Drama, Insider Tips, Plogging, Islands and Sustainability News from Sweden
• Sweden: The most sustainable destination in the world, again
• Dramatic Dalarna: Waterfall Safari in Swedish National Park
• Skåne for connoisseurs: 100 crazy insider tips in southern Sweden
• Active in Stockholm: “Seven Summits” and jogging tidy-up
• Ready for the island(s): news from the Gothenburg Archipelago
• Focus on Gothenburg: New hotels, attractions, and restaurants
• West Sweden: Focus on sustainability & health
At the top, again: Sweden is considered the most sustainable destination in the world
For the second year in a row, Sweden is number one in the world when it comes to how sustainable the world’s travellers perceive destinations and countries. This is according to the global research company Euromonitor, which recently published its latest Sustainability Travel Index during the German travel fair ITB in Berlin.
What is highlighted as success factors in the survey is first and foremost the Swedish tourism industry’s merit: Sweden’s green and eco-chic travel experiences. Other things are Sweden’s forests, lakes, Arctic adventures, meal experiences in the form of picking your own of berries, fruit, and mushrooms (foraging ingredients), the Sami culture, oyster safaris, northern lights, and rafting trips (timber rafting).
Euromonitor also specifically mentions the Swedish eco-tourism label Nature’s Best, which was launched back in 2002 as the first national label of ecotourism in the Northern Hemisphere by the Ecotourism Association, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and Visit Sweden, which was then called the Swedish Travel and Tourism Council.
The fact that 23 of Sweden’s cities are part of the initiative for climate-neutral cities 2030 (viable cities), the Swedish right of public access and Sweden’s 30 national parks are further factors that have contributed to Sweden’s top ranking.
Euromonitor’s list of the world’s most sustainable countries:
Euromonitor International has compared the sustainability of 99 countries in environmental, social and economic sustainability, transport, housing, risks and the demand for sustainable tourism.
On its website, where the report is available to order, Euromonitor writes: “Not surprisingly given the European Green Deal, the top 20 leading countries in the Sustainable Travel Index for 2020 are located in Europe, led by Sweden ranked first with its unique, eco-chic tourism offer that spans Arctic adventures to cool city experiences.”
Dramatic Dalarna: Waterfall Safari in Swedish National Park
The central Swedish region of Dalarna is well known for its red and white wooden cottages, exuberant midsummer celebrations and lovingly decorated wooden horses, the traditional Dalarna region is considered by many a holiday paradise. What many do not know however is, Dalarna now also offers a waterfall safari for holidaymakers.
With a drop height of 93 meters, Njupeskär in the Fulufjället National Park is Sweden’s highest waterfall. The mist caused by the water hitting the bottom of the falls provides an ideal habitat for numerous rare moss and lichen species. A 4km circular route around the waterfall starts at Naturum Museum, which provides information about the flora and fauna in the national park.
If you find the sight and the sounds of falling water fascinating, you can combine the visit to Njupeskär with two other places into a waterfall safari.
About 160 kilometers further southeast, near the popular resorts of Mora and Orsa, the river Ämån flows through several rapids and steep passages: The spectacular “Hell’s Fall” (Helvetesfallet), an eroded gorge with 30-meter high, steep rock faces, is followed after a few kilometers by the Storstupet. At this point you should not only look down, but also upwards, so as not to miss the 34-meter-high railway bridge over which inlandsbanan (the legendary slow-train railway connection from Dalarna to Swedish Lapland) runs.
A further 55 kilometers drive brings you to Styggforsen waterfall near Boda, which has a drop height of 36 meters. The furrowed cliffs and the shady forest form the perfect setting. Around the waterfall winds a kilometer long circular path over raised wooden boardwalks and stairs. Did you know, Styggforsen was left behind after a meteorite impact that occurred about 377 million years ago where Lake Siljan sits today. The cliffs were created by the layers of limestone, sandstone, and granite. In nearby Siljansnäs, the Naturum Dalarna visitor centre provides information about this exciting history.
Skåne for connoisseurs: 100 crazy insider tips in southern Sweden
Sweden’s southernmost region of Skåne is a classic for the summer holidays. You can reach it in no time at all direct from CPH airport via the Öresunds bridge – made famous by the Nordic Noir drama, The Bridge – and you´re very soon on one of the region’s many powder white sandy beaches. If you have visited Skåne before, you may be looking for new insider tips for your next trip. Valle Westesson’s travel guide of a different kind called “100 Crazy Places in Skåne” (100 balla ställen i Skåne, so far only available in Swedish) provides inspiration.
