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Unlimited outdoor opportunities in Dalarna, Sweden

Unlimited outdoor opportunities in Dalarna, Sweden

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The region of Dalarna in Central Sweden is an ideal holiday destination. Untouched nature, vast forests, crystal-clear lakes, and breathtaking mountains. We can hardly imagine a better environment to be active in nature. In the summer, this region truly comes to life. Dalarna offers countless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you want to hike, cycle, canoe, or simply enjoy the unspoiled nature, Dalarna has something for everyone. In this blog, we provide inspiration for the many outdoor activities in Dalarna. Not only in the summer, because in the winter, Dalarna is Sweden’s ultimate winter sports destination.


Summer outdoor opportunities in Dalarna

Thanks to the unspoiled nature with abundant forests and clear lakes, Dalarna is a true outdoor paradise. An additional asset of the region is the mild summer climate. With the possibility of extreme temperatures in some parts of Southern Europe, we don’t have much energy for a long hike or a challenging bike ride in that season. In Dalarna, on the other hand, this is perfectly doable in the summer. This makes the region an ideal summer destination for active holidaymakers. During our visit, we had excellent weather to fully enjoy the outdoor opportunities in Dalarna.

Cabin at the lake


There are hundreds of kilometers of marked hiking trails in Dalarna, making the region a true hiking paradise. We have made beautiful hikes. We wouldn’t want to keep those walks and a number of other beautiful routes from you.


The long-distance trail Siljansleden is a whopping 340 kilometers long and stretches in two loops around Lake Siljan and Lake Orsa. The hiking route continues along mountain lakes and small lakes, ideal for cooling off with a refreshing swim. Much of the time, you walk on old mountain pasture paths. Many of the old huts are located in high locations with a magnificent view. Some of them have a history dating back to the Middle Ages. The landscape here is wild with coniferous forests and marshes. It is suitable for both short day trips and a multi-day hiking adventure. Signs and orange markings around trees make it easy to follow Siljansleden.

We have done small sections of the Siljansleden. This led us to Fryksås, a beautiful old summer farm with a fantastic view of Lake Orsa. We couldn’t imagine a better place to stay and dine. More information about the route and daily stages of the Siljansleden.


Fulufjället National Park

Fulufjället National Park guarantees pristine wilderness, with vast forests, open plateaus, and mountainous areas. Here you can not only admire Sweden’s highest waterfall. You will also find the country’s oldest tree, Old Tjikko, estimated to be over 9,550 years old. The park offers various hiking opportunities. It is also possible to participate in organized excursions with guides. Ideal, as it allows you to learn a lot about the area’s flora and fauna.

We have made two hikes in the National Park. Of course, the marked walk to Sweden’s highest waterfall. An easy circular walk with a spectacular view of the cascading water. In addition, we took a more challenging walk with a guide across the park’s plateau. That walk also provided beautiful panoramas. You can read more about the park and the hiking opportunities in our blog about Fulufjället National Park.


Kloten Nature Reserve

Malingsbo-Kloten Nature Reserve in the south of Dalarna embraces you with unspoiled beauty. Vast forests surround crystal-clear lakes and meandering rivers. From our cosy cottage at Kloten Nature Resort, we explored the nature in the surrounding area. Beautiful walking paths led us through fairy-tale landscapes. The sunset coloured the sky in flaming yellow and red hues, an unforgettable moment. In our blog about walking in Kloten Nature Reserve, you can read more about it. The blog also provides information about the Malingsbo-Klotenleden, a circular walk of about 45 kilometers through the most beautiful spots in the nature reserve [2].



Grövelsjön is located in the far north of Dalarna. The Norwegian border is nearby, and various walks also cross the border. Although the nature is wild and unspoiled, there are plenty of well-maintained walking paths. From the Grövelsjön mountain station, various marked walks depart. They vary in length and difficulty. What’s special is that in this area, you can also take walks with reindeer or alpacas. If you want to explore this rugged walking area properly, then stay at the Grovelsjon mountain station. The Visit Dalarna website provides various walking suggestions for Grövelsjön.

Hiking trail


Sälen is primarily known for winter sports enthusiasts as it is the largest ski area in the region. However, during our road trip through Sweden, we discovered that Sälen also offers plenty of outdoor activities in the summer. Most walking routes around Sälen are suitable for all levels. A fun route with lots of variety is the Sälfjällsturen. The route is 14 kilometers long and marked.

If you prefer multi-day walks, then the Södra Kungsleden is a good choice. This royal trail runs through the southernmost mountainous area of the country and is 150 kilometers long. The Vasaloppet also starts in Sälen. You may be familiar with this name as it is the longest cross-country ski race in the world, covering a distance of 90 kilometers. In the summer, it is possible to take a multi-day walk that follows the skiers’ course as much as possible.


