Discover Vänern - Sweden’s Largest Lake

Although Lake Vänern’s coastline is about the same length as the entire coastline of Bohus county, many people have not explored the lake. Let’s set sail on a journey of discovery amongst the islets and beautiful natural harbours.

Sweden’s largest lake is a real goldmine definitely worth exploring, whether you’re in your own boat or get about with one of the ferries that sail regularly in Vänern’s northern archipelago.  There are plenty of natural harbours and wonderful secluded places to swim. Don’t forget your picnic basket and fishing rod.

Towards the southern part of the Värmland archipelago lies the island of Lurö. Its tranquil atmosphere and beautiful scenery is a definite must for your holiday.   Here, half-way between Värmlandsnäs and Kållandsö, you can wander among abbey ruins or eat dinner and stay overnight at Lurö Gästhärbärge & Krog. Regular visitors to Lurö say that you need at least two days to really experience the tranquility of the island.  

You will find other wonders in the archipelago outside Kristinehamn.  Since 2017, it has been possible to get to Kristinehamn by ferry from Grums and Karlstad. Here anyone who doesn’t have a boat has the opportunity to enjoy what the islands of Kalvön, Saxholmen, Långön and Alvön have to offer. A different way to experience Kristinehamn’s archipelago is onboard Bojorten, a life-size copy of the 16th century ship which transported iron from the Berslagen region abroad.  Food and beverages are available onboard, ranging from a simple cup of coffee to a three-course dinner. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re veteran caravanners, campers or a young family who want to hire a cottage, Duse Udde campsite in Säffle is perfect. Take a dip in Lake Vänern from the rocks, challenge your fellow holidaymakers to a game of mini-golf or go on an open-air walking and quiz competition. 

Starting at Krokstad Herrgård – a nearby country house –  you can take NordicEco Tours’ beaver safari along the river Byälven. In Lurö archipelago, experienced guides can take you out to see the fantastic sights of Europe’s largest inland archipelago, starting from right out at Värmlandsnäs. 

A different kind of activity that is fun for both young and old, is to explore the stretch between Forsbackabaden and Säffle, taking the trolley along Svanskogsbanen. You can try Stand Up Paddling in Karlstad.  Rent a board, stand up and feel how your entire body is being used as you paddle along on Vänern’s waves.   There’s also a beach volleyball court, mini-golf, walking and running trails and much more to do and explore.  

Tourists who arrive by boat are welcomed with open arms at Lake Vänern. There are many natural harbours where you can drop anchor and moor. The guest spots at Lillängshamnen harbour on the island of Hammarö are an ideal starting point.  You might want to take the opportunity whilst you’re here to buy vendace roe or some of the other delicacies from the harbour fish market.

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