Reading time 5 minutes
When summer comes, Sweden opens to life like a spring flower. The sun, doomed and held under the horizon for the rest of the year, gets rid of its unfair punishment prevailing in the sky for almost twenty-four hours a day.
That is when Sweden becomes an Garden of Eden for lovers of life and outdoor sports.
In the Värmland region , located in the central-western part of Sweden, Mother Nature has been especially generous and the activity options are almost endless.
Dense millenary forests, lakes and glacial rivers, and endless green valleys, confine the human being to live in villages and small cities that seem not to want to spoil such a beautiful landscape.
To enjoy all this, you can fly to Karlstad, capital of Värmland and inhabited by only 60, 000 people.
Värmland: the Swedish outdoor sports paradise © David Escribano
If you are going to spend a few hours in the city, take the opportunity to visit the Värmland Museum - which will give you a deep idea of the history of the region - and take a bike ride through the large park of Mariebergsskogen.
Rolling with the bike along the roads of this park is just a small snack of what awaits you the next day, when you enter with your mountain bike in Brattforsheden.
Brattforsheden is a protected natural area that covers an area of 11, 400 hectares. Its forests, dunes and lakes formed about 9, 500 years ago, after the melting of a 400-meter-thick glacier.
A good number of routes suitable for mountain bikes pierce this wild landscape. You can choose the most appropriate to your level, both physical and technical.
Sand, thick roots and rocks will make you have to keep your eyes fixed on the ground, but relax and allow yourself the luxury of stopping at several of the dozens of observation and rest points you'll find. Behind almost every curve is a postcard landscape.
Mother Nature displays all her power in Brattforsheden © David Escribano
Leave the mainland for water, so abundant in Värmland, whether in the form of rivers or lakes. Descending the calm waters of the Klarälven River paddling on a raft weighing about 2, 000 kg - made of wooden logs - is already an adventure worth telling.
However, best of all, you will have to build that raft with your own hands. It is a magnificent team activity that usually lasts two or three days. The Swedish family business Vildmark i Värmland has a campsite on one of the river's beaches.
It is there where you will find the large stacked logs and you will receive help and explanations from experts to build the huge raft.
Trunks around here, ropes over there, knots of all kinds, a good dose of coordination combined with the Viking force of the people who live in these parts and, after a few hours of work and laughter … Voilà !: You have a wooden raft that Huckleberry Finn would have wanted for her adventures in the Mississippi.
Descend through the waters of the Klarälven River in a raft made with your own hands! © David Escribano
After spending the night - although there really are only two or three hours of darkness - resting in rustic Swedish cabins, the descent of the Klarälven River begins early in the day .
It is a quiet trip, where the raft glides at a speed that oscillates between 4 and 7 km / h and you just have to be aware of dodging some swirls of water and not letting the current make you run aground on any of the banks of the Sweden's longest river.
These banks are upholstered with tall fir trees and other species of conifers, common in this area of Sweden. If you want to