Sebastian Lineros/imagebank.sweden.se

Have you always wanted to experience West Sweden with its amazing archipelago, delicious seafood, picturesqe fishing villages and great outdoor adventures? Here’s your chance to get the inside information on this region.

Four bloggers are heading over to Gothenburg and West Sweden at the end of July and you can follow them throughout their trips. Follow the hashtag  #MyWestSweden on Twitter and they will show you the best of this region.

Our first blogger will be in West Sweden from 31st July and the last one leaves 8th August so why not post some tips for what they can see and do in the region using #MyWestSweden

Crime fiction with Savidge Reads

If you love Nordic Noir and crime fiction then follow Savidgereads  and on Twitter @SavidgeReads on his trip to Fjällbacka where he will be following in the footsteps of crime author Camilla Läckberg.

Food with Fuss Free Flavours

For foodies, don’t miss Fuss Free Flavours’ trip which will take in seafood safaris, farmshops and local restaurants in West Sweden, also on Twitter @FussFreeHelen

Outdoors with Global Grasshopper

For all outdoor fans you must follow Global Grasshopper, on Twitter as @globalgrasshopr  who will be kayaking, hiking and cycling around the beautiful outdoors in West Sweden

Travel with Timetravel Turtle

Timetravel Turtle will cover the entire region and you can follow his trip to cute fishing villages, stunning islands and lovely restaurants on @michaelturtle

For more information about West Sweden go to http://www.westsweden.com and follow West Sweden on Facebook and twitter @WestSwedenTB

Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se


Known for its trendy design shops, cool cafes and laid back coastal lifestyle, Gothenburg offers visitors relative wilderness in the form of its idyllic southern archipelago: a collection of car-free islands within easy reach of the city centre where locals spend their summers, and now, following the launch of cool, new guesthouse, travellers can too.

News from the archipelago:

With a new guesthouse on the waterfront, miles of beautiful car-free walking and cycling trails and some fantastic seafood restaurants, Gothenburg’s southern archipelago is the perfect destination for a summer break.

The islands of the southern archipelago are completely car-free, making it the perfect place to get back to nature on long walks, bike rides, kayaking and wild swimming. Travellers can enjoy fresh seafood, trendy bars, new boutique accommodation and the chance to spot seals in their natural habitat on the islands.

The archipelago is just a short 30-minute tram ride and ferry trip from the city centre and travel to the islands is included in the Gothenburg city card.

Our top five recommendations to do in the southern archipelago are:

  1. Stay in a new boathouse on Vrångö

On 1 June, a new guesthouse, Kajkanten, opens at the quayside on the island of Vrångö. Travellers can stay in one of 11 boathouses and experience island living. Guests can also relax in a hot tub, take a fishing tour, rent kayaks and take guided walks of the island. Boat house rooms costs from 600 SEK (£55) per night based on two people sharing. For more information visit kajkantenvrango.se/en/

  1. Enjoy world-class cuisine at Styrsö Skäret

Styrsö Skäret is a first-class restaurant and guesthouse located on the island of Styrsö. Guests and day trippers can enjoy a menu of dishes which are made from locally sourced ingredients including freshly caught fish and seafood, homemade bread and herbs grown in the herb garden. The guesthouse is steeped in archipelago history and provides guests with a warm welcome and relaxing atmosphere. A double room with a garden view costs from 1495 SEK (£135) per night based on two sharing including breakfast.
www.pensionatskaret.se/english/

  1. Visit the trendiest bar in the archipelago

The Isbolaget on the island of Donsö started its life as a store for ice but has since been transformed into a modern bar and restaurant run by a local family.  A homemade lunch using locally sourced produce is served every day from 11.30am till 2pm and the bar is open on weekends. Lunch costs around 89 SEK (£8) per person and includes a main course, salad, soft drinks and cake.
www.isbolaget.com/