Styggforsen Nature Reserve

Styggforsen Nature Reserve offers walking paths that lead you through dense forests and along babbling brooks. The highlight of the reserve is the Styggforsen waterfall. We took a walk around the waterfall from the car park. It is an easy and reasonably short route, but the views are breathtaking.


Other hiking options in Dalarna

This is just a small selection of the many walks you can take in Dalarna. For more inspiration, the English website of Visit Dalarna is practical.


Cycling in Dalarna

Cycling in Dalarna is a fantastic way to experience the nature and culture of this region! Whether leisurely pedaling along quiet country roads or adventuring through the forests with a mountain bike, there is a suitable cycling route for every level. Cycling offers a unique way to explore the landscape while discovering various attractions. Following one of the easy cycling routes, you can enjoy a delightful lunch at a cosy countryside café.


Husby Ringen

This beautiful cycling route is an easy cultural and landscape trail that takes you along narrow roads through flat terrain. Along the way, you’ll encounter attractions dating back to the Middle Ages, surrounded by small-scale agricultural areas. The route spans 60 kilometers and offers 25 interesting spots to explore, with plenty of accommodations, restaurants, and cafés for resting and enjoyment.

Runn Runt

Another beautiful route is the Runn Runt around Lake Runn, the second largest lake in Dalarna. This approximately 65-kilometer route takes you along the lake’s shores and provides numerous opportunities to stop at cafés, restaurants, and swimming spots, making it a perfect day trip for cycling enthusiasts.


Dalhalla Rundan

This route meanders through the landscape via smaller asphalt and gravel roads. Along the way, you’ll encounter picturesque villages, beautiful viewpoints, swimming spots, and natural monuments. The route also passes by Dalhalla, a former open-air theatre for concerts and other performances, located in a disused limestone quarry.

Multi-day Cycling Tours

The Siljansleden cycling route, which circles the beautiful Lake Siljan, is highly recommended. This route not only offers a great cycling experience but also allows for stops at picturesque towns such as Mora and Leksand. Similar to the hiking route, the Siljansleden cycling route forms a loop around two lakes and consists of various stages.

Additionally, various cycling destinations in the region provide well-marked cycling routes for all levels, along with information on accommodations, eateries, and bike rental services. For more detailed information on cycling routes and destinations in Dalarna, you can visit the Biking Dalarna website.


Canoeing and Kayaking in Dalarna

The numerous lakes and rivers in Dalarna make it an ideal destination for paddling exploration. With over 500 kilometers of rivers and thousands of lakes, Dalarna offers abundant opportunities for watersports. You can explore these waterways in a canoe or kayak and immerse yourself in the beautiful nature. Various places offer canoe and kayak rentals, such as the canoe center in Sälen, where we reserved our kayak. We then embarked on a relaxing journey over the water, enjoying the serene reflections of the stunning nature while paddling.

Kayak Tour

A 20-kilometer trip from Fulunäs to Sälen is an experience, featuring a few small rapids at the beginning. Additionally, you can explore the Runn Lake between Falun and Borlänge and rent a kayak at Torsång’s kayak center, located near the popular Torsång café.

Kayak Rental

Horseback riding in Dalarna

In Dalarna, you can engage in horseback riding throughout the year, offering a beautiful way to explore the region. Whether you are an experienced rider or riding a horse for the first time, there is a suitable ride for everyone. At Idre Fjäll, you can explore the rugged environment on horseback, especially in the early morning, providing an unforgettable experience. At Sör Sellnäs, you can discover the impressive south of Dalarna on the back of a real Icelandic horse. Furthermore, at Silverhill Stable outside Rättvik, you can explore the forests on a robust North Swedish horse.


Winter outdoor opportunities in Dalarna

Not only in summer is Dalarna an outdoor paradise. From the moment the first snow falls, the region transforms into a winter wonderland. In this Swedish landscape, you’ll find endless adventures. Venture into the wilderness on snowshoes; the silence is breathtaking, with only the crunch of snow beneath your feet. Or how about a sled ride with huskies? Then there are the frozen lakes, perfect for an afternoon of skating or a cross-country skiing excursion.

Cross country

For the ultimate winter sports experience, you must head to Sälen, the southernmost Swedish ski region. The ski area is one of the largest in Northern Europe. With over 100 slopes and extensive cross-country ski trails, it’s a dream for every winter sports enthusiast. Whether you’re a skier, snowboarder, or cross-country skier, here you’ll find slopes for every level. After a day on the mountain, you can relax in cosy mountain huts or enjoy traditional dishes in local restaurants. Sälen offers everything you need for an unforgettable winter sports holiday in Sweden!


Enjoying the outdoor opportunities in Dalarna

We experienced our days in Dalarna as a great adventure. The nature, the tranquillity (we were there at the end of August), and the friendliness of the people have impressed us. We would love to come back. In addition to all the outdoor opportunities in Dalarna, we enjoyed the region’s special cultural treasures. We have truly embraced “Sweden in miniature,” as Dalarna is often called, in our hearts.

