Located on the west coast, Göteborg is the main fishing port in the country. At the same distance away from the cities of Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo,
In brief +
North to south, Sweden extends for more than 1240 miles to the West and has a diversity of landscapes and cultures. The more populated south, where the largest portion of the population is concentrated is occupied by the country's three largest cities: Stockholm, Göteborg, and Malmö. This region has a lot of lush green landscape, with the coast being the most interesting for it is here that you realise that Sweden is the country with the most ships per inhabitant. Moving northwards, you will cross vast forests and mountains, alternating with much greener regions, such as Dalecarlie, the land of horses. Lakes and rivers are constantly present in the landscape. Finally, you will arrive at Nordland, the land of the Sami people, with its omnipresent herds of reindeer and wilder elk. It is in Sweden that you realise how much nature is in control. It is nature that fashioned the people and not the other way round. Its responsible citizens, aware of their social obligations, have, paradoxically, the ability to leave well enough alone.
+ The diversity of the landscapes and sporting activities: excursions, canoeing, skiing, fishing, pannng for gold, etc.
+ With over twenty national parks, Sweden guarantees an untouched natural environment for over 145,0000 acres.
- The cost of living: as in all Scandinavian countries, accommodation, food and transportation are more expensive than in the UK.
- Although temperate, the climate in the summer does not always allow you to swim on the beach (in the south) and in the north it often rains.
Fishing: In order to fish at the 60,000 sites identified by the regional federations, you will require a license. This is sold at a price ranging from SEK 45 (£3.80) to SEK 200 (£17)in Tourism Offices and sports shops (based on duration and the place you are fishing). Nevertheless, fishing is free on lakes Vaumlnern, Vaumlttern and Malar, along the coast of the Gulf of Botnie and on the west coast, between Bastad and the Norwegian border. Camping rough: Swedish law allows for anyone to go from one terrain to another. You can therefore pitch your tent (but not a caravan...) without any problem (except on farms and gardens), as long as you respect the rules of propriety: avoid making a racket; do no damage and leave the place clean. Sailing: The Swedish love sailing (virtually 1 in 8 people owns a boat). There are many modern facilities on the 4,660 miles of coast. To hire a pleasure boat, contact the local tourism authorities. Night trains : if you wish to discover the entire country, travel by train using the Scanrail Pass or Sweden Euro Domino cards that allow you to visit an unlimited number of destinations over a given period. The railway network has ultramodern night trains that travel right to the north of Nordland (panoramic cars, café and movies): a good way to gain time and save a night in a hotel. Visiting the cities: If you wish to visit Stockholm, a "Discovery" card grants you free access to 70 museums and tourist sites, the urban subway and bus service, guided boat rides and free parking in the city. You can obtain one from the tourism offices and kiosks. The city of Göteborg also offers the same type of pass. They are available in tourism offices and on the Internet. www.goteborg.com
Saint Lucia: This feast held on 13 December in memory of Saint Lucia who was sacrificed in the year 304 for converting to the Christian faith, heralds the return of light. Young girls wearing candles in their hair and dressed in white wake up their families in the morning with songs, coffee and buns and processions are organised. Christmas: for laymen and religious people, Christmas in Sweden is prepared for and anticipated far in advance. On Sundays, families light a candle on a four-branch chandelier: on Christmas eve, the four candles celebrate the birth of Christ. All sorts of celebrations take place: parades, traditional markets, concerts and exhibitions.
The most common dish is definitely the Smörgasbord, a buffet composed of fresh, smoked or marinated fish, rye bread, meat balls, potatoes and cheeses. In this land of fishing, you can treat yourself to salmon, trout, perch, pike, herring and eel. Red berries, especially cranberries, are often served plain or in a sauce with venison or meat balls.
Renowned for its interior design (like Ikea), Sweden is also the land of glassware, pewterware, jewellery and handicrafts. Shops are open from 10:00 am. to 7:00 pm. in the week, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturdays, and from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sundays. In Stockholm, take a look at the department stores, namely NK, Ahlens and PUB.