Sweden is a land of cultural contrast, from the Danish influence of the southwest to the nomadic Laplanders in the wild Arctic north. And while urban Sweden is stylish, modern and sophisticated, the countryside offers many simpler pleasures for those in search of tranquillity.
Sweden’s scenery has a gentler charm than that of neighbouring Norway’s rugged coast. Much of Sweden is swathed in forest, and there are thousands of lakes, notably large stretches of water between Gothenburg and the capital, Stockholm. The lakeside resort of Östersund, in the centre of Sweden, is popular with Scandinavians, but most visitors opt first for the cities and the Baltic islands: the largest island, Gotland, with its array of ruined medieval churches, is a particular highlight.
The land and its people have an air of reserved calm, and while best known for its automotive and musical exports – Volvo and Abba are pretty much household names – a strong historical undertone bubbles close beneath the surface.
Airlines to fly to Sweden: Delta, Air France, United, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Finnair, British Airways, Czech Airlines, LOT, Malev, US Airways.
Cities to fly to Sweden: Gothenburg, Malmo, Stockholm, Uppsalaa, Vasteras.