2011 in West Sweden and Gothenburg
Wednesday 12, January 2011
oliday inspiration and travel news with something for all interests, from crime fiction fanatics to lovers of cruises, heavenly spas, eco-tourism, the great outdoors, culinary experiences and life by the sea.
Hooked on Swedish crime fiction?
Seeking the next Stieg Larsson or Wallander-esque mystery? Check out the page-turners of two talented ladies from West Sweden and visit the scenic backdrops where their all-consuming stories play-out. Camilla Läckberg’s best-selling thrillers - including The Gallow’s Bird which goes on sale in the UK this March - are set in the peaceful, picture-perfect coastal community of Fjällbacka where she grew up. Frozen Moment is the stunning debut novel of Gothenburg-based Camilla Ceder, set in the pretty area around the west coast city, which follows the dark investigations of Inspector Christian Tell. www.westsweden.com
The Göta Canal Steamship Company scoops Best Experience in Sweden award
The niche cruise operator picked up the accolade at the TRIP Global Award 2010, organised the Swedish tourism industry, in a hotly-contested category judged by tour operators from Sweden’s major foreign markets: France, Germany, UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Russia and the United States. The awards recognise what foreign visitors to Sweden most want to do and which Swedish company offers the best experience. The Göta Canal Steamship Company operates classic cruises aboard historic steamships on the Göta Canal, ‘Sweden’s longest adventure’, between Gothenburg and Stockholm.
A number of companies offer Göta Canal cruise trips including Sunvil Discovery, Simply Sweden, Best Served Scandinavia, Mighty Fine and Discover the World (details available later in 2011). www.westsweden.com
Detox into 2011 at the new Marstrands Havshotell (Marstrands Sea Hotel)
West Sweden’s newest hotel opens on the mainland opposite Marstrand Island (www.marstrands.se) on 15 January. A scenic getaway beside the water just 50 minutes from Gothenburg, the 98-room venue includes a spa with traditional Bohuslän coast treatments incorporating seaweed, salts and hot baths; two restaurants, an outdoor terrace, views to sea and across Marstrand, which can be reached by car over a connecting bridge from the mainland. Packages can be booked through Taber Holidays. Call 01274 875 199 (www.taberhols.co.uk).
Eco-tourism at Lake Vanern Biosphere Reserve
A biosphere reserve on the southern coast of Lake Vänern is being developed as an eco-tourism destination offering new hiking and biking trails, and strengthening links between tourism, public transport and green local businesses. The Lake Vänern Archipelago and Mount Kinnekulle Biosphere Reserve protects the area’s culture and great ecological diversity including important species within the woods, meadows and pastures of Kinnekulle.
Green accreditation for Koster Island boat charters
Selin Charter, a company offering scenic boat charters around the Koster Islands – within Kosterhavet, Sweden’s first marine national park – has received the prized Nature’s Best eco-certification. Selin offers trips from Strömstad on its 50-passenger boat to the park’s islets and seal colonies; lobster safaris in association with local hotels, and is developing boat trips with underwater cameras to give views of the park below the surface.
Step into the timeless world of the Koster Archipelago
Walking specialist Ramblers Worldwide has introduced a new tour for 2011 coupling the tranquillity of Sweden’s Koster Islands with the green open spaces and gardens of Gothenburg. The eight-day summer season holiday explores South Koster in Kosterhavet, Sweden’s first marine national park, where tracks meander through woods to secret coves. It also includes a guided nature walk on surrounding tiny islands and, in Gothenburg, a visit to the Botanical Gardens, Gunnebo House and Gardens and lakeside walking at Alingsås. Call 01707 331 133 (www.ramblersholidays.co.uk).
Some major events in 2011
Gothenburg International Film Festival, 28 January – 7 February
Academy Award-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, the man behind Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, is one of the big names at this year’s event and will pick-up the new Honorary Dragon Award. Some 200,000 people will attend Scandinavia’s largest public film festival for screenings and seminars. www.giff.se
A Passion for Food, 25-27 February
An exhibition for anyone who loves cooking, it will inspire home chefs to try exciting ideas in their own kitchen and includes a rich selection of small-scale and traditionally produced food products from the West of Sweden. Tips are available from chefs and producers and all products are available to buy. www.westsweden.com
Dalsland Cross Country – Mountain Bike Orientation, 7 May
Compete in teams of two in the beautiful wilds of Dalsland during this five-mile orientation course, which starts and finishes in Bengtsfors. Men’s, women’s and mixed classes are available. www.westsweden.com
Way Out West, 11-13 August
Established in 2007, Way Out West became an immediate success. Now one of Europe’s leading festivals, the eco-friendly event takes place in Gothenburg’s centrally located Slottskogen Park. While 2011’s acts have yet to be confirmed, an eclectic line-up typically includes a mix of big international names, up and coming bands and Swedish talent. Club nights take place at venues across the city. www.wayoutwest.se
Dalsland Canoe Marathon, 13 August
Tackle the 55km course through the lakes and waterways of the Dalsland wilderness with 1,000 competitors in Sweden’s largest canoe event. Packages are available with Nature Travels. Call 01929 463 774 (www.naturetravels.co.uk/dalslandcanoemarathon).
Lobster safaris and a Shellfish Journey, Autumn
26 September marks the start of the lobster season: enjoy a lobster safari culinary experience in which you’ll help catch and cook this west coast delicacy. Try all of Bohuslän on the plate during the Shellfish Journey, with the chance to sample lobsters, oysters, mussels, crayfish and prawns, during October and November. Having ventured out to sea, you’ll dine in snug restaurants and relax in comfortable hotel accommodation. www.westsweden.com
Some more trips to try…
A tipi adventure in Dalsland
Camp in a traditional tipi beside a lake and revel in the sense of space, freedom and adventure. Explore the forests, hike and take out the rowing boat before cooking dinner over an open fire and putting your head down on a bed of fir twigs covered in reindeer skins. Book through Nature Travels on 01929 463 774 (www.naturetravels.co.uk).
Rent your own island
Be king of your own domain during a stay at Henriksholm, a grand country house sitting on a 100 hectare island within the lake district of Dalsland. The island, with a history dating back to the 16th century, lies in picturesque Lake Ånimmen, offering excellent fishing. Cast a line from 6km of private shores, take out your personal powerboat or have a paddle in the kayaks. Book through Simply Sweden on 0845 8900 300 (www.simplysweden.co.uk).
An offer by the ocean: three nights for two at Handelsman Flink
Throughout 2011, Sunvil Discovery is offering three nights for the price of two at seaside hotel Handelsman Flink. The getaway is located on the island of Flatön, part of the archipelago stretching along the Bohuslän coast, 90 minutes north of Gothenburg. Here you’ll be tempted by fresh seafood in the Taste of West Sweden accredited restaurant, have the chance to enjoy a culinary adventure during a seafood safari, and explore the area by sea kayak. Book through Sunvil Discovery on 020 8568 4499 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
For more information about visiting West Sweden and Gothenburg go to www.westsweden.com and www.gothenburg.com.
For an insider’s guide to events and experiences in West Sweden follow the latest blogs at www.explorewestsweden.com.
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