Siljan is the seventh biggest lake of Sweden and located in the middle of the Dalarna country, a central region on the border to Norway. Known for is the area mostly as home of the popular red Dalarna horses, even though this place has much more to offer. On one hand does it include a wide variety of landscapes such as lakes, mountains, waterfalls, woods, fields, and much more. On the other hand offers this part a lot of history, traditions, and Swedish lifestyle and for that reason is quite famous and in demand among tourists.
Traveling there by car is most common, especially when planning on seeing lots of nature and untouched places. But even if this is not an option you will find alternatives to reach the towns and even the national parks by public transportations. The Siljan lake as the heart of the region with its breathtaking nature and popular towns around should be on everyone’s bucket list when touring through Sweden. Although the place is quite beautiful during all seasons, visiting in summer is most recommendable. Due to the long sun hours and the mostly warm and sunny weather you can experience Sweden in its full beauty. Also is June to August the time during which the towns are most alive and offer all kinds of attractions, events, touristic highlights, and open stores and restaurants.
My friend and I decided to go camping at the lake and traveled there by public transportation. Due to that we were a little limited when it came to what to see during the three days of our trip. We compromised on visiting three towns and otherwise viewing the areas around during our rides. Sadly we had to leave out hiking in the Fulufjället national park and exploring other areas than the lake, so I can`t speak about those personally – but I have heard it`s definitely worth a visit as well!
So, our first destination was Mora, a town at the north end of Siljan. It is quite small but despite of that offers many attractions. Besides a camping place and a nicely build area at the lake with little harbors and swimming spots it also has several museums, shops, a cute pedestrian street, and an old church. Everything is quite central and in general is the whole town full of typical Swedish houses. You can also take pictures with a big red Dalarna horse located next to the lake or visit the ending gate of the famous cross country race track Vasaloppet. Overall, it is a really nice town that invites you with its calmness and vacation vibes to relax and enjoy.
Next to Mora lays the village Nusnäs which is known as the birthplace of the Dalarna horse. Until today there are factories and museums for learning about the origin of this Swedish souvenir. We only passed by the place while traveling to Rättvik, our second city to explore. But the roads with their view over the lake and all the cute villages in between are an experience itself!
Once in Rättvik, the main area with beach, pier, camping places, lots of restaurants and cafes, and some shops welcomes you by its touristic and Mediterranean flair. The area and also the lake feels quite different from Mora, but still super beautiful and unique. Places like churches, cute neighborhoods, or prepared walking routes around the area will give the opportunity to balance between relaxing on the waterside and doing some sightseeing.
The last town we visited is similar to that. Although Leksand and the Siljan lake there again are totally different from the other places, it invites tourist with a mixture of amazing nature, stores and restaurants, some sights to visit, and traditional places and events to experience. It is located in the south and therefore the last place we got to see. Between Rättvik and Leksand are again some villages that also offer many great accommodations if you don`t want to stay on one of the several camping areas.
Overall, our short trip was super successful and a great mixture of exploring and recharging at the lake since it was quite hot during those days. Surely, there is much more to see and do in Dalarnas Län and I can highly recommend to explore it yourself! You will find everything from nature retreat and sightseeing to a nice family camping vacation with lots of beach time and ice cream. Hopefully, this overview was useful and maybe inspired some of you to travel to this unique area in the middle of Sweden.