hike at the arrival halls at Stockholm Skavsta Airport, which connects to more than 50 destinations in Europe. If you are going for a long-distance hike, you can bring your own tent or stay in one of the many shelters provided. There are also several bed and breakfasts and hostels along the way. Sörmlandsleden offers scenic beauty as well as historical sites, such as castles, traditional Swedish crofts and old mines. If you are looking for an additional activity during your hike, you can try geocaching, a treasure hunting game that uses a hand-held GPS to find hidden treasures. “But the best thing about walking along Sörmlandsleden is the tranquillity and being in harmony with nature. It takes you to stunning places you never would have seen otherwise,” says Reibring. For more information, please visit: www.sormlandsleden.se

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Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Getaways

Mindfulness and adventure in the World Heritage area of Lapland Discover the vast wilderness and cultural landscape of Laponia in the north of Sweden together with Bearfoot North. The company and its founder Claes-Jörgen Pohl offer exclusive and unique wildlife experiences in this breathtakingly beautiful World Heritage area, where the Sami people have lived and worked for thousands of years. By Sara Schedin | Photos: Bearfoot North

“I grew up in these parts and learned from a young age how to respect and coexist with nature. Bearfoot North is my way of sharing my knowledge and love for this area with other people,” says Claes-Jörgen. During his years as a leadership coach, Claes-Jörgen often felt restricted by the four walls of a classroom, so he decided to take his classes into the wilderness instead. “There is no better place to learn about leadership and management than during a hike. All the tools you need are right here. You’ll learn about everything from conflict management to communication and decision-making,” says Claes-Jörgen.

He emphasises that Bearfoot North is not about extreme activities but about enjoying the silence, the spectacular views and experiencing Sami culture. The company is a member of the Swedish Ecotourism Association and works to preserve the Laponian nature and culture for future generations.

ence the area’s rich fauna and wildlife upclose. In the summertime, you can go on a midnight sun hike, on which you get to experience nature at night, or you can climb the mountain Áhkká which rises to 2015 metres above sea level. For those looking for a longer adventure, there is a weeklong hike that takes you from Ritsem, where Bearfoot North has its base, through the mountain forests, along the mountain plateau, down to the Norwegian fjords and back.

“It’s important for us to protect and preserve the environment we grew up in. We want to promote and strengthen all the cultural treasures that the area offers,” says Claes-Jörgen. Bearfoot North offers theme-based daytrips or multi-day adventures for both individuals and companies. You will walk through Laponia’s stunning national parks, taste traditional food, and experi-

To learn more about the adventures mentioned above or to find out about Bearfoot North’s many other themebased experiences, please visit: www.bearfootnorth.se

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Photo: Lars Sjöqvist/Ute.se

Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Getaways

Behind every corner, there’s a new story Around 400 years ago, the Forest Finns left eastern Finland and settled in central Sweden to pursue so-called slash-and-burn agriculture. Today, though the Forest Finns have long since integrated into Swedish society, the cultural heritage they left behind is still very much alive. Finnskogarna, or the Finn Forest, offers a wide range of tourist experiences, all telling the story of the people that once came and made this land their own. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Finnskogarna

“It was long said that the Forest Finns had magical powers,” says Susanne Andersson, a project manager in the area of Forest Finn descent. “They lived in smoke cottages and had smoke saunas, and their food and handicrafts were also very special.” In order to preserve what is left of the tradition, the umbrella organisation Finnskogarna works with just under 50 local businesses to tell the story of the Forest Finns to visitors to the region.

Rikkenstorp offers accommodation both in modern cottages and on the farm itself, Abbas Stugby & Camping in Torsby offers even more choice, with everything from camping space to luxurious houses with modern saunas and fireplaces. Alongside a restaurant with freshly prepared traditional cuisine made of local produce, the site is also home to the only Profile Trek Store in Sweden, with mountain bike activities for beginners and veterans alike.

