The central Swedish region of Dalarna is well known for its red and white wooden cottages, exuberant midsummer celebrations and lovingly decorated wooden horses, which are symbols of Sweden.
But, what you may not know is that it is also a fantastic destination for a waterfall safari.
The traditional Dalarna region in Central Sweden is considered by many a holiday paradise. Old wooden cottages, large lakes, the centuries-old UNESCO-listed Falun Mine as well as the hand-carved Swedish classic dalahäst – (Dala Horse), probably Sweden’s most famous pieces of folk art, turn Dalarna into a great destination of discovery.
What many do not know however is that Dalarna also offers a waterfall safari for holidaymakers. With a drop height of 93 meters, Njupeskär in the Fulufjället National Park is Sweden’s highest waterfall. The mist caused by the water hitting the bottom of the falls provides an ideal habitat for numerous rare moss and lichen species. A 4km circular route around the waterfall starts at Naturum Museum, which provides information about the flora and fauna in the national park.
Visitors can combine the visit to Njupeskär with two other places to turn their experiences into a waterfall safari.
About 160 kilometers further southeast, near the popular resorts of Mora and Orsa, the river Ämån flows through several rapids and steep passages: The spectacular “Hell’s Fall” (Helvetesfallet), an eroded gorge with 30-meter high, steep rock faces, is followed after a few kilometers by the Storstupet. At this point, adventure lovers should not only look down, but also upwards, so as not to miss the 34-meter-high railway bridge over which inlandsbanan (the legendary slow-train railway connection from Dalarna to Swedish Lapland) runs.
A further 55 kilometers drive is Styggforsen waterfall near Boda, which has a drop height of 36 meters. The furrowed cliffs and the shady forest form the perfect setting. Around the waterfall winds a kilometer long circular path over raised wooden boardwalks and stairs.
Styggforsen was left behind after a meteorite impact that occurred about 377 million years ago where Lake Siljan sits today. The cliffs were created by the layers of limestone, sandstone, and granite. In nearby Siljansnäs, the Naturum Dalarna visitor centre provides information about this exciting history. And a perfect opportunity for hikers.