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Lake Vättern is a legendary lake, known not only for it’s mirages, great depth and heavy storms, but also for it’s beauty. Lake Vättern is Sweden’s second largest and Europe’s fifth largest lake. With a surface area of 1912 square kilometres, a length of 135 kms, a width of 31 kms and a maximum depth of 128 meters this legendary lake is the heart of an unusually beautiful, exciting and adventure-filled cultural district. The Vättern district has lots on offer for everybody. The historical monuments, attractions and countryside are complemented by a broad selection of services and activities.

Around the shores of Vättern are also a number of different towns and villages, all of which have grown up thanks to the influence of this massive expanse of water. These include Vadstena, Hjo, Askerskund, Karlsborg and more  – all of which are great places to stay, with a friendly population and a really vibrant feel. Discover exciting restaurants, old mills, and innovative eco cafés, visit Ellen Key´s home Strand, Omberg mountain with innovative entreprenurs and much more.

Vadstena Castle, a Swedish Renaissance castle from the 16th century. It is a square fortress with a moat. Vadstena is a Swedish city on Lake Vättern (W. Bulach)

As the sun goes down the lake takes on a completely new perspective, with beautiful vistas and breathtaking scenery that will stay imprinted in your mind forever!

Vättern has been famous for the excellent quality of its transparent water. Many of the municipalities in the area receive their drinking water directly from Vättern. The lake water requires very little treatment before being pumped into the municipal systems and the natural, untreated water can be safely drunk from almost any point in the lake. It has been suggested that Vättern is the largest body of potable water in the world.

Vättern is also noted for its fishing, serving people in the nearby districts. Tourist sport fishermen and vacationers are free to fish in the lake as long as they don’t use nets. The lake is also used for commercial fishing.

The world’s largest recreational bike ride, Vätternrundan, is truly an experience. 300 km around the lake Vättern is a proper test for the many participants that annually gathers in Motala for the bike festivity. The event takes place in June and is a part of the Swedish Classic!

The Right of Public Access is a unique right to roam freely in the countryside. But with this right come responsibilities – to take care of nature and wildlife and to show consideration for landowners and for other people enjoying the countryside. We can sum up the Right of Public Access in the phrase ‘Don’t disturb – Don’t destroy.’

So when you are in Sweden you have the right to walk, cycle, ride, ski and camp on any land with the exception of private gardens, near a dwelling house or land under cultivation. We call it the Freedom to Roam. Sweden’s natural wonders are waiting for you to come and discover them.


by: Pernilla Gäverth