Discover spectacular untouched nature and thrilling world-class culture with our Sweden guided tours.
As western Europe's third-largest country, Sweden is twice the size of Britain but has less than one-sixth of its population. This sparsely populated region is perfect for enjoying some respite among breathtaking natural sights; and with more than 100,000 lakes and half of the country's landscape being serene forest, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the stunning scenery and famously fresh air. Indeed, when it comes to natural assets, Sweden is hard to beat. From serene tiny islands and uncrowded beaches to snowy Lapland and the elusive northern lights, the country offers far more than its share of picture-perfect scenery. One of Sweden's best destinations for getting off the beaten track is Dalarna county, located in the country's centre. Brimming with exceptional sights, the area is home to everything from dense woodland and pristine lakes to rolling hills and colourful meadows.
The country's man-made sights are often equally as captivating. Sweden's rich history is on display throughout its towns, cities, and villages, not to mention the array of ancient stone-laden burial grounds laid by Vikings that dot the countryside. Whether you're wandering through a medieval city, exploring a museum or visiting a grand stately home in the countryside, Sweden holidays provide the chance to discover the ancient ruins, magnificent palaces, and intriguing artefacts that all offer a unique insight into the country's complex past. For those looking to delve deeper into the country's past, a visit to Sweden's oldest town, Sigtuna, home to mysterious stone ruins, medieval churches and charming 18th-century architecture, is a must. The coastal city of Malmö, meanwhile, dates back to the 13th century and has a picturesque old town complete with cobbled streets and exquisite traditional buildings.
For a taste of city life, Stockholm is every bit as vibrant as you would expect of a European capital. Home to beautiful architecture, an extraordinary amount of cultural attractions, and a beautiful archipelago encompassing some 30,000 islands, it makes a great addition to most Sweden tours. Elsewhere, Gothenburg, the city's second country, is also worthy of a visit for its charming canal-side walks and array of fine museums, while the small but bustling city of Kalmar boasts a 12th-century castle and wonderfully preserved 17th-century buildings.
With a focus on locally sourced produce and comfort food dating back generations, food in Sweden nourishes body and soul.
Still an important part of the country's cuisine today, “husmanskost” centres around hearty, warming dishes usually containing ingredients like meat, potato and vegetables. These homecooked dishes include isterband, a lightly smoked pork sausage served with creamed dill potatoes and pickled beetroot, and ärtsoppa, a yellow split-pea soup with pancakes that is traditionally served on Thursdays. Another part of Swedish food culture that dates all the way back to the Viking era is food preservation, with pickled foods remaining something of a staple in the country's pantries. Perhaps one of the best known, is surströmming, fermented herring that is, essentially, eaten outside due to its pungent smell.
Fish such as salmon and cod feature heavily on Swedish menus, and others such as herring, pike perch and Arctic char are also common. For the more adventurous diner, game such as reindeer, elk and moose are all readily available. If you're looking for less diverse dishes to sample on Sweden holidays, räksmörgås, an open prawn sandwich piled high with salad, is delicious and easy to find. For something sweet, be sure to tuck into at least one cinnamon bun on your trip; these are a staple found in virtually every cafe and bakery throughout the country, and are often eaten at breakfast as part of "fika" - the act of enjoying a coffee with a pastry.
While this will depend on where you plan to visit and the activities you'd like to do, keep in mind that, as the largest country in Northern Europe, travelling between destinations can take some time.
Sweden is warmest from May to September, although even in July the temperatures average a comfortable 18°C. Winters are dark, but provide the chance to enjoy snow and views of the captivating northern lights.
February is usually Sweden's chilliest month, with temperatures in Stockholm falling to around -3°C.
Prices in Sweden are usually on a par with those in other countries such as France and Italy. While it has a reputation for being somewhat expensive, it is cheaper than other Scandinavian countries such as Norway.
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