Sensational Snowy Småland

Isaberg Mountain Resort
Isaberg: Isaberg Mountain Resort

What fun! Hurtling down a 1,000 metre bobsled run like the famous Jamaican Cool Runnings bobsled team.

A perfect end to a fabulous adventure in Southern Sweden’s beautiful Småland, a place which boasts more than 5,000 lakes and rivers, 200 kilometres of coastline, 400 nature reserves, lovely small towns and cities and top notch culture and cuisine.

With magical views of the snow covered Isaberg Mountain Resort, the hilarious ride on the metal toboggan was the icing on the cake after many hard hours of snowboarding on the 11 slopes.

Just over an hour’s drive from second city Gothenburg and you are transported to another land. One of forests, empty roads and stunning scenery.

The Swedes love their outdoors and every few miles there are stop offs for adventure and during the white season, as the natives head north up to the borders with Norway, Småland is a great place for the rest of us to try out extreme sports.

Famous also as the birthplace of IKEA, the region has a great feel to it and prices are not as high as would be expected from Scandinavia.

Hotel Björkhaga in Småland
Björkhaga: Björkhaga Hotel & Konferens

With snowboarding mad son Ruaridh (16) desperate to switch from the dry slopes to the real stuff, we opted for the relative safety of the slopes of Mullsjö Alpin, a 15 minute drive from our base at Hotel Mullsjö.

The lovely old-fashioned hotel with its wooden exterior and historic interior is a great place to stay deep in the heart of a forested conservation area.

Antique furniture sits neatly with modern amenities and the bedrooms are spacious and comfy, with the hotel’s excellent restaurant, bar and spa facilities welcome after the outdoor chill.

The slopes are well run, with plenty of equipment to hire, saving the higher cost and hassle of bringing it with you.

Seven runs through forests and with heart-thumping jumps and a 95 metre drop mean plenty of fun and just a short distance up the road at the Isaberg Mountain Resort, where more daring challenges await.

Mullsjö is a small town and a great place in the summer for hiking and in the centre is Hotel Mullsjö’s sister Björkhaga, which dates back to the 1900s and has excellent dinner choices, with set menus, like many of the restaurants, to keep the prices down.

Mullsjö Alpen in Småland
Mullsjö Alpin: Mullsjö Alpin

An hour’s drive allows a break from the slopes and a bit of culture in the beautiful cobblestoned town of Gränna, famous for its castle ruins and candy canes.

Driving in, you are welcomed by a huge air balloon in memory of adventurer Salomon August Andrée and fellow explorers, Nils Strindberg and Knut Frænkel, who attempted to fly over the North Pole in 1897. Their journey ended in disaster, when their balloon lost height and they were forced to land in the middle of ice floes with no chance of being rescued.

The fascinating journey is told through a wonderful exhibition at the Grenna Museum, which also has a great exhibition on the town’s love of candy canes.

Just out of the town and nestled overlooking Lake Vättern and the island Visingsö, famous for its cider mustard, is the mighty castle, turned Hotel Gyllene Uttern, with fabulous views, magnificent chandeliers and lots of armour.

Deeper into the forests and you will find the outdoor kingdom of the Isaberg Mountain Resort. It’s Southern Sweden’s largest and full of families patriotically wearing the country’s popular winter gear from Dope Snow, started by Gothenburg brothers Emil and Linus Hellberg in 2006.

You can stay, eat and enjoy adventures with the winter dominated by snowboarders, skiers and tobogganists, and summer fun including mountain biking, water sports, golf and tree top climbing.

Winter Scene in Småland
Winter picture at the lake: Day Fotografi

There are 11 slopes, from the easy green run, to the tough black one to ski down and even a downhill ride which takes you to the Höganloft Restaurant which serves Swedish classics like potato pancakes packed with loganberries and bacon. Huge snow canons are on hand to keep the white stuff coming and there are eight lifts at the historic resort to keep everyone moving.

The area is geared up for tourists and there is plenty of local accommodation too, with luxury being the main staple of the Hestraviken Hotel and Spa.

With a wonderful view of the Algustorpasjön Lake and Isaberg mountain, this stately turn of the century wooden mansion is a fabulous base.

A new addition of a spa building with first class facilities of three warm pools, one with a massage jet, a wild swimming area in the nearby lake and an indoor body scrub and sauna area, is made even better with huge luxury bedrooms above, allowing you to relax and get your breath back after the thrill seeking bobsled run!

Fact Box:

Airlines fly to Gothenburg from Edinburgh, Manchester, London Heathrow and Gatwick, and good priced car rental is available from Landvetter Airport. Back home can help with airport parking, lounges and transfers.

For tourist information, tips and practical help on Småland, please visit: and

Author Bio:

Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.

Photographs courtesy of Visit Småland

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