Cruise Sweden’s lake district – Sweden’s heartland.
Göta Canal – Götaland
This four-day cruise among 100,000 of Sweden’s lake district is a highlight for boat lovers and those who fancy the chance to see Sweden at the romantic pace of times gone by. The Göta Canal, the “Blue Ribbon” connecting Göteborg on the North Sea and Stockholm on the Baltic, was dug out by almost 60,000 soldiers, who removed more than 200 million cubic feet of earth and rock, creating fifty-eight locks. Century-old ships brimming with character traverse the 322 nautical miles via a series of canals and lakes and even a stretch of inland sea.
Canal towpaths serve as bicycle paths, and land excursions to a number of small towns alternate on east and westbound trips, encouraging round-trip journeys.
Gliding along, you’ll pass well-tended farms, monasteries, castles and medieval churches. The old-fashioned Söderköpings Brunn Inn makes it tempting to jump ship and stay a few days. The picturesque town of Söderköping, a bustling trading center 1,000 years ago, was issued a royal charter in 1774 for its curative springs. Spa services are still available, but most guests seem more enticed by the rambling hotel’s famous waffles and punch served on the long Victorian-style veranda.
You’ll find Söderköping 113 miles south of Stockholm.
Written by the Daily Scandinavian staff
Photo: Göran Billeson, visitsweeden