Have you heard of Småland before? It is a little known region of Sweden, located in the south of the country. Covered by huge forests and innumerable lakes, I discovered it on the occasion of the inauguration of a new airline serving Växjö, one of the main cities of the province. Småland is not only a destination for nature lovers, but also for design lovers, as it is also the kingdom of furniture and crystal. This is where the global giant Ikea was born, as well as many prestigious brands in the glass business. Follow me on this nature and design journey through Småland, from Växjö to Kalmar …
Växjö, one of the greenest cities in Europe
The journey starts in Växjö, accessible via daily KLM-Air-France from Amsterdam. It’s not especially a tourist town, but it’s a good starting point for exploring Småland. Interesting fact to know: it is one of the most ecological cities in Europe! Located on the edge of huge forests, it is warmed by moss and pine cones and public transport biogas using food waste as fuel. As a result, the city has a CO2 emission rate of just 2 tonnes per capita per year, which is one of the lowest rates in Europe. Renewable energies contribute 85% of the energy for heating and electricity.
The city center of Växjö is pleasant to discover, with its pedestrian and lively streets. The cathedral is one of the emblematic monuments of the city, with its two symmetrical towers that can be seen from afar. It dates from the 12th century, but it has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. With 63m high it is the tallest building in Växjö.
The best way to visit Växjö is to rent a bike. The network of bike paths is very developed and it allows to cover large areas, among the many lakes and green areas of the city. We often feel like we are in the middle of the Swedish countryside when we are just rallying from one neighborhood to another.