Spring has sprung, and the warm sunshine brings thoughts of pleasant outdoor activities, the generosity of Nature’s own grocery cupboard, and perhaps enjoyable daytrips on lakes, canals, or at sea. If you haven’t yet decided where to holiday or spend a long weekend this year, now is the time!
What types of destinations and exciting experiences are you looking for? Below are a few suggestions that I think are worth the journey.
Travel through the locks of Göta Canal and enjoy locally grown Ramson
- Göta Canal is one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions and the surrounding area is full of historic sites. There are activities both alongside and on the canal. Enjoy a cycle ride along the water and stop for a picnic by one of the locks to watch the boats passing through. The cycling here is easy, and I would like to recommend the stretch between Lyrestad and Töreboda in particular. If you prefer to experience the canal from the water, and discover what it is like to travel through the locks, this is also possible. If you don’t have your own vessel, there are passenger boats offering both daytrips and longer journeys.
Read more about Göta Canal
- May and June are the high season for Ramson. It flowers particularly well on the mountain of Kinnekulle. If you are interested in food and like exploring unique local ingredients, this is definitely something for you. Ramson is a rare species that is both beautiful to look at, and tastes and smells lovely. If you like, you can centre your entire holiday around this herb; by booking a Ramson Package. The package includes accommodation, dinner with a Ramson theme, and directions for a Ramson Walk.
Book the Ramson Package
Get close to nature on a bicycle or fishing boat
- If you enjoy cycling and prefer to explore your surroundings on two wheels, I would recommend the Sjuhäradsrundan Cycling Trail. The total length of the trail is 150 kilometres, and most of the route runs along an old railway embankment, which is car-free. You obviously don’t have to cycle the entire length of the trail, but can adapt the trip according to time and ability. Sjuhäradsrundan is located in the inland of West Sweden and surrounded by forests, fields, lakes and waterways. Along the way are lots of different activities, as well as places to eat or spend the night. Places well worth a visit include Glasets Hus (the House of Glass) in Limmared, Restaurant Carlssons skafferi in Ulricehamn and the church in Tranemo. At Glasets Hus you can visit a glass exhibition and try your hand at glassblowing. There is a big glass exhibition showing glass objects from the 18th century until the present-day ABSOLUT bottles. Carlssons skafferi in Ulricehamn is a friendly restaurant that serves food made from locally sourced ingredients. They are included in the White Guide and members of Västsvensk Mersmak. The church in Tranemo is hexagonal and worth a visit because of its impressive architecture.
Information about the Sjuhäradsrundan cycling trail
- The Swedish West Coast has the best shellfish in the world! Feast on mussels, oysters, lobster, crayfish, crabs and prawns – depending on what is in season. To join a local fisherman on a trip out to sea, on a shellfish safari, is an amazing experience. Learn more about delicious seafood, and how to catch it, and try super fresh shellfish in their natural environment. Each species of shellfish has a season when it is at its very best, and in spring, the focus is on mussels and oysters. During the summer, langoustines would be my first choice, as the water gets too warm for the molluscs.
Available seafood packages:
Oyster and Mussel Safari
Experience the Swedish Lifestyle and challenge yourself in the Dalsland Canoe Marathon+
- Midsummer, a celebration of love and light. Midsummer is the longest day of the year and a romantic celebration with strong traditions. One of these are that unmarried girls should pick seven flowers and place them under their pillow – they will then dream about their future husband.Midsummer is traditionally celebrated in the company of friends and family by the sea, with dancing around the Midsummer pole, games, and singing – preferably with a wreath of beautiful summer flowers in your hair. Pickled herring is a must on the dinner table, other common offerings are salmon, potatoes, pie, strawberry gateau and schnapps. Experience a genuine Midsummer celebration on the island of Styrsö, in the southern archipelago of Gothenburg. The hotel Pensionat Styrsö Skäret offers a traditional Midsummer Package.
Book your Midsummer Package
- On the 8th August it is time for the Dalsland Canoe Marathon+ again! This is Sweden’s biggest canoeing race. The course is 55 kilometres long and the competition is open to everyone, whether professionals or amateurs. If you don’t fancy taking part, there is always a great atmosphere along the course, where people cheer on the thousands of participants from beaches, bridges and piers. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to enter next year?
Dalsland Canoe Marathon+
Big city pulse close to nature
- If you’re interested in the buzz and activity of a big city, Gothenburg is the place for you. If you feel the need to spend a few days at a gentler pace, the archipelago and peaceful countryside are within easy reach. The city offers lots of enjoyable adventures, including cycling, kayaking and rambling.Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s premier round-the-world race, is held between the 21-28 June, with finish in Gothenburg, where there will be a huge celebration, with entertainment and activities when the yachts arrive. Have you always dreamt of a trip in the traditional Swedish family car Volvo PV 444/544, or would you just enjoy the experience? This is now possible. You can either drive this classic car or be a passenger on a guided tour which explains what Gothenburg was like in the year when the car was built. Available 4 April – 15 November, Saturdays & Sundays.
Read more about Volvo Ocean Race
Interested in Volvo PV 444/544? Click HERE.
I hope my suggestions will ignite your wanderlust and inspire you to book a break in West Sweden this year. Perhaps we’ll meet later this spring, at one of the resorts in Bohuslän, Dalsland or Västergötland?
Text: Johanna Wichers
Photo: Göran Assner, Jesper Anhede, Mikael Almse, Britt-Marie Lindell, Åsa Dahlgren, Hannu Sarenström, Lasse Forsberg, Jonas Ingman, Anna Nyberg, Göran Ingman, Carlssons skafferi, Göran Assner/imagebank.sweden