Swedish Heritage Tour

Day 1: Welcome Your Ancestors’ Homeland!

Your journey to discover your roots begins at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, where you are greeted by a driver and taken to your hotel in the heart of Stockholm. If you arrive early, we recommend getting the Stockholm Card, which gives you access to most museums in the city along with the Stockholm underground and local buses. A visit to the Vasa Ship Museum and the City Hall, where the Nobel Prize banquet is held each year, is highly recommended.

Day 2: Castles on the way to Örebro

From Stockholm, your drive takes you west through an area famous for its many castles and manor houses, including the 16th-century Gripsholm Castle. You may also opt to take a leisurely ride on the train at the Mariefred Railroad Museum, dating back to the end of the 19th century. At Eskilstuna, you can visit the 17th-century blacksmith community of Rademachersmedjorna, now a living museum where the smiths are still busy with their craft.Spend the night in Örebro. 

Driving distance approx. 210 km 

Day 3: Scenic route to Karlstad

Today’s early highlights include the open-air museum in Wadköping, with its beautiful old buildings, craftspeople and shops, and the 14th-century Örebro Castle, where you can learn about its remarkable past with a guided tour. As you drive west after lunch, you may wish to make a stop at the Nobel Museum in Karlskoga or the 15 metre-high Picasso sculpture in Kristinehamn, donated to the city by the artist in 1964. Kristinehamn also makes a great destination for an afternoon break.
Spend the next two nights in Karlstad. 

Driving distance approx. 115 km.

Day 4: The City of Sunshine

The city of Karlstad, nicknamed the ”City of Sunshine”, lies on a beautiful river delta , offering great opportunities for outdoor fun, like hikes or boat tours. It is also home to the Värmland Museum, containing an excellent display of local and international artworks as well as a fascinating multimedia presentation of the Värmland province’s history.

Between 1846 and 1930, around 20% of the Swedish population, or 1.3 million people, left to seek their fortunes abroad. You can learn more about this exodus at the Sweden America Center, which also offers access to computers and databases for finding information about ancestors. (Note: only open on weekdays.)

Day 5: Going to Gothenburg

Make your way south towards Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city. On the way, why not stop to take a look at the impressive locks of Göta Canal? This mostly hand-dug 190 km waterway, which links Stockholm to Gothenburg, is one of the most remarkable in the world. We suggest a stop at the Trollhättan locks, where you can enjoy the beautiful green parks in addition to the engineering marvels.

Another option is to take a detour to Marstrand, considered Sweden’s very own little St. Tropez for the great sail races that take place here. Here you can enjoy a nice lunch or take a dip in the ocean from the cliffs. Closer to Gothenburg, make sure not to miss the Bohus Fortress with is impressive walls and dark dungeons. If you arrive early to Gothenburg, we highly recommend a stroll along Avenyn, the main shopping and dining street.
Spend the next two nights in Gothenburg. 

Driving distance approx. 265 km (with detour to Marstrand approx. 300 km). 

Day 6: Gothenburg and Emigrant History

Spend the day shopping, sightseeing or just relaxing in the city centre of Gothenburg. For a relaxing overview of the city, take a guided canal or bus tour. To make the most of your day, we highly recommend getting the Gothenburg City Card, which provides free travel on the city trams and ferries and free admission to museums and other attractions, like the Liseberg amusement park.

You also have the chance today to visit the House of Emigrants, a museum and research institute that tells the story of the Swedish emigrants and their mass migration. If you are looking for information about your own Swedish heritage, this is the place to go. (Note: only open on weekdays.)

Day 7: Sights of Småland

Today, drive towards the province of Småland, from where many of the emigrants left in the 19th and early 20th centuries to start a new life in America. On the way, we recommend a stop at Smålands Stenar, an old graveyard from the Iron Age with interesting rock formations.
Spend the night in Växjö. 

Driving distance approx. 255 km.

Day 8: The Kingdom of Crystal 

Head to Kalmar, beautifully situated by the Baltic Sea with the Kalmar Castle standing guard over the city. On the way, we suggest a visit to the Kingdom of Crystal (Glasriket) to see the beautiful creations hand-made by skilled craftsmen. There are more than 50 glassworks in this area—many open to visitors—and souvenirs here are often priced far lower than shops in the cities.

If you prefer nature and wildlife over handicrafts, then take the bridge over to Öland, Sweden’s second largest island. The options here are unlimited! Visit one of Sweden’s most beautiful beaches, shop at Borgholm or stroll around the Öland Zoo with its large aqua park, among other activities.
Spend the night in Kalmar. 

Driving distance approx. 110 km. 

Day 9: Fairytales and Candy Canes

Today, head north towards Vimmerby, the hometown of the famous Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Here you will find a theme village with Pippi Longstocking and other beloved characters from her books. On the way north, we also recommend a stop in Gränna, where the striped candy cane was invented in 1859. Why not visit one of the shops to see how this delicious candy is made? End the drive in Vadstena, beautifully situated by Lake Vättern, where you will find Vadstena Castle, one of Sweden’s best-preserved Renaissance castles.
Spend the night in Vadstena. 

Driving distance approx. 335 km.

Day 10: Back to Stockholm

See more of the sights in the 12th century town of Vadstena before driving back to Stockholm. On the way, we recommend a stop in Linköping to visit the open-air museum Old Linköping, which shows what life was like in Sweden over a hundred years ago. For lunch, an ideal spot would be in the scenic small town of Trosa by the coastline. You can also visit the 18th century Tullgarn Castle, featuring beautiful interiors from that period. On arrival to Stockholm, return the rental car and enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure.
Spend the night at a hotel in central Stockholm. 

Driving distance approx. 265 km. 

Day 11: Departure

It’ time to say goodbye to this beautiful land, just as many emigrants did many generations ago. Transfer to Arlanda Airport is provided by private taxi.

Note: Extra days and activities in Stockholm can easily be added to this package, before or after the tour through the countryside; contact us for details.

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