“There is so much to see and do,” says Andersson and talks about Finngården Rikkenstorp, the organically run smallholdings with a nearby culture trail and a farmhouse museum that depicts the dayto-day life of its former inhabitants. While

Those less keen on sports might enjoy a crafts course in yarn dyeing, lacemaking or iron preparation at Orsa Finnmark’s Fågelsjö, an old country estate owned by a wealthy family of Forest Finn heritage; while Packstation Högfall offers a variety

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of horse riding excursions including threeto six-day packing school trips as well as wolf and bear tracking tours. With a number of activities already approved by Nature’s Best and another handful awaiting approval, Finnskogarna has added its own cornerstone to the already existing three of environment, quality and safety. “Historical knowledge of the Finn Forest is key. We should know it inside out,” Andersson makes clear. And no wonder, as the organisation’s strapline reveals: behind every corner, there’s a new story.

Photo: Lars Sjöqvist/Värmlands Museum

For more information, please visit: finnskogarna.com


Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Getaways

Wild adventures in Sweden’s outback Experience the wilderness of the north of Sweden together with Aurora Borealis Adventures and their team of 50 Siberian huskies. You can either whoosh through the stunning landscape in a dog sled (on wheels in the summer) or try some of the many other activities they have on offer. By Sara Schedin | Photos: Aurora Borealis Adventures

“In addition to dog sledding, we do things such as white-water rafting, stand-up paddling and kennel visits. We always finish off the day with a typical Västerbotten meal made with locally produced food,” says Donald Eriksson, who started Aurora Borealis Adventures in 1993 together with his wife Maria Gustafsson. The company is based in Vindeln in Västerbotten, just on the border with Lapland, where the northern lights play across the sky in winter and the sun only sets for a couple of hours in the summertime. “We provide high-quality experiences in beautiful surroundings for groups of

two to forty people. For our company clients, we arrange conferences, team building and complete solutions,” says Donald. You can stay at their guesthouse or in one of the nearby hotels that they work with. The meals are served in a Sami tipi in the forest and are cooked by Donald who worked as a chef for 17 years. There is a lot of local game, fish and berries on the menu, and they try to use as many organic products as possible. Donald and Maria’s tours have been awarded the Nature’s Best label, which is the first national quality label for nature tours in Europe. Caring for the environ-

ment is very important to them, and they are committed to minimising the negative impact on nature and the local Sami culture. For more information, please visit: www.auroraborealis.nu

An unexplored pearl in Swedish Lapland Here, you are welcome to pick berries together with Eivor, fish for trophy char with Örjan, or listen to local stories and songs by the fire with Irene. In this village bursting with entrepreneurship, hospitality and community spirit, visitors are offered genuine experiences that make them feel at home. “The idea is to offer authentic, contrasting experiences together with the villagers all year round,” says Eva-Lena Skalstad, director of the cooperatively owned village initiative Lapland Vuollerim

Welcomes You Ltd, the first ever actor to get nominated for the best outdoor experience at the Stockholm Wilderness Fair three years in a row. The house hopping dinner event perfectly embodies the project’s cooperative spirit. Visitors get to spend an evening in village homes, having a starter, main course and dessert in three different houses. “Guests love to see how people live,” says Skalstad. “It’s an amazing meeting of cultures, and just as enjoyable for the villagers themselves.”

Coinciding with the world-famous Jokkmokk Winter Market is also the festival when the locals create thousands of ice lanterns. Archaeological findings from the Ice Age, a cooperatively owned hotel, products approved by Nature’s Best, and a rare, blue light in the winter when the sun never rises, make Vuollerim a magical place. This is not just a place you visit; it is a way of life you learn to love. A sample of activities: - The 1,000 Ice Lanterns’ Festival, first week in February - Horseback riding in the midnight sun, June to July - Forest Sami Safari, May to October - Cloudberry Festival, August - Moose hunt, September to November - Skiing behind a horse, November to April - Blue Lights Festival, December

For more information, please visit: www.laplandvuollerim.se

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By Linnea Dunne | Photos:Lapland Vuollerim

“Five-star experiences and world-class hospitality.” That is what guests are saying about Vuollerim, a picturesque village close to the Arctic Circle in Lapland, Sweden.


Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Getaways

Kayaking through the most beautiful part of Sweden With dramatic mountains crashing into the Gulf of Bothnia, and the majestic Ångerman River running through deep, green forests, the area around Härnösand is one particularly well suited to exploration by kayak. Water lover and experienced paddler Lars Blad makes it possible, with the family-run High Coast Experience. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: High Coast Experience

“I’ve always been into paddling,” says Blad, founder of High Coast Experience. “My older brother and I used to go canoeing from our home in Uppsala through Stockholm and out into the Baltic Sea, when I was only ten or eleven. We’d pack our canoe full of tinned food and head off with our lifejackets and a map. It was fantastic.” Years later, as a member of the kayak club in Härnösand, he spotted a gap in the market as people phoned up asking to hire kayaks, and so High Coast Experience was born. “This is the ideal spot for kayaking, so it didn’t make sense to send people elsewhere. I invested in a couple of kayaks, and it grew from there.” Welcoming veterans and amateurs alike, Blad has put together a handful of kayak-

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ing tours that present the rolling landscape of roaring mountains, green forests and a dramatic coastline. Experienced kayakers can hire equipment and get dropped off to go on their own five- to tenday adventure along the wild coast, while

less confident explorers can take the calmer route down the Ångerman River from Sollefteå. Beginners are joined by qualified tour leaders who adapt the trips according to age and fitness. “The High Coast is one of the most beautiful parts of Sweden, but it’s surprisingly unknown,” says Blad about the area, which is included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List due to its unique geology, with cliffs bursting straight out of the sea, a souvenir of the last glaciation. “With Sweden’s Right of Public Access and a fantastic coastline that is still reasonably untouched, this is a great way to unwind in nature.” Kayakers either set up tent wherever seems appropriate or check in at a local bed and breakfast or holiday cottage, and visitors who want to spend a night in a hotel in the city of Härnösand can get Blad’s help with that too. In fact, there is not much he will not do for his guests. “For those who want to stay on dry land, we have now started to arrange trekking tours as well,” he smiles. For more information, please visit: www.highcoastexperience.se


Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Getaways

Omberg

Gjestgifveri Sommerhagen

Ombergs Turisthotell

Urnatur

City pulse and natural attractions in one package Just two hours from Stockholm lies the county of Östergötland, where city and nature meet to create an unparalleled combination of sights and activities for the discerning traveller. It is the ideal autumn retreat to soak up some culture whilst caring for the environment.

the Grand Travel Tourism Award’s Ecotourism Prize for 2012. For those more traditionally minded, there is Gjestgifveri Sommarhagen or Ombergs Turisthotell, which has been listed in the White Guide since 2008. Ecologically grown and locally farmed produce is characteristic of this area as is eco-friendly accommodation.

By Ulrika Osterlund | Photos: Visit Östergötland

Östergötland has Sweden’s southernmost wilderness, with enormous woodlands and huge altitude differences, lending itself to adventures and fun for the whole family. Nature tourism is in focus, and visitors can really take advantage of what mother earth has to offer. Do a spot of bird watching at Lake Tåkern, which has watchtowers facing all four cardinal directions, or go hiking or bicycling along one of the many pathways at Omberg, the holy mountain of Östergötland. The colours of the foliage are stunning at this time of year, and guided tours are available. With thousands of lakes, you can even rent your own lake for pleasure fishing and enjoy the peace of the untouched waters. Why not go kayaking in the archipelago on the east coast, among its 9,000 islets?

Horseback riding on the plains is another popular activity. For something quieter, engage in some mushroom and berry picking, perfect for the autumn season. The main cities of Linköping and Norrköping add a touch of culture and a city vibe for those who are looking for excitement. This embodies the allure of this part of Sweden: the contrast of city life and nature. The famous Göta Kanal runs through the county, spanning 190 kilometres of waterways along its 58 locks, with various attractions, activities and events along the way. For a stay out of the ordinary, spend a night at Urnatur, bathe in a wood-fired hot tub under the stars and sleep among the treetops, at this hotel which was awarded

