SWEDEN IS FOR ADVENTURERS Explore the Great Outdoors Swedish-Style

Nature lovers and eco-tourists know that Sweden's 'great outdoors' is great indeed. Whether you're a rugged explorer or you prefer your adventure on the soft side, you will never run out of things to do in Sweden.

For information on outdoor activities in Sweden, go to www.visit-sweden.com

For information on all of Sweden's approved ecotourism operators, go to www.naturesbest.nu

Here are some highlights:
 
Walking and Hiking

Several popular lowland hiking trails originate in or near the cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö and lead into the countryside.

Nothing invigorates the spirit like fresh air and stunning vistas to explore. Even in the heart of the city, you're never far from a hiking trail that will take you from the hustle and bustle into a world of peace, quiet and beauty. Several popular lowland hiking trails originate in or near the cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malma and lead into the countryside.

Glass Blower in the “Kingdom of Crystal”

In the Smaland region of southeastern Sweden, better known as Sweden's 'Kingdom of Crystal,' you'll find the Lannebergaleden Trail that leads through Pippi Longstocking country and the John Bauer Trail (named for the famed painter of trolls and fairy folk) between Grnna and Huskvarna that follows the shore of sparkling Lake Vttern.

In the Skane region of western Sweden, the 140-kilometer Åsleden Trail takes you past stunning ravines and through primeval forests. Keep your eyes open for moose, reindeer and other local residents.

Dalarna region

ruggedly beautiful Sarek National Park, Europe’s largest national park, with over 5,200 square kilometers of unspoiled wilderness for experienced hikers to explore.

Looking for a more challenging route? Try the low mountains of the Dalarna region or head farther north to West Lapland and ruggedly beautiful Sarek National Park, Europe's largest national park, with over 5,200 square kilometers of unspoiled wilderness for experienced hikers to explore.

Dalarna region

Sweden's most famous trail is the 425-kilometer King's Trail or Kungsleden. It's Lapland's 'highway for hikers' twisting and climbing through the mountains, over bridges and through some of the most breathtaking scenery you can imagine.

Kayaking and Canoeing

Rent a kayak or canoe and explore on your own

Believe it or not, you can do some invigorating whitewater kayaking right in the heart of Stockholm. You'll gain a great perspective on the city as you paddle the course between the Royal Palace and the Royal Opera House. Wawkee Kayaking runs two-hour kayak trips on this route, with a prep course for beginners. (www.wawkee.se)

Stockholm

Stockholm is a city of islands, with 24,000 in the archipelago surrounding the city. Rent a kayak or canoe and explore on your own, pulling in at interesting islands along the way for a closer look or an overnight stay at one of the local inns.

Gothenburg has an archipelago of its own for you to discover

Gothenburg has an archipelago of its own for you to discover, where rocky islands shimmer pink in the morning sun. Say good day to the seal colonies basking on the rocks as you steer your kayak out to sea. Western Sweden's lovely, placid lakes seem to beckon you to put your paddle in the water. Just north of Gothenburg is Vttlefjll, where several lakes are linked by gently flowing canals. Perfect for canoeing.

Can't decide where to go first? Paddle in Sweden offers hundreds of suggested routes to whet your appetite for adventure. (www.kanotguiden.com)

Adventures in the City

Another way to add an element of adventure to a Stockholm city vacation is touring by bicycle

Another way to add an element of adventure to a Stockholm city vacation is touring by bicycle. Rent a bike and take it for a spin past the city's many landmarks. If you're not up to navigating city streets by bike, but you still want to pedal around, head for the wooded island of Djurgarden where you can bike along the traffic-free paths of Ekoparken, the National City Park. (www.ekoparken.com)

Ekoparken, the National City Park

soar over the city in a hot air balloon

To really change your perspective on Stockholm, take in the view from above as you soar over the city in a hot air balloon. Stockholm is one of the few major world cities to offer visitors this kind of opportunity. For more information visit www.stockholmtown.com 

Way Up North

Lapland calls to the adventurous spirit in everyone.

Lapland calls to the adventurous spirit in everyone. In Sweden's northernmost region you'll find silence, serenity and views that stretch on forever. Throughout Lapland is a network of interconnected trails for hiking in summer and cross-country skiing in winter. From Abisko mountain station you can venture out for day trips or cabin-to-cabin journeys.

Perhaps a snowshoe trek is more your speed?

Perhaps a snowshoe trek is more your speed? Take a guided 1- to 3-day trip through the ancient forests of Lapland, overnighting in log cabins and enjoying the beauty around you. (www.creactive-adventure.se)

Reindeer Sled Safari your Sami guide will lead the way as you drive your own sled through the pristine wilderness

While you're way up north, take the opportunity to learn about the Sami ' quot; the native people of Lapland. On a 6-day Reindeer Sled Safari your Sami guide will lead the way as you drive your own sled through the pristine wilderness. You'll sleep out in reindeer-skin tents, sample Lapland cuisine and discover a way of life you never knew existed. (www.nutti.se)

Or go to the dogs …quot; sled dogs that is! …quot; on a Dog-sledding Journey

Or go to the dogs ' quot; sled dogs that is! ' quot; on a Dog-sledding Journey. After a quick lesson, you and a partner will drive your own sled across the snow. No worries about getting lost. The dogs always know the way!

Want to drive something with a little more horsepower? Try one of the Arctic Driving Courses in the Norrebotten region, north of the Arctic Circle. After a turn on these ice tracks, you'll handle the snowy streets in your neighborhood with ease.

Ice Hotel

And no trip to Lapland would be complete without a stay at the world-famous IceHotel. In winter, you'll sleep in a room built of ice. (Super-warm sleeping bags are included!) In summer, experience the same warm hospitality in one of the IceHotel's comfortable cabins. The staff can also book you on a 5- or 7-day Lapland adventure. Summer activities include whitewater rafting, fishing, mountain excursions, a whale-watching safari and more. (www.icehotel.com)

For more information on things to see and do in Lapland, visit: www.lappland.se and www.norrebottenlappland.se

Let it Snow!

Swedes are never afraid of a little snow. We simply strap on our cross-country skis and 'take a trip.' Gliding along a snow-covered trail is one of the best ways to clear your mind and open your eyes. The going can be quite brisk in winter, but on a sunny spring day it's sublime.

Tour Skating, a long-distance trip on skates over the frozen lakes and waterways

Another favorite activity is Tour Skating, a long-distance trip on skates over the frozen lakes and waterways that link the islands of the archipelagos around Stockholm and Gothenburg. Experienced tour-skaters can cover more than 100 miles in a day! The season begins around November, but it's always critical to check conditions before you set out. And never skate alone! The Stockholm Ice Skate Sailing and Touring Club can give you more information about routes in and around Stockholm. (www.sssk.se)

Alpine skiers

Alpine skiers have plenty of choices in Sweden. Åre in the Jmtland region is Sweden's best-known ski resort and in 2007 it will host the Alpine World Championships. Other options include Slen and Idre, which are great for families. Hemavan/Trnaby in southern Lapland has lofty peaks where you can try heli-skiing (if that's your pleasure) and at Riksgrnsen in far northern Lapland you can ski under the Midnight Sun' in June!

Jämtland region is Sweden’s best-known ski resort

 www.visit-sweden.com

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