For example, the Grand Circus Hotel in Malmö opens again in May. This colourful accommodation consists of twelve different circus caravans, each forming a private hotel room.
In Ängelholm, the “World of the Bible” (Bibelns Värld) promises an instructive excursion: Urban Lennartsson, a priest in the Swedish Church, has been recreating places from the New Testament for several years. The stable in Bethlehem, Jesus’ tomb and a model of the city of Jerusalem can already be visited – a suitable tip for Easter, perhaps.
Other tips from Skåne connoisseur Valle Westesson are the Café Fritidsbaren in Ystad, the swimming pool in Trelleborg built around 1940, the nostalgic second-hand shop “Flygrakans Diversehandel” between the villages of Klippan and Perstorp, the mini-museum in honour of the coffee pot (Kaffeburksmuseet), the mysterious ruin of Skeingeborg and the unused railway tunnel in Barnakälla, through which today a leisurely walking and cycling path runs.
Where will your ´crazy´ journey to Skåne take you?
Stockholm is many things: cultural metropolis, green oasis and Mecca for paddlers. Now you can even experience a mountain expedition in the Swedish capital.
In 2014, Renata Chlumska became the first Swede to climb the ´Seven Summits´ of the World i.e. the highest mountains of the seven continents, including Mount Everest (Asia) and Elbrus (Europe). The Swedish-Czech extreme mountaineer Renata Chlumska has developed a tour in which you climb the seven summits of Stockholm.
“Visitors and residents of Stockholm can now experience this legendary challenge with me as a virtual guide,” she says. “Because even though I’ve completed extreme expeditions on the other side of the globe and set space as my next goal, I know that there are also adventures to be had nearby. You don’t have to travel far, not even leave the city, to experience adventure.”
If you want to try out the concept off the typical tourist routes, download the Storyspot app and search for “Seven Summits” – and off you go. As a user, you can decide for yourself whether you want to climb all seven hills or just one. At the respective destination, the corresponding story is unlocked in the app. On the 53-meter-high Skinnarviksberget, Renata Chlumska reports on her ascent of Kilimanjaro in Africa, while the “white mountain” (Vita berget) on Södermalm serves as antarctic Mount Vinson in miniature. Those who have climbed all seven peaks can pick up a reward at the Downtown Camper Hotel by presenting photographic evidence of their achievement.
Downtown Camper Hotel is an urban adventure-themed hotel, which rents out bikes, kayaks and skateboards and is committed to encouraging all sorts of activities in Stockholm. It serves not only as the base camp of the “Seven Summits”, but also as the starting point of the Plogga Run initiative: a weekly running meet where the participants bag rubbish on the way. Every Wednesday at 4:00 p.m., hotel guests, employees and locals get into the starting blocks to do something for their health, the city and the environment. Swedish running expert Erik Ahlström came up with the term “plogga” a few years ago, which is composed of the Swedish words for jogging (“jogga”) and collecting (“plocka”). Because 85% of waste eventually blows into the sea, collecting rubbish on land is just as important as it is in the water. The movement has already found many followers worldwide.
Ready for the island(s): news from the Gothenburg Archipelago
The island world off the west Swedish coast experiences its peak in terms of visitor numbers in July every year. However, even in spring, the easily accessible archipelago is worth a visit and complements any city trip to Gothenburg. Ferries run from April to September from Gothenburg to the island of Hönö in the northern part of the archipelago; in spring and autumn, they always run on Sundays, in summer on Tuesdays to Sundays, even several times a day.
On the first weekend in April, the lengthening days are greeted with the ´Spring Festival in the Archipelago´ (Vårfest i Skärgården): That’s when there’s all sorts of good food on Hönö island, when the restaurants in the lively Hönö Klåva harbour area set out tables and chairs and invite you to taste. In addition, around 20 exhibitors come together at a Spring market. The Easter holidays are ideal for a relaxed hike on the Skärgårdsleden (Archipelago Trail): This 27-kilometre-long, newly created path passes the four neighbouring islands of Hälsö, Öckerö, Hönö and Fotö, which are connected by bridges, past cafés, restaurants, and shops. Half the hike runs through the stunning natural environment with its rounded, glaciated rocky coastline, the other half leads through the winding streets of the archipelago’s villages. Skärgårdsleden will be officially inaugurated on May 14th. To celebrate the day, the ´10 Island Trail Run´ is taking place. Participants have two distances to choose from eleven and 35 kilometres.