For more information, please visit: www.visitostergotland.se www.naturguidning.se www.ostkustenkajak.se www.urnatur.se www.hotelsommarhagen.se www.ombergsturisthotell.se www.trollmarker.se

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Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Getaways

Preserving the natural beauty of Stockholm’s archipelago Skärgårdsstiftelsen is a foundation with a mission to open opportunities for all people to experience and enjoy Stockholm’s archipelago, while maintaining the countryside and promoting the development of the area. By Emelie Krugly Hill | Photos: Anna Björkman/Skärgårdsstiftelsen

Sweden's largest archipelago consists of 30,000 islands, islets and rocks. Some are lonely and uninhabited, while others feature housing, restaurants and hotels. The inner archipelago is home to lush green islands, and further out, you will find smooth bare rocks in front of an open horizon. “The foundation protects the archipelago's amazing environments of varying character, carefully managing access to

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an increasing number of new visitors. It's an exciting challenge,” says Lena Nyberg. A transformation Nyberg, a former Children's Ombudsman, was appointed as a director of the foundation in 2010.

publicly owned land in the archipelago of interest for outdoor recreation and conservation was gathered under one principality. Skärgårdsstiftelsen owns some 12,000 hectares, equating to 12% of all land in the Stockholm archipelago, including around buildings. The foundation supports agriculture, forestry, building, sanitation, conservation, youth hostels, restaurants and natural harbours. Developing the archipelago

Founded in 1959, the organisation underwent a transformation in 1998, when Stockholm City Council handed over their owned land. This meant that virtually all

“There are roughly forty rangers working on sanitation and environmental protection, and thanks to the efforts of the foundation and its 24,000 supporters, visitors


Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Getaways

get the chance to see, for example, an array of protected wildlife, including eagles, owls and seals,” says Nyberg. “We want to be informative and pass on knowledge about our operations, including everything from environmental policy, conservation and tourism, to agricultural organization, development and governance. We also hope that we can attract more visitors to our sites in the archipelago,” says Nyberg. “The need for sponsors and business partners is important, and we are reaching out our hands to business leaders and entrepreneurs that would like to be part of helping us develop our beautiful and unique archipelago,” Lena Nyberg explains. The Archipelago Foundation You can become a Friend of the Archipelago Foundation, which costs 300 SEK a

year and that includes a book and a member’s magazine, as well as the opportunity to join exclusive guided trips. A family membership costs 375 SEK. Another more recent focus has been to engage the younger generation residing in the archipelago, discovering what they want to change in order to retain interest in the area. Having recently received EU funding for this youth project, the foundation will provide outreach activity through various seminars and conferences.

“Hundreds of thousands of visitors are amazed by this unique environment every year, with many of them international visitors. They are amazed by Sweden’s law, giving everyone the right to roam free in the wild,” Nyberg says. “Translated as ‘everyman's right’, it’s one of Sweden's four fundamental laws; a beautiful thing that has a huge impact on our wellbeing.” Lena Nyberg, director of Skärgårdsstiftelsen

Children in focus “To focus on children and young people is important in many ways. Children must be able to influence their environment, and it is important to captivate the interest of our future audience. We want to continue to engage people who care about the archipelago and to develop it for future visitors,” says Lena Nyberg.

For more information, please visit: www.skargardsstiftelsen.se

Photo: Ulrika Palmblad

Photo: Ulrika Palmblad

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Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Getaways

Since 2007, visitors to Stockholm have been able to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city, from the rooftops. Unique in the world, “Upplev Mer” (Experience more) offers guided tours, on which you can learn about the city from above. Taking a walk on the roofs of the historic buildings at Riddarholmen in the Old City might sound a little nerve-racking, but coordinator Veerle Schrovens reassures us that it is completely safe. The groups are never larger than eleven people and are accompanied by two guides equipped with a great knowledge of Stockholm as well as sets of security equipment. “Once

you get used to it, there is nothing to it, and it is a unique experience. In no other capital city do you get this opportunity.” Personal tours It is important for Upplev Mer that every visitor gets the most from the rooftop walks. The guides are therefore chosen based on what kind of group they are tak-

Take a tour from the top Cost: Group tour 525SEK, Private tour, two persons 2,500 SEK Duration: The tour lasts one hour and fifteen minutes. To consider: Read the requirements on the website before registering.

