Fans of Scandi-crime fiction won’t want to miss Fjällbacka during a visit to West Sweden. Neither will fans of beautiful scenery. The famous Swedish crime writer, Camilla Läckberg, sets her novels in this idyllic fishing village on the west coast, 1.5 hours drive north of Gothenburg.
Läckberg is Sweden’s top-selling crime novel author, penning an array of titles including The Ice Princess, The Lost Boy and The Lighthouse Keeper. She has sold more than 11 million copies in over 30 different countries worldwide, receiving rave reviews in many well-regarded publications such as The Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
Läckberg’s detective stories are currently being turned into feature films and a TV series, with Fjällbacka Murders set to be screened in over 40 countries, including in Germany and France. As in the books, the main characters of Fjällbacka Murders on the big and small screen will include the author Erica Falck, who has a penchant for murder investigations – and her husband, the policeman Patrik Hedström – played by the Swedish actors, Claudia Galli and Richard Ulfsäter, respectively.
The novels all take place in Fjällbacka, which is also Läckberg’s hometown. It’s a picture-perfect fishing village where boats sway gently in the harbour against a backdrop of red wooden houses, with wind chimes singing in the sea breeze. Vetteberget Mountain towers over the village, a walk to the summit of which offers a jaw-dropping view of the archipelago.
It was here that Läckberg enjoyed an idyllic childhood, eating fresh seafood, playing on sun-drenched cliffs and writing compelling crime stories, even from an early age. Läckberg’s novels reflect modern-day Fjällbacka, as well as events connected to the history of the village, where herring and fishing play important roles.
And Läckberg doesn’t only write detective stories – she also pens cookbooks with her old childhood friend, Christian Hellberg, Head Chef at the Taste of West Sweden-accredited restaurant and hotel, Bryggan Fjällbacka. Spend the night there and tuck into a three-course dinner based on recipes from the pair’s Flavours from Fjällbacka cookbook.
So, what else can visitors do in Fjällbacka? New Camilla Läckberg-themed tours will be available from spring 2013, showing fans exactly where many of the fictional scenes took place. For example, Kungsklyftan Gorge – which means ‘The King’s Gorge’ and is named after King Oscar II – where three fictional murder victims were found in The Preacher. There’s also Berit in Järnboden, the local hardware store, which appears in The Stonecutter and The Gallows Bird. Participants can learn about Fjällbacka’s fascinating history, too – including the herring fishing period.
Visitors can also set off on crayfish safaris and boat trips from Fjällbacka Harbour, see fascinating Bronze Age rock carvings at Vitlycke museum or venture on guided kayaking adventures. Fjällbacka is home to a breathtaking archipelago too, perfect for sea kayaking and seafood safaris. It is the gateway to Sweden’s most westerly islands – The Weather Islands – where walking across the cliffs, swimming in the ocean, witnessing seal colonies, nature reserves, kayaking or simply relaxing in an outdoor hot-tub, awaits.
Fjällbacka has another famous connection, too. The iconic actress Ingrid Bergman holidayed there every year, calling it ‘her place on earth’. From 1958, she spent many summers on the island of Dannholmen in the outer archipelago, west of Fjällbacka. After her death in 1982, her ashes were scattered in the waters around the island. A statue was erected in the town square and, to honour her memory, it was renamed Ingrid Bergman’s Square.