Putting together a vacation program that will keep the whole family happy can be a real challenge. But not in Småland! Here parents can really relax in one of the pretty, red holiday houses that can be rented throughout the region. On mild summer evenings, you will feel transported between green meadows and dreamy forests in the middle of your childhood favorite reading.
What about the children? To them, Småland certainly seems like a huge amusement park! Swim in glittering lakes in the middle of the forest? Watch and maybe even stroke moose? Snacking on sweets with Pippi Longstocking? Let your legs dangle in the water on your own landing stage in front of the colorful holiday house? Wandering through thick forests in search of trolls and picking blueberries? Småland has the potential to make all vacation dreams come true!
GRÄNNA’S SWEET HOLIDAY AROMA
Sugar-sweet and peppermint: this is how your holiday in Småland tastes when you stop in Gränna on Lake Vättern. The famous red and white ringed candy canes have been made here for more than 150 years, which are as typical for Gränna and all of Småland as, for example, the gingerbread for Nuremberg. However, you will quickly find out that the production of the “Polkagrisar” is no picnic if you visit one of the candy cane manufacturers. Here you can lend a hand and knead, twist, roll and pull the tough dough – that takes a lot of strength!
Incidentally, the sweet sticks were invented in 1859 by “Aunt Amalia”, who, as a single mother, earned her living with the delicacies. The residents of Gränna owe it to her that their pretty town became a real magnet for visitors – to thank them, they erected a statue of the first woman who baked candy cane in the city park. Today you can buy the sweet in a wide variety of colors, shapes and flavors as well as sugar-free versions: a perfect Småland souvenir!
EXCURSION TO SWEDEN’S FIRST KING SEAT
Have you stocked up enough candy canes in Gränna? Then get on the ferry and take a trip to the popular excursion island Visingsö! The long, narrow island in Lake Vättern was allegedly created by the giant Vist as a stepping stone so that his equally gigantic wife would not get wet feet when crossing the lake. Its secluded location in the middle of the lake made it a sought-after place of refuge from an early age: Vikings settled on the island in the Stone Age, and Sweden’s first king Magnus Ladulås had his castle built here almost 800 years ago.
Today Visingsö is ideal for leisurely bike tours with the whole family – you can rent the bikes directly at the ferry terminal. And if you want to treat your children to a very special experience, take a relaxed ride in a Remmalag, a large, open carriage.
ELK WARRANTY INCLUDED
To see a moose once is the dream of most vacationers in Sweden. No wonder, the “kings of the forests” are the country’s trademarks! At the end of the 17th century the mighty animals were almost extinct, but now around 350,000 elk are living in the Swedish forests again. That may sound like a lot, but the chances of encountering one of the shy animals in the wild are quite slim.
If you don’t want to miss out on holiday photos with moose, it’s best to visit one of Småland’s numerous moose parks. The parks are mostly run by private individuals, are spacious and offer the animals enough space and retreat. You are guaranteed to spot a moose here during organized safaris, from observation towers or at feeding grounds!
VISITING THE “KING OF THE FORESTS”
If you prefer to be out on your own, the best thing to do is to go to Markaryd in the Smålandet Elk Park: This is the only park that you can drive into with your own car. On the three-kilometer round trip you will spot moose as well as American bison – but please don’t leave your car! If you not only want to observe and take photos, but also want to learn all sorts of interesting facts about the huge animals, you can take a guided safari tour with the tractor vehicle, for example in the Skullaryd Elk Park near Eksjö. The highlight of the tour is the feeding, where you can experience the elk up close!
You can walk in Grönåsen’s Elk Park near Kosta: Here you walk on beautifully landscaped forest trails past three huge elk enclosures, watch the animals swim by the lake and, with a little luck, even get close to them. There are various observation towers or the cozy barbecue hut for a break.
And at the end there is still a really royal encounter: In the animal enclosure directly at the exit, the particularly trusting pair of elk “Carl Gustav” and “Silvia” live – petting allowed!
COLORFUL EXPERIENCES IN ASTRID LINDGRENS VIMMERBY
Going on vacation to Småland without paying Astrid Lindgren a visit? Unthinkable for all young and young at heart vacationers in Sweden! The detour via Vimmerby, the birthplace of the popular children’s book author, is not only worthwhile for families with children.
When you stroll through the pretty town, you are guaranteed to feel like you are in the middle of the world-famous children’s books and it almost feels as if you are walking through the narrow streets with Michel or shopping in the candy store with Pippi Longstocking.
The best way to find out more about the writer, whose books have been published in 107 languages and over 165 million copies, is to visit her parents’ house, “Näs”. During a guided tour through the faithfully preserved rooms and a walk through the beautiful gardens you can imagine what a carefree childhood Astrid Lindgren spent here!
LIFE SIZE CHILDREN’S BOOK HEROES
The absolute holiday highlight for your children is right next door: the play and theater park “Astrid Lindgren’s World”. Have the little ones always wanted to play in Pippi Longstocking’s Villa Kunterbunt or explore Ronja’s robber daughter’s home, the Mattisburg? Witness how the Löwenherz brothers defeat the evil Katla in the Wild Rose Valley or wish Madita and her sister Lisabet a good appetite at their picnic on the shed roof?.
In this theme park you can experience all Lindgren characters in full life size when specially written pieces for your favorite books are performed in the lovingly designed backdrops. And if you are still with Lindgren fever afterwards, a visit to the film village Småland in Mariannelund is the order of the day. Only 20 kilometers from Vimmerby, you can visit the original locations from the Michel and Bullerbü films.
ADVENTURE HOLIDAYS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
If you like to be out and about, you will definitely not get bored in Småland, because the varied surroundings offer a wide variety of activities for the whole family. At 5,000 lakes and the long Baltic Sea coast, you will find countless bathing options for every taste, from wide, family-friendly bays to secluded bathing spots at the small forest lake.
If you prefer to be out on the water, you can simply rent a canoe and take a paddle tour – children can also enjoy this on the quiet lakes. Or you go among the hobby anglers: Småland’s waters are extremely rich in fish and maybe you will soon have a pike or perch on the hook. In the national parks and huge forests there are exciting discovery tours on foot and family-friendly routes invite you to go on bike tours.
And even in bad weather, there is a lot for families to discover here. An unforgettable adventure holiday that children and adults will certainly dream of for a long time!