(May 2013) With best selling author Camilla Läckberg about to launch her new novel set in the picturesque fishing village of Fjällbacka this August, 2013 is the perfect time to discover West Sweden. Fans can follow in the footsteps of Camilla’s characters and visit the locations in the books on special walking tours, whilst foodies can enjoy the author’s cooking with new gourmet packages at Hotel Bryggan. West Sweden is also the perfect place for seafood lovers, famed for its crayfish, lobster and oyster safaris; whilst new flight routes, hotel openings and new walking tours make it even easier for travellers to enjoy all West Sweden has to offer.
New Swedish crime fiction
Best selling crime writer Camilla Läckberg’s novels are following in the footsteps of Henning Mankel and Stieg Larsson and proving very popular in the UK, with much anticipation around the launch of her new book The Lost Boy on 1 August 2013. Set in her home town of Fjällbacka, a picturesque fishing village on the coast of West Sweden, visitors can now follow in the footsteps of the crime fiction characters on a special tour. The tour offers participants the chance to walk up Vetteberget Mountain, towering over the village and providing one of the best views of the region. The In Camilla Läckberg’s Footsteps tour costs from SEK 150 (£15) per person.
Crime fiction meets novel cooking
Camilla Läckberg is also real foodie and has written cook books inspired by the traditional dishes of her region together with childhood friend and head chef at boutique hotel Bryggan Fjällbacka, Christian Hellberg. Travellers can taste some of their creations at Bryggan Fjällbacka when they book a Läckberg Gourmet package for £146 per person, including an overnight stay at the hotel, a three-course dinner in the restaurant and breakfast buffet. The package also includes cookbook, Flavours from Fjällbacka written by Camilla and Christian.
Go crayfish catching with Camilla Läckberg’s childhood friend
Lobster season may start in September; but summer travellers can still enjoy their fair share of Swedish seafood on a crayfish catching trip with writer Camilla Läckberg’s childhood friend, experienced local fisherman, Ingemar Granqvist. Before heading out to sea, travellers are served a hearty and delicious fish and shellfish stew at Hotel Bryggan Fjällbacka, before setting out with Ingemar on a three hour trip to learn the ropes of crayfish catching. Ingemar will also share stories about Camilla Läckberg along the way. Back on dry land, travellers get to prepare and eat their catch at the hotel restaurant. Overnight stay at Hotel Bryggan Fjällbacka also included.
Available every Friday from 3 May - 21 September. From SEK 2,295 (£229) per person.
Food and drink
Set off on a lobster safari in September
The region’s shellfish is among the tastiest in the world because the delicacies are able to grow slowly in the cold, clean waters. On board the MS Mira with expert fishermen, budding anglers will learn about lobster fishing and help with the catch. Finish in style by enjoying a mouth-watering lobster feast and well earned rest at the Bryggan Fjällbacka Hotell and Restaurang. Lobster not your thing? There are mussel, oyster, crayfish and prawn safaris available, too.
The overnight package including lobster safari and four course dinner costs from 2750 SEK per person (£270 per person). Available from 22 September.
Indulge in fika and the country’s biggest cinnamon buns
Head to Café Husaren in the trendy Haga district of Gothenburg and sample the world’s largest cinnamon buns. Fika is the Swedes’ favourite pastime: a time to sit down, relax, take a break from what you are doing and socialise. Fika is not something you can do on your own – generations of Swedes have relaxed together, solved problems, made new friends and fallen in love during fika. Most Swedes will drink coffee during fika, and it is often accompanied by a delicious cinnamon bun or something sweet - the perfect way to while away the hours with friends in cosy candle-lit cafes!
Journey along the iconic Göta Canal
The Göta Canal is a historic landmark in Sweden and stretches coast to coast from Gothenburg to Söderköping. It was built in the 19th century and is one of the largest engineering projects every undertaken in the country. In West Sweden the canal runs between the country’s largest lakes – Lake Vänern and Lake Vättern. There are a variety of ways for visitors to explore the canal including on board the historic steamship MS Juno – the world’s oldest registered passenger-carrying ship, or by canoe, on foot or by cycle. The canal has some of the most popular cycling trails in Sweden.
Tour operator Simply Sweden offers a five night cruise through the Göta Canal which crosses eight lakes, through 66 locks, two seas and three canals, with regular departures between 3 June – 31 August. Prices start from £2,495 per person based on two sharing.
Toast a Swedish Midsummer
Take part in a very Swedish tradition by marking the arrival of summer on Midsummer Eve (21 June 2013). After a long dark winter, this national day in celebration of the summer solstice is a major highlight of the year. Maypoles are raised in villages; young women wear garlands of flowers and everyone tucks into a Midsummer feast – washed down with schnapps! Most Swedes will vacate the cities for this holiday and make for their cabins in the countryside and by the coast.
British travellers can join them by booking accommodation via
Complete the Dalsland Canoe Marathon
Challenge yourself by taking on the annual Dalsland Canoe Marathon, Sweden’s largest canoe event, held on 10 August 2013 in Dalsland. Glide along the 55km route, across sparkling lakes and waterways, surrounded by forests. All ages and abilities can take part, with fellow competitors aged anywhere from 12 to 75 (there’s a shorter course available for kids). Toast your achievements at the crayfish party afterwards.
Witness 10,000 dancing cranes
Witness the breathtaking display of 10,000 cranes dancing above Lake Hornborga (from mid-March to mid-April). The birds perform as part of their mating ritual, flying in from Spain to their traditional breeding grounds. Stay nearby in Hotel Andrum’s tree-house, Seventh Heaven, with a private balcony for star-gazing and breakfast hoisted up in a large basket every morning.
Prices start from 1690 SEK for one night. (£166)
New for 2013, UK tour operator Inntravel has launched a six-night West Sweden walking holiday from Gothenburg to the Norwegian border, following Sweden’s West Coast. Calling at the traffic-free Koster Islands, which contain Sweden's only coral reef; the picturesque fishing village of Fjällbacka; and the atmospherically lush yet rocky Weather Islands, the itinerary is easy going with stays in three-star standard hotels and guesthouses.
Departures available from 1 June 2013. Tour costs from £995 per person, including accommodation, breakfasts and evening meals. Flights are extra.
The brand new Hotel Victoria Huset, with its modern Swedish design and wood panelled exterior, has taken inspiration from its natural surroundings. Located on the banks of Lake Vänern next to Läckö Castle, the new hotel opened on 5 May 2013 and offers 15 light, airy rooms, with a restaurant. The hotel was built and presented to H.R.H Crown Princess Victoria as a thirtieth birthday present. Each room has a natural interior design with wooden furnishings, a muted colour palette and views of the woods, lake or Läckö Castle.
Rooms costs from 1490 SEK per night (£146 per night).
Flight carrier BMI has announced new flights from Birmingham to Gothenburg with fares starting from just £59 each way. The new flights will make it even cheaper and easier for UK travellers to reach Gothenburg and West Sweden, with direct trains to Birmingham International from London Euston costing from £6 each way (journey time: one hour 10 minutes). Other options include Norwegian flights between London Gatwick and Gothenburg and SAS also offers regular direct flights to Stockholm and Gothenburg from London Heathrow, with connecting flights to various Swedish airports including Kiruna, Luleå, Malmö, Östersund and Umeå.
For more information on Gothenburg and West Sweden, visit www.westsweden.com
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