Known mainly for its contribution of tall, slim Scandinavian model-types, Sweden has much more to offer. Among them, the clean, fresh air, and panoramic landscapes are some of most rewarding and priceless gifts offered to visitors. Outside of Stockholm, Sweden's capital, stark expansive forests and oversized lakes provide the perfect outdoor activities from ice skating to wildlife gazing. While inside the city walls, cobblestone streets are intertwined with old lanes, fancy arches and winding stairways. All roads lead to the Royal Palace, which provides a great peak into the countries long and colorful past.
It might surprise you to know you'll experience a rather temperate climate in country that sits as far north as Sweden. Though Swedes experiences four distinct seasons, the Gulf Stream ensures that their home is warmer and drier than other locales that share a similar latitude. In the northern part of Sweden, which creeps above the Arctic Circle, winters are long, cold and snowy; summers are brief and cool. Meanwhile, in central and Southern Sweden, winters are short and brisk, while the mild, sunny summers stretch out like the days.
Depending on when you travel to Sweden, you might enjoy daylight for more than 18 hours in mid-summer, or for as few as 6 hours in late December. It's another aspect that makes Sweden a unique journey no matter when you visit.
Sweden and its unique geography are inseparable. Part of Scandinavia in Northern Europe, it is the largest of the Scandinavian countries in land size as well as in population. Its changing landscapes range from the cosmopolitan city of Stockholm being spread out across 14 scenic islands to large swatch of dense forest and green countryside dotted with clear blue lakes. These sparsely populated areas let natural beauty reign and the few who venture off the beaten path in Sweden to savor Mother Nature's handiwork all around.
Examples of this are endless. About 15% of Sweden lies inside the Arctic Circle. Also in the northern part of the country, the mountainous Laponia wildlerness of Lappland province is the largest area of unmodified land in Europe and a World Heritage Site. The Sami people still herd reindeer here and have preserved their culture and lived a virtually unchanged lifestyle for centuries.
Sweden is bordered by Norway and Finland, though much of its eastern and southern borders are coastline set along the Gulf of Bothnia, the Baltic Sea, the Skagerrak Strait and the Kattegat Strait. It is also connected to Denmark by the Oresund Bridge.
Major Holidays & Events
In addition to the customary holidays, Sweden traditionally celebrates:
Epiphany Eve and Day - Jan 5 and 6
Good Friday - the Friday before Easter Sunday
Easter Monday - the day after Easter Sunday
May Day/International Workers' Day - May 1
Ascension Day - sixth Thursday after Easter Sunday
Pentecost - seventh Sunday after Easter Sunday
National Day of Sweden - June 6
Midsummer's Day - the Saturday during the period June 20-26
All Saints´Day - the Saturday during the period October 31-November 6
Boxing Day - Dec 26