By the banks of Sweden’s second largest lake
What to see and do both sides of Lake Vättern
Lake Vättern is Sweden’s deepest and second largest lake. This long body of water is bordered at its south end by Småland on both sides. It boasts beautiful beaches for bathing, steep banks and magnificent viewpoints. There are also lots of exciting places to visit along the lake and in the surrounding hilly countryside.
Lake Vättern – bordered by the diverse landscapes of the Småland region
Sweden’s second largest lake is surrounded by the diverse landscapes of the Småland region. Steep banks, dense forests and vibrant towns line the southern banks of Lake Vättern. The lake is so large, it gives the region its very own microclimate. The upland area on the eastern shore of the lake is the home of Äppledalen, or “Apple Valley”. The mild, maritime-like breezes make it a perfect place for apple cultivation. But it’s not just apple growers who have taken advantage of the mild climate in this region. Over 800 years ago, King Ladulås established his first royal residence on Visingsö, the long island situated in the middle of the lake.
Nature and history around Lake Vättern
Learn about the history of the Småland region by visiting the many sites of historic interest on both sides of Lake Vättern, including ruined castles, ancient villages and historic iron forges. And as you travel to these fascinating locations, you will get to experience the beauty and diversity of the Småland countryside. Marvel at the sheer expanse of this huge inland sea and take in the stunning views of verdant valleys, tranquil lakes and dense woodland. Whether you’re exploring the region on foot on one of the many hiking trails, by bike or by car, these areas of Småland both sides of Lake Vättern have so much to offer.
Cycling around Mullsjö
Explore the hills, lakes and forests in the area to the west of Lake Vättern.
Island cycling tours
The island of Visingsö is the perfect place for cycling. The quiet roads and trails make the island particularly popular with families.
Tours and route tips
Find out more about the best cycling routes for mountain bikers and road cyclists in the area around Lake Vättern.
Hiking on the John Bauer Trail
This trail on the eastern shore of Lake Vättern takes you through enchanting forests and across higher ground where you will be treated to magnificent views.
Take a walk on the west side
The large network of short and long trails around the town of Mullsjö means you will be able to find the perfect route whether you want to go for a long walk or a more strenuous hike.
Hiking around Jönköping
A wide variety of hiking trails can be found on the forested uplands around the city of Jönköping. As you wander along the trails, you will be able to see lakes and take in the beautiful scenery from various viewing points. Many sites of cultural and historical interest can also be encountered along the routes.
Tabergstoppen Viewing Point
This popular destination also offers a café and restaurant. From this vantage point in Taberg to the south of Jönköping, you will be able to take in a panoramic view of the city as well as the vast forested areas and Lake Vättern.
Jönköping City Park
Jönköping City Park is situated on a hillside above the city centre. From here you can take in a beautiful view of the bay and the southern end of Lake Vättern.
The Grännaberget is an area above the Gränna municipality in Jönköping. Its high position makes it the perfect place to get a panoramic view of Lake Vättern and Visingsö Island. Here you can also find a café, an open-air museum and an open-air theatre.
Åsens by Cultural Reserve
Discover what life was like in Småland over one hundred years ago. See farmers carrying out their work as they did at the beginning of the 20th century.
Castle Ruins on Visingsö Island
The castles and ruins from ancient times on Visingsö Island bear witness to the lives of rulers and knights from years gone by.
Did you know that a match empire used to exist that spanned the entire world and that Jönköping was its capital city?
Husqvarna is one of the oldest companies in the world. The products that start their lives near the waterfalls on the Huskvarna River are sold all over the world. Find out more about almost four hundred years of the Husqvarna brand.
Habo Wooden Church
Habo Church was built in 1730 and is made entirely from wood. Its interior is covered from floor to ceiling in beautiful paintings.
The Old Mills of Röttle By
Mills have stood by the waterfall in the narrow gorge cut out by the Röttle stream since time immemorial. Discover these cultural and historical gems nestled in dramatic surroundings.
On this delightful boat trip, you will explore the enchanted canal between Lake Bunn and Lake Ören. And you might even spot a troll on the way!
