A two-hour drive northwest of Stockholm is Dalecarlia, probably the most stereotypically Swedish region of the country. The landscape of this region 175 mi/280 km northwest of Stockholm straddles the fertile fields of the south and the harsh Arctic north, and more than two-thirds of it is covered with forest. This area, often referred to as Dalarna, is home to several midsummer festivals; if you attend, you'll find locals dressed in traditional costumes and dancing around maypoles.
The provincial capital, Falun, has been a center of industry for more than 1,000 years. The Falun Copper Mine dates to the 13th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take the underground tour of the mines: There are a museum and several nice restaurants on the grounds. The village of Sundborn, home to famed Swedish artists Carl and Karin Larsson, is a 15-minute drive from the mines. A guided tour (in English) of their home is available daily May-September.
A 30-minute drive northwest of Falun is the outdoor amphitheater of Dalhalla, a former limestone quarry. If you have time, catch one of its summer operas or concerts. Another 30-minute drive northwest will take you to the small village of Nusnas (near Mora). It's the headquarters for the production of the brightly painted, carved wood horses that are practically a Swedish national symbol. You can load your suitcase with factory-priced pieces.
If you're in the area in early March, don't miss the Vasaloppet, one of the world's most famous cross-country ski races, which commemorates the escape in 1520 of Danish troops from Gustave Ericson, who would later become King Gustav I of Sweden. Audiences line up along the entire route from Salen to Mora to watch skiers from all over the world.
Request Full Destination Guide
To request access to the full version of this destination guide, please provide your email address below. Your email address will only be used for verification purposes and will not be used for marketing purposes.
|Copyright ©2012 Northstar Travel Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.|