Sweden roadtrip - from south to center
Updated: Aug 19, 2023
We toured Sweden during the months of July 2022 in about 2,5 weeks time via car, with our dog and tent in the trunk. Starting in the very south of the country, we managed to make our way towards the center of Sweden.
It is quite a journey to get from Munich to Sweden by car. We had an intermediate night stop in Kassel, headed to Germany's Baltic Sea coast where we took the ferry from Fehmarn island to Denmark (1h ride), and then had our next night stop nearby Copenhagen. The next morning, we entered Sweden via the bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö. In Sweden, we headed towards our first target, Store Mosse National Park.
This National Park is located in South of Sweden, in the region of Smaland, and is dominated by huge fields of swamps. It is a lovely experience to walk through the swamps on the wooden foot bridges. The National Park is home to moose and endangered birds, and is a breeding spot for e.g. cranes and golden plovers. We stayed in a place called Agards Camping, which we can highly recommend, with lovely hosts.
Our next target was lake Vänern, the largest lake of Sweden and the European Union. On our way to lake Vänern, we made a stop at lake Hornborgasjön. This lake is known as one of the best resting areas for cranes in Europe, which they are crossing on their way to the breeding areas further north. The best time to watch the cranes during their migration is between end of March and end of April. Few cranes will also stay at the lake for breeding.
When arriving at lake Vänern, we decided to stay for two nights in Börstopp Slot, a renovated castle that is opening its door for its visitors and guests. In the surrounding fields, I was able to spot a couple of whinchats.
Our next stop was lake Siljan, located in the heart of Sweden, in the Dalarna region. The lake and its surrounding is a truly picturesque region, and presents itself like out of a Swedish picture book. In particular we enjoyed the charming town of Tällberg, and visiting the workshops in Nusnäs, where the famous Dana horses are crafted, potentially the most popular souvenir to bring from Sweden. We stayed for two nights in Vikarbygarden camping, and can recommend the spot for its nice view across the lake.
Our next stop was located in the northern part of the Dalarna region, at lake Grövelsjön. The lake is surrounded by hills, including the most southern fjäll of Sweden. Because we enjoyed the place so much, we finally stayed for several nights in a cabin in Sjöstugan. Again we can highly recommend this place, located directly in front of the lake. Visitors can also start hiking from here, to enter the southern part of the famous Kungsleden trail.
I was incredibly happy to discover a couple of golden plovers in the swamps western of the lake. They got pretty close to me, and I was quite pleased with the photos I was able to take. Reindeers can be observed in the mountains and are frequently crossing the roads. I spotted a snow grouse in the mountains eastern of the lake, but unfortunately, was not fast enough to take a photo. Many songbirds, among them whinchats, can be observed next to the river flowing into the lake.
We ended the trip, heading south again, in Klosterhavets National Park, located at Sweden's lovely west coast. We stayed at Bofors Camping, which while a nice place, was a bit crowded with a lot of children playing at campsite. Especially during Summer time, the west cost and the national park are a crowded space, as many Swedes are spending their holiday here. Many of the campsites had been booked out, so you may want to book your stay in advance if possible. The islands of the national park can be reached via ferry from the town of Strömstad. We took the boat to Sydkoster, and enjoyed hiking roundtrip across the beautiful island. In one of the bays, we had an encounter with a common ring plover family, which was a lot of fun to photograph. There are special boat trips that take the visitor out to watch seals, which we had to skip for time reasons.
After three nights at the west coast, we drove further south to Gothenburg, from where we took the ferry back to Kiel in Germany. While our roundtrip in Sweden found an end, we were certain to return to this lovely country in not too distant future.