  1. Get up close and personal with seals in their natural environment

Colonies of seals live, hunt and play out in the archipelago and travellers can take a closer look at their fun and frolics on a seal safari from Fiskebäck marina.  Refreshments are provided on board as part of the tour and the experienced skipper will tell stories and anecdotes from the places the boat passes. Tours can be tailored to individual guests and can be combined with lunch or dinner on Bohuslän’s cliffs.
www.kusthav.se/salsafari.html

  1. Explore the archipelago by bike

The best way to explore the archipelago is by bike. Bikes can be rented on Brännö, Björkö or Hönö and travellers can explore the islands at their own leisure and because the islands are car free it is a very relaxing way to explore. Bike rental costs from 50 SEK (£4.50) for adults and 25 SEK (2.30) for children aged between 5 – 18. For more information click here

A 24-hour Gothenburg City Card costs from SEK 355 (£35) per adult, and covers public transport across the city and archipelago, and entry to dozens of attractions. For more information about Gothenburg and its archipelago visit www.goteborg.com

-Ends-

For media information contact the Visit Sweden PR team at Four bgb on visitsweden@fourbgb.com or call 020 3697 4200

Or

Philippa Sutton at VisitSweden on philippa.sutton@visitsweden.com or 020 7870 5604

 

Göran Assner/imagebank.sweden.se

Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg, is stepping into the limelight this summer, with a hotly anticipated new rollercoaster opening at the iconic city centre Liseberg Amusement Park, a feast of new restaurants, and two new hotels for visitors to enjoy.

News from the city:

New rollercoaster ‘Helix’ opens at Liseberg Amusement Park

At the end of April 2014, Liseberg Amusement Park launched a brand new roller coaster for the summer season. In building the Helix, Liseberg aimed to create the best roller coaster in the world. The ride lasts for just over two minutes, hits speeds of up to 100 km/h and has a track length of almost 1.4km, including two high speed launches, seven inversions, three airtime hills, and lots of drops, twists and turns. Admission from SEK 90 (around £9) or free with a Gothenburg City Card. liseberg.com/en/home/Amusement-Park/

New restaurants

Swedish food is enjoying the culinary limelight for its focus on fresh, home-cooked food, and Gothenburg has seen a number of new restaurants open during the last few months, including Barbicu, Upper House Dining, Levantine, The Barn and Deliverket, a water-side wine bar serving the freshest local seafood. 

Koka is a new restaurant from Michelin-star chef Björn Persson focusing on high quality local ingredients from West Sweden, whilst S.K Mat & Människa is the hottest new ticket in town, headed by Stefan Karlsson, one of the pioneers of New Nordic cuisine, who shut down his last restaurant in January to start at this new, more intimate venue, where he can experiment even more.

New hotels

Already this year, two new hotels have opened in Gothenburg to match every budget. Five-star Upper House is a beautiful new boutique hotel offering fantastic views of the city, clean Scandinavian lines and a luxurious spa. For more budget conscious travellers, the new centrally located STF Gothenburg Hotel and Hostel just opened at the end of March and rooms cost from £45 per person per night based on two sharing.www.svenskaturistforeningen.se/

For more information on Gothenburg go to www.goteborg.com

-Ends- 

For media information please contact:

The Visit Sweden PR team at Fourbgb on visitsweden@fourbgb.com or call 020 3697 4200

Or

Philippa Sutton at VisitSweden on philippa.sutton@visitsweden.com or 020 7870 5604

Måns Fornander/imagebank.sweden.se

(2 May 2014) When spring and summer beckon in Sweden, the minds of wealthy locals, families and couples turn to Skåne, in the country’s sweeping south. Known as the ‘breadbasket of Sweden’, where much of the nation’s produce is grown, Skåne encompasses long, sandy beaches, rolling countryside, and the cosmopolitan port city of Malmö. 2014 sees Skåne continue to make its mark as a foodie hotspot, with some excellent new craft breweries to explore and some exciting new restaurants. 

