Best Time to Visit Dalarna

Best Time to Visit Dalarna

A few hours’ drive from Stockholm, visiting the central county of Dalarna is like experiencing Sweden in miniature. It’s full of national symbols, from traditional red houses, decorative Dala Horses and lakes for summer swimming, to plenty of winter sports and wonderful forests with masses of wildlife. While Dalarna has much to offer visitors throughout the year, it’s most popular between May and September, when the days are mild and the county's natural beauty is easily accessible. However, as with any destination, the best time to visit Dalarna largely depends on what you want to do. Let’s explore what’s in store across all four seasons.


Dalarna’s Weather

Dalarna is one of the coldest regions in Sweden, with an average daily high of just 9°C. Between mid-October and March, it’s largely snow-clad and chilly. The spring climate is unpredictable, but when the warmer weather arrives (usually by May), visitors can expect to find flower-covered, green landscapes and around 13 hours of daylight. Summer is a good option for the traveller who likes outdoor recreation, when temperatures average 21°C. However, despite June, July and August being the warmest months to visit, they also have a relatively high chance of rainfall, whereas March is normally the driest month.


Spring – Best Time for Culture

Given the milder weather makes sightseeing more pleasant, spring can be a great time to get under the skin of Swedish culture. Falun, the capital of Dalarna and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts plenty of shops and places to eat, and a wealth of history. In fact, the distinctive rust-red colour of Sweden’s buildings has its roots in the city, as the paint contains pigment from Falun Mine. A visit is both interesting and educational, and you’ll leave with a wealth of knowledge with which to impress friends and family. Afterwards, take a walk through Kålgården Park and along the river Faluån. The Museum of Dalarna, a great stop to get to know the region, is also located in Falun. Art enthusiasts can visit the homes of Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson too. If you want to immerse yourself in spring greenery, the mountains around Fulufjället National Park are ideal for walks. Popular trails include the child-friendly path to Njupeskärs Waterfall or a trip to see a 9,550-year-old spruce – the world’s oldest tree.

Spring Events in Dalarna:

·         The spring market in Rättvik presents the tradition and culture of the area across its 1,600 stalls.

·         Look out for ski-season closing events in resorts like Idre and Sälen.


Summer – Best Time for Lake-based Activities

Summer is the most popular time to visit Dalarna, with countless outdoor events and attractions. Indeed, Dalarna’s Midsommar (Midsummer) celebrations are the most famous in Sweden, culminating in ‘church boat’ races on wooden longboats. For most of the year, it’s fair to say that swimming in Sweden’s lakes has limited appeal. But in summer, a dip in the pure waters is an invigorating experience, and Lake Siljan is one of the region’s biggest attractions. Should you be around in early July, Musik vid Siljan is a festival of live music in lakeside churches, the stunning former quarry, Dalhalla, and at various locations in the surrounding forest. Lake Runn, between Falun and Borlänge, is the place for kayaking, swimming and wildlife spotting. Similarly, in Idre you’ll find a host of outdoor activities, such as river rafting and horse riding. June is the best time to spot Fulufjället’s rich diversity of birdlife and you may also see moose, beaver and reindeer. At Bastberget summer pasture, cows and sheep graze, and you can bake flatbread, make soft whey cheese or just enjoy the views.

Summer Events in Dalarna:

Alongside Musik vid Siljan, music fans flock to Dansbandsveckan and The International Festival of Folk Dance and Music, a bi-annual event in Rättvik.
Classic Car Week takes place in early-August in 795 32 Rättvik.
Fitness fans can watch and join various running and cycling races along the famous Vasaloppet trail.

Autumn – Best Time for The Woods (and Wooden Horses)

September can be a nice time to visit, as temperatures are typically mild, and there’s still plenty of daylight to enjoy Dalarna’s deep forests. Imagine picking lingonberries and cloudberries as you ramble through the countryside, enjoying majestic views. Dalarna has a rich culinary heritage and autumn is ideal for sampling authentic flavours such as Falu Sausage, ostrich burgers, reindeer soup and locally produced cheese. Visitors entering the region from Avesta will be welcomed by the world’s biggest Dala Horse. These colourful carved wooden statues are a national symbol – and as the name suggests, their origins lie in Dalarna. In the village of Nusnäs outside Mora, you can watch skilled workers handcrafting them, or even paint your own – a satisfying activity, whatever the weather.

Autumn Events in Dalarna:

·         Rättvik’s Autumn Market has over 1,600 stands and takes place during the first weekend of October. Visitors can buy food and handmade crafts and enjoy cultural events.


Winter – Best Time for Frozen Fun  

When winter tightens its icy grip around the lakes, mountains and rivers of Dalarna, it’s time for fun in the big freeze. Whether you’re into cross-country skiing, alpine skiing or snowboarding, Dalarna is a snow sport enthusiast’s paradise. Idre and Sälen are two excellent ski resorts with a range of activities to suit all ages. The county is also laced with fantastic cross-country ski tracks, particularly in the frozen forests around Säfsen, Grönklitt and Lugnet, or along the Vasaloppet route. Long-distance skating on thick lake ice is hugely popular and there are skating trails at Lake Runn, Lake Orsa and elsewhere around the county. Far faster ways of negotiating snow and ice are by snowmobile or dog sled. Look out for snowmobile ‘safaris’ with a guide, to get the most out of the experience. For climate-friendly propulsion, nothing beats dog sledding, which you can enjoy in Sälen, Idre and Orsa.

Winter Events in Dalarna:

Vinterfest, one of Sweden's biggest classical music festivals, takes place each February.
Sports fans will be drawn to big ski competitions like Vasaloppet and Svenska Skidspelen.