8 Nights in Southern Sweden
June 9 to 17
Nature, health, good food, and celebrations. Our trip to the province of Skåne will be an immersion into the Swedish lifestyle.
Reminiscing days of visiting my Swedish relatives as a teen conjures up memories of outdoor saunas followed by dips in a freezing creek, hearty walking, foraging for berries in the forest, honest food, big family gatherings, and parties... lots of parties!
Sweden has 25 historical provinces called “landskap.” We’ll be visiting the province of Skåne (Scania in English), which has some of the most diverse terrain in all of Sweden. The region is forged by a history of agriculture and characterized by the ever-present coastline, vast pastures, sharp cliffs, long beaches and green forests.
With history that stretches back to the Viking Age, Skåne is filled with historic buildings, museums, and cultural landmarks. It also has a rich cultural and agricultural heritage which we’ll explore. As an agricultural region, Skåne boasts a strong culinary life with many organic farms, coastal fishing and hunting wild game.
The Nordic Cuisine is characterized by its purity, simplicity, and freshness, as well as by a conscious use of ecologically friendly or “eco” seasonal foods. Food from nature such as wild game, fish, foraged herbs, mushrooms and berries are an important part of the cuisine. Deeply rooted traditions of preparing and preserving food also characterize the cuisine and are found in each region.
Swedes love to celebrate! There are many holidays, festivals, and celebrations with specific traditional dishes that must be served at each festivity. We’ll celebrate with a traditional Midsummer feast!
The Nordic lifestyle
Being in nature is ingrained in the Swedish culture. They have a saying, “friluftsliv” (free-loofts-liv), that translates as “open-air lifestyle.” Scandinavians are not hampered by the (often extreme) seasons and believe that “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” Being in nature is also linked closely to “allmansrätten,” the right to roam. Laws are in place that allow people to walk, camp, or forage practically anywhere, as long as they show respect for the land, wildlife and the locals.
A focus on health and vitality are an integral part of Swedish culture. Swedish saunas followed by a dip in a freezing creek or the equally cold sea is considered a necessity rather than a luxury.
We’ll meet over a glass of wine, beer, or snaps in Copenhagen then travel together to Skåne. The trip by boat and car takes about an hour. We’ll be staying at a summer home (over 50% of Swedes have or stay in one) in the small coastal town of Torekov on the north-western coast of Sweden. Torekov hosts rugged, rocky sea shores, rolling farm fields, and forests.
Once settled in, we’ll have a dinner of Ärtsoppa, a yellow pea soup which has been served in Sweden since the middle ages.
Note: I recommend arriving a few days early in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, to enjoy the city and recover from jet lag.
Sofiero Castle • The Food hall • family Dinner
Finished in 1866, we’ll visit Sofiero, the summer home of Crown Prince Oscar and his wife Sophia of Nassau. The dreamy location overlooking wooded gorges and the strait between Sweden and Denmark gives this park its reputation as the most beautiful park in Europe. We’ll explore the rhododendron garden and wine house, where some of the vines stem as far back as 1914, along with the aisle of roses and the Victorian vegetable garden.
The Food Hall, a typical Swedish “open air style market,” is where we’ll shop for dinner. It features stalls of local specialties, meats, fish, cheeses, and more. Lunch on your own.
Family dinner will be at the home of my cousins Anders & Anette Olsson where we’ll sample products from the food hall and Anders’ cooking. Their home is also home to Icelandic horses who love to run as the sun sets and are a joy to watch.
The Gardens of Norrviken & Fika
The Gardens of Norrviken consist of seven themed gardens set around the Villa Abelin. Norrviken is famous for its gardens in different styles, created by Rudolf Abelin in the early 1900s. A visionary, inspired by various countries and epochs, who gave each garden its own special character.
Afternoon lunch shopping, hiking, napping, spa treatments are on your own.
Fika, the all important Swedish tradition of stopping for coffee — no ordering to-go here. “Functioning as both a verb and a noun, the concept of fika is simple. It is the moment that you take a break, often with a cup of coffee, but alternatively with tea, and find a baked good to pair with it. In Sweden coffee is something to look forward to, a moment where everything else stops and you savor the moment.” – Anna Brones
Cooking class and dinner.
Warmbadhus Spa & Cooking class
Warmbadhus is a day spa dating from 1876 located a few feet from the sea. You’ll have a private seaweed bath. The scalloped seaweed gives the skin in the form of natural polysaccharides, a calming and softening effect. It’s fantastic! Salt scrubs, massage, and other treatments can also be arranged at an extra cost. While waiting for your treatment, you can enjoy lunch and shopping in the village.
Cooking Class & Dinner: We’ll spend the afternoon with Mike & Jonas, chef owners of Orangery which is part garden store and part cooking school. We’ll prepare traditional and updated Swedish specialties and have a fabulous meal.
On to Österlen
We drive, while sightseeing on the way, to Österlen in the Southeast part of Sweden, which hosts a glittering ocean and golden sand dunes.
Österlen is known as “the garden basket” of Sweden and hosts picturesque coastal towns with a rich fishing heritage. You’ll have time to settle into our B&B, shop, and stroll along the coast. Dinner is on your own in the village.
Farms, Fisheries, Cheesemakers & More
Today we have a full day of guided visits to local farms, fisheries, smoke houses, cider makers, bakeries and more.
Fish will be on our dinner menu!
Foraging For Dinner
Today we’ll head out into the fields and woods to for a guided walk and forage for our dinner collecting herbs, mushrooms, berries and more.
In the afternoon, you’ll have free time to visit town. Lunch is on your own.
For dinner we’ll use our foraged finds and products from yesterday’s farm tours to make dinner.
Shopping & Eating
Today, the last full day of our trip will visit the local villages and focus on shopping. This region holds many shops that have curated the wares of local craftsmen and women. You’ll have time to do as you please be it shopping, one more sauna, or walking on the beach. Lunch on your own.
We’ll then join together for our last Swedish dinner.
After a leisurely morning and goodbyes, we’ll deliver you to the local train for a one hour ride to Copenhagen or help you with plans to visit Stockholm or elsewhere.
Program fee includes:
Pick up in Copenhagen
Five nights in a Swedish summer home
Three nights in a B&B
Daily light buffet breakfast
Three to four cooking classes
Seven dinners, see itinerary
House chosen wine and nonalcoholic beverages at all planned meals at the house and while on excursions
Foraging with guide
Planned excursions, please see itinerary
Private transportation on all planned excursions
Planned restaurant meals, see itinerary
What is not included in our program fee:
Airfare to and from Copenhagen
End of trip transportation other than delivery to train, a very simple ride back to Copenhagen, Stockholm, or elsewhere
Required travel insurance
Personal shopping and expenses
Food and drink not included in the itinerary (one dinner and five lunches)
Any expenses incurred during free time
Optional excursions or extensions
Non-refundable passport fees
Excess baggage charges
Airport taxes that are collected on the spot in foreign airports, departures taxes, airport fees, airline and federal security fees and ticket handling fees, surcharges due to changes in currency, any mandatory new or increased fees/taxes/fuel surcharge (if any) levied on airline tickets, hotels, incidental expenses in hotels, and hotel room upgrades.
Tips for Community Cuisine staff, drivers and/or house concierge
Note: We have rented the homes “AirB&B style” meaning there will be no daily maid service. We will have a washer and dryer on the premises and will happily wash and restock towels.
California Seller of Travel #2132010-40