Vättern Travel Guide

  • At Lake Vättern
    At Lake Vättern
    by sim1
  • Alvastra Kloster
    Alvastra Kloster
    by sim1
  • Polkagris shop in Gränna
    Polkagris shop in Gränna
    by sim1

Vättern Things to Do

  • Rök, Swedens most famous Rune Stone

    Rök is just a tiny dot on the map in the middle of nowhere. A tiny little curvy road brings you to the village. You'll drive through nice open landscape and in the distance you can see a lovely white church. But there is more to Rök than only that. Maybe it is hard to believe, but this little place is famous! Why? It is the village where you can...

  • Tiveden National Park, One word:...

    The deep and dark forest of Tiveden was for long a time a forest you would keep away from, due to pirates, thieves, trolls and other dangerous creatures. In the old days this was described as the border to the wild and unreliably people of the north.... and when you walk around in Tiveden, these thoughts are easy to understand. This park makes your...

  • Granna: Polkagris heaven! :-)

    Gränna is known for its red and white candy canes, also known as "peppermint rocks" or by the Swedish name "Polkagris". This is the place for a real sweet tooth, there are candy shops by the dozens in Gränna! Almost unbelievable that a little town like this can have so many candy shops side by side! And they are all filled with peppermint rocks in...

  • On the water

    You can't visit Lake Vättern without being on the water and my way of doing so was by taking the ferry from Gränna to the island of Visingsö. It is a short enjoyable ride over the lake to the island. It is a car ferry, so you can even take your car with you if you want to explore the island a bit further. During our trip the waters of Lake Vättern...

  • Brahehus, a quick stop along the way

    Brahehus ruins are perfect for, a quick stop along the way. The ruins are located right beside highway E4. close to the village of Gränna. It even has got an own exit off the highway! The exit leads to a gasstation, restaurant and parkinglot, but from there is a little road and tunnel underneath the highway that leads to the ruins of Brahehus. I...

  • From the old to the new times....

    Old and new times go side by side in Rök and for that matter in this whole area. In the field next to the church and the rune stone, stand these modern type wind mills. It is such a sharp contrast with the rune stone.These days you see more and more of these wind turbines in Sweden. Although often I can't appreciate the view of them in the open...

  • The Rune Stone at Rök

    Rune stones are standing stones with runic inscriptions on them dating from the Iron Age (Viking Age) and early Middle Ages found in most parts of Scandinavia. Most stones are put up as memorials for a dead person, like this one at Rök as well. On the stones you can find writing in runic, a distinctive sort of alphabet.The rune stone at Rök is...

  • Lake Tåkern

    Some of the best times to visit Lake Tåkern would be May/June and September/October. These are the seasons when you can see all the migrating birds passing through this area on their way from and to the warm south. During the autumn passage about 2000 Mute Swans and several thousands of Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Pochards and Coot collect...

  • Tåkern, ideal for birdwatching

    After lots of culture it is time for some more nature! And where better to find that then at Lake Tåkern! A bird watchers paradise! Lake Tåkern is a nature reserve and about 5400 hectares big. About half of it is open water and the rest is devided by woodlands, meadows and reedbeds. The aim of the reserve is to protect nature and...

  • Vadstena Slott

    A total surprise for me during my visit to Vadstena was the Vadstena Slott (slott = castle). Maybe I should confess that I didn't know there was a castle in Vadstena in the first place and seeing this huge castle came almost as a shock. But a good one! It was great to take a nice stroll around the castle, looking at this rather unusual building...

  • The Abbey Church at Vadstena

    Next to the Vadstena Kloster is the Vadstena Abbey Church. The building of the abbey began around 1369 and it was consecrated in 1430. The church was built by the directions of St.Birgitta, although some alterations were made on her original instructions. The material they used to build this church is blue-grey limestone from Omberg. From the...

  • Impressions of Vadstena Kloster....

    Inspired by the light in the photo I wrote a little poem about Vadstena Kloster. A moment of thinking back to my visit to Vadstena and feelings I had by being there. I decided to publish it here so you get some idea of what visiting Vadstena Kloster can be like.The long hallwayDoors on either sideAnd then there is that lightAlmost blinding the...

  • Vadstena Kloster

    The King's Palace was donated to the St.Birgitta in 1346 by king Magnus Eriksson and his queen Blanche for the purpose of building her own convent. St.Birgitta died in Rome in 1373 unable to see the finished work on her Monastery. The monastery is now the final resting place of St.Birgitta. But what is the Vadstena Kloster like these days?The...

  • The King's Palace

    This is the King's Palace in Vadstena, and at the same time the Vadstena Kloster. Confusing isn't it? Hahaha, I guess a little bit. This building was built around 1250 as a royal palace. And that makes the palace the oldest and best preserved profane (= not belonging to the church) brick building in Sweden! And of course that made me want to see...

  • Vadstena, what a wonderful surprise!

    I visited Vadstena to see the Sancta Birgitta Convent, but what I found was not only that, but much more! Vadstena was a true surprise for me. It is a lovely old town with around 5,500 inhabitants, and in each and every street you can feel history. I will highlight a few of its historical places in the next few tips, like the Vadstena Kloster, the...

  • St.Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373)

    St. Bridget of Sweden / St.Birgitte or in Swedish often called "Den heliga Birgitta" is a name you will come across often when travelling through this area (at Alvastra for instance). There is really no escaping the name when travelling here, especially when travelling to the next stop on my trip: Vadstena. And that's why I wanted to share a bit of...

  • The history of Alvastra Kloster

    In my previous tip I gave you a little impression about what Alvastra looks like nowadays, and now it is time to tell a bit more about its history. The monastery was founded by French monks of the influential Cistercian order in 1143. These monks came all the way from Clairvaux in France, bringing modern methods of administration, technology and...

  • Alvastra Kloster / Monastery

    Just a few steps away from Omberg you can visit the ruins of the Alvastra Kloster (Kloster means "monastery"). And it really is a few steps! So close really that you combine a walk at Omberg with a little detour-walk and visit the ruins at Alvastra at the same time, just like I did. The entrance is for free, so don't miss out on these beautiful...

  • More about Omberg

    Letting you know a bit about my sentiments about Omberg in my previous tip, it is now time to tell a bit more what makes this place so special and what there is to see and do in the area. First of all let me mention the views! On a clear day you can see for miles and miles from the top of Mount Omberg, called 'Hjässan' over the surrounding...

  • Omberg, nature area

    It is early May 2005 and the feeling of spring is in the air and what better to do during the early spring then to see nature slowly waking up. Especially after a long Swedish winter! A visit to Omberg sounded like a great plan! I was looking forward in going on a stroll in the woods, see the spring flowers and the gorgeous views over lake...

  • Facts about Vättern

    Lake Vättern is not 'just a lake' it is the second largest lake in Sweden and Europe's fifth largest lake and it is a lovely place to visit.The name Vättern means simply water, and a lot of water it is! But what I found most striking was its colour. It is not often you see a wonderful blue lake like this one. Admitted, I was in luck with...


Vättern Favorites

  • sim1's Profile Photo

    Sunset over Lake Vättern

    by sim1 Updated Apr 16, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fondest memory:

    Early evening
    Feeling tired
    Been hiking all day
    And wondering....
    Will we see a sunset tonight?
    mmm... I don't think so

    Chilly outside
    But I want to be there
                                  Staring at the sky
                                  Dark clouds of rain
                                  But oooh there it is
                                  The sun

                                  It's hypnotising
                                  A shiver
                                    Not because I am cold
                                    Just because
                                  It is so beautiful

    By Sim1, winter 2005

    Sunset over Lake Vättern

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