The province of Dalarna, Sweden, is one of the most striking regions in this gorgeous country in Scandinavia. Meaning ‘the valleys,’ Dalarna is often referred to as ‘Sweden in miniature due to its topography of mountains in the north, deep forests and lakes throughout, and rolling farmland in the southern region. Let’s find out the best things to do in Dalarna, Sweden with Bigguidess!
Stay on a Supermoon in the woods
Just north of Rättvik in the little hamlet of Furudal is one of the most unique accommodation options anywhere in the country.
Built among the tall pines at Näsets Marcusgård, the unique Supermåne (Supermoon) is a suspended sphere, attached to trees by way of strong aeronautical cabling. The Supermoon can accommodate up to three people but is ideal for singles or couples.
Guests climb up the steps to the little sphere in the sky, which doesn’t sway as much as you’d think. The clear round window above the bed showcases the night sky and stars, while the canvas walls of the moon are insulated which works quite well.
The most adorable little wood stove keeps the Supermoon warm and snug while guests gaze into the forest for moose, or into the heavens for the northern lights. This is an unforgettable night in the woods.
Dance around the Midsummer Pole
Being Sweden in miniature ensures that few take Midsummer quite as seriously as those living in Dalarna. Some of the liveliest and largest summer solstice celebrations can be found in Rättvik and throughout the countryside.
Midsummer celebrates the longest day of the year, the summer solstice in June. In Dalarna, the festivities of maypole dances, songs, and floral decorations go on for several days and are genuinely magical.
Bring a Dala Horse home
The red-orange symbol of Dalarna is a traditional carved and painted wooden statue of a horse. It’s an important symbol of this province and makes the perfect trip souvenir.
The tradition began when men working in the forests carved little wooden horses for their children to play with. Each town in Dalarna has its own color and version of the Dala Horse (Rättvik’s is grey), but the iconic decorated red-orange horse from the little village of Nusnas in Dalarna has become the authentic symbol of the Swedish Dala horse.
Visit an evil waterfall
Styggforsen (which means evil water), is a unique nature reserve where the special environment has given rise to some imaginative legends, a 36-meter waterfall, and unique geology.
Some 400 million years ago, a meteorite struck this region and created a massive crater that raised the hills, pushed up the limestone to the point where it could be mined, and raised the former prehistoric sea floor to a nearly vertical position of 90%.
Its geological significance promoted an industrial history of iron and copper mining, including at Falun, home to one of the largest copper mines in the world. The waterfall and river were also used for grinding wheat and power generation in the past 200 years, but now the region makes for a lovely half-day hike in nature.
Möre is a pleasant lakeside town, best known as the home of Anders Zorn (1860–1920), a painter whose lavish works were part of the National Romantic movement of the time. You can visit his house and studio (Zorngarden) which are as he left them.
Midsummer celebrations at Lake Siljan
Dalarna is the heart of all things Swedish, where the old traditions and costumes are as natural a part of feast days as they were 100 years ago. Lake Siljan, the largest of 6,000 lakes that legend says were gouged out of the landscape by a falling meteorite, is the symbol of these folklore traditions.
Indeed, nowhere is the feast of Midsommar (Midsummer) celebrated more enthusiastically than in the lakeside communities, where the wooden houses are painted a special dark red with white trim. Dancers kick their heels around the decorated maypole into the summer night, boosting their energy with traditional dishes. In June, local people in costume row long ‘church-boats’ to Rättvik Kyrka at the southeastern end of the lake, recreating the times when this was the easiest way to journey in from outlying farms.