The latest selection of inspirational new holiday ideas and travel news from Gothenburg and West Sweden – including the World Food Travel Summit, new seafood safari trips, new accommodation, vintage Volvo tours of Gothenburg and a preview of Christmas.
New food website
West Sweden Tourist Board has launched a new dedicated culinary website. The region is renowned for the wealth and quality of its natural, organic produce and offers many foodie experiences to visitors. This includes setting off on seafood safaris all year round, tasting the best of the region’s home-grown produce at its charming farm shops and Taste of West Sweden-accredited restaurants – a network of 36 gastronomic eateries that make the most of local produce – and sampling ‘fika’ in Gothenburg’s trendy organic cafés.
The World Food Travel Summit in Gothenburg
Hundreds of food and travel professionals from across the globe, including tour operators and tourist boards, will gather at the biennial World Food Travel Summit 2013 in Gothenburg (21-24 September). ‘The New Wave in Food Tourism’-themed summit will feature an A-list line-up of speakers, including the chef Magnus Nilsson talking about the success of the famous Swedish restaurant Fäviken Magasinet. Attendees will have the chance to take in the local foodie scene too, with fascinating and mouth-watering familiarisation tours on offer (tours cost from £109 pp). For example, a Food and History tour will show participants how to bake Scandinavian crisp bread in the setting of a grand castle, at Gunnebo Slott. A day pass to the summit costs from £246 pp and the event is being held at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia (www.radissonblu.com/hotel-gothenburg; +46 31 7585000), where B&B costs from £75 pp (two sharing). Visit www.worldfoodtravelsummit.com.
The shellfish in West Sweden is among the tastiest in the world thanks to the region’s cold, clean waters. The region’s lobster season starts on 23 September, when visitors can set out to sea on lobster safaris to haul up the pots of black gold with the help of a local expert fisherman. Head back to shore to learn how to cook the delicacies, before tucking into a lobster feast. Take in the sublime scenery, too – the incredibly unspoilt and naturally beautiful Bohuslän region of Sweden’s west coast is lined with smooth, sculptural granite rocks, plus a scattering of quaint fishing villages and an archipelago of 8,000 islands.
There are a variety of lobster and other seafood safari packages available to book, including these NEW trips:
Lobster safari on a remote island retreat
Embark on a lobster safari during a stay on the Weather Islands – Sweden’s most westerly islands. Help to cook the catch back on shore and relax in the wood fire sauna and hot tubs overlooking the ocean. Combine this with a stay at the delightful coastal guesthouse Villa Sjötorp, in Ljungskile, offering another glorious view of the archipelago. This package costs from £950 pp (two sharing) including two nights’ accommodation (half-board at Villa Sjötorp and full-board at Väderöarnas on The Weather Islands), a two-hour lobster safari, return boat transfers to The Weather Islands from Fjällbacka and flights (London). Call Simply Sweden on 0845 8900 300 (www.simplysweden.co.uk).
Roe experience on Sweden’s largest lake
Learn all about the delicacy that is fish roe in the idyllic setting of Lake Vänern, Sweden’s biggest lake (two hours’ drive north of Gothenburg). This guided experience includes a fish roe lunch at Restaurant Sjöboden in Spikens fishing port, a fishing boat tour of Lake Vänern, a visit to the fish stalls at Ullis Fish Delicacies where participants can squeeze the roe and watch the amazing craftsmanship required to prepare roe, plus a roe-inspired dinner at Restaurant Hvita Hjorten or Pirum Restaurant and Wine Bar. Stay at the trendy new Victoria Huset (opened in May ‘13), set on the shores of the lake and offering views of fairytale-like Läckö Castle. The trip costs from £196 pp (two sharing) including B&B at the Victoria Huset and all the meals and activity described above. Visit www.lackokinnekulle.se or call +46 510 20020.
Mussel adventure on the dreamy archipelago
Set off on a mussel expedition in the beautiful archipelago of Ljungskile, set in the southern part the Bohuslän region (an hour’s drive north of Gothenburg). Visit local mussel farms with knowledgeable local skippers to learn all about how mussels are harvested. Tuck into a delicious pot of the fresh mussels afterwards, cooked over an open fire in salty seawater and white wine and served with freshly baked bread and a good dollop of home-made mayonnaise. The trip costs from £266 pp (two sharing) including mussel expedition, lunch, B&B at the nearby Taste of West Sweden-accredited guesthouse Villa Sjötorp and a spectacular shellfish dinner. Visit www.villasjotorp.se or call +46 522 20174.
