top of page

Page Title

Some ideas of a Tallevika vacation

Here we have gathered our absolute favorites with Kristinehamn as the starting point. These are suitable day trips, but of course, you can stay overnight and extend all these destinations. The more time, the better. Depending on how you travel and where you stay, there are, of course, additional destinations, sights, adventures, and experiences to recommend. There is much more to discover at the tourist information, but it is not always easy to prioritize what to choose and to know how much time is needed for it to be successful. That's why Tallevika exists. Check Visitkristinehamn or other visit sites (VisitKarlstad, Visitvärmland, Visitsweden, etc.)


Page Title


What type of accommodation you choose depends on what type of traveler you are and how you prefer to travel and do your vacation. We see three fundamental types: Camping, Cottage, and Hotel/Manor House. Of course, you can combine. Here is a brief description and some input for each.


We see camping as a place to stay and depart from with a good location. If you're looking for campsites where you stay on-site, we're not the right forum. If you have a caravan or motorhome, the large Manor Campsite in Kristinehamn is perfect. Close to town and close to the lake. There are many other campsites in the region so you can just choose. Many slightly older motorhome travelers may want to park in town at the marina pier, which is no more than 1 km from the center. It's quite crowded in the summer, so booking is recommended. The campsites have good maps of the different blocks, but all pitches are fairly equivalent. Depending on time and schedule, we can recommend taking a trip around Lake Vänern and trying out other campsites, for example, on the way to and from Kristinehamn. We've driven this route countless times with our caravan and can offer some tips. There are also good camping guides for different types of campsites, such as with a dog, with children, for motorhomes, or caravans.

Kamping 1.JPG
Valösundet 3.jpg


There are excellent cottages of various sizes and with different levels of equipment at the Herrgårdskampingen in Kristinehamn. We recommend the larger cottages that are fully equipped with everything you need, some even with a patio and guest house. There are also some nice private archipelago houses available for rent on Airbnb or other platforms. We have contacts with some nearby where we live, but there is also a nice house closer to town at Skymningen's bathing area. The ones we know who rent out are very skilled and appreciated. There is even a lighthouse with a beach that is rented out by Picasso's Veranda directly at Picasso's sculpture. You have to be early to book during the summer, and houses are best rented on a weekly basis. Many Germans and the occasional Swiss we know make huge car trips through Norway, Sweden, and Finland to see everything, but that's not something we recommend if you want a stress-free and relaxing vacation with unique experiences. Check under Links/Summer houses.

Manor House/Hotel

Staying at a manor house combined with a city hotel is a very enjoyable way to vacation and can of course be combined with hotels, hostels, or cottage rentals as mentioned above. The manor houses throughout Värmland are often old private estates of industrialists that have been converted into conference or spa facilities. They often offer various packages with accommodation and good food at great prices. There are manor houses for golf packages, bike holidays just around the corner, kayak/canoe rentals, or tennis/padel. Outside of Kristinehamn, the small but very charming Ölme rectory is a must-visit. It's a converted rectory with 8 rooms and a high-class gourmet restaurant run by a young and talented family. A little north of Kristinehamn is Hennickehammar, which we have visited several times. Try to avoid weekends if possible because of summer weddings, and stay longer than one night. Check Links/Manor Houses.

ölmeprästgård 1.jpg
Manor House / Hotel

Page Title

Activities on or by the water

The large lake Vänern, with its 5500 square kilometers and a maximum depth of 106 meters, has a coastline of 2000 kilometers and 22000 islands. Most of them are uninhabited, and some are nature reserves. Tallevika and Kristinehamn are located in the northeast of Vänern, where many of the islands are found. Since the prevailing wind in summer is usually from the southwest, Kristinehamn is a sailing city with good wind conditions and often clear weather over the water. Therefore, it is a vacation city where many families from all over central Sweden spend the summer in a cottage or on a boat. The nature on the islands is fantastic with cliffs, sandy beaches, and pine forests. There are many natural harbors where you anchor against the rocks or sometimes against one of the purpose-built piers. Vänern is filled with rain and meltwater from the north, where water is directed there through many streams, lake systems, and the large river Klarälven. Floods are very rare because the water flows out through the Göta älv in the south, which empties into the sea in Gothenburg. Vänern is navigated by cargo ships, and icebreakers keep the waterways open in winter.

