Held in June each year, Swedish midsummer celebrations range from dancing around the freshly decorated maypole, to eating delicious jordgubbstårta and listening to folk music (and enjoying a compulsory glass of snaps!)
To learn more, we sat down with our Destination Specialist (and resident Swede) Emma, to talk all things midsummer, what it's like to live in Sweden's apple kingdom, and her top things to do on a walking holiday on the Österlen Way.
1. Celebrate midsummer.
A typical dessert of jordgubbstårta (a strawberry and cream cake) at midsummer.
If you’re coming to Sweden in June you have to stay and celebrate midsummer (Midsommar). Every town will have some kind of celebration, but Kivik and Vitemölla in particular are great places to visit. The music and dancing usually starts at around 2/3pm, while later you can enjoy all the food and schnapps. You can expect things like fish, meatballs, new potatoes and fresh strawberries for dessert. And don’t worry – lots of Swedes have holiday homes in this part of the country, so there’ll be plenty of locals to show you how midsummer is done!
2. Get your walking boots on (again).
Views to the Baltic Sea from Stenshuvud National Park.
If you’re staying in the region for a while after your walking tour, you need to go back to Stenshuvuds National Park. Another great place to explore is Vitemölla – there are so many cute houses, incredible views of the sea and untouched beaches to walk along.
3. Go on an apple safari!
Apples growing in the apple kingdom of Sweden.
This is a must-do if you’re in Kivik. At Kiviks Musteri (a family business which was the first commercial fruit farm in Sweden) you can explore the orchards, enjoy cider tastings and visit the 'house of apples' to see how the juice and cider are made . Oh, and don't forget try some homemade apple cake and apple juice in the cafe before you leave!
4. Pick your own berries.
Emma's (adorable!) nephew raspberry picking in the summer
If you haven’t guessed already, fruit is a pretty big deal in this part of Sweden! A great thing to do in summer is to go raspberry picking with your friends and family. I recommend visiting Norra Bjorstop, which is around 3km north of Route 19, between Ystad and Kristianstaf.
5. Visit a vineyard.
Walking through the Skepparps Vingård, Sweden.
In a district known for it's apple orchards, this is one of the only vineyards in Sweden. It's a really relaxing day out where you can walk freely through the vineyard and have a chat with some of the locals who are 'wine farmers' and have their own section of the vineyard to look after. My parents even have their own section!
6. Get inspired by apple art.
We can’t turn water into wine but we can turn apples into art! The Kivik Apple Market Festival is a free event in late September where you can go apple tasting, visit an apple brewery and even see a mosaic-style sculpture made with 4 tonnes of apples!
We hope this guide to Sweden's South-East has you inspired (or at the very least hungry!) to get exploring this naturally beautiful country by foot. To chat with one of our Destination & Adventure Specialists about planning your own Swedish adventure, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org