Food and drink

Meet the new breed of Swedish craft brewers

Long known as breadbasket of Sweden, Skåne is becoming increasingly well regarded for its beer and   wine production too. Helsingborgs bryggeri (beer brewery) is a new local favourite run by two beer enthusiasts, who decided to re-open the old Helsingborg brewery (founded in 1850, and closed in 1967). Their ethos - to produce great beer by using the best raw materials and treating them with the utmost respect while staying true to old Skåne beer brewing culture – has served them well, with the pair winning ‘Best Pale Lager’ award for their first beer at the Gothenburg Beer Festival. Guided tours are available in English on Saturdays from SEK 250 (around £25) per person.

Join the Absolut Vodka tour

It’s a little known fact that Skåne is home to one of the world’s best known alcohol brands, Absolut Vodka. Rather than purchase raw neutral spirits (a common practice for many manufacturers), Absolut sets itself apart by taking control of the process ‘from seed to glass’ in the distillery based near Åhus. The distillery produces 600,000 litres of vodka per day, and last May released a new high-end vodka, Absolut Elyx, that’s produced on a much smaller scale.

Tours are available over summer. Visit www.absolut.com

Grand new restaurant opening at Malmö Central station in May

After being closed for over 30 years, the Royal Waiting Hall at Malmö Central station has been transformed into a restaurant, the hotly anticipated Bistro Royal. The hall is a well-kept secret - few people in Malmö even know it exists – and in its heyday (around the 1800s/early 1900s) was reserved for Royals and other dignitaries waiting for trains. Bistro Royal launched in May, sensitively restored to its former glory under Malmö restaurateur Andreas Pieplow, and will be the first time the rooms are open to the public. bistroroyal.se/

New ‘slow food’ restaurant Bantorget 9 opens in Lund

Natural followers of the slow food movement, Sweden has long been known for its dedication to using the freshest local produce and cooking meals from scratch. Bantorget 9, a new 70-seater restaurant in Lund, a pretty university town just nine miles from Malmö, is the perfect example of this, offering inventive small plates using only organic and locally sourced ingredients. The interior design is classic Scandinavian with elements from both southern Sweden and neighbouring Denmark.

To book a table, visit bantorget9.se/

Tours and experiences

Go behind the scenes of BBC Two Scandi crime drama, The Bridge 

Hooked to Scandi-crime drama, The Bridge? Fans of the hit TV show on BBC Two can go behind the scenes and follow in the footsteps of lead character Saga Norén (Sweden’s Sofia Helin) and Martin Rohde (Denmark’s Kim Bodnia), as they cooperate to solve dark crimes in Malmö and Copenhagen on both sides of the Oresund Bridge.   These new tours offered by Travel Gallery take viewers through Malmö to visit iconic sites in the series, from well-known tourist locations to as eerie industrial lots and unexpected places in the urban landscape of Malmö. Costs from SEK390 (approx. £35) per person.       
www.travelgallery.se/In_the_Footsteps_of_The_Bridge


Festivals and events

Experience the 100th anniversary of the Baltic exhibition in Malmö

The Baltic exhibition was originally held in Malmö in 1914, to showcase the art and culture of Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Russia, before grounding to a halt in the face of World War I. Now to mark its 100th anniversary, the city is hosting a ‘Baltiska Utställningen jubilee’, with exhibitions popping up across the city, including special exhibitions at the Malmö Art Museum, design exhibits at the wonderful Form / Design Center (a great place to shop for Swedish designed furniture) and a light display, shown every evening from the event opening over summer.

Starts from 15 May. For more information, visit www.malmotown.com/baltiska2014/?page_id=35

New hotels

Stay at the new hotel Park Inn in Lund

Recently launched in the heart of Lund, Sweden’s second oldest city (just a 10 minute drive from Malmö), The Park Inn by Radisson Lund offers travellers the city’s first contemporary design hotel and panoramic views over the city. Hotel amenities include an onsite gym and sauna, a flat-screen television in the room, free high-speed internet and a delicious breakfast buffet.

