Sweden’s west coast archipelago

Date Posted: 10/06/2015

Photo Credit: Frank Heuer

Celebrating Swedish Midsummer with the locals and island hopping are just two ways to pass your time on a group trip to the west coast of Sweden next summer

In winter, some parts of Sweden only experience three hours of daylight in every 24. So when the summer comes, the Swedes know how to make the most of it. So why not join them next year? Here are a few ideas for celebrating Sweden Midsummer in the west of the country in 2016…

Island hop around the Bohuslän coast

Sweden’s west coast boasts 8,000 bucolic islands and while you may not have time to visit them all, a three day island hopping cruise has recently been introduced by Swedish West Cruise Line taking parties from Gothenburg to Strömstad.

The cruise takes groups to the Koster Islands, an area covered by heathland, marshes, dry meadows and juniper formations attracting butterflies and other insects. Sweden’s first Marine National Park, Kosterhavet, the home of over 6,000 marine species is also situated on the Koster Islands.

Additionally, parties on the cruise can sojourn at Smögen and stroll down its famous 600 metre wooden pier filled with shops in old fishing huts and there will be the opportunity to visit Strandverket Art Museum in Marstrand. The museum exhibits contemporary art including photography, sculpture, painting and digital art.

Explore the Göta Canal

The Göta Canal is part of the two largest lakes in Sweden – Lake Vänern and Lake Vättern. As the canal’s construction was one of the biggest building projects ever undertaken in Sweden’s history, the Göta Canal and its 58 locks has become a popular destination for tourists.

Groups walking along the canal can enjoy the sights of the countryside, experience the boat-life of the waterway and observe the lock operations. One of the canal's most frequently visited attractions is the Berg locks, located near the town of Linköping. Parties will see the famous staircase locks named Carl Johan after King Carl XIV Johan.

Other sights on the bank’s route include the Kalsborg Fortress and the Canal Museum in Sjötorp where visitors can look at naval maps, classic cars and exhibitions which convey the history of the shipyard and boat traffic.

Local hotels and specialist companies provide guided walking tours, bike hire or boat trips in order for visitors to maximise their exploration of the canal.

Attend a traditional Swedish crayfish party

To truly become immersed in Swedish culture, you can take advantage of the Langoustine Package created by Väderöarnas Värdhus guesthouse on the Weather Islands.

Guests have the chance to catch seafood delicacies fresh from the ocean before attending a crayfish party.

You will learn how to eat crayfish using special cutlery, drink Swedish schnapps and participate in classic Swedish drinking songs. The package also includes access to the sauna and hot tubs by the sea, boat transfers to the islands from Fjällbacka and lunch.

Celebrate Midsummer Eve, Swedish style

Midsommar or Midsummer is the most important holiday in the Swedish calendar, in 2016 it falls on 25th June. Maypoles are raised in villages throughout west Sweden before the traditional feast of pickled herring, boiled new potatoes, soured cream, red onion, fresh strawberries and schnapps is served up.

Groups attending Midsummer in Sweden season can get involved by spending Midsummer’s Eve at Villa Sjotorp in Ljungskile for a special Midsummer dinner. Afterwards parties can take a stroll along the nearby shore to watch the festivities unfold at Victoriaparken in Lyckorna where they can expect plenty of maypole dancing and singing.

Sip on a cocktail made by the best bartender in Sweden

Contemporary hotel Clarion Hotel Post, is located in central Gothenburg and is ideal for guests who enjoy a tipple.

For two consecutive years, the hotel has had Dosa Ivanov showcasing his bartending skills. Ivanov won the 'Best Bartender' competition in 2015 organised by the Swedish Bartenders Guild and guests can try his cocktail creations at The Post Bar, located on the first floor of the hotel.

Groups can also sample the hotel’s also own brand of beer which has been made in collaboration with Gothenburg based micro-brewery Dugges: Dugges' Post Lager.

The hotel also has a wine cellar which offers wine tastings sessions with the hotel’s sommeliers.

This article was complied with the help of Travel PR.

For more information on group trips to Sweden visit www.vastsverige.com/en

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