For more information, please visit: www.upplevmer.se

By Anne Margrethe Mannerfelt | Photos: Upplev Mer

Stockholm from above

ing out. For Swedes, they go a little more in depth than they do for visitors from other countries. A group from Britain will learn about the Brits’ relationship with Sweden. And a group of architects will get a tour focusing on buildings rather than historic events. “We also organise tours for two persons, where we can be even more personal and flexible,” Schrovens says. “It can be beautiful to be on the top of the roofs in the sunset. We have witnessed proposals on several occasions, all with successful outcomes, not very surprisingly.”

Gävleborg: A Natural Playground The county of Gävleborg offers a wealth of natural experiences from the extreme to the gentle. Discover Sweden's densest population of bears, a beautiful coastline dotted with picturesque fishing villages and lush green countryside, all in close proximity to Stockholm by train and car.

Erika Larsson is project manager at Region Gävleborg and is in charge of a threeyear long EU-funded project which aims to stimulate the development of tourism within the county during 2011-2013. ”In this project, we are working with an increasing number of export mature products, bringing them to an international market,” she says. The area has a proud history both in forestry and agriculture; both have left a

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clear legacy environmentally and culturally.

Mackmyra whiskey distillery

“We often refer to the area as a natural playground which appeals to the Swedish lifestyle: an exciting blend of old and new culture. The town of Gävle, for example, has a rich cultural scene encompassing art, music and theatre,” says Erika Larsson. The highly popular Millennium film trilogy based on the books by author Stieg Larsson was partly filmed in the area, and the village of Segersta in the province of Hälsingland was where the movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was based. The Segersta Bridge is now known as the "Millennium Bridge”. Gävle is home to a whiskey distillery called Mackmyra; it of-

fers guided tours and is proud of its heritage and a more recent appearance in one of the film adaptions of Larsson's books. Gävleborg is roughly 170 kilometres north of the Swedish capital. For more information, please visit: www.mid-sweden.com

By Emelie Krugly Hill | Photos:Region Gävleborg

The county focuses on sustainable tourism, and several companies have been certified with the quality label “Nature's Best”. A fine example is the town of Järvsö, working actively and purposefully to become Sweden's first sustainable destination.


Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Conference Venues

Left: The library (Photo: Åke E:son Lindman). Middle top: Engholms Castle. Below: CEO Kerstin Johansson. Right: The dining hall (Photo: Åke E:son Lindman).

Feel at home in a castle environment Engsholms Castle was built in 1916, but the history dates back to the 14th century. It is located on the island of Mörkö by the Baltic Sea, only a 45-minute drive from Stockholm. When driving up the linden alley, you are met by a castle with 16th century architecture, reminding you of grand times when noble families lived in the castle, strolled around the park and went hunting in the forests. The atmosphere gives energy and inspiration to any meeting. By Anne Margrethe Mannerfelt | Photos: Engsholms Castle

Engsholms Castle is a family-run conference and meeting place for which CEO Kerstin Johansson is the third generation. For many years, the family has run all restaurants at the Stockholm International Fairs and is from July this year also managing all restaurants in Stockholm City Hall, including the Nobel festivities. A personal family feeling is important for all their undertakings. Feel at home Engsholm does not have the typical hotel reception. When entering, you step right into the hallway and are greeted by the hotel owner. “Engsholm is unique for many

reasons,” Johansson says. “We are one of the few conference castles by the Baltic Sea, and our surroundings are famous for their rich and unique animal and birdlife. But most important is our high level of service and quality.” Take a stroll in the park or why not be a Swedish James Bond for a day? Engsholms Castle has 53 rooms, modern conference facilities, and a top-class restaurant, serving game and ecological delicacies from local providers. The hotel and restaurant both have the Nordic eco label and are also members of IACC, International Hotel and Conference Associ-

ation. One of the most special features about the castle is the beautiful park. Just taking a stroll is a treat. The hotel also offers activities such as boat trips and hunting excursions. Recently, the castle was home to a large Swedish film production. “A movie about the Swedish equivalent of James Bond, Hamilton, was recently shot here. On that theme, we are offering an adventurous activity, for which visitors can become Hamilton for a day.” Engsholms Castle provides the settings for any meeting, whether it is a conference for 60 people or just a meeting for two. “We are keen to make every meeting a success,” Johansson says. “We will arrange the logistics, activities and menus, suited to the needs of our guests, so that they can feel relaxed and focus on the meeting.”