Prices start from 1590 SEK (approximately £160) per night for two people. www.parkinn.com

Stay at Talldungen – an award-winning countryside retreat

Tucked away in some of southern Sweden’s most lovely countryside, Talldungen is regularly ranked  as one of the top B&B’s in Sweden, and received Tripadvisor’s sought after  ‘Traveller’s Choice Award 2014’ for its dreamy location (offering sweeping views across the rolling Österlen countryside), rustic Swedish design, and excellent restaurant serving home-cooked local specialities, including their own fresh baked bread. It’s in an ideal spot for walkers, and Talldungen’s owners have a ready supply of maps, so travellers can follow one of the many trails passing by.

Prices start from SEK 1,390 (about £139) per night for an en-suite double room with breakfast. Book at www.talldungen.se  / +46 41 4732 35

Golf 2014

In both 2014 and 2015, the Nordea Masters golf tournament (the annual golf tournament on the European Tour which is played in Sweden) will be hosted at PGA National near Malmö, in a move that will see local pro, Henrik Stenson, playing on home soil. Noted as one of the most beautiful golf courses in Scandinavia, occupying the former grounds of Norup Castle, there is also a fantastic clubhouse with a restaurant, shop and changing rooms for visiting golfers to enjoy.

Nordea Masters tee off from 30 May. Visit www.europeantour.com/

Flights

Fly to Copenhagen with SAS (www.flysas.co.uk), from as little as £79 each way.

Other airlines that fly to Copenhagen from London include Easyjet (www.easyjet.co.uk), British Airways (www.ba.com) and Norwegian (www.norwegian.com). Ryanair also has direct flights to Malmö from London Stansted. The train from Copenhagen Airport to Malmö city centre takes less than half an hour.

For more information on Skåne & Malmöplease go to www.visitskane.com

For more information on Sweden go to www.visitsweden.com

- Ends -

For more press information contact:

Kylie Jenkins, Katie Bentley-Chan and Sara Whines at Four bgb

T:  [020 3697 4200] E: visitsweden@fourbgb.com

Or

Philippa Sutton at VisitSweden

T: 020 7870 5604 E: philippa.sutton@visitsweden.com

 

Photo by Graeme Richardson

As one of the most remote and exciting parts of Europe, Swedish Lapland has typically been an area of Sweden that only the most determined of travellers have had the fortune to visit.

However, that is all set to change, as Ryanair has just launched a brand new three-hour flight to Skellefteå in Swedish Lapland from London Stansted – opening up this wild and picturesque area to the UK from less than £50 return.

Each season in Swedish Lapland has its own particular charm. We’re in summer at the moment, which means there are 100 days without nights - all the better to explore the vast coastline, deep subarctic forests, lakes, rivers and charming towns of Europe’s last wilderness. Nonetheless, it’s an equally appealing winter destination, with fantastic winter activities and polar nights lit up by bright snow and millions of  stars, and if your luck is in, the chance to see the Northern Lights.

Photo by Graeme Richardson

Swedish Lapland is vast, and was seemingly made for a road trip. Hire a car from Skellefteå Airport and head out into nature, stopping to enjoy activities such as fishing, canoeing, mountain biking, husky training and camping. If you’re lucky, you may even spot beavers, elks or golden eagles.

It’s not just the wildlife that is exotic. Swedish Lapland is justifiably proud of its culinary heritage. The region’s food is full of wild, pure flavours and comes served with generous dose of atmosphere thanks to the superb location.

Photo by Graeme Richardson

There are plenty of places for a good night’s sleep, ranging from secluded typical Scandinavian red cottages in the woods to an old lighthouse overlooking the cliffs.

So if you’re a fan of nature and you want to get away from it all and discover ultimate peace, it seems Ryanair may hold the key.

For more information about Swedish Lapland

For more information about what to do in and around Skellefteå visit Destination Skellefteå

————————————————————-

Fly to Swedish Lapland from London

Direct flights with Ryanair from London to Skellefteå in Swedish Lapland starting April 4th 2014.

Ryanair will depart Stansted 07.45 and Skellefteå 11.45, Thursdays and Sundays April 4th - October 23rd 2014.

