Sweden’s first marine national park opens in September
Kosterhavet Marine National Park, the first marine national park in Sweden, opens in September 2009. Located on Sweden’s west coast close to the Norwegian border, it centers around the Koster Islands and contains the richest marine biodiversity in the country. The beautiful area is one of Sweden’s most visited tourist destinations; receiving 90,000 visitors a year and several visitor centres, including Naturum on South Koster, will act as entry points explaining the extraordinary coastal habitat and unusual species found here.
New waterside spa hotel opens in March
A new design-led spa hotel opens overlooking Gullmarn Fjord, set within a nature reserve on the Bohuslän coast, opens on March 15. Formerly the Lingatan Hotel, the property has received a complete makeover under the direction of architect Gert Wingårdh (designer of the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC) and will reopen as a new creation, with its name yet to be decided. Located outside Lysekil an hour from Gothenburg, this stylish retreat, with 151 double rooms and five suites, features a modern restaurant and a six-pool spa. These include separate hot 42 °C and cold 10 °C pools, plus forest and flower pools.
New restaurants join Taste of West Sweden scheme
Nine new restaurants have joined the Taste of West Sweden scheme, a collection of more than 30 eateries across Gothenburg and the region. Taste of West Sweden recognizes high quality cuisine and the use of fine, seasonal ingredients from environmentally-sympathetic local suppliers. New additions include Kallbadhuset Mat & Vin, a contemporary bathing house - with a nod to Sweden’s swimming traditions – and restaurant which enables diners to take a dip before a meal or simply enjoy the view of Lake Åsunden.
Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009
Known as the ‘Everest of Sailing’, the epic Volvo Ocean Race, formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race, comes to West Sweden in June. The competitors set off for the eighth leg from Galway, Ireland, at 1pm on June 6 in a sprint to Marstrand Island, 30 minutes north of Gothenburg. The crews are set to put on a dramatic spectacle, and draw huge crowds to the shores, as they near dry land on June 10. From Marstrand the competitors will be waved off as they start the ninth leg to Stockholm on June 14.
Shell food sports! Nordic Oyster Opening Championships
Chefs from across Scandinavia converge on the small town of Grebbestad, two and a half hours from Gothenburg, to compete for the mantle of Nordic Oyster Opening Champion. Watch them take part in this skilled and somewhat risky business, in an event that pays homage to the region’s outstanding seafood. The championships take place on April 25 (to be confirmed).
City Break Expo 2009
Gothenburg hosts this major travel trade event, taking place from June 15 to 16 which enables city break suppliers to meet tour operators and online agents from around Europe and learn more about Gothenburg, an increasingly popular city break destination.