For more information, please visit: www.engsholm.se

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Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Conference Venues

Carbon-neutral conferencing with great food and focus There is a history behind Sånga-Säby Hotell & Konferens that is far more important than the names of the people who have worked there or what is behind the walls of its beautiful old manor house. Founded and owned by the National Farmers’ Association (LRF), this is a conference centre that puts green, local thinking first. “You understand what we mean when you stand on our big balcony, looking over the lake Mälaren and drinking its water, purified and carbonated by us just to avoid the wasteful transportation of bottled water,” says Anders Törnroth. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Sånga-Säby

You could say that Sånga-Säby is its own ecosystem, completely carbon neutral since 2007, according to the Respect Europe programme, and the first ever Nordic hotel to be approved by eco label Svanen. With only 0.47kg CO2 emissions per guest per night, the environment is considered in every decision made by sales director Törnroth and his colleagues.

“You sleep well, eat well, and can take a calming, re-energising break in nature whenever you need it, and as a result, you work well.” choice of eight different wholesome salads alongside meat, fish and a vegetarian option, and sometimes even a soup – and that is only for lunch!

For the love of food The head chef is the heart and soul of the place and a real perfectionist. “It’s got to the stage where our suppliers always double-check the meat before delivering it, as they know we’ll return anything that isn’t perfect,” says Törnroth. “Food is so important when it comes to conferencing.” That is why conference guests enjoy a

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The breakfast buffet is just as impressive and a good reason to set the alarm nice and early. Choose from a wide range of freshly-baked breads with plenty of toppings, juices and fruit, and finish off with a fluffy pastry. At dinner time, the restaurant always serves up a three-course meal, and wine enthusiasts can book a

wine tasting session, either as a substitute for an aperitif or as an event on its own. Brand new extension and modernising mission Unsurprisingly, this eco haven does not limit its environmental awareness to its kitchen. A brand new wing with 72 double rooms is currently in the making, due to open its doors in August, and modernity is paramount to this build: not only will the water of lake Mälaren be utilised, but solar and geothermal heating will also be looked at. In fact, not even the lobby and the other parts of the main building will escape the hammer, as Sånga-Säby is going all in on its modernising mission. Yet another part of the eco-consciousness is an insistence on unparalleled waste recycling. While most Swedish homes divide their rubbish into five different categories of waste, Sånga-Säby uses 47. “You have no idea how many different types of plastic there are,” Törnroth explains. And in fairness to them, the organisation’s stubbornness has had a spill-over effect, with the local council having adapted in


Swedish Autumn Getaways | Green Conference Venues

order to take care of the carefully separated waste. All-round concept for heart and soul Being one with nature is not all about food and recycling, of course. As Törnroth insists: “This is a lovely, peaceful place to be, both physically and mentally. When I’ve been in town for meetings, I always really feel the urge to get back.” This might be why conference guests at Sånga-Säby tend to make the most of their visit, most often choosing to spend the night but always making sure that there is enough time for a run in the woods or even some canoeing. An old barn, a remnant of the mansion’s farming past, makes the perfect spot for team-building exercises like cowboy battles and other competitions, and a sauna down by the water makes a quick dip in the lake a possibility all year round. Even more advanced activities, such as clay pigeon shooting, can be arranged on request, and for rainy days, there are always indoor activities. Conferencing with focus Close enough to Stockholm city centre to be described as handy, the venue is still a safe distance away from shopping centres and pubs and other distractions. With everything you need in one place, you can be sure that all conference participants’ attention will be 100 per cent on getting the job done. “You sleep well, eat well, and can take a calming, re-energising break in nature whenever you need it, and as a result, you work well,” says Törnroth, who says that guests are treated more like family than like customers. As for your carbon footprint, there barely is one. From August on, Sånga-Säby will be able to boast a capacity of 264 beds and an auditorium seating up to 250 people at once, all with a perfectly clean conscience. In the name of all the environmental stamps of approval they have already got, it seems fair to say that they are pretty much unique in that way. For more information, please visit: www.sanga-saby.se

