A sizeable province, DALARNA takes in not only the area around Lake Siljan but also the ski resorts of Sälen and Idre, close to the Norwegian border. The area holds a special misty-eyed place in the Swedish psyche and should certainly be seen, although not to the exclusion of places further north. Tiny countryside villages and rolling meadows sweet with the smell of summer flowers make up most of Dalarna, a rural idyll given a handsome backdrop by the land to the northwest of Lake Siljan, which rises slowly to meet the chain of mountains that forms the border with Norway. One small lakeside town can look pretty much like another, so if time is short, restrict yourself to visiting just one or two: Leksand and Mora are the best options, and the latter is also the starting point for Sweden’s most beautiful train journey, along the Inlandsbanan to the Arctic Circle.
North of Mora, the province becomes more mountainous and less populous, the only place of note here being Orsa, with its fascinating bear park. There’s no need to worry about accommodation in the province: you’ll find numerous hotels, hostels and campsites around.