Sweden is one of the Scandanavian countries in the north of Europe, bordering onto both Noway and Finland, and connected to Zealand in Denmark across the Øresund strait (so you can get to Copenhagen from Stockholm in about 3 hours!). The country is characterised by its sparkling lakes and waterfalls, snowsy winter landscapes, lengthy stretches of green, wild forests, and of course its mysterious folklore, making it a perfect place for an adventure holiday, be that in the summer or winter, on your own, with a group, or with your family. The currency in Sweden is the Swedish Krona (SEK), so don't forget to take the right money with you when you travel! Many of those who stay in the self catering Sweden holiday homes that are available make bookings in larger cities such as Stockholm, the country's capital, or Malmö, but there are so many other amazing places to discover in this wonderful country, that you won't know where to choose! However, no matter where you go, you are bound to have a great time during your holidays in Sweden, experiencing both the scenic beauty that is on offer as well as the culinary delights and the metropolitan, chic cities.
The capital city of Sweden is in fact located on a group of 14 different islands on Mälaren Lake, looking out onto the Baltic Sea. Stockholm is filled with bridges, canals and waterways, many of which are so clean, you can even go swimming right in the centre of town! Dotted throughout the city you'll even find beaches where you can enjoy the water and the pretty views of the different islands within Stockholm, as well as the nice sunny weather during the summer. You can easily get to the centre of Stockholm from Arlanda Airport by public transport or car within around half an hour. Things to do in Stockholm include visiting Skansen, an open-air museum (which was also the first in the world) showing visitors all about the people of Stockholm's past, viewing the exhibitions in the Nobel Museum or Moderna Museet, the museum of modern art, or taking a walk through Gamla Stan (Stockholm Old Town) with its narrow cobbled streets and typical north German architecture style (similar to that of places such as Lübeck), and where you'll also find the city's Royal Palace. You're sure to love the diversity if you book one of the Sweden holiday cottages in this city of islands.
A perfect family summer holiday in Sweden for an active family is either discovering by foot or by bike, as you can really immerse yourself in the culture and landscapes by visiting all of the unusual places that people perhaps wouldn't normally go whilst staying in Swedish holiday rentals in the more popular touristy areas, although having said that, all major towns and cities here have good cycle paths, so cycling here wouldn't be a probelm. Book holiday cottages in Sweden in the countryside to the south west of Stockholm, and cycle to places such as Stendörren nature reserve, a nature reserve across many small islands connected by bridges, where you can hike and picnic and take plenty of beautiful pictures! There are so many lakes along which you can cycle, for example Lake Mälaren and Lake Klämmingen, or follow the towpath alongside the Göta Canal, which is very flat and therefore ideal for children. Looking for something more strenuous? Then mountain biking is for you! Head up to Åreskutan mountain, where you'll find Åre Bike Park, home to some great trails and pathways for all bikers, from beginners to those who are more advanced. If you like the sound of this but want to head somewhere a bit closer to home, how about a trip to the French Pyrenees? Another excellent summer activity is of course hiking, and if you're looking for a break to get away from it all, then the best place to go to is northern Sweden, for example to Överkalix or Abisko which you'll find to be quiet and very rural. From here, you might even be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis as it's also known.
Although it may not always be number one on the top of people's list of destinations for a family skiing holiday, Sweden is in fact a country with a lot to offer in terms of its ski scene. Far from the bustling, busy resorts in places like the French Alps, the Aosta Valley in Italy or the Swiss canton of Valais, it is very laid back and relaxed. Popular areas to book holiday cottages in Sweden for skiing are in Swedish Lapland, which borders onto the Finnish region of Lapland too, as well as places like Åre (which offers pistes suitable for all abilities), Vemdalen and Sälen, both of which are also great for cross-country skiing. As Sweden is so close to Norway, you could consider going across the border to try out the slopes there, too, for example in Trysil. Travelling from Sweden to Norway is quick and simple, as you can go by plane, train or ferry. From Stockholm to Oslo, of you choose to fly, it takes just under an hour, by train it is more like 5 hours, and by ferry ithe journey is around 2 and a half hours from Stromstad to Sandefjord.
The rivers, and lakes of Sweden are plentiful with all sorts of different species of fish, making this an ideal, peaceful destination for the fishing trip of your dreams to become a reality! Not only is it possible to go out into the wild countryside and fish in the serenity that this offers, but there are also many spots within Sweden's cities, such as Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg. In Stockholm, you can fish in Rosenbad for salmon and trout, as well as other species, and you can also go fishing behind the Swedish parliament building, off Stallbron bridge. Gothenburg is probably the best area for city fishing, and you can hire fishing boats here which take you a bit further out onto the coast, or stay inland and try your luck in one of the fifty angling spots here, on one of the lakes, rivers or streams that this area offers. The biggest lake in Sweden is Lake Vänern in the south west, which boasts excellent opportunities for fishing. In the northern parts of the country there is a lot more river fishing available, although the terrain is quite harsh here and the area can experience some extreme weather conditions, so it is a good idea to make sure you know where you're going before you set out!
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