The lake Vänern
Vänern is the EU's largest lake and Mariestad has a shoreline of no less than 140 kilometres. The water, just a stone's throw from the centre, is what characterises the town and the inhabitants.
In earlier times primarily as an accessible trade route, now it is more about exploring, recreation, fishing and bathing. Vänern is the EU’s largest lake and Mariestad’s municipality has a shoreline of no less than 140 kilometres. Here you can find your very own bathing bay and easily sail your own boat out to any one of Vänern’s 22 000 islands and islets. The largest archipelago group is located around Mariestad and one of the islands, Djurö, is also a National Park.
You get to Vänern’s largest island, Torsö, via a one kilometre-long gently curved bridge from which you have a stunning view over Mariestad. On Torsö there are three lovely bathing beaches, campsites, Torsö church, Fågelö chapel, ancient monuments and lots of lovely countryside. On the mainland, just before the bridge, lie a campsite and a fine bathing beach. At the end of the bridge there is a restaurant.
West of Torsö lies the beautiful island of Brommö. You can get here in your own boat or with the help of the ferry that crosses the sound between the two islands. Car traffic is not allowed on the island. Brommö is best explored on foot or by bicycle and by following the signposted paths you will find your way to some of the lovely bathing beaches. In several places there are fire pits and dry toilets provided and in some places wind shelters.
The three largest bathing spots in the city of Mariestad are the sandy beaches at Ekudden, Sandviken and Snapenbadet. All three lie only a few kilometres from the centre and excellent walking and cycle paths lead you all the way. At Sundsören, on the mainland before the Torsö bridge, there is a shallow sandy bathing beach. While over on the Torsö side you have a choice of excellent bathing with both rocks and beach. There are signs to the three largest, Hattarevik, Sandvik and Skräddaretorp, from the main road. In Sjötorp there are two bathing spots in the village and a larger one at Askevik. You can find your own bathing bays out on any of the islands or along the shore of Lake Vänern.
Vänern is Sweden's largest lake and the third largest in Europe after Onega and Ladoga. Vänern has Europe's largest freshwater archipelago with 22 000 islands, islets and skerries. Vänern's shores, including the archipelagos, measure almost 5000 km in length.