You can also fly via Stockholm with SAS or Norwegian to several locations in Swedish Lapland

All photos by Graeme Richardson

Photo by: Rodrigo Rivas Ruiz/imagebank.sweden.se

Eco-friendly festival set to be bigger than ever with an eclectic, A-List line-up!

This summer will see West Sweden’s vibrant city, Gothenburg, once again play host to one of Europe’s best music festivals - Way Out West, from 7 - 9 August, 2014. The environmentally-friendly festival, in its eighth year and held at Slottsskogen city park in the heart of Gothenburg, will showcase the crème de la crème of national and international music.

The exciting line-up for 2014 so far includes OutKast, Queens Of The Stone Age and Röyksopp & Robyn. Way Out West’s unique city-based location taps into Gothenburg’s buzzing music scene, with exclusive ‘Stay Out West’ performances also taking place at the city’s clubs and cultural venues during the festival.

Global superstars such as Prince, Blur, Kanye West, M.I.A, Neil Young, Lily Allen and Kraftwerk have taken to the Way Out West stage in previous years, ensuring it has always been a sell-out success, with this year’s event set to be more popular than ever. The festival has been awarded by MTV and listed by The Independent as one of the ten most interesting music festivals in Europe as well as the world leading, US based, music magazine Pitchfork.com listed it as one of the twenty most essential music festivals in the US and Europe all together.


Festival-goers will be able to soak up the Swedish summer sun in the most wonderful open space. Gothenburg’s favourite park, Slottsskogen, is made up of large areas of grassland, small hills, a forest and enclosed pastures with Nordic animals such as elk. The festival prides itself on being environmentally-certified, and is organised to respect the park’s environment as well as visitors’ safety.

From its first year the festival restaurants have offered a selection of organic food, including fresh seafood. Since two years, the food served at the festival is all vegetarian. The menu is created by one of the city’s star restaurateurs, Mats Nordström.

Way Out West is perfectly located in the centre of Gothenburg and within walking distance of two of the city’s best-loved districts - the culturally diverse Linné and historic Haga - as well as a vast array of hotels and hostels.

Gothenburg is viewed on the international music scene as a place to watch for its emerging musical talent. The city boasts a number of smaller gig venues alongside big arenas, as well as recording studios and events geared up for budding new artists. British magazine Dazed and Confused just published a video called New Music Cities:Gothenburg.

For the first time, as part of the music festival, Way Out West Music Conference is being held, an exclusive music and media conference for the Scandinavian music industry. Speakers include several Americans; Thomas Golubic, Donna Busch and Steve Schnur.

Festival-goers may wish to extend their breaks to take in all that Gothenburg has to offer, with its compact centre of elegant squares, gardens and canals, as well as a buzzing café culture, Michelin-starred restaurants and cutting-edge museums. Gothenburg is also gateway to West Sweden’s island-scattered Bohuslan coast, Dalsland’s forests and lakes and the countryside and castles of Vastergotland.

A three-day festival pass costs 1895 SEK plus service fee per person. For information about purchasing tickets, please see: http://dev.wayoutwest.se/en/tickets  

For more information about Gothenburg and to book hotels online visit www.gothenburg.com and for more information about West Sweden visit www.westsweden.com.

 

Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se

Fresh new potatoes eaten all summer long are something of a Swedish institution and many dishes owe their success to the humble potato.

The first potatoes of the year are harvested in Skåne at Kullen and the Bjäre pennisula. This year was a very early year for potatoes due to the mild winter.

While it may not be on any of the superfood lists, it has become a cornerstone of the Swedish diet and is actually surprisingly good for you – packed full of B and C vitamins, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.

On Midsummer, it is tradition to have fresh potatoes, lightly buttered and salted with herring and nubbe (Swedish schnapps).

If you weren’t lucky enough to be in Sweden to celebrate Midsummer, you can still create your own potato based dishes at home including Pytt i Panna (Swedish Hash).