Many locals flock to the archipelago over the Midsummer weekend (24-26 June) to enjoy the longest days of the year away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Hönö Klåva is a good starting point, where authentic pubs and shops provide welcome local delicacies. We recommend you stay at the family-run Skärgårdshotellet, which only reopened last year after extensive renovations. Guests can look forward to cosy maritime-inspired rooms and enjoy regional and seasonal dishes in their adjoining restaurant Skafferiet (“pantry”). Although the Gothenburg archipelago is well visited during the summer, it´s the perfect escape at any time of year.
Scandic Göteborg Central opens 14th of June
In the middle of Gothenburg, the new Scandic Gothenburg Central opens with a fantastic view over the Göta river and harbour. The hotel with 451 rooms is designed with big windows and Scandinavian colours. The large open roof top terrace at the 14:th floor will be one of the highlights as well as the close distance to the Central Train Station. In the entrance there will be sofas, a bar and a restaurant. More information here.
Jimmy’z opens 1 November
The 100-meter skyscraper will be a new landmark for Gothenburg city and a (much) larger sister to boutique hotel Pigalle & Bellora also created by Ess Group. It’s a new resort with a focus on experiences for every mood. Various restaurants, a multi theatre and concert hall, a sky bar and a Miami inspired pool club on the 28th floor are just some of the many things that you can enjoy at Jimmy’z that will be one of Sweden’s most spectacular hotels. https://jimmyzhotel.com/
Clarion Hotel, The Pier opens in the fall of 2022
The multinational automobile company Geely is building a brand-new hotel by their innovation centre “Uni3 by Geely” at Lindholmen. Nordic Choice Hotels will be the operator of the hotel named “Clarion Hotel The Pier” which will be a new international meeting place in the heart of Lindholmen. With the water as the closest neighbour and a view of the inner city of Gothenburg it will have 254 hotel rooms, two restaurants and bars, conference rooms and a wellness department. More information here (only in Swedish)
Unique Escape pop up room at Radisson Blu Scandinavia Open Feb-April 2022
Berengaria is an escape room and confidently holds the position as the escape room in Sweden you don’t want to miss. Eager players travel from all over Europe to experience their well-made 1920s setting. This time the game will start in the 1920s style hotel room 225 at Radisson Blu Scandinavia but will then take the players on a journey around the entire hotel. https://www.berengaria.se/radisson
Highlights & New Attractions in Gothenburg
Göteborg Film Festival 28 January -6 February.
The Gothenburg film-festival is the biggest film-festival in Scandinavia and shows films from all over the world, both from cinemas in Gothenburg and online. For 2022 the theme of the festival is “Disorder”. Visitors can sign up to be a part of a mass hypnosis before they get to watch three different films at Stora Teatern in Gothenburg at The Hypnotic Cinema. https://goteborgfilmfestival.se/en/
New attractions at Liseberg – Luna Park
In 2022 a whole new area called Luna Park will open with two new family attractions – Turbo and Tempus. This new areawill be like a small retro universe of its own for the whole family. Liseberg plans to open in April as usual and the attractions will be ready until summer. https://www.liseberg.com/luna-park/
Re-opening: Gothenburg’s Maritime Museum and Aquarium – late 2022
Gothenburg’s Maritime Museum and Aquarium has since 1933 explored the relationship between the ocean and humans through exhibitions and its aquarium. During the past 3 years the museum has gone through an extensive renovation and in the end of 2022, it finally opens again with around 15 aquariums in the aquarium hall. A few will be cast in situ, including the largest, a 400,000 litre aquarium showing a living coral reef. There will also be a brand-new Ocean Lab for learning as well as a new restaurant, summer terrace and museum store. https://www.sjofartsmuseetakvariet.se/en/
(a selection of) New restaurants and bars in Gothenburg
Bulot – opens in May 2022
Bulot will open in central Gothenburg in May 2022. Bulot will be a casual fine dining restaurant run by international Michelin chef Gabriel Melim Andersson and Emil Bjelke. Sustainability is a core value and until the restaurant opens at Norra Hamngatan you can visit the very popular pop-up version ‘Bar Bulot’ in the Gothenburg market hall.
