Two of Europe’s largest lakes, Vänern and Vättern, lie in the heart of southern Sweden. In this area of farmland and forests, painted churches, grand castles and literary hideaways abound. Read more about the great lakes in Sweden.
Two enormous lakes, Vänern and Vättern, dominates the map of Sweden. The larger of the two is Vänern, a vast stretch of water with an area of 5,585 sq km (2,156sq. miles) and the largest lake in Western Europe. Its western shore embraces two provinces, Dalsland and Värmland.
Dalsland is a province of neat farms and prosperous small towns and villages, with empty roads running through its forests. The greatest attraction here is nature and thus, the most interesting activities are outdoors: namely, camping, hiking and canoeing.
The upland area of Kroppefjällen is a nature reserve, and one of the best ways to explore the region is to hike along the 15km (9-mile) Karl XIIs Väg (Karolinerleden), a historical walking trail; maps can be obtained from the tourist office in Mellerud.
A local feature is the Dalslands Kanal, a network of interconnected lakes and rivers. It was designed by Nils Ericsson and built between 1864 and 1868 to provide better transport for the local ironwork and sawmills. Today, it is popular for sailing and canoeing.
Related: Where to Go Kayaking in Scandinavia
The aqueduct at Håverud, 14km (9 miles) north of Mellerud, is a dramatic piece of engineering. Made of iron and 33 meters (108ft) long, it carries the canal over the rapids of the River Upperud.
The Great Lakes in Sweden, written by Tor Kjolberg
Feature image (on top) Vänern. Photo: Wikipedia