Where Is Siljan Lake With a staggering count of nearly 100,000 lakes dotting its landscape, Sweden’s affinity for lakeside leisure is no secret. From refreshing summer swims to winter dips followed by cozy waterfront saunas, enjoying lakeside activities is a cherished national pastime. And if swimming isn’t your thing, there’s kayaking, fishing, boat excursions, paddle-boarding, and even ice-driving adventures to keep you engaged. Not to forget the allure of hiking and cycling through the surrounding forests and mountains.
Narrowing down the list from 100,000 to just 12 wasn’t easy, but here are some of the standout lakes in Sweden:
1. Lake Vänern
Sweden’s largest lake and the EU’s largest inland lake, Vänern spans about 145km in length and plunges to depths of up to 100m. It boasts an archipelago of 22,000 islands, forming Europe’s largest inland archipelago. The Varmland region, in southern Sweden, is the heart of Lake Vänern’s dominion, where you can indulge in sailing, swimming, kayaking, fishing, or simply relaxing along sandy beaches, cliffs, and wetlands. The charming lakeside town of Karlstad serves as the central hub, offering boat trips to explore the islands and lakeshore.
2. Lake Vättern
Sweden’s second-largest lake, Vättern’s crystal-clear waters and long sandy beaches beckon swimmers. Located southeast of Lake Vänern and connected by the Gota Canal, the medieval town of Jönköping is Vättern’s primary settlement. Other lakeside gems include Gränna and the historic town of Vadstena. Take a ferry from Gränna to the scenic island of Visingsö, or venture to Hjo for floating saunas on the lake.
3. Lake Mälaren
Lake Mälaren, a vast inland lake west of Stockholm, provides a playground for the city’s residents, offering activities such as sailing, kayaking, swimming, picnicking, hiking, and exploration of its wooded shores. The lake’s focal point is the grand 17th-century Drottningholm Palace on Lovön Island. Boat trips from Stockholm transport visitors to this royal residence. Other lakefront attractions include the Viking trading post of Birka on Björkö Islands and the enchanting Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred.
4. Lake Siljan
Nestled in the heart of Dalarna, Lake Siljan embodies quintessential Swedish scenery. Surrounded by lush forests, rolling hills, and charming villages, it exudes a laid-back ambiance. Lake Siljan, the country’s sixth-largest, was formed millions of years ago by a meteor impact. The lakeside is dotted with picturesque towns, sandy beaches, and wooden cabins. Don’t miss the old steamship M/S Gustaf Wasa for a cruise through the stunning landscape.
5. Lake Torneträsk
In Swedish Lapland, Lake Torneträsk stretches for about 70km, a remote wilderness encircled by mountains and nourished by cascading streams and waterfalls. Its western end brushes against the Norwegian border, while the southern shore meets Abisko National Park. This pristine region is a prime location for witnessing the northern lights. In winter, the lake freezes, offering opportunities for ice-related activities, while summer beckons hikers along the Kungsladen, Sweden’s premier long-distance trail.
6. Lake Storsjön
Lake Storsjön, meaning “Great Lake,” boasts around 150 islands surrounded by forests and mountains. Östersund is the primary town on its shores, offering swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, boat trips on historic steamships, and even the possibility of encountering the local Storsjöodjuret, a Nessie-style lake monster.
7. Lake Åsnen
Located in southern Sweden, Lake Åsnen and its archipelago of over a thousand islands are part of Åsnen National Park, Sweden’s newest national park. It’s an ideal spot for kayaking and exploring, with abundant birdlife, including ospreys and sea eagles, making it popular among birdwatchers.
8. Lake Hornava
Lake Hornavan, Sweden’s deepest lake, is surrounded by pristine forests and mountains in Swedish Lapland, just below the Arctic Circle. Arjeplog, the main town at the southern end of the lake, serves as a base for various outdoor activities, including fishing, kayaking, hiking, and ice-driving during the winter months.
9. Lake Hjalmaren
Lake Hjalmaren, Sweden’s fourth-largest lake, is located in the central lowlands. With clear and shallow waters that warm up in summer, it’s perfect for swimming, kayaking, and sailing. Örebro, at its western end, offers boat trips and serves as a starting point for cycling, hiking, and bathing.
10. Lake Akkajaure
Lake Akkajaure, a man-made reservoir, lies in Swedish Lapland within Stora Sjöfallet National Park. It’s surrounded by forests and mountains and offers breathtaking views of Mount Akka. Activities range from fishing to hiking in the summer and ice-driving during the colder months.
11. Lake Laisan
Lake Laisan, situated at the southern end of the Kungsladen, is known for its sandy beaches and opportunities for kayaking and fishing. The scenic village of Tärnaby serves as a starting point for cycling, hiking, and exploration of the area.
12. Lake Lyngern
Lake Lyngern, located south of Gothenburg, offers picturesque views with sandy lake beaches and the Ramhultafallet waterfalls on its northern shore. It’s a delightful spot for kayaking, fishing, hiking, and biking.
Each of these lakes in Sweden offers a unique and captivating experience, from stunning scenery to a wide range of outdoor activities. Whether you’re seeking adventure or tranquility, Sweden’s lakes have something to offer every traveler.