Angeli – opens in spring 2022
The small, but acclaimed, natural wine bar Bar La Lune opened in 2018. Now it will soon have a long-awaited big sister in the form of Angeli in the room next door. Angeli will accommodate 24-28 guests. The floor is clad in Spanish brick and the heart of the room will be the bar with tiles from Etna. Behind the bar there will be two large wine coolers tower up, with room for 800-900 bottles. https://www.instagram.com/barlalune/?hl=sv
Ivans Pilsnerbar on Ringön opens in the spring of 2022
The most colourful beer bar in Gothenburg opens in the beginning of 2022 at the rough but hip area of Ringön. The bar will be an adventure in visual art, electronic dance music, quality beer and will have a kitchen filled with vegetables and pasta dishes with locally produced ingredients. https://www.instagram.com/ivanspilsnerbar/
Poppels moves into the inner city
One of Sweden’s most popular and known breweries Poppels will move into the city in the brand-new building named Platinan where hotel Scandic Göteborg Central also will be located. The new venue will have a city brewery and a restaurant. https://www.poppels.se/
WEST SWEDEN… FOCUS on SUSTAINABILITY & HEALTH:
The West Sweden Tourist Board’s initiative, Stepping up Sustainability, continues to grow and there are now around 400 businesses on board, working alongside us to develop a more sustainable tourism. One of the most recent to join is Nordic Refuge, a new B&B in Dalsland that you can read more about further down the newsletter.
One of the winners of the Stepping up Sustainability awards 2021, Lassalyckan, is just over an hour from Gothenburg and provides training facilities twelve months of the year, with cross-country skiing, mountain biking, running and walking trails, gym, padel, pump track, wake-board and golf. Their long term and visionary work has created the conditions for them to operate sustainably all year round.
Cycle with a local in Ulricehamn – Meet the Locals
At Lassalyckan and the countryside around Ulricehamn you can go mountain biking with Patrik. Patrik is one of our Locals who enjoy sharing their part of West Sweden with visitors. Meet the Locals is a great way to get an authentic feel of everyday life in West Sweden. Some of the activities offered include having a fika with Sara in her garden near Läckö Castle, going for a walk along the Göta Canal with Alf, or exploring Peter’s Gothenburg.
New hiking trail – The Biosphere Trail
The Biosphere Trail is a new long-distance path stretching 138 km from Mariestad via Kinnekulle to Läckö Castle in Västergötland. The trail explores one of the Biosphere Reserves chosen by UNESCO to create a long-term sustainable relationship between people and their local environment.
New hiking trail – The Kroppefjäll Trail
The Kroppefjäll Trail is 32 km long and traverses West Sweden’s largest wilderness area in Dalsland. This brand new trail will be opened in June 2022 with more stages, shelters, boardwalks and waymarks.
New close to nature accommodation in Dalsland
West Sweden is becoming a more popular destination for walkers all the time. Ragnerud is one of the many businesses in Dalsland investing in hiking tourism and their new name – Ragnerud Hiking Destination – reflects this. The accommodation is close to Kroppefjäll, one of West Sweden’s largest wilderness areas, with quality assured hiking trails.
Ragnerud offer a range of attractive hiking packages with accommodation, food and activities included. Maps are provided and guests can rent clothing and equipment. They also offer a wide range of other activities such as paddling (SUP, kayak, canoe), fishing and sauna with cold plunge. Ragnerud’s restaurant is now open all year round and serves gourmet food made with organic and locally produced ingredients.
Enjoy classic Scandi design with cycling and hiking on the doorstep
Nordic Refuge has opened a Bed & Breakfast in a renovated former schoolhouse in Dalsland. A new take on sustainability is rooms furnished with vintage Scandinavian design classics. 90% of the furniture is second hand and any new furniture (mostly beds) has been made in Sweden. Nordic Refuge serves vegetarian and organic breakfasts and most ingredients are sourced locally.
When you want to get active the new Unionsleden Cycle Route is just around the corner and the Pilgrim Hiking Trail a short distance away.