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An aerial photo of Kinnekulle

Photographer: Jesper Anhede

Welcome to Destination Läckö-Kinnekulle

An archipelago of thousands of islands, islets and skerries. A fertile cultural landscape with fascinating traces from the Middle Ages. Local cuisine offering genuine taste experiences. Romantic hotel rooms, independent shops – and masses of opportunities for cycling, paddling and hiking. Destination Läckö-Kinnekulle has something for everyone.

The location of Destination Läckö-Kinnekulle, in Skaraborg between Sweden’s two biggest lakes Vänern and Vättern, provides perfect scope for an enjoyable visit. One obvious starting point for your visit here is Lake Vänern with its 220 kilometres of shoreline and an archipelago of 22,000 islands, islets and skerries. One useful tip is to start at the Naturum Visitor Centre Vänerskärgården – Victoriahuset, where you will find everything from a Visitor Centre, exhibitions and restaurant to accommodation right beside Läckö Castle.

If you have access to your own boat, there are numerous delightful possibilities for going ashore. Guest harbours are plentiful. If you do not have your own boat, you can join an organised tour. Perhaps to sample the fine fishing in Lake Vänern and experience a unique archipelago environment, or follow the autumn vendace roe fishing season up close in the fishing community of Spiken.
    If you enjoy physical challenges, you can come and cycle through forests and on country roads, hire a kayak, canoe or SUP (Stand up Paddleboard). Läckö-Kinnekulle offers masses of possibilities for delightful swimming. Why not try the long sandy beach at Svalnäsbadet, known as Vänern’s Riviera?
    For a different experience, visit Hindens Rev nature reserve, a five-kilometre narrow isthmus extending out into Lake Vänern. The location is perfect for an excursion, fishing, bird-watching – or long-distance skating in winter.

One of the best ways to experience Läckö-Kinnekulle is to hike along one of the many beautiful trails. Skaraborg is sometimes referred to as the cradle of Sweden and historic traces can be found in all the mediaeval churches and abbeys in the area. Due to the geological structure of Kinnekulle you will also encounter numerous unusual plants and varied types of scenery, e.g. alvars, and in spring the heath around Österplana church is coloured purple by early purple orchids (Sankt Pers Nycklar). One way to combine nature and culture is to hike along the pilgrimage trails in the area.

Läckö-Kinnekulle sits amidst a fertile landscape and has a strong culinary tradition based on local ingredients. The many restaurants and cafés are characterised by local produce, careful preparation and passion for delicious flavours. The fact is that Läckö-Kinnekulle is specifically known for its numerous cafés. Eleven of its cafés and seven of its restaurants appear in Sweden’s café and restaurant guide, the White Guide.
    In the fishing village of Spiken you can taste the local delicacy of vendace roe, Vänern’s red gold, which may only be fished between 17 October and 17 December. Producing the vendace roe requires sound traditional methods. The nets must be shaken, the roe must be squeezed out and then rinsed, hung to dry and salted, so it takes several days before it can be served. Another example is wild garlic, which is sometimes called “forest garlic” due to its flavour. When it blooms in May to June, it fills the woodlands with a garlic scent and many people take the opportunity to make wild garlic soup according to traditional recipes. A slightly more modern use is making wild garlic pesto and wild garlic butter to go with meat, for example.

Vänerslingan is Skaraborg’s first tourist route, an alternative driving route passing a number of interesting visitor attractions. You can also follow Läckö-Kinnekullevägen, which is a beautiful drive along country roads offering numerous natural and cultural experiences en route.
    Keen gardeners will find inspiration in the numerous resplendent open gardens. At Hellekis Manor you can explore a garden with a history stretching back hundreds of years. And don’t miss the Small Castle Garden at Läckö Castle.
    The area also has strong artist and handicraft traditions. At the Rörstrand Center you can experience both design classics and contemporary Swedish design. And why not take the opportunity to get out into the rural communities and visit the many local studios, galleries and craft shops? One tip is Falkängens Handicraft Village, where you will find a historic industrial environment that is now home to charming shops filled with arts and crafts.

To ensure all these experiences are retained for future generations, the hospitality industry in the region is working actively to develop sustainable tourism. Since 2010, for example, the Lake Vänern Archipelago with Kinnekulle has been an official UNESCO biosphere reserve – a model area for sustainable development of the terrestrial and marine environment. 
    Naturally there is much more to discover in addition to what is mentioned here. Let the joy of discovery take over and find your own personal favourite haunts with the help of our tips. Welcome to an excursion into nature and culture.