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Glasriket

There’s So Much to See in Sweden’s Glass Realm!

 

In English, it’s the Kingdom of Crystal or the Glass Realm. In Swedish, it’s Glasriket, and it stretches across Småland from the cities of Växjö to the west and Kalmar to the east. At the end of the 19th century, this region had no fewer than 77 glass factories – part of the reason why it’s clearly one of the region’s top tourist destinations, attracting a million visitors who travel to Glasriket every year.

 

When Anders Koskull and Georg Bogislaus Staël von Holstein, two foreign officers in Charles XII's army, set up their glassmaking company in 1742, they had no idea what they were starting. Almost 400 years later, not only is the area still home to more than a dozen glassworks and studios, their factory remains Sweden’s oldest. The town has been named in their honour too. Travel to Kosta Boda to see the furnaces that have been lit since the 18th century and visit the hot shops where designers work closely with craftspeople – take a guided tour to get a real insight into this age-old process or visit the Glascenter to blow glass yourself.

 

The quaint town of Kosta is just one in a cluster of villages that make up the Kingdom and is also home to Kosta Boda Art Gallery, an Art Hotel, and a Safari Park (Tourism Company of the Year in Kronoberg 2021). You can drive through this 200-hectare park in the primeval forest and have fun spotting bison, wild boar, mouflon sheep, red deer, fallow deer and elk. They roam free in their natural Swedish habitat and the park aims for circular sustainability, so this is responsible tourism at its best.

 

And, of course, the forest is one of the region’s most spectacular natural assets. Use the little towns dotted across the region as your base for discovering Småland – this is as Swedish as it gets. There are hundreds of nature reserves and thousands of lakes and rivers to be explored in the mythic forests. Here, hikers are in their element, with paths to challenge any appetite or ambition. Hundreds of miles of marked trails will take you through old growth forests and tranquil lakes. The region is also known for its fishing spots and, in winter, is popular for skiing and slalom.

 

If you really want to experience the great outdoors, Sweden is one of the best places in the world to go wild camping. The country’s rules mean you can put up a tent on any land that isn’t near a house or being farmed – it’s one of the great joys of a holiday here and creates real freedom to explore more. You can also go foraging, collecting flowers, mushrooms and berries. Småland is known as ‘The Edible Country’ and local menus are inspired by the organic food. You can go find some for yourself, cook outdoors or taste the flavours at a local restaurant. Rustic tables are a feature of scenic locations around the area, and you can book an outdoor dining experience that is quite unique.

 

You’ll also find that the towns of Emmaboda, Lessebo, Nybro - known as the region’s capital - and Uppvidinge all offer traditional Swedish hospitality. If you get the opportunity, enjoy a Hyttsill party where you can sample this local delicacy and traditional entertainment with a master glassblowing demonstration thrown in. Hyttsill is otherwise known as hot shop herring and is served with crisp-fried bacon, smoked pork sausage and lingonberry jam. Yum!

There’s So Much to See in Sweden’s Glass Realm!

 

In English, it’s the Kingdom of Crystal or the Glass Realm. In Swedish, it’s Glasriket, and it stretches across Småland from the cities of Växjö to the west and Kalmar to the east. At the end of the 19th century, this region had no fewer than 77 glass factories – part of the reason why it’s clearly one of the region’s top tourist destinations, attracting a million visitors who travel to Glasriket every year.

 

When Anders Koskull and Georg Bogislaus Staël von Holstein, two foreign officers in Charles XII's army, set up their glassmaking company in 1742, they had no idea what they were starting. Almost 400 years later, not only is the area still home to more than a dozen glassworks and studios, their factory remains Sweden’s oldest. The town has been named in their honour too. Travel to Kosta Boda to see the furnaces that have been lit since the 18th century and visit the hot shops where designers work closely with craftspeople – take a guided tour to get a real insight into this age-old process or visit the Glascenter to blow glass yourself.

 

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Enjoy a trip to Glasriket

From €70 single, car & driver

Choose your route...

Enjoy a trip to Glasriket

From €70 single, car & driver

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