Modern, sophisticated Sweden is a far cry from the days of bloodthirsty Vikings. And, while stereotypes abound, there’s much more to this forward-thinking country than images of Volvos, ABBA and Ikea might lead you to believe. From its lively cities and world-leading design scene to its Lapland innovations - ICEHOTEL and Treehotel among them – this is a country at the top of its game.
As one of Europe’s last remaining wildernesses, Swedish Lapland is a frontier region of jagged peaks, frozen meadows and evergreen forests. 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, see dancing displays of the Northern Lights, ride snowmobiles across the the Gulf of Bothnia, try your hand at cross-country skiing, camp under the stars in a traditional lavvu, sleep in a tree and spend a night in a hotel made entirely from ice.
Elsewhere, in Sweden’s charming capital, Stockholm, you’ll find the attractive old town, Gamla Stan, some of Scandinavia’s best museums and a restaurant scene that competes with the finest in Europe. The warm summer months promise outdoor pursuits amid the 30,000 islands and islets of the Stockholm Archipelago while in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second city, 25 theatres, an acclaimed opera house, a world-leading art museum, a concert hall and Europe’s biggest botanical garden are among a swathe of attractions.
Away from the cities there’s much to explore. Halland – a narrow province south of Gothenburg – is lined with sandy beaches and verdant pine forests, while the picturesque Göta Canal provides leisurely summertime cruises through Sweden’s rural heartland. Explore Malmö and Ystad in the scenic south, or head east to medieval Visby on the beautiful island of Gotland, whose fairy-tale cottages and winding cobbled streets are complemented by exceptional food and stunning views of the Baltic Sea.