Midsummer (Midsommar) is probably one of the most important holidays in the Swedish calendar. The holiday originates from agrarian times, where celebrations were held to welcome summer time and the season of fertility. Celebrations typically include large gatherings of family, lunches including pickled herring, boiled potatoes with fresh dill, a grilled dish of some kind, such as spare rib or salmon, and dessert includes the first strawberries of summer. This is followed by dancing and singing.
Infact, many Swedes even begin their five-week annual holidays to coincide with this time. So, if you take a cue to visit the county this summer, especially during midsummer, here’s a few spots you may want to go to, to experience the best of what Sweden offers in these months.
Kullaberg Nature Reserve
Located in the southernmost county of Skane, Kullaberg Nature Reserve is a paradise for outdoor-lovers. Located around the 188 m high Kullaberg, the area covers a total of 1,000 hectares of land and 300 hectares of water.
The environment in Kullaberg has even been awarded three stars in the Michelin Green Guide. And if hiking is your thing, the Kullaleden Trail has been certified as a Leading Quality Trail by the European Ramblers’ Association.
And the area thrives with fauna. Along your hike, you can spot foxes, badgers, roe deer and red deer. Infact, in the ocean around Kullaberg Nature reserve, you can often spot the porpoise – a small toothed whale.
If it’s the charm of small towns that entices you, you could take a trip to Eksjö. Around 400 kilometers from Stockholm, this idyllic town centre boasts more than 50 listed wooden buildings, making it one of Europe’s best-preserved wooden towns. And if history excites you, Eksjo Museum tells the story of this town which has felt the ravages of plague, famine, war and fire since the 15th century. Visit it in August and you’re in for a treat. Eksjö’s city festival draws thousands to the city’s pretty cobble-stoned streets for music, dancing, food and festivities.
Located in the north, Lappland makes up nearly a quarter of Sweden’s land area. Boasting of forests, wild rivers and ominous mountains, Lappland is often referred to as “Europe’s last wilderness“.
The Kungsleden hiking trail, the longest in the country, pays off visitors in summer with an incredible scenery.
Sunlight is bathing Lappland non-stop during June – July, letting visitors enjoy the rare spectacle of the midnight sun.