FAQs about outdoor opportunities in Dalarna

Where is Dalarna located?

The region of Dalarna is located in Central Sweden. To the west, Dalarna borders Norway. The famous Fulufjallet National Park also extends partially into Norwegian territory. The southwestern part of the region is approximately 200 kilometers away from Stockholm.

How do I get to Dalarna?

Dalarna is easily accessible from Malmö, Gothenburg, or Stockholm. It is also easily accessible from Oslo, Norway. From Stockholm, it takes about two hours to drive to Kloten Nature Resort, located in the southeastern part of Dalarna. To reach Grövelsjön in the northeast, it takes about six hours.


Dalarna is ideal for exploration by car or camper. When traveling to Sweden, you can easily take the Scandlines' ferry, departing from Puttgarden in northern Germany to Rødby, Denmark. From there, you can drive via Copenhagen and the Öresund Bridge to Malmö, Sweden.

What makes Dalarna so unique?

The region is the cradle of Swedish culture. It was here that independence was declared in 1523. Many traditions and customs are still observed today. The traditional midsummer celebrations around the maypole, the typical red color of the houses, and the famous Dala horse originate from Dalarna. Additionally, the region offers unparalleled natural beauty, with deserted forests, crystal-clear lakes, and meandering rivers. This makes Dalarna a wonderful region to visit for both nature and culture enthusiasts.

Which nature parks in Dalarna should I definitely visit?

The Fulufjället National Park is the most well-known nature park in Dalarna, and for good reason. The park features pristine nature, with highlights such as the country's highest waterfall and the world's oldest tree. Additionally, the Kloten-Malingsbo Nature Reserve in the southeast of Dalarna is less known but boasts a wealth of natural beauty. Another recommendation is the Styggforsen Nature Reserve, which, despite its small size, features the impressive Styggforsen waterfall.

What are some beautiful hiking routes in Dalarna?

There are numerous hiking possibilities in Dalarna, with short to multi-day hikes available for every level. A good resource for selecting hikes in Dalarna is the Visit Dalarna website.

What are the cultural highlights of Dalarna?

There are many interesting places to visit if you want to enjoy the typical culture of Dalarna. For example, you can visit the workshop where the famous Dala horses are made. These wooden figures are the symbol of the region and of Sweden. The city of Falun and the large copper mine are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Another important attraction is the museum of Carl Larsson, one of the most famous Swedish artists. The house is beautifully decorated and filled with many artworks.

What is the best time to visit Dalarna?

From May to September is an ideal period to engage in summer outdoor activities in Dalarna. The weather can vary greatly, ranging from cool and windy to calm and sunny. There is always a chance of rain, so be prepared for all weather types. During the Swedish high season (from July to mid-August), Dalarna is popular, especially the Fulufjället National Park. Before and after this period, it is much quieter. We visited Dalarna at the end of August, a tranquil time with excellent weather conditions to be active in nature.

What are good restaurants in Dalarna?

There is a wide selection of excellent restaurants in the region. We enjoyed delicious meals at the following restaurants:

Where can I stay in Dalarna?

On our tour of Dalarna, we stayed in these unique accommodations:

  • Kloten Nature Resort in Kloten-Malingsbo Reserve
    Kloten Nature Resort offers idyllic wooden cottages equipped with all conveniences. It is situated near a lake where we experienced a fantastic sunset. We stayed in a spacious cottage that accommodated six people. From season 2024, cottages will also be available for two people.
  • Clarion Collection Hotel Bergmästaren in Falun
    Hotel Bergmästaren is located in the heart of the city in a beautiful building. It was once home to a Systembolaget (state-controlled liquor store). Now, it is a comfortable hotel equipped with all modern conveniences. From our hotel, we walked to the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Falun in a short time.
  • Fryksås hotel in Orsa
    The Fryksås hotel is situated in one of the oldest and largest pasture areas in Sweden, a historic location 10 kilometers from Orsa. Due to its elevated location, we enjoyed breathtaking views of Lake Orsa and Lake Siljan. Be sure to take advantage of the dinner at the restaurant. They serve delicious dishes, and you won't get enough of the panorama.
  • Olarsgården Hotell & Restaurang in Sälen
    Olarsgården hotel is a place where you can taste the rich history in every space. The hotel has 21 uniquely decorated rooms. It is evident that this is a hotel located near a winter sports area. Beautiful historical photos of winter sports in the region adorn the spaces. We highly recommend the dinner at the restaurant!

Other accommodations in Dalarna. You can also find a good overview of accommodations in the region on the Visit Dalarna website.

At the invitation of Visit Dalarna, we visited various nature parks and attractions in the region. We independently and objectively compiled the content of the blog based on our own impressions.