Recipe

Pytt i Panna is very common on Swedish tables and is often called ‘leftover food’

Make your own Pytt i Panna

Read more about food and drink in Skåne

Find out more about Swedish potatoes here

Cinnamon bun photo by Lola Akinmadeimagebank.sweden.s

Swedish restaurant guide White Guide has just announced that the Stockholm café Johan & Nyström is the best café in Sweden. Swedes love a ‘Fika’, which can be translated as having a coffee and a piece of cake or bun, while taking a break. It’s not surprising that there are lots of amazing cafes all over Sweden!

Best coffee bar is Drop Coffee, just around the corner from Johan & Nyström on Söder in Stockholm.

Best bakery is PM Bröd & Sovel in Växjö, Småland.

Most sustainable café is Gunnebo coffee house in Mölndal outside Göteborg. While best newcomer is Söderberg & Sara Bakery in Ystad, Skåne. Fika place of the year (yup, there’s even a category for the best Fika!) is Pâtisserie David in Malmö.

The lovely Flickorna Lundgren at Skäret in North Western Skåne was voted best café worth a journey.

Flickorna Lundgren. Photo by Anna Hjerdin

http://www.whiteguide.se/

image

We headed to Malmö on 17 May for the first ever Restaurant Day in the city and what a rip-roaring success it was!

Restaurant Day is not quite how you would envisage; it doesn’t include any actual restaurants, just lots of great people who have always wanted to have their own. It is described as ‘a food carnival where anyone can open a restaurant for the day.’ From cupcakes and sweet treats to tacos and ice cream there was something to suit every taste.

If you have ever wondered if Swedish people’s homes are a beautifully designed as you had imagined, then you would be right. Every home we entered on Restaurant Day was bright and airy and buzzing with excitement. 

image

The best way to get about during Restaurant Day is by bike, which means you can balance out all the culinary stops with some activity in between – a win-win situation!

The next Restaurant Day is happening worldwide on 17 August 2014. http://www.restaurantday.org/en.

Find out more about Malmö at http://www.malmotown.com

Photos by Rachel Mills / Rough Guides 

You can also read Foodtripper’s article from the Restaurant Day in Malmö here:  

 

Photo from the West Sweden archipelago by Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se

Katie Bentley-Chan from Four bgb reviews her trip to Vrångö this Easter…

Where the Scottish Isles meets the Mediterranean is possibly the best way for me to describe Gothenburg’s southern archipelago.

Scotland because we were so far north, and Sweden’s wild, rocky islands were reminiscent of the atmospheric, beautiful islets of Skye and Mull (which, ironically, I have never visited but only seen pictures of), and the Med, because, well, it was April and the weather was wonderful: bright blue skies, a light breeze, happy families and couples soaking up the sunshine. 

Last Easter was the first time I visited Gothenburg’s archipelago, and I hope it won’t be the last. My boyfriend and I visited the southernmost island of Vrångö on the archipelago, known for its spectacular walks along the coast and sandy beaches.

Here are my tips for travelling to Gothenburg’s southern archipelago:

Go slow:

We were advised to take the swift non stop 20 minute ferry service to Vrångö. But as it was such a beautiful day, we opted for the one hour stopping service instead, bought some good Swedish coffee on board, and grabbed seats on the outside deck for a journey which felt more like a sightseeing cruise!

Do as the locals do…

… and stay overnight in a summer cabin. Island hopping is great for day trippers but it’s definitely worth a longer stay too! A new guesthouse, Kajkanten, is opening right by the jetty on Vrångö, which will offer boathouse style cabins for really good value prices. Book your stay here: kajkantenvrango.se/en/

Stock up on local fish and seafood:

Along with a shop selling all your essential provisions (plus goodies like Swedish peppakakor biscuits, cakes, and local beers too!), Vrångö has a fantastic fish kiosk, which is well worth a visit for buying in ‘just shucked from the sea’ fresh crayfish, lobsters and fish.

Buy a Gothenburg City Card:

And you can hop to the other islands in the archipelago as much as you like for free!