Travel Guide Sweden.
By Thomas Wikman
Swedes like to travel and many Swedes have a lot of experience from
traveling. I know one guy who survived Malaria in the Indonesian jungle
and had witch doctors dancing around him and doing other strange things
in an effort to cure him. A good friend of mine traveled all over
in a Jeep, other Swedes I know lived extended periods of their lives in
countries like the Central African Republic, India, Thailand and Japan.
I like to travel too, and even though I cannot compete with the most
well traveled Swedes I still have some travel experiences of mine own.
Like, loosing my memory (amnesia) in a ski accident in Germany; I
called soviet officers "the cattle of dictatorship" during a
Boris Becker the famous tennis player, stepped on my foot in New York;
and I was there when Chris Evert Lloyd and Martina Navratilova had a
dinner at Jazz Club in Cleveland Ohio; I slept under the bare sky on a
ferry between Italy and Greece; Scuba dived in Bermuda; Enjoyed the
Grecian Islands; and flew across the Atlantic without a passport.
Because I am Swedish and have traveled in my own country I have
experience to give opinions and advice to Americans regarding travel in
Sweden. Everyone is different, and considering that I grew up in
Sweden 5 miles from a small sleepy town called Örnsköldsvik
people) which in my eyes was a gigantic metropolitan, my perspective on
traveling is that I prefer nature and scenery, and quite places.
Swedish Travel Spots
Imagine yourself sitting on top of a rocky hill on an island, perhaps a
hundred feet above the sea level, or perhaps even a thousand feet. You
are all alone, no one else is on the island, and you don't know the
of the island, you just randomly landed your boat here. There are no
houses or roads on any other island as far as you can see, and except
a few birds chirping far away there are no sounds, the silence is
It is warm but not hot, there is only a very slight wind, the water
the island is cool, clear, and clean, and the small fur trees and birch
trees covering the island gives it a "woody" smell.
The sun is right above the horizon, it is red/orange and it is close
to midnight, but before dusk sets in dawn will come. You have been
hot dogs over the fire you made, you have been drinking some Pripps
beer, done some fishing, and picked a bucket of blueberry's for
You don't have to worry about whether this island belongs to someone or
not, you can fish, hike, pick berry's and mushrooms, without asking,
in this country truly "private" landowner ship is illegal. However, the
scenery, the many hilly and mountainous islands and the sparsely
and undiscovered mountainous coastline is unique even in this country.
Where are you? You are in "Höga kusten" or the high coast.
The High Coast is the coast line between the two small towns of
and Härnösand in Northern Sweden. It is a strip of circa 70
along which the scandinavian mountains (Norwegian/Swedish mountain
reaches the coastline forming a mountainous coastline and creating a
amount of islands which really are mountain tops. The area is sparsely
populated and rarely visited by tourists. There is plenty of scenery,
caves, natural beaches and ports, forests, cloud berry fields, lingon
wild strawberry, deep cool and clean lakes with fresh water and good
etc. If you want to get away from it all, and having some quite and
there is hardly a better place than this, well Antarctica, but that is
However, there is more. Fairly recently a 1,500 old iron age, or
village was found buried in the soil, in Domsjö-Gene a suburban
to Örnsköldsvik.In Northern Sweden it makes perfect sense to
call a village 5 miles from a town with a population of 10,000 a suburb
to that town. This village is now referred to as Gene-Fornby and is the
most northern pre-viking scandinavian settlement ever found. This
was researched and reconstructed and is now open to visitors.
dress and act like people did back in the old days and for a very low
you can join, bake bread, shoot arrows, and visit the long house, and
stay and live there, see the link.
Örnsköldsvik itself is also an interesting place to visit
despite its smallness and sleepiness. There is a very fun indoors water
park, a good seafood restaurant, a mountain top restaurant, a cafe,
and a good ski slope and high jump (skiing) right in the middle of the
town, and you can take boat trips to islands or Finland. Other
in the neighborhood are the many rivers and streams where you can do
and fishing (no license needed just go), the many lakes where you can
and fish, and a really good climbing cave called "Gideå
Other attractions is "skule grottan", and a large sea-side beach called
Gullvik, and a bridge with the largest span in Europe. Another thing to
note is that crime is very low here, don't lock your car, and
your baby in the carriage outside the restaurant, its safe.
Swedish Scandinavian Mountains
The Scandinavian Mountain Range covers most of Norway and the North
of Sweden. A large portion of Northern Sweden and Northern Norway is
the polar circle. For this reason this area have midnight sun in June,
several days of night in December, and extra bright and flaring Aurora
Borealis. Considering that the area is sparsely populated, is
and is partially tundra, it has a lot in common with Alaska, and indeed
hikers and other visitors come here for similar reasons to why people
Alaska. However, this area is not as cold as Alaska and can be quite
in the summer.
The Swedish Northwest scandinavian mountains covers an area roughly
the size of Wisconsin and has a lot of ski resorts and many large
parks, like Sarek
, Stora Sjöfallet (Big Falls), Padjelanta, Muddus, Peljekajse,
as well as many lakes, rivers, and cabin villages with cabins for rent.
A North Scandinavian indigenous people called the "same",
or "sami", or "lapps" live here. The same still practice a type of
herding lifestyle (rain deer) that was common 12,000 years ago but
exists nowhere but here. The same are also fisherman and hunters of sea
mammals. They dress in very colorful clothes and build "Kåtas"
look like tipis. While skiing or hiking you sometimes run into a
and can use it for resting. Did you know that the word "Tundra" is
a sami word.
Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Northern Sweden
The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi in Northern Sweden is a hotel that is
built entirely out of snow and ice. It is essentially a gigant igloo.
