It’s all too easy to dismiss Scandinavia as a winter destination – the long, dark days, snow-dusted cities and arctic landscapes – winter is synonymous with this part of the world. But there is more to this region than meets the eye, and when the weather thaws, countries like Sweden are transformed into wonderful summer destinations, perfect for outdoor adventures. Let’s take a look at what Sweden has to offer this summer.

Sailing in Sandhamn

Sweden in the summer is a sailing paradise, and Sandhamn is one of the most popular destinations on the Stockholm Archipelago for water-based fun. A small fishing town for most of the year, during the summer months it comes alive as passing yachters stop off to experience the vibrant party scene and excellent restaurants.

Tyresta National Park

Only 20km from the capital Stockholm lies the Tyresta National Park, an expanse of unspoilt Swedish wilderness just a short journey from its most bustling tourist destination. The serene lakes, primeval forest and typical Swedish wildlife make this an undiscovered gem right under Stockholm’s nose.

Alfresco dining in Gothenburg

Alfresco dining is a sure-fire sign that the Swedish summer has arrived, as restaurants lay their outside tables and Swedes proudly dine in the open air, relishing the sun that has remained hidden for so many winter months. The cosmopolitan city of Gothenburg on the west-coast of the country is a fine place to enjoy the pleasures of Swedish café culture and outdoor dining.

Elk safari

A trip into the wilds of central Sweden offers the opportunity to spot the elusive Elk in their natural habitat. This is a far cry from the urbane sophistication of metropolitan Sweden, but provides a glimpse of the outdoor heritage of the Swedish people, and a chance to experience this wild and wonderful landscape, and its animal inhabitants.

Midsummer in Vaxholm

Midsummer celebrations are a Swedish tradition. This idyllic Stockholm archipelago town plays host to some of the most famous festivities, and can be reached easily from the capital. Witness the raising of the Maypole and dine on pickled herring during this historic Swedish celebration. You could even look the part by dressing in traditional Swedish folk costumes.

Stockholm from the water

One of Europe’s most beautiful capital cities, Stockholm looks its best during the summer months, when it’s vibrant streets and striking architecture are complimented by the crisp Swedish sunshine. The city, connected symbiotically to its surrounding water, is perhaps best viewed on a boat tour, of which there are many to choose from. Sit back and enjoy this picturesque city while gently meandering through the waters that give life to this great country’s capital city.

Match Cup in Marstrand

An island off the west-coast of Sweden, Marstrand plays host to the prestigious annual Match Cup sailing event, offering sailing fans an unrivalled spectator experience. Aside from its water-sports though, Marstrand is a picturesque setting, the small town, crowned by an impressive 17th century fortress, is a tourist magnet in the summer months.

Land of the midnight sun

The north of Sweden boasts some spectacular wilderness to explore, and a visit during the summer months offers the chance to witness the fabled midnight sun. Kiruna is the country’s northernmost city, and acts as a base for adventures into the Lapland outback, a starkly beautiful landscape best witnessed during the eerie twilight of mid-summer midnight.

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