Five-star hotel in Gothenburg
The latest luxury hotel to open its doors in Gothenburg is the five-star Upper House (opened 1 September). Set on top of Hotel Gothia Towers, the hotel boasts impressive city views, 49 exclusive rooms – including a 160 metre-square Grand Executive Suite – and a slick spa, complete with an outdoor, glass-bottomed pool. The restaurant, Upper House Dining, serves gourmet cuisine inspired by Sweden’s west coast and its Executive Chef is Krister Dahl, the only person in the world who has ever won four gold medals at the International Exhibition of Culinary Art – AKA the Culinary Olympics! Visit www.upperhouse.se/en or call +46 317 088200.
New boathouse accommodation at Everts Sjöbod
Seafood safari organiser Everts Sjöbod is set to expand its on-site accommodation offering by opening three new incredibly quaint boathouses. Set in the pretty fishing village of Grebbestad (90 minutes’ drive north of Gothenburg), each boathouse features two double rooms, with kitchen and bathroom facilities, and treats guests to soothing ocean views. Open from October, B&B at the new boathouses costs from £49 pp (two sharing). Guests can take part in a range of seafood safaris there too, including an oyster safari which costs from £78 pp. Visit www.evertssjobod.se or call +46 525 14242.
New paddling website
West Sweden Tourist Board has launched a new paddling website to showcase why the region is one of the most spectacular and accessible kayaking environments in Europe. With no shortage of islands to choose from, paddlers can often camp on their own private island along the way. There are no strong currents or tidal waters, the water is still warm in early autumn and it is possible to paddle there throughout the year. Popular kayaking locations include the idyllic Koster Islands – set in Kosterhavet Marine National Park – and the Fjällbacka archipelago.
Historic tour of Gothenburg in a vintage Volvo
Gothenburg has been home to Sweden’s most popular car – the Volvo – since the 1920s. And visitors can now drive a classic Volvo car as part of a 1.5 hour guided historic tour of the city. Explore the city from the front seat of a fine Volvo PV car, built from 1947 to 1965 – either as the driver or as a passenger, along with an expert guide who will show you the key city landmarks dating from this period. Available every weekend from 7 September to 17 November, the tour costs from £22 pp. To book, email email@example.com, call +46 317 202200 or visit www.timetravelgbg.se.
Swedish crime thriller film premier at Berwick Film Festival, 25-29 September
The top-selling Swedish writer Camilla Läckberg sets her crime fiction tales in Fjällbacka – a picture-perfect fishing village on Sweden’s west coast (90 minutes’ north of Gothenburg). The international premiere of the film version of Lackberg’s novel, The Hidden Child, is set to open the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival in Northumberland. Inntravel is sponsoring the festival and offers a self-guided trip that combines Fjällbacka with the Koster Islands. The trip costs from £995 pp (two sharing) including six nights’ B&B, five dinners, one day’s bike hire, route notes, maps and transfers (bus/rail and ferry). Visit www.inntravel.co.uk or call 01653 617000.
Spotlight on Romania at the Gothenburg Book Fair, 26-29 September
Famous international writers will once again gather at the annual Gothenburg Book Fair. This year’s event includes a focus on the fascinating literature of Romania. There will be a choice of 16 seminars, featuring numerous prestigious writers such as Mircea Cărtărescu and Norman Manea, who are two of Romania’s most distinguished writers and often mentioned in contemporary Nobel Prize speculations. The fair will also feature an array of other speakers, including the UK author Caitlin Moran reflecting on her new book Moranthology. Visit www.bokmassan.se
Embrace the dark Scandinavian nights with Lights in Alingsås, 27 September-3 November
Witness the magical extravaganza Lights in Alingsås (less than an hour’s drive from Gothenburg). International designers come together every year to create this colourful, cutting-edge outdoor exhibition of lights and the event sees around 70,000 visitors. There’s the chance to take part in classes such as garden light arranging, night photography and glass art, and the city has some wonderful independent café shops at which to enjoy the Swedish tradition of ‘fika’ – a coffee, pastry treat and a good gossip. Visit www.lightsinalingsas.se/en
For an insider’s guide to events and experiences in West Sweden, follow the latest blogs at www.explorewestsweden.com.
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