Traveling in Dalarna is like experiencing Sweden in a miniature with red cottages, the Sami culture, the lakes and mountains, the craft tradition and an exciting industrial history and attractions on the world heritage list. Learn more about the attractions in Dalarne Sweden.
The word “Dalarna” means “the dales” (valleys). The area is a vacation destination for Swedes from the south, who often travel there for summer vacations, drawn by its fishing lakes, campgrounds and forests. Some Swedes own or rent a second residence in Dalarna, where they are likely to have a vegetable garden and apple trees.
Dalarna is located between the Swedish regions Härjedalen and Värmland, and borders the county Innlandet in Norway. The region can entice visitors with floating accommodation in wooden tents, the world’s largest Dala horse, sparkling lakes, the popular Vasaloppet and fun theme parks. Much of what we think of as ‘typical’ Swedish come from Dalarne, for instance the decorated Dala horse, the big midsummer party and the characteristic rust-red color “Faluröd”. The region goes by the name “Sweden’s cultural heart” and was last year one of the most popular destinations to visit for Swedes.
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Here is a selection of places and experiences in the region:
Activities in Nature
There is something special about nature in Dalarna. Here you can easily experience untouched wilderness, bathing sites in quarries, high waterfalls and hidden caves. Go for a walk in the nice forests or in Dalafjellet (Dala mountain), a dip in a fresh lake or paddle through calm water. Find places you have never been before and enjoy the sunset over green-clad hills. Thanks to the right to public access, you can move around freely throughout Dalarna, as long as you do not disturb or destroy.
Biking, whether it is adrenaline-filled MTB biking or calmer road biking, is a great way to be active and simultaneously experience nature. Biking Dalarna, which is a collaboration between Dalarna’s regions, offers guests high-quality biking experiences. There are a total of 21 biking areas in the region, with a total of 140 km of remarkable cross-country trails and 25 downhill trails. The trails are well marked and graded according to degree of difficulty. Here you can adapt the trip to your own wishes and skills.
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Falufjället National Park
Falufjället National Park covers 385 km2 and is the largest national park in the southern parts of Sweden. Here you’ll find Sweden’s highest waterfall at 93 meters and the world’s oldest tree, which is 9550 years old. The area is well suited for hiking trips for brisk visitors.
The Siljanleden Trail
The Siljanleden trail stretches around the large lakes, Siljan and Orsa. The trail is 340 kilometers long and is perfect for either biking, skiing or hiking. The round-trip exposes the idyllic Dalarne at its best and is one of 12 signature hikes in Sweden. On a round-trip, you’ll be visiting a mighty and hilly landscape, with a diverse selection of lakes, hills, farms and forests along the way. Try your luck with a fishing rod or enjoy a wonderful break with a view.
Accommodation in farm-environments
There are several farm environments in Dalarna. Explore what the Swedes call “fäbod”, which may be translated into English as a ‘mountain pasture’. They are located in scenic areas among grass, meadows, forests and water. One of the places you can visit is Fryksås, outside Orsa, where you can combine accommodation with hiking in green surroundings.
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Art and cultural experiences
Let the culture lead your way through Dalarna. The culture in the region is diverse and full of contrasts. Here you’ll find classic cultural landscapes, exciting exhibitions, and new, creative meeting places for art, design, crafts and Sami culture. Combine cultural inspiration with a charming accommodation and a better meal in one of the region’s good restaurants.
The cultural route
The cultural route is a cooperation between 9 selected destinations. Among the attractions you’ll for example will find the artist home of Carl Larsson, where you get an insight into the life and work of the famous painter. Ornässstugan, which is a 500-year-old building where you can learn more about how Gustav Vasa started his journey towards the throne. And the Falu Mine, which is a former copper mine, takes you through teeming passages at a depth of 67 meters. The mine is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and in the area, you will also find the Mining Museum.
Traveling with children in Dalarna is enriching for the whole family and a great opportunity to create memorable experiences together. All year round, Dalarna offers a large selection of children’s activities both indoors and outdoors.
Greet wild animals in Orsa Predator Park. In the forest outside Orsa you will find Europe’s largest predator park, including brown bears, wolverines, polar bears, snow leopards and Siberian tigers. The park gives you the opportunity to follow the animal keepers’ work closely and join various guided tours. There are also a number of playgrounds and stations that are designed for children to acquire knowledge about animals and nature in a playful way.
Play with the elves in Tomteland
In the forest outside Mora is the fairytale world Tomteland. Among stumps, trees and moss you’ll find Santa’s house, the elves’ forest, the witch’s house and magical places that have only previously been visited in the fairy tales. You are drawn into a fairytale world populated with elves, trolls, goblins and other exciting characters.
Attractions in Dalarne Sweden is based on a press release from Visit Dalarne
All images © Visit Sweden, except where otherwise noted.
Feature image (on top): Strawberry cake by Johan Willner.