It is possible to write pages and pages about geological landmarks and nature-based activities in Scandinavia. In this series, we try to cover most interesting geological sites and nature phenomenon. Our goal is to give you travel tips for a wonderful Scandinavian nature trip and at the same time a better insight into the creation of the Scandinavian landscape as we know it.
So far we have covered the county of Västergötland, setting off in the Gothenburg region. Other nature points of interest will be covered in this page and our sister site, gonaturemarket.com, including:
- Swedish National Parks and other protected area in Southern Sweden
- Dalälven, the Scandinavian river going from Norway to the Baltic sea
- The lake Silja in Dalarna and the ring of Siljan
- Hiking in Dalarna, in an old growth forest in the village of Furudal
Travelling in the boarder regions of Sweden and Norway
Southeastern Norway, in the county of Vestfold and Telemark
If you are travelling up the Swedish Bohuslän coast towards the border of Norway and you want to spend some days in a landscape with high geological value, then visit the county of Vestfold and Telemark. You will find the Gea Norvegica Geopark, which is the first Scandinavian Geopark, and other sites of high geology values.
The findings goes back as far as 1500 million years. The Geopark area is situated in 8 municipalities and there are a lot of activities to do throughout the year. Activities vary from hiking, ski tours, fishing, boat trips and at the coastline you will find stunning beaches and islands.
If you are heading back to Sweden and if you enjoy wilderness, you need to explore the regions of Dalsland and Värmland. You will first reach Värmland.
Värmland is a Swedish historical province (landskap) with many geological landmarks you should visit on your trip. The scenery is plentiful with mountains, lakes and vast forests.
The Lake District and rivers of Värmland
The region of Värmland is sometimes named “the lake district”, as there are around 10,000 lakes to visit.
The largest lake in Värmland is Vänern, but the province also features small lakes and many streams and rivers, the most prominent rivers lead to Vänern.
The river Klarälven is a very old river which has formed the surrounding landscape. Its waters have found its way through the primary rocks bringing rocks and sand towards Vänern.
Klarälven makes out one of the longest river basins of Sweden – all together 720 kilometers passing several regions in Sweden, as well as Norway. We recommend to try out timber rafting, canoeing or fishing there.
The forests of Värmland
Värmland is a definitely a forest county. As much as 87% of Värmland is covered by forests amounting to a total area of 1.75 million hectares. Virtually all productive forest land in Värmland is privately owned, so before setting out on nature adventures check out the rules and regulation under the Swedish Allemansrätt.
In the olden days, forest spirits were part of daily life in Värmland. Many Swedish myths, stories and tales originated in Värmland. Several much-loved storybook characters were created by Värmland-based authors.
The traditions of the so-called Forest Finns were strong in northern Värmland. They believed that various spirits lived in the forests. In the folklore there were thus many mythical inhabitants, such as gnomes, goblins, farm pixies, trolls and wights.
The mining history and industrial heritage of Värmland
In addition to the forest, Värmland also has a long mining history. The the iron and steel industry has been of the greatest importance to the Swedish economy since medieval times. This is why, you can find iron works in many regions and many of them are today museums.
However, during the seventeenth century, a large number of new iron works were erected in the Värmland. Especially in the eastern part, you can find many small towns with an interesting industrial heritage.
Nature sites and protected nature areas in Värmland
Bratteforsheden is a Nature Conservation Area, which includes nature reserves Lungälvsravinerna, Geijerdalsmossen, Kittelfältet and Brandfältet. Here you can find interesting geological landmarks, such as kettle holes, ridges and ravines, eskers, drumlins and ancient sand dunes.
There are also deep river valleys cutting through the moraine. There are numerous nature trails for hiking and mountain bike with miles of easy rolling trails with a minimal number of rocks and roots. Some areas contain steep descents and ascents, but mostly the terrain is pretty flat.