Sophisticated modern-day Sweden is a far cry from the ancient days of bloodthirsty Vikings. Stereotypes abound but there are far more layers to Sweden's cultural mx than images of Volvos, Vikings, ABBA and IKEA might lead you to imagine.
Summer sees a Sweden that's lush and green whilst in winter it's a magical land of snow and sparkling ice, where you can speed through powder-covered pine forests on a sleigh pulled by reindeer or a team of huskies, go in search of the Northern Lights or stay in an Ice Hotel built from ice blocks cut from the River Torne.
Built on a series of islands where the freshwater Lake Malaren meets the salt water of the Baltic, Stockholm is Sweden's charming capital. Explore the attractive Old Town area and visit the nearby national parks; in the evening sample a restaurant scene that competes with the best in Europe and join the locals as they let their hair down.
Travel to Gothenburg to visit some of the 17 museums and 25 theatres found here alongside an opera house, art museum, concert hall and Europe's biggest botanical garden.
Away from the cities explore Halland, a narrow province on the Golden Coast that's lined with sandy beaches fringed with pine forests. Inland the region is characterised by ridges and valleys, forests and moors.
Swedish Lapland, one of Europe's last remaining wildernesses, is a frontier region of jagged peaks, snow-covered meadows and evergreen forests. Visit Lulea to stay in a Treehotel or enjoy some of the many outdoor pursuits and adrenaline activities on offer, including snowmobiling, dog sledding, ice driving and snowshoeing.