Experience Sweden from Göta Canal

Looking for a boating experience inland?

Göta Canal is part of a 382-mile long system of waterways that bisects Sweden and includes Sweden’s two largest lakes. It provides a route from Gothenburg on the Atlantic, to Söderköping on the Baltic. The canal, which opened in 1832, was intended for cargo traffic, though it quickly became redundant for industrial use as the railroad system was built.

Today Göta Canal provides an excellent and mellow way to explore the countryside off-road. While floating along on the canal you’ll pass through old factory towns and by sights such as the medieval church at Vreta and the old fortress in Karlsborg. Between are green fields where cows graze and deep forests like Tiveden national park. Continue reading…

Läckberg’s Real Fjällbacka

Photo: Hans Schub

Camilla Läckberg’s hugely successful crime novels are set in her hometown of Fjällbacka: A small idyllic fishing village perched on the rocks by the edge of the North Sea. In terms of hard-boiled crime real-life Fjällbacka hardly holds a candle to it’s fictional counterpart. It is however a beautiful–and supremely peaceful–spot to spend your vacation. (It was Ingrid Bergman’s summer hideaway for decades.) Läckberg doesn’t live there anymore, though she still visits regularly. Right now she is in the midst of the making of the film version of The Fjällbacka Murders.  We managed to catch up with her for some quick tips on where to go and what to do when there. Continue reading…

Explore the Koster Islands by Foot

The Koster Ocean. Photo: Fredrik Broman

The Koster islands are about as far northwest on the Swedish west coast as you can get; a final frontier before the North Sea. They aren’t large, but the landscape here ranges from forested and agricultural to wild and craggy. The varied scenery makes for great gentle hiking and exploring. Koster and the surrounding waters were recently given national park status. Hiking trails have been cleared and marked out for those who want an easy way to explore nature off the gravel roads that make out the islands’ main arteries. Continue reading…

Right Now: Marstrand Turning into Sweden’s Sailing Hotspot

This week, the quaint little fishing village Marstrand turns to a boiling, bustling hotspot when Stena Match Cup Sweden – Sweden’s largest international sailing event – comes to town. More than hundred thousand visitors come to watch the best match racing sailors in the world in spectacular archipelago surroundings.

Match Cup in Marstrand. Photo: Emilia Björk

The popularity of the event has increased steadily since it was introduced the first time, almost twenty years ago. Today, it is not only about sailing – Marstrand becomes a place where the tops of the Swedish business life meet and mingle, where jetsetters party, where well known artists perform and where private sailing boats herd.

The sailing competition is one of ten World Championship events arranged around the world, being part of the World Match Racing Tour. And arguably, this event might be the best, at least from an audience point of view. The location of Marstrand with its surrounding protruding skerries and cliffs results in an extraordinary spectator’s arena. The narrow water on the south side of Marstrand lets the audiences come within meters of the boats and the shifting height of the rocks gives a good overview. In addition, the windswept, barren archipelago in the outer part of Bohuslän’s coastline provides the sailors with plentiful wind to create the intense sailing the spectators expect to see.

Match Cup Sweden Marstrand. Photo: Emilia Björk

More information.

By: Emilia Björk

Far East on the Edge of the West

As of last week a four-hundred-year-old Chinese temple ruin housing a statue of chairman Mao overlooks the sea at Pilane. The installation, by Chinese artist Zhang Huan, is part of this summer’s exhibition and will stand until September 16.

Pilane. Photo: Claes Hake

Peter Lennby, founder of Pilane, wants to provide an experience of art in nature accessible to all, regardless of age and background.

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Conversation on a cliff just south of Marstrand:

Ann Rosman

Ann Rosman

“Imagine all the different people who have walked on these slate slabs and cobblestones before me! Bath attendants, waitresses, delivery boys, privateers and Kings.” It is from this respect for the history of her beloved Marstrand, coupled with an inexhaustible curiosity and a runaway imagination, that Ann Rosman’s detective novels about this gem of an island have been so successful.

Continue reading…

How to Get Lost in the Swedish Countryside

Read about blogger and foodie Cole Ruth’s culinary trip through West Sweden. Enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win parts of her itinerary at saveur.com.

Shrimps - Photo Jonas Ingman

When my diary about my trip through southwestern Sweden was posted on Saveur.com, several of my friends wrote and asked if I romanticized it. The answer is no.

Though I love the city, I’m a nature-lover at heart. So whenever we had a little extra time in our itinerary, we took less direct routes for the chance to drive through quiet seaside towns and rural farming villages. The countryside in Sweden is filled with castles and rune stones and medieval churches – many of them missing from the map and barely mentioned on the Internet or in guidebooks. One tip I have is to look for the symbol used on Macintosh computers for the control key. This indicates a historical site or lookout. The fun part is not knowing what it is until you turn down the road. But watch out, one time I ended up driving headlong down a road that ended in steps!

In terms of food experiences, the oyster safari at Evert’s Sjöbord is something I will savor for a long time to come. I tried crayfish years ago and decided they were not my thing. But when I saw the three-tiered platter filled with crayfish and shrimp and mussels, I had to give the poor creatures another chance. I ate until I thought I would burst. They taste like the sweetest lobster.

That was the same day we drove to Villa Sjötorp. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, this is the place. Hot tea and coffee were waiting for us on arrival, so we sat on the veranda looking out at the archipelago, having a quiet “fika” and reading our guidebooks. The next morning we came downstairs to find that our host, Linnéa, had put together a buffet that could have fed twenty even though my friend and I were the only guests at the inn.

Villa Sjotorp - Photo Jonas Ingman

Even a Swede will tell you that people are kinder in the south and I hate to admit it (sorry all my Stockholm friends!), but after seven days in southwestern Sweden, I have to agree with them.

Enter for a chance to win a Gourmet Gataway!


Canal Cruising at Göta Kanal

Award-winning travel writer Ralph Grizzle writes about a scenic canal cruise at Göta Kanal in US Today. He recommends this amazing tour for the avid traveler, getting the chance to cruise on a piece of history itself on the boat Juno, while slowly passing by the changing landscape between Stockholm at the Swedish east coast and Gothenburg at the west coast.

Gota Kanal - Photo Lisa Nestorson

Come along at his remarkable ride by clicking here.