A Guide by Scan Magazine | May 2012 | 17


Swedish Autumn Getaways | Weekend Getaways

18 | A Guide by Scan Magazine | May 2012


Swedish Autumn Getaways | Weekend Getaways

Weekend Getaways Introduction:

Romantic Getaways in the Swedish countryside Past the impressive trees lining the alley, you can see the fairy-tale castle where you will be staying. Oh, how you have been looking forward to this weekend. Welcoming personnel see you to your room. You pour a glass of the chilled champagne, run a bath and slip into the hot water. You make a toast to each other and talk about life until the water feels cool and it is time to get ready and dress for dinner in the main dining room. Your romantic getaway has only just started and the whole weekend lies ahead of you. Text and photos by Countryside Hotels

There is so much more to explore and discover in Sweden than the big cities. From Wallander’s Ystad in the south to wilderness adventures in the north - and everything in between! Staying at one of Countryside Hotels’ properties on the Swedish countryside means that you have a wide

range of experiences to choose from while on a romantic getaway in our amazing country: horseback riding, a round of golf, a painting or gardening class, a romantic boat trip with a picnic basket, a moose safari, cross-country or downhill skiing, galleries and museums, relaxing spas, taking

long unwinding walks… The list is long and only your imagination is the limit. Or, if you prefer, you can just stay in your room! Countryside Hotels’ 38 hotels are found in fairy-tale castles, impressive manor houses, welcoming guesthouses and charming inns in the Swedish countryside. Passionate owners who take great pride in their lifework run them all. And all of them serve great food. That is the essence of Countryside Hotels. Read more about Countryside Hotels at www.countrysidehotels.se

A Guide by Scan Magazine | May 2012 | 19


Swedish Autumn Getaways | Weekend Getaways

Mornington Hotel: Your home base in Stockholm At first you might think that you are stepping into a private house, as the first things that will catch your eye are some of the 4,000 books that the four-star Mornington Hotel in Stockholm has handpicked for their guests.

“In the summer months, we open our secret patio where our guests can enjoy breakfast and drinks,” says Forsberg.

By Emelie Krugly Hill | Photos: Mornington Hotel

The hotel is family run and situated in the heart of the Swedish capital, only a few minutes’ walk from Östermalm square, the metro station, famous food halls, and, of course, numerous shops and restaurants. “The service we provide is personal; we genuinely care about our clients and are keen to get to know them. Every week, guests are invited to our Tuesday club, offering various events and a chance for us to mingle,” says revenue manager Helena Forsberg. Mornington Hotel went through a major renovation in 2010 and has an elegant yet modern, as well as bright and cosy interior and colour scheme. Books play a big

20 | A Guide by Scan Magazine | May 2012

you can also enjoy a special evening meal with free coffee and dessert. The restaurant offers Nordic food at its finest, focusing on locally produced meat, using only the best ingredients and making everything from scratch, and also offers a wide range of wines from every corner of the world.

part in this hotel, resulting in an intimate library style decor that is carried through into the guestrooms. “Our owners have a great interest in books, and all of the 4,000 volumes have been handpicked. We also have a librarian who visits us once a week to take care of the books, both in the lobby and in all of our guestrooms," says Helena Forsberg. The hotel comprises 221 rooms with three price brackets: normal, superior and executive. If you were to choose the superior option, for example, a bathrobe and slippers are included along with access to the Health Club, and you will receive free coffee and dessert, while dining in the restaurant. If you book an executive room,

