Where is Lake Siljen?

This lake is located in the centre of Dalarna region, that is considered one of the most typical sites in Sweden. It is one of the biggest lakes in sweden (Sweden’s sixth largest lake) and its surrounded by forest, giving it an amazing landscape.

It was created 360 million years ago, when a meteor impacted – the giant lump of rock hit with the force of 500 million atomic bombs, obliterating all life and creating a 75km ring-shaped crater, that today forms Lake Siljan.

How do you get there?

You can go by car, bus or by train, but surely the most scenic view is by train. You cross several lakes and lakeside villas on your way, that make the trip amazing.

Where to stay in Siljan Lake?

There are 5 main towns around the lake – Mora (where we stayed), Rattvik, Leksand, Orsa and Boda. The train that comes from Stockholm stops in Rattvik and in Mora. We decided to stay in Mora because we found reasonable cheap accommodation here and because its one of the biggest cities.

Why is it worth visiting?

The towns around the lake are a popular site for holidays for the Swedish, and around them there are multiple activities during the summer – beaches, parks, boat trips, fishing, sailing, biking… We rarely listened to english around here, so we actually felt like living a Swedish life. If you want to get away from touristy Stockholm this is the perfect place to go unnoticed and mingle with the Swedish people.

Mora is known by its trail, the  Vasaloppet. Its an annual long distance cross-country ski race held on the first Sunday of March. The 90 km course starts in the village of  Sälen and ends in Mora. It is the oldest and longest cross-country ski race in the world as well as the one with the highest number of participants. Even in the Summer, you can see the museum Vasaloppsmuseet that marks the beginning of this trail.

Vasaloppet

Vasaloppet

What to do?

Learn about the Dalarna Horse

The town centre has a tourist station and its full of charming little shops selling wooden red horses, the mascot of Dalarna region. There is even a huge statue by the lake of the Dalarna horse.

Dalarna Horse

Dalarna Horse

In the old days the Dala horse was mostly used as a toy for children; in modern times it has become a symbol of Dalarna, as well as Sweden in general.  The earliest references to wooden horses for sale are from 1623—nearly 400 years ago. In the 1930s (especially after the World’s Expo in Paris 1937 and World’s Fair in New York 1939 in which Dala horses were shown) mass production of Dala horses started. This marks the beginning of a new era for the Dala horse, transitioning from toy to a national symbol.

50’s American Cars in the streets of Mora

Check out the 50’s American Cars

Check out the 50’s American cars around this area! The America 50’s are alive and well in Sweden, where a thriving subculture of self-proclaimed “greasers” celebrates the optimism of post-war America, the music of Elvis Presley, and the vintage cars of Detroit.

River Cruise

Another must is to take a river cruise in the M/S Gustaf Wasa (an historical boat) to see the views from the lake. It even has a lunch cruise that departs from Mora in Mondays. It costs you 125 Kr/each (without lunch). We did it and it was worth it! You can see the sawmills, the secluded boat houses in the lake and a beautiful landscapes around the lake. It doesn’t go all the way around the lake, as its only a 2 hours cruise, but it is still worth it.

Gustaf Wasa Boat Ride

Gustav Wasa

Lakeside view of Lake Siljan

Hiking

Maps of Siljansleden, an excellent network of walking and cycling paths extending for more than 300km around Lake Siljan, are available from tourist offices for 20 SKR. Even if you don’t what to do much hiking, just stroll in the parks and trails around the lake.

Relax in a lakeside cafe

There are beautiful platform cafes around the lake where you can just relax and enjoy some mindfullness time. Also in sunset are some of the best paces to grab a cup of tea and see the landscapes.

Platform cafe in the lake

Rubik cube head by the lake

Sculptures by the lake

Photography heaven

If you are looking for the picture perfect postcard of little red wooden houses by a lake that you saw when you googled sweden, this is the place to get them! See the contrasting red lake houses, the beautiful little boats… Just go around the lake and look for the perfect instagram pictures.

Summing up, it is a good place to relax, with beautiful landscapes and a view of Swedish life, and a good place to stop after busy and touristy Stockholm. Yeah, its not an adventure seeker stop, but it surely gives you a real sense of Sweden.

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Why you should visit Lake Siljen in Sweden