Stylish Sweden has plenty to offer
Sweden’s fairytale landscape and effortlessly cool cities make it a key destination in attractive Scandinavia. The country’s natural beauty is one of its main highlights. Vast lakes fringed by lush parks are transformed when snow arrives. The mountains are especially alluring when they are coated white, while wintertime only seems to add more charm to the urban areas.
The seasons follow those of Britain but the lower temperatures are more extreme. Between December and February they average below freezing, but start to rise from March. June, July and August see temperatures rise above 15 degrees Celsius, with July through to September bringing the most rain.
Multiple Swedish holidays will be needed to gain even a small glimpse of the nation’s incredible scenery. There are thousands of coastal islands to discover, sprawling forests to trek through and giant mountains to traverse. Northern Sweden includes Swedish Lapland where you can gaze up at the Northern Lights at the right time of year. The mountains of Dalarna in central Sweden border Norway to the west and the people there stay active throughout the year. Beavers, elk, bears and other wildlife can all be spotted. Also to the west of centre is Värmland, famed for its 10,000 lakes and wide forests. The 190-kilometre long Göta Canal waits for you if you plan to visit the south, while Gotland Island features the walled town of Visby, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The capital city Stockholm is actually an archipelago. Its 14 islands spread out over Lake Mälaren. Seven hundred years of history are told by its museums, palaces and other significant buildings, and the Old Town is a must-visit during your stay. Gothenburg on the west coast is carving a reputation for first-class food and some of the best restaurants on the planet. Again, natural wonders underpin the city’s attraction to make it more than just a maze of lively streets and chic shops. Malmö on Sweden’s southern point is linked to Denmark by the impressive Öresund bridge. This friendly destination is making great strides to become a truly sustainable city by promoting bicycles over cars. This is the best way to travel between the cafés and hip stores that showcase Swedish clothing and homeware design.
On a holiday to Sweden you will find that the seasons dictate the old customs that are still passionately observed today. The first Sunday of Advent marks the countdown to Christmas, which Swedes celebrate by lighting candles. Mulled wine – also known as glögg – is also served. The extended weekend over Easter is one of the first occasions after winter to head to the holiday cottage and prepare for the arrival of the warmer months. The final chances to ski are enjoyed, and families typically come together at this time of year. Midsummer occurs in June and this is when natural Sweden is full of life. Friends and family meet in the countryside for dancing and dining. A dish of pickled herring and boiled potatoes served with dill and chives is typically made.