Autumn is truly a beautiful season in Sweden. As the leaves begin to turn, Sweden’s vast expanses of forest take on a new life, as the trees, perhaps feeling a little dry and tired after the long summer days, explode with new vitality. Although winter may be just around the corner, September and early October in Sweden often bring clear, bright weather, and temperatures can still be surprisingly warm. One of the Nature Travels team was on a sea kayaking trip in the Stockholm archipelago during late September last year, and temperatures were still in the 20s with the archipelago waters perfect for a refreshing, if bracing, swim!
Many Swedes will tell you that autumn is their favourite season. While the nights are beginning to draw in, there is still plenty of daylight left for evening walks and foraging expeditions in the woods. At this time of year it is a common sight to see a Swedish family disappearing into the evening forest light carrying baskets or bags on the hunt for mushrooms and berries.
The Swedish forests are rich with bounty at this time of year. Mushroom picking is extremely popular, and Sweden is home to a wide variety of forest mushrooms including the elusive and prized Chanterelle – and there’s good news: 2007 looks set to be an excellent mushroom year! The Swedes are enthusiastic and creative cooks, and many people are very knowledgeable about edible mushrooms, which are taken back to kitchens throughout the country and incorporated into mouthwatering pies, quiches and sauces.
Also extremely popular is berry picking, especially lingonberries, blueberries and the exotic cloudberries. These are made into pies, jams and delicious cordials. Particularly popular are blueberry soup (“blåbärssopa”) and lingonberry jam (“lingonsylt”).
Of course, it is not only the two-legged visitors to the forest who love berries – brown bears and badgers especially thrive during good berry years! Berries provide an important dietary supplement for many animals keen to fatten up before the winter freeze.
If you are an elk or a deer, autumn is a time for caution, as it is also the traditional hunting season. Hunting in Sweden is tightly regulated with strict quotas allocated in particular areas, and at this time of year local restaurants will often feature wild game as part of their menu.
Autumn is an excellent time for fishing in Sweden. The lower temperatures in the lakes make this a good season for pike fishing, as the larger pikes are searching voraciously for food to prepare themselves for winter. It is also a good time of year to catch pike-perch and perch.
Visitors to Sweden should not overlook the wonderful opportunities offered for outdoor activities during the autumn season – while the endless summer evenings and the magic of a snowy winter are hard to beat, the peace and gentle beauty of autumn is a unique experience and not to be missed.
Nature Travels offers a number of outdoor holidays in Sweden during the autumn season. Why not join Lasse and Åsa on their remote forest farm in the depths of Hälsingland, or stay in a traditional log cabin and try your luck at fishing on the quiet lakes of Värmland? For the mushroom connoisseur, Nature Travels also offers a dedicated mushroom picking experience, including the chance to prepare meals from your pickings under the expert tutelage of a renowned local chef!
Whatever your interests, an Autumn holiday in Sweden will have something to offer…..a perfect opportunity to squeeze in another break before that winter holiday you were planning!
The Nature Travels Team