Why we love Värmland
The region is a complement to Switzerland. It’s influenced from the largest lake in EU, Vänern with all the wild and beautiful islands. This together with the pine forests with another 10 000 lakes, beautiful camping places and old manors makes it perfect for a relaxing but active vacation. The small historical town Kristinehamn with the Picasso statue at the end of the 8 km long seaside walkaway make the region unique and people more relaxed.
Bay of Pines
Tallevika means Bay of Pines in the Swedish dialect spoken in Värmland, the landscape we visit.
This pine region is influenced by the biggest lake in EU, the Vänersee (Vänern). It is as big as canton Bern and you can’t see the coastline when you are in the middle. The big river Klarälven and all the other smaller water systems brings a lot of water from the Norwegian and Swedish mountains (Fjäll) which influence the nature. The coastlines along the bays and the islands are covered with pines struggling to survive on the rocks where they grow. In between you find nice and hidden beaches.
Our seaside town
Despite all the beautiful nature we sometimes want to go downtown Kristinehamn. Today it is a small town with less than 20 000 habitants but from the 17th century until the 19th century this was the most important place for shipping iron from the huge forest region Bergsslagen. It is still characterized from this time and the industrial harbor is large for such a small town. From the center of Kristinehamn with the old wooden houses to the Picasso statue Lighthouse park at the open see it is an 8 km seaside walkaway. You see several small harbors, beaches, picnic places, hundreds of Swedish wooden cottages, restored old manors, cafes and the famous boatbusses. This is one of the most beautiful seasides in Sweden, but still almost unknown for tourists.
The Lake Vänern
The lake can be wild, but also like a paradise. Gliding on the water between the wild islands in a boat, kayak or even on a standup paddleboard is awesome. It's exciting to keep an eye out for large pike and seabirds moving in the calm waters. Compared to Lake Biel, there are far fewer boats, less people and you can go ashore almost anywhere. There are small boat busses during the summer running on tours between the different islands allowing people to access to islands without own boats. You are allowed to put up a tent and stay the night but watch out for the elks. They can swim between the islands and sometimes they play in the shallow water. If you're lucky you might see a white-tailed ocean eagle that lives on the islands, but you're sure to see the rest of the big fish they catch.
The ”big city” Karlstad
We also go to the bigger city Karlstad now and then, a town with >100 000 people situated at the delta of river Klarälven 50 km from Kristinehamn. Karlstad is famous for a lot but maybe the Sun (Sola I Karlstad) and the hockey team Färjestad (often in Spengler cup) is most known. You can feel it’s a bigger town characterized by the large river Klarälven. We go here to shop in the cozy city or at one of the big malls outside. They are different to Switzerland, huge stores but with much less people. A nice experience in the summer is the city walk into the middle of the large river at the island Sandgrund (shallow sand). A stop at a bar, a restaurant or just take a relaxing swim in the middle of the town remind us of old Bern but more spacey and much less people.
The secrets in the forests
If you follow the trails along the water systems into the woods, you pass old forests and cross large moors with beautiful vegetation. You will probably find some cloud-, blue- or cranberries depending on the season. If it’s not too dry we also find our favorite mushrooms, the yellow and very nice smelling Chantarelles. Here in the Moore the pines grow into strange shapes and Carl-Henrik can spend hours just looking for the nicest one.
Sweden has a unique law which allows anyone to go anywhere in the nature. Access must be granted, also to the beach from the sea. Therefore, it is forbidden to build closer then 200m from the sea in the nature. Only what can be seen as the near private garden around the house is forbidden to enter.
And so much more
And that’s just the beginning. The huge lake Vänern and the forest around it hide so much more. In fact, Värmland is called the land of thousand lakes. You find small paradise spots and villages everywhere along these lakes. Old manors from early Industrialists are rebuild to resorts with restaurants, rooms and spa’. Why not meet some elks in the elk park or on your own safari in the woods? There are plenty of them. To rent a sailing yacht or a camper to go on your own is a good option but you also find several cottages to rent. Kristinehamn has a big camping with cottages and space direct to the water. You can use your own muscles to go on the old railroad with your own vehicle or rent a canoe to follow the water. Visit the old locks and maybe catch a fish for the evening fire. We love it and we believe you will do the same.