Grand Tour of Sweden
- 15 Days
- From £1,399
- Discover the historic cities of Malmo and Gothenburg
- Hang out in Sweden’s capital, known locally as ‘beauty on water’
- Spend time in Åre, the Alpine heart of Scandinavia
- Take a sleeper north to Lapland with three days in Abisko, north of the Arctic Circle
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Upgrade your trains and hotels
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- 10 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
The closest airport to Malmo is Copenhagen. A rail journey over the famous Oresund Bridge on one of the regular train services will bring you into Malmo, where you check in at the Mayfair Hotel Tunneln (or similar) for a 2-night stay.
The southern city of Malmo is the third-largest in Sweden and is an eclectic mix of medieval and modern architecture. The Gamla Staden (Old Town) oozes character and history, while the cutting-edge harbour district of Västra Hamnen boasts a contemporary vibe. Don’t miss the Malmo Museer, a complex of three separate museums that could easily take half a day to explore.
Take a comfortable high-speed SJ2000 train north along the western seaboard of Sweden, passing through the important port city of Helsingborg, from where you may be able to catch a glimpse of the Danish coast across the water. Arrive at Gothenburg station where you alight and make your way to the Clarion Collection Hotel Odin (or similar) for 2 nights.
Gothenburg is the largest port in Scandinavia, and has reinvented itself over the last two decades. Industrial buildings and warehouses have been transformed into art galleries, while Michelin-starred restaurants complement the local dining scene, and independent cafés abound. Add some lively nightlife into the mix, and a string of tranquil islands right on the doorstep, and it’s easy to see why Gothenburg is giving its big sister Stockholm a run for its money.
Travelling from Sweden’s second biggest city to the nation’s capital is extremely easy, and there are regular high-speed trains taking around 3 hours from Gothenburg to Stockholm. The train cuts through the heart of Sweden, passing lakes and through forests, and eventually rolling through the suburbs of the largest city in Scandinavia.
When you reach the large Central station, make your way by taxi or on foot over to the old town Gamla Stan area, where you will find your home for the next 3 nights, the Hilton Hotel Slussen (or similar).
Stockholmers refer to their city as ‘beauty on water’. However, in spite of the well-preserved historical centre, Sweden’s capital is no museum-piece: it’s modern, dynamic and ever-evolving. Gamla Stan, with the royal palace, gabled edifices and quaint cobbled streets is absolutely one of Europe’s most spellbinding, beautifully-preserved historic centres. Museums such as the Vasa Museum, Nordic Museum and ABBA Museum will enchant and fascinate, as will the ever-changing exhibitions at the Fotografiska on the northern shoreline of the lively Södermalm district.
The once-daily morning direct train to Åre departs shortly before 8am from Stockholm Central station. Passing northwest and soon into the mountains, the train twists and turns as the scenery gets better and better. When you reach the resort town of Åre, its time to disembark and make your way to the Granen Hotel (or similar) for 2 nights.
Åre’s lovely village-centre, with its traditional blend of vibrant buildings, has extended along the shore of the Åre Lake, and now boasts various restaurants, shops and bars for those looking for a lively après-ski scene. For those that fancy hitting the slopes, equipment hire is readily available, lift passes can be booked online and there are a range of slopes to suit all abilities. Many of them are also floodlit in the dark Scandinavian winters, providing an unforgettable illuminated skiing experience.
Today you take an afternoon train to the city of Sundsvall, close to Sweden’s east coast. Here, you have plenty of time between trains and therefore ample time for some dinner close to the station, before the real excitement begins – the night train to Lapland pulls in just after 10pm. Snuggle up in your cosy cabin and let the motion of the train rock you to sleep as you dream of the wonders that lie ahead when you reach Sweden’s frozen north.
Wake up the following morning to a blanket of white, as your train ploughs through the arctic wilderness of Swedish Lapland. Around 11am your train reaches the station at Abisko, where you check in for 3 nights at the Abisko Mountain Lodge (or similar).
A few miles short of the Norwegian border, Abisko is regarded as one of the best places to view the Northern Lights thanks to its micro-climate that means it enjoys more cloud-free nights than other parts of Lapland. There is no better place to view this breathtaking natural phenomenon than the Aurora Sky Station, just outside the town. Also, don’t miss a husky-sledding experience, perhaps at night time to combine with a Northern Lights experience in a more rural setting.
Board the direct overnight train once again at Abisko in the early evening, which delivers you back into the heart of Stockholm the next morning. Then, make your way to Arlanda Airport aboard the excellent Arlanda Express train, for your flight home (not included). If you prefer, why not stay an extra night in Stockholm to further extend the holiday? Contact one of the team for details.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
The Mayfair Hotel Tunneln occupies an historic building dating back to the 14th century. The hotel has occupied the site for 100 years, within walking distance of Malmo Central Station. Bedrooms are individually decorated in a traditional style, with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and tea & coffee making facilities. There is also a bistro-style restaurant here.
Located within easy walking distance of Gothenburg’s main station, the Clarion Collection Odin is also conveniently situated to explore the city centre. Bedrooms are decorated in a modern style with satellite TV and free Wi-Fi access. Other facilities include a rooftop bar with panoramic views, as well as a bowling alley and a gym in the same building which give discounted rates to hotel guests.
Located a short distance from Åre Train Station and the neighbouring ski slopes, the Granen Hotel offers a cosy retreat in the centre of town. All contemporary-style bedrooms come with en suite bathrooms and an LCD TV. There is also an inviting lounge and library with a fireplace, a restaurant serving traditional Swedish cuisine and a sauna.
Just 2 minutes’ walk from Abisko Ostra station, the Abisko Mountain Lodge is a great base to explore this beautiful area of Northern Sweden. Comfortable accommodation is combined with a warm, cosy atmosphere, good food and two saunas, where you can relax and recover from a day of exciting mountain activities.