For travellers that enjoy natural splendor, Sweden is a paradise. The air and water are among the cleanest in the world and the country still cares for its thousands of unspoiled forests and majestic lakes. Even the cities of Sweden manage to meld and co-exist with the natural landscape. Whether it is creative architecture or magnificent natural landscape that inspires awe, travellers who are touring their way around Sweden will be spoiled for choice when it comes to breath-taking sights.
Stockholm is often referred to as the Venice of the North as water is everywhere throughout the city. The majority of the city is built on the mainland, but it sprawls outwards across the 30,000 islands that make up the Stockholm archipelago. Some islands remain totally unspoiled while others are home to the distinctive red and yellow timber summerhouses of those that are looking to get out of the city for a little while. Island hopping remains one of the most popular activities in Stockholm, but the city also offers a number of boat tours of the water surrounding the city. It is hard to miss the distinctive Stromma boats that ferry people about Stockholm, but they also offer tours of Stockholm's archipelago and other waterways.
Sigtuna is famous for being Sweden's first town, or at very least it's oldest. Founded in 980 AD in the last century of the Viking era, the idyllic little village of Sigtuna sits lush and green along the shores of Lake Malaren just north of Stockholm. While it may be difficult to leave the beauty of Lake Malaren's lily pad studded shores, Sigtuna hosts a vast history that is best displayed in their medieval churches, Viking ruins, runes stones and even their beautifully preserved original buildings. Although Sigtuna used to be home to farmers and fishermen, it has now been infiltrated by small boutique and craft shops to accommodate the visitors that come to Sigtuna for a peaceful vacation and a day of boating on the lake.
Centred on the car-free Koster Islands, Kosterhavet is Sweden's first Marine National Park. The Koster Islands feature several small fishing villages, but it is renowned for its amazingly beautiful landscape. The rocky islands feature small sandy beaches with a number of wildlife both on and off the island. For Swedish artists, the island is renowned for its "Koster light," which has served to inspire countless generations of creative visitors. Visitors who don't want to get splashed by the icy waves that are constantly battering the islands often choose to hike or bike the diverse island landscape, but the more brazen travellers can enjoy the boat tours, lobster and seal safaris, cold water diving and sea kayaking that are popular in the area.
Varmland is renowned as one of Sweden's best natural attractions. Considering Sweden is a land of natural attraction, it is a pretty impressive reputation to hold. The region alone holds 10,000 different lakes that make it an ideal location for fishing, canoeing and the popular Swedish pastime of timber rafting. Although most people visit Varmland for peace and quiet, it is an area bursting with activity. It offers ample camping opportunities as well as formal lodges for those that don't want to rough it. Visitors can enjoy elk and beaver safaris as well as tours of the rich Varmland wilderness.
Gotland is located 90 kilometres off the coast of Sweden and is a popular summertime destination of Swedish locals. Essentially, Gotland is Sweden's beach town. Gotland is skirted by beautiful white sand beaches and beautiful sandy water. The beaches of Sweden are usually rocky, making Gotland beloved by vacationers. While there are a few fishing villages on Gotland, Visby is the only official town. A UNESCO World Heritage site with a long Viking history, Visby combines modern vacation accommodation with its historic wonder. The town is even used for political purposes during Almedalen Week, a political forum held here every year.
Comprised of the northern portion of Sweden, the Swedish Lapland is among some of the harshest and most beautiful land in the world. It is difficult to reach, but generously rewarding to those who make the effort. During the summer, the Lapland is the land of the midnight sun where the sun is up for the entire day, never falling beneath the horizon. In the winter, the Lapland holds a different treat for visitors in the form of beautiful views of the Aurora Borealis. Although the winters are particularly harsh, visitors will also have the chance to stay in the world famous Ice Hotel that is, like its name suggests, made completely of ice and snow. No matter what season travellers head up to the Lapland, the local Sami people will always be waiting. They are one of the few nomadic people left in the world that make that make their own laws in the Lapland and live by following reindeer herds.