“The breakfast is an important feature when you stay in a hotel, and we try to have a great variety to meet as many wishes as possible. All of our jam, muesli and pancakes are homemade, and the juices are freshly squeezed,” explains Helena Forsberg. All guestrooms are equipped with a bathroom and shower, desk, chair or sofa, hairdryer, TV, kettle for tea & coffee and toiletries from FACE Stockholm. Wireless Internet and breakfast are always included in the rates. For more information, please visit: www.mornington.se/stockholm


Swedish Autumn Getaways | Weekend Getaways

Deep forests and beautiful views inspire in Värmland

By Anne Margrethe Mannerfelt | Photos: Leif Silversund

In Värmland, you are always close to the nature. The paths and welcoming guides make it accessible for anyone to experience the deep forests and magnificent lakes that have been an inspiration to writers and musicians for hundreds of years. Today, Värmland is a popular getaway from hectic city life as well as a destination for people looking for that balance in life. Cajsa Jansson, coordinator for Region Värmland was born and raised in Värmland. Today, she tells the world about what a great place it is to visit and live in.

last years of his life at the country mansion, Björkborns Herrgård, in Karlskoga, Värmland. Today, there is a museum there where visitors can learn more about the life of the great inventor. Värmland still has close ties to Nobel. Jansson tells us about the very special Klässbols Linen Mill: “At the mill, you can get your own top-quality linen cloths that have been decorating the tables at the Nobel Award Ceremony as well as the Swedish and Norwegian embassies around the world.”

at Vänern, Europe’s third largest lake. Jansson tells us that water is never far away. For example, next to the lake “Elden” you find the Nature Village. “Here, you can live in a nest up in the trees and cook your dinner over an open fire. The plates you eat from are made from the trees and are thrown into the fire when you are done.” The people in Värmland know how to appreciate the treasure they have in their nature and heritage. Region Värmland works towards providing future generations with the same beauty that has inspired and given comfort to generations. Photo: Øyvind Lund

Värmland has a long tradition of storytellers. Literature Nobel prize-winner Selma Lagerlöf is perhaps the most famous internationally. Her stories are filled with vivid nature descriptions giving life to the mystical forests and lakes. It is easy for any visitor to see where the inspiration came from.

Back to nature Nobel next door It is not only the famous Nobel prize-winner Selma Lagerlöf who came from Värmland. Alfred Nobel himself spent the

In Värmland, you can easily escape from a hectic everyday life at one of the many country mansions. Or if you prefer a more active getaway, you can go skiing or kayak

For more information, please visit: www.varmland.se/en/visit

A Guide by Scan Magazine | May 2012 | 21


Swedish Autumn Getaways | Weekend Getaways

Tradition and modern life at Fryksås Hotel, Dalarna It is hard to find anything more Swedish than Dalarna. It is here that the famous “Dalahorses” are made. Folk music is not just an ancient history lesson; it is lived every day and shared by generations. By Anne Margrethe Mannerfelt | Photos: Fryksås Hotel

Fryksås Hotel, located by the lakes Orsa and Siljan, is run by the Schröder and Karlsson families. Here visitors find a perfect match of history and modern hotel standards. In the old days, women farmers used to bring their cattle up to the green hills in the summer. There they lived in cottages, “fäbodar”, producing dairy products. These cottages are now used by Fryksås Hotel to lodge visitors from all around the world. Top restaurant with view of Siljan Fryksås restaurant has a magnificent view overlooking the lakes. Their speciality is

22 | A Guide by Scan Magazine | May 2012

only enjoy the nature but also visit art museums and theatres. “The culture is still very much alive; young teenagers still learn the old tunes on their violins. It is embedded in the souls of the people here,” Karlsson says.

local game delicacies. Ulla Karlsson and her team keep busy all year round with weddings, conferences, family holidays, friend trips and couples looking for a getaway. Bears, skiing, mushrooms and culture There is plenty to do right next to the hotel. In the winters, skiing is the main activity, and in the summers, people come to hike in the unique nature. Towards the autumn, mushroom picking is very popular. At nearby Grönklitt, you can go skiing and see bears living in their natural habitat. In the summers, visitors come to not

For more information, please visit: www.fryksashotell.se


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Swedish Autumn Getaways | May 2012  

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