Have you ever heard of the red and white striped Swedish stick candy known as Polkagris? Come and find out how it is made, and, even more importantly, how it tastes! Some Polkagris makers will let you try some tasty samples.
Remmalag Carriage Rides
Visingsö Island is the only place in the world where you can see Remmalag carriages. Hop aboard a carriage and soak up the beautiful scenery as you enjoy a leisurely tour around the island.
Time for a Coffee Break
During a busy day of hiking, shopping or sightseeing, there’s nothing better than finding the perfect spot to enjoy some delicious refreshments. Maybe a cup of coffee and a piece of cake? Or a hot chocolate, a cup of tea or a cool refreshing drink accompanied by a tasty snack? Sit back and recharge your batteries before you continue your Småland adventures. Here are a few cafés and eateries you can stop at when exploring both sides of Lake Vättern.
There are several places on the eastern side of Lake Vättern where you can enjoy a cup of coffee accompanied by wonderful views. Visit the historic Café Kaffestugan på Grännaberget situated above the municipality of Gränna. This charming café affords a great view of the lake and Visingsö Island. From here you can also see the apple orchards of Äppledalen (Apple Valley) stretching out beyond the lake. Rydenstams Farm Café should also be high on your list of cafés to visit. You are almost always guaranteed to be able to sample the café’s delicious apple pie made from apples from the farm’s own orchard as well as juice from the cidery. Atelier Grafit Gråis an interior design and furniture store located in Äppeldalen. The design and colour schemes used in the store create a very special ambience. The store also runs a café which is open on certain days of the week.
On the west side of Lake Vättern, you can visit Kivarps GårdFarm where you can purchase a range of local specialities produced on the farm, including goat’s cheese, air-dried ham and tomatoes. The farm’s café is also a wonderful place to enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. And not too far from Habo, you can enjoy a delicious snack in a relaxed atmosphere at Café Lustfyllt.
At the southern end of Lake Vättern there are of course many cafés and other places to stop for refreshments in the centre of Jönköping. A few kilometres south of the city you can also get a great cup of coffee whilst enjoying wonderful views from the top of Mount Taberg.
Äppledalen (Apple Valley) is situated in the uplands beyond Lake Vättern just a few kilometres north of Huskvarna. The mild climate here is favourable for fruit growing. The orchards extend from the valley floor to a small lake called Lake Landsjön. They then extend up the sunny valley slopes. The valley looks particularly beautiful during the blossom season but it’s a great place to visit any time of the year. Depending on the season, you can buy strawberries, cherries or apples as well as juices, cider and fruit wine directly from the growers from their farm stores. Depending on the season, you can buy. Why not drop by at Rudenstams fruit farm, which is currently being run by the fifth generation of the family? Or how about a delicious piece of cake at the Vistakulle Fruktodling Farm Café which boasts its own coffee roastery?
Accommodation and Hotels
Want to enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep and wake up to the sound of birdsong from your tent? Glamping Julared offers the opportunity to enjoy luxurious forest camping on the edge of a tranquil lake.
Hotel Björkhaga makes the perfect base for hiking and cycling adventures around Mullsjö on the western side of Lake Vättern. You can also hire bikes from the hotel
The hotel is located between the edge of the forest and the lakeside bathing area close to the village of Mullsjö. It is the ideal place to stay for nature lovers and hikers.
John Bauer Hotel
The John Bauer Hotel is situated in the centre of Jönköping. It’s a great place to stay whether you are planning to attend events, go shopping in the city or sightseeing either side of Lake Vättern.
This designer hotel is located in the centre of Jönköping at the southern tip of Lake Vättern. The hotel can accommodate all budgets from smart affordable double rooms to deluxe suites with amazing panoramic views of the lake.
Grand Hotel in Jönköping
The hotel is steeped in tradition and located in the centre of the city just a few steps away from the city’s Lake Munksjön and Lake Vättern.
No two rooms are alike at this modern boutique hotel in the heart of Huskvarna. This little gem of a hotel is located very close to the Husqvarna Museum.
This 12-room boutique hotel used to be the home of one of Husqvarna’s former factory owners.
More Accommodation Tips
Further information about the region’s guesthouses, caravan parks, campsites, hotels and other accommodation is available from the Tourist Information Office.