One of our all-time favourite destinations, Sweden combines an immaculate capital city with a serene west coast and a far north that is essentially one big arctic adventure playground.
The gateway to this magical country is Stockholm - a sophisticated, elegant, manageable and thoroughly civilised city with the added attraction of an archipelago which can be explored by boat. A must-visit to kick off any Sweden holiday. Design hotels and excellent restaurants abound, and Swedish hospitality is legendary. Head for the bohemian area around Rörstrandsgatan, in west Stockholm, where you'll find cosy cafés and cheapish antique shops.
Stockholm is also perfect launch pad for adventures in Swedish Lapland; experience the thrill of dog-sledding, leading your team of eager huskies through snowbound forests, staying in totally private and comfortable woodland cabins each night and eating traditional Swedish delicacies such as reindeer stew with cloudberries. Alternatively, stay at the world-famous Ice Hotel or the equally original Treehotel near Lulea.
Swedish Lapland is also one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, the extraordinary natural light show that occurs in the depths of winter. Shimmering bands of colour drift across the night sky as particles hit the Earth's atmosphere.
Even further north, right on the Norwegian border, lies the tiny ski resort of Riksgränsen. Skiing here starts in February, when the 24-hour darkness of mid-winter begins to lift; come June, you can head back out on to the slopes after supper to ski in a t-shirt under the midnight sun. More conventional skiing is available at the slick resort of Are (pronounced oar-e).
Away from all things snowy, the West Coast is a delight that barely flickers across the radar for most people considering a Sweden holiday, yet there are regular direct flights to the lovely second city of Gothenburg which is worth a weekend in its own right. Better still, explore the beautiful coastline and (another) archipelago including the remote Weather Islands and a place famed for its fabulous fresh food. West Sweden is all about good clean fun, and it's a potentially perfect place for an idyllic summer family holiday. From action packed snow adventures to cosmpolitan city exploration, Sweden is a fantastic holiday destination.
|Gothenburg and the West Coast|