It is located 200Km north of the Arctic Circle. It melts in the summer
and is rebuilt in the fall. The ice comes from the Torne River and has
an exceptional quality due to the soft steady currents of the water
during freezing. The beds, the art, the pillars, the bar, the glasses,
the furniture, everything is made from ice. Staying in the Ice Hotel
over night is a clearly a cool experience, pardon the pun. You can also
do Ice Fishing, go Snow Mobiling, go on Moose safari, and do much more.
Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. It is called the "Venice of the
because of its waterways and bridges, Stockholm is a city of
architectural variety and elegance, with dozens of first-rate museums
a lively nightlife. Built on 14 small islands joined by bridges
open bays and narrow channels, Stockholm is a handsome, civilized city
filled with parks, squares, and airy boulevards, yet it is also a
modern metropolis. Glass-and-steel skyscrapers abound, but you are
more than a five-minute walk from twisting medieval streets and
walkways. Things to see here are Gamla Stan (old medieval city on an
in the middle of Stockholm), The Royal Palace, Skansen (animals and
fun to do), Gröna Lund (amusement park), the Vasa museum (a
17-the century war-ship) , Kings Garden, City Hall, and the Nordic
Gotland is an island in the Baltic sea. It has a picturesque scenery
a rugged coast line often with greatly eroded old cliffs formed into
shapes. Some of these shapes look like creatures or trolls and such
are referred to as a rauk. I also remember visiting some rocky
islands surrounded by huge steep slopes all around. Gotland's
flat landscape and many safe camp grounds makes it a great place to do
bicycling. Thousands of people take a bicycling vacation on Gotland.
has a lot of viking time and medieval buildings, ships, villages, rune
stones, churches and other artifacts to visit and see. Visby is the
town on Gotland, and it is the last medieval town in Sweden with its
walls (Visby ringmur) still intact. You get to Gotland by boat/ferry or
Öland is an island in the baltic see. Over 400 windmills symbolize
this island, which is carved from a single limestone rock. Its
beaches, camp grounds, and nature preserve make it a fine place for
and camping. It is a favorite spot for the traditional midsummer
that Swedes do. "Borgholms slott" is a big medieval castle outside
Ölands biggest town, it is a great place to visit, and they have
Stockholm's skärgård or the Stockholm Archipelago has a very
large amount of islands, some are inhabited some are not. There are
villages, old historical artifacts, beaches, towns, small ports, light
houses, and many other things to see here. However, nothing beats
among the many islands and viewing the scenery. Sightseeing tours from
Stockholm extend far into the archipelago; and from Nynashamn, about 48
kilometers (30 miles) south, you can get on a boat that will take you
a full day trip through the islands or all the way to Gotland.
The fourth largest city in Sweden, Uppsala is the site of a historic
cathedral and the country's oldest university. Uppsala is an old
student town with many student clubs called "nations" representing
regions in Sweden. Outside Uppsala lays "Old Uppsala" with a 1,000 year
old church, pre-viking royal burial mounds, and a restaurant serving
a type of viking beer.
Kolmården is a large, well designed zoo, which may not surpass
Diego zoo, but certainly surpasses Cincinatti, Akron, Cleveland, and
zoo. Kolmården is quite unique in the sense that it is designed
give the animals a large and natural habitat. For example, animals like
giraffes, rhinos, and antelopes are all mixed in a large savannah like
area where they are free to run and roam like animals usually cannot do
in zoos. Kolmården also have a safari. You drive your car through
a forest with elephants, bears, wolf, and lions, and yes, you are truly
mingling with the animals, so don't leave your car, you may actually
eaten, and don't annoy the elephants they have banged up cars.
Ångermanland is a county in Northern
which contains both Örnsköldsvik and Höga Kusten
above, but also other places of interest, like Härnösand,
Kubbe, Ramsele, Ångermanälven, Gideåälven,
Sollefteå and Kramfors. Ramsele offers vrey good skiing, and
has a child oriented amusement park and zoo which definitely is one of
the best places in the world to take your kids.
and Gideåälven are rivers good for fishing and canoeing.
bron is a very large bridge with Sweden's largest bridge span.
is a place (river/creek) which has rhunes written all over it.
Härnösand, and Kramfors are old silent north swedish towns
good dining and hotels. For facts on Örnsköldsvik and
Kusten see the first section.
The "kingdom of glass," between the southern towns of Kalmar and
is an area with several glass factories, Orrefors, Kosta, Boda. They
open for visitors and you see glass items being made as well as buy
Kalmar with the famous castle "Kalmar slott" is also an interesting
to visit. A six kilometer (four miles) long bridge will take you to
Vättern is a large (more than 80 miles long) and deep lake
in south central Sweden, which is surrounded by beautiful scenery,
lakes, hills, rhunestones, other artifacts from the viking era,
and other medieval artifacts, as well as medieval towns. A few famous
around Vättern are, for example, Gränna the Candy town,
a famous medieval town, and Motala with the famous channel "Göta
The ferry's traveling across the Baltic sea from Sweden to
or Estonia, and back are an experience by themselves. These boats are
boats and shopping boats with restaurants, pubs, stores (tax
entertainment rooms, and much more. You can bring your car and sleep in
a luxurious room on the boat if you wish. In case you want to see one
two of the countries where these boats land, you can do that too.
Is an old Swedish city with an "old city" with plazas, old
and old-time European stores. It is also the home of "Saab", and a
The major port city of western Sweden, Gothenburg is a
rather than tourist center, however, there are things to do here like
amusement park; it is also the jumping-off spot for trips along the
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