Activities on or by the water
Valösundet 3.jpg
Valösund T Hermann.jpg

Vålösundet with the islands Vålön, Kalvön, and Sibberön

The several kilometers long road with a separate bicycle lane along Vålösundet is one of the most beautiful in Sweden. The road starts at the campsite and passes by Skymningens bathing place, several playgrounds, and all the docks with small boats. Here you'll find all the boat clubs and many active sailors. Olympic champions in the OK dinghy have been nurtured here, and in recent years, the racing catamaran M32 has found a permanent place at the new lakefront restaurant Gattet along the strait. Poker Run is a recurring event for offshore motorboats "competing" between Kristinehamn and Karlstad for the best poker hand. Along the entire road and on both sides of the strait, there are new and old charming wooden houses that were previously summer houses but are now inhabited year-round. Lots of motor and sailboats anchor here because almost everyone has a boat and wants to be out on the lake. From the large Vålösund bridge, you can take the boat bus to several different islands. Vålön is the closest, with a beautiful hike over three islands featuring sandy beaches, cliffs, and resting areas. There's an overnight cabin, or you can bring a tent and set it up at one of the fireplaces. Bring fishing gear as fishing is allowed here. At the far end of Sibberön, there is only open water. We usually go there with our small rubber boat and watch the sunset when it's calm in the evening. Check out the photo album and video album.


Cape Picasso, Strandudden to Jutviken

At the very tip of the mainland lies the 15-meter-high Picasso sculpture from 1965. It depicts Jaquline Picasso gazing out over Lake Vänern. Here, you'll also find Picasso's Veranda, the popular snack bar with its ice cream, shrimp sandwiches, and souvenir shop, a must-stop destination. Continuing along Jutviksvägen, there are several places to visit. The lighthouse park with a lighthouse available for rent and a beach with sand and rocky bathing areas comes first. Following Stranduddssvägen, you can walk out to Strandudden, the wild rocky promontory with a small cozy forested area for shelter when the southwest wind blows, causing rough seas. If we continue into Jutviken, you can pause at one of the rest areas between the houses, proceed to the shallow beach at the very end of the bay, or turn into the forest and take the hiking trail back to Picasso. All these places are marked on the hiking trail map from Visitkristinehamn.

Valösundet 3.jpg
Kajak to islands 1.jpg

Exploring the Islands with a Kayak or a small Motorboat

It is easy to rent a kayak or an open motorboat with an outboard motor. At the large docks at the Kapuja boat landing site in Vålösund, where the sea rescue has its place, there are app-controlled rental stations. One is a kayak vending machine with all the equipment needed in the kayaks, and the other is VÅG, the pink console-controlled 4-meter motorboats, which can also be booked via app. You don't have to go far to make it exciting. The kayaks navigate everywhere, and if the water level is normal, the small straits between Vålön and the little Björkön are recommended. A new route opens on the other side of Vålön. First, the fantastic shallow reed paths where it is completely calm with abundant fish and bird life. We have even encountered bathing moose here. On Hjälmarsfjorden, you can choose to circle Tyskön to the north or Vålön to the south. There are several uninhabited small islands off Vålön with nice shallow bays perfect for kayaking. The pikes stand here sunbathing, and the sea eagles or fish hawks that live here have plenty of food. It is possible to circle Vålön with a kayak between Vålön and Kalvön. There is also a small guest dock that can be reached by motorboat or boat bus. It is advisable to check that the wind is not picking up when setting out, as the waves on Lake Vänern can quickly become large. A nautical chart image is also necessary when traveling by motorboat. There are some rocks that are not marked.

Cape Picasso
The Islands

Page Title

Things to do in our favorite towns in and around Kristinehamn

Värmland is home to several charming small towns with interesting histories. Many of these fascinating places are marked by the iron industry and its history. We naturally focus on the coastal towns along Vänern, but there are also other places to visit that offer adventure, relaxation & spa, or beautiful surroundings. Here are some of our favorite places.


The historical small town Kristinehamn

Kristinehamn boasts a renowned history, dating back to when it was a central hub for iron exports to Europe.  Learn about this fascinating past at the historical museum in the old town, or browse through the charming antique shops. Located along the waterfront by the City Hotel (Stadshottellet), Hemjord offers a delightful combination of pottery, a coffee shop, and a deli tasting experience. For a glimpse into the town's historical wealth, take a leisurely stroll past the grand old houses built by prosperous businessmen.  These residences, along with the enormous church that rivals many cathedrals in size, stand as testaments to Kristinehamn's former significance. Following the water's edge from the old town through the picturesque town park leads you to the harbor. Don't miss the helpful tourist information center, which also features a small gift shop.

Valösundet 3.jpg
inrehamn 5 Linn Malmen.jpg

Visit Karlstad, the capitol of Värmland

Karlstad is the biggest town in Värmland with 100’000 habitants. It is situated where the river of Klarälven enter Vänern. In the middle of Klarälven you find Sandgrund (shallow sand), an island which is a good place to start at. The historical museum with a good café and restaurandwere. Sandgrund is a nice park where you can also take a swim in the water. For the art lovers Sweden’s most famous living painter, Lars Lerin has his own art museum in the Sandgrund building. He is considered one of the most outstanding watercolor painters in the world. The river goes through and around the city to the city harbor area. You can jump on one of the old boats which serves as boat bus. They stop at several places. Shopping in the city is good but it is also interesting to visit one of the large shopping areas outside Karlstad. They are enormous with Swiss measurements. In Sweden you find several large Do-it-yourself stores with drive through. It’s like having 3-4 Hornbach in every city.

