West Sweden Holidays
West Sweden is rather like a microcosm of the country as a whole with a vibrant and stylish ‘capital’ city, an accessible archipelago with a thriving maritime culture, a strong historic heritage and a landscape that includes forests, mountains, farmland and lakes. In short, West Sweden has it all!
The second largest city in the country, Gothenburg is both welcoming and refreshingly compact. With its tree-lined central avenue, spacious squares, numerous gardens and a charming canal system, this is a truly appealing city. Boasting excellent museums, modern shopping malls, bars and restaurants as well as the largest amusement park in Scandinavia right in the centre – Liseberg.
Though the idea of a theme park existing in the middle of a major city is somewhat surreal, here it works. From the outside Liseberg is neither obtrusive nor garish, yet once inside it is surprisingly spacious offering a host of attractions including an iconic wooden roller coaster.
Within easy reach of the city this picturesque archipelago, one of the most accessible in the country. The main islands of Tjorn and Orust are surrounded by numerous smaller islands and rocky islets and largely support fishing communities, though the archipelago is also a sailing mecca and has more recently developed into a gourmet paradise. There is a very relaxed ambience about these islands, which is perhaps why the area remains such a popular holiday destination.
The most northerly of the West Sweden provinces is very much characterised by its forests and lakes with Sweden’s largest lake, Vanern dominating the eastern side. Nature and activity are without doubt the principal features of this area. The wildlife to be found includes wolves, elks, lynx and beaver, while the landscape is tailor-made for outdoor pursuits.
In contrast Vastergotland is the cultural centre for the region. Covering the largest area there are many old towns like Vanersborg and Skovde while the industrial town of Trollhattan is famed for its lock system as well as being the home of the SAAB car and a burgeoning film industry. With many historic castles and manors, the most impressive is probably Lacko Slott, beautifully located on a promontory in Lake Vanern. Several have been converted into top class hotels and restaurants.