10 REASONS TO VISIT GOTHENBURG AND WEST SWEDEN
A unique region at the heart of Scandinavia, West Sweden is a mix of stunning coastline, wilderness areas and countryside offering visitors everything from lobster safaris and sea kayaking among the marine national park to historic manor houses and art museums. Gothenburg, the gateway to it all, is a city with a lively cultural scene and a growing reputation as a gourmet capital.
1. New routes – it’s more accessible than ever
Icelandair – Flies twice a week, between 24 June and 15 August, from Reykjavik to Gothenburg, with connections to both Boston and New York (JFK).
British Airways – A new twice-daily direct flight from London Heathrow to Gothenburg starts on 28 November. Good connections are available to New York (JFK and Newark).
You can also fly SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) from one of their gateways in USA to Gothenburg via Copenhagen or Stockholm.
With its compact centre of elegant squares, gardens and canals, Gothenburg is the ideal short-break city, and the perfect base for exploring the surrounding countryside too. Head for the sweet-smelling central park, Trädgårdsföreningen, where the Palm House stands among manicured lawns and the perfume of over 5,000 roses. A tight grid of smart streets buzzes with a vibrant café culture, intriguing food markets, impressive museums and a multitude of enticing restaurants: five with Michelin stars.
3. Season’s Greetings – Swedish Style
With its lingering, dark winters and never-ending summer days, it´s no wonder that Swedes feel a close affinity with their seasons. To bring light to the darkest month of the year, on 13 December each town and village is filled with processions of singing children, each one led by a local girl crowned with candles, in honour of St Lucia (the Queen of Light). The climax of the year is the Midsummer Festival when Swedes head for the country for a day of ribbon-flinging and maypole-dancing accompanied by generous helpings of fresh strawberries and schnapps.
4. The Koster islands - Sweden’s first marine national park
The Koster Islands lie at the centre of Kosterhavet, a serene marine national park – the first in Sweden – which protects Sweden’s most species rich marine area. Visitors are able to experience this fascinating, beautiful area through a number of new activities that are sympathetic to the environment, including trips on a scientific research boat to kayaking and wildlife walks.
5. Seafood Mecca
The West Sweden culinary calendar would not be complete without the lobster season. Each
year, from the end of September to November, the air along the west coast comes alive with the sound of cracking shells and the sighs of satisfied diners. Join the fishermen catching the lobster, learn how to prepare them properly from local chefs and feast on them too. Alternatively, take a boat trip to the oyster banks of Grebbestad or go for the whole Big Five – lobster, oyster, shrimps, crayfish and mussels.
6. Ten years of Taste of West Sweden
West Sweden is a culinary destination with a huge variety of flavours and experiences. Most known for its exceptional seafood, game, extensive range of cheeses and the all-important fertile soil, these ingredients have been used by an innovative community of chefs who blend traditional and modern culinary techniques. To help promote its foodie prowess, the West Sweden Tourist Board helped set up the Taste of West Sweden scheme in 2000. Ten years on, 25 restaurants and a number of producers are involved in the scheme, which highlights the best eating experiences in the region.
7. Castles & Manor Houses
The Swedes are renowned for neutrality and pacifism, but perhaps that´s because defence is better than attack. The country is littered with castles and fortified manor houses - the southern region of Sane alone has well over 200. Sitting on its promontory on Vanern, Sweden´s largest lake, Lack Slott vies for the title of the country´s most fairytale edifice, its 17th-century baroque towers, cupolas and mouldings built on the site of a 13th-century castle. Visit Gunnebo House and Garden for tasty organic fare in café-restaurant and stay Bjertorp Manor for elegance in the country.
8. Scandinavian Art & Design
If you thought Ikea was the pinnacle of Swedish creativity, a wander around the fin-de-siècle Art Nouveau architecture of Gothenburg will make you think again. While you´re there, head to the Röhsska Museum for displays of Scandinavian design classics, especially 20th-century modernist furniture. Swedes have shown their class on canvas, too, notably the Art Nouveau paintings of Carl Larsson and more modern watercolours at the Nordic Watercolour Museum on Tjörn Island. Gothenburg is also known for its many independent design and clothes stores.
9. Active Travel
Sweden´s a big country - the third-largest in Western Europe - with one of the lowest population densities. It´s a land of woods and mountains, of fjords and lakes with plenty of space to enjoy whatever activities float your boat. The Bohuslän coast draws a host of sea kayakers to paddle among its islands and fishing villages, and canoeists bob around the Dalsland lake district. Cyclists tour cross-country bike paths, passing prehistoric sites, lakes and picturesque churches, while hikers have it their way on short one-day routes or long-distance trails covering hundreds of kilometres.
10. The Göta Canal Cruise
A Gota Canal cruise is a classic journey through Sweden between the great cities of Gothenburg and Stockholm. Travel aboard historic steamships operated by the Gota Canal Steamship company offering nostalgic cabin accommodation and fine Swedish cuisine. A unique cruise, you’ll travel along the iconic Gota Canal, rivers and great lakes, and visit sites of cultural interest en route.
For further information: www.westsweden.com , www.gothenburg.com
Contact for West Sweden:
West Sweden Tourist Board
Tel växel: + 46 (0)31 818300, Mobil: + 46 (0) 730 212114