Borgvik, an idyllic village with a rich history.

Borgvik, etwa 40 km westlich von Karlstad gelegen, ist einen Besuch wert. Das kleine Dorf wurde im 17. Jahrhundert gegründet und war zeitweise einer der wichtigsten Eisenproduzenten Schwedens. Die gut erhaltene Industrieumgebung mit Hochofen, Schmieden und dem Herrenhaus schafft eine einzigartige Atmosphäre vergangener Zeiten. Hier bekommt man auch ein Gefühl dafür, was in Schweden passierte, als Norwegen im Zweiten Weltkrieg von Deutschland besetzt wurde. Trotz ihres historischen Werts wurde Borgvik ein wichtiger militärischer Außenposten, von dem heute noch Spuren zu sehen sind. Neben seiner faszinierenden Geschichte hat Borgvik noch viel mehr zu bieten. Die schöne Kirche aus dem 13. Jahrhundert ist eine der ältesten und am besten erhaltenen in Värmland. Der malerische Hafen mit seinen Bootshäusern und Cafés lädt zu entspannten Momenten ein, und die schöne Natur ringsum bietet Möglichkeiten zum Wandern und für andere Outdoor-Aktivitäten.


Page Title

Sporty activities for adventure seekers

If you stay in Kristinehamn for a few weeks as we suggest, there is time to do a variety of things depending on age, interests, and weather. For a family or a small group, there are numerous sporty activities to choose from since Kristinehamn is a sports city. Here we present some of the slightly unique activities for those who are a bit adventurous and used to being active.


The 640 km long bicycle path around Lake Vänern

During 2022, the new bicycle path Vänerleden for cyclists was completed. It stretches 640 km and you can cycle the entire route or select portions. There are packages available with included hotels to complete it in 8 days and you can choose between an e-bike or traditional bicycle. Cycling on the new bike paths allows you to experience the surroundings with all your senses, and you can stop whenever you like to talk to people, take a dip, or pick berries and mushrooms. You will pass through three provinces - Dalsland, Värmland, and Västergötland. No two days are the same. Most of the time, you will spend in the countryside, but you will also visit the towns Åmål, Säffle, Mariestad, Lidköping, and Vänersborg. You already know Karlstad and Kristinehamn. The cities each have their own uniqueness, but all are characterized by their immediate proximity to the lake Vänern. You will visit the unique aqueduct in Håverud and you will be in good shape after a week. There are several other bike paths in and around Kristinehamn as well as separate MTB off-road tracks in the forest between Jutviken and Björkvallen, the sports arena in Kristinehamn.

Foto 2 Vänerleden Fotograf Henrik Lindholm_edited.jpg

Hike along the Iron Trail through forests and along waterways

The nature outside of Kristinehamn is quite wild and filled with vast forests. You can follow the Iron Trail from Kristinehamn northward for 30 km and further along the Iron Lake Trail for 28 km in several stages. There is a system of hiking trails that wind through deep forests, vast marshes with stunning scenery, and along waterways that were previously used to transport iron ore. The ground in the forests here is cleaner than in Switzerland, and it is easier to move over rocks and moss, but it is also easier to get lost, so keep your eyes open. There are also plenty of moose, although they usually keep their distance. There are wolves and bears as well, but they are very shy and rarely seen. There are several nice starting points, such as Niklasdamm closest to Kristinehamn or Bjurbäcken, the small place with locks and a lock café 40 km north of Kristinehamn. Motorhomes usually park here, and it is a perfect starting point for hikes in both directions. Follow the Iron Trail north along the canal or south over the vast marshland back to Kristinehamn. Both are favorite hikes and are available on video here. Hiking maps are available at the Tourist Information or at

Valösundet 3.jpg
Vildmark flotte Øivind Lund.jpg

Challenging adventures for families and friends

If you have children who can and want to participate in challenging activities, we can put together a very exciting trip. We have spent many days at places built for people with young minds. Carl-Henrik still accompanies the younger ones when they go to Bodaborg, an old hotel converted with 25 quests to manage. There is also a new one in Zurich, already tested by our children. Check it out first and you'll know if you like it. You can rent a railroad bicycle (dressin) and cycle along the old railway, seeing the beautiful area near the sea and a famous salmon river in Gullspång. An amazing challenge and group activity is timber rafting on the Klarälven. You start near the Norwegian border and follow the river towards Karlstad. You can choose from 1 to many days in different packages. Camping and cottages are available at the activity along with equipment and instructions. Deep-sea fishing (Trolling) is an exciting family activity if you don't get easily seasick, but unfortunately, summer is not the best time to catch the big salmon. Fishing for salmon and salmon trout in rivers is possible if you buy a fishing permit, but on Lake Vänern, it is free fishing with a fishing rod.

Team activitis
bottom of page