This January, we will be focusing on some of the wonderful countries and locations throughout the Arctic Circle. This week we start with the stunning country of Sweden. Sweden is remarkable country which is built on thousands of small islands. Bordering Finland, Lapland and Norway to the west. Sweden is famous for its extraordinary beauty, wonderful welcoming people, and hugely diverse culture. Sweden includes around 95,000 inland lakes, in varying sizes, stunning glaciers and thousands of forests on top of this. Sweden is believed to be nearly two thirds forest making some truly exciting and off the beaten track adventures.
The country has 30 different National Parks all offering varied landscapes – perfect for dramatic photo opportunities. When booking through us, we will ensure you explore the National Parks which fulfil your interests. All the National Parks are free to enter and are available all year-round offering visitor’s endless opportunities to explore the stunning wilderness. One of the most renowned and remote is the Northern area of Laponia (Swedish for Lapland) which is not only one of Sweden’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites but also offers a glimpse into the culture of the native Sami Reindeer Herders who have called this home for hundreds of years. Swedish Lapland offers some of the most exceptional Christmas and Winter holidays, but the summer months shouldn’t be overlooked either!
(Learning how the Sami People have lived for thousands of years alongside Reindeer)
(Riding is available at the beautiful Tree Hotel in Sweden)
Sweden is famed for its long-standing commitment to recycling and its green credentials. As a country they have one of the highest levels of recyclable waste at 99%. They are also the masters in renewable energy, and this has in turn made Sweden one of the most sustainable in the world. They are currently on track to become the World’s first completely fossil fuel free nations. A fascinating additional element to your tour of Sweden.
The major cities include the capitol of Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmo. There are also several smaller and wonderfully historic towns which are equally appealing in terms of culture and design, one of Sweden’s oldest being Galma Stan is a must see for those design enthusiasts.
(Wonderfully quirky in design, the Tree Hotel)
The entire country which has the 5th largest land area in Europe has a total population of around 10 million with the majority living in the cities and towns. This therefore means that the various national parks and wilderness are largely uninhabited, making for some of the most exciting and truly luxurious holidays in all of Scandinavia. The country is also famous for its hugely diverse wildlife. These include around 400,000 strong population of moose which roam freely amongst the countryside – moose calling is a very popular excursion on any holiday to Sweden!
The country has some interesting and quirky traits. It is believed that few nations in the world consume as much coffee as the Swedes, and there were we thinking it would have been the Italians! Part of their culture is to have a “fika” which is a daily get together with friends to socialise and drink coffee. Many Swedes make it their mission to have one of these every day. Many have made this an important part of their culture particularly in the major cities such as Stockholm and Malmo. There is a definite almost café culture because of this – Paris step aside!
(summer in Sweden with plenty of sunlight for long sunny days to explore)
The work life balance is crucially important to the Swedes. It is therefore worth noting that many businesses close for the month of July to allow staff and employees to have a holiday and enjoy some time in the great outdoors. It also has a fantastic equality record and in the workplace all couples are entitled to 480 days paid parental leave. As with many Nordic countries, Sweden is prone to harsh and very cold winters. On the flip side, it does make for some mesmerising winter scenes during these months. During the depths of winter in the Northern parts of Sweden, certainly parts within the Arctic Circle, you will see as little as three hours of day light per day. Fast forward to the summer months and you will see very very long summer days.
(Loggers Lodge skiing and viewing the stunning Northern Lights)
It is also worth mentioning that the Swedes are sticklers for time keeping and the whole country is geared towards being on time – whether it’s getting a flight, meeting friends or arriving for a restaurant reservation. If you would like to book your trip away for the winter months, or summer months, or both, then please do get in contact to discuss some options of where you would like to go and what you would like to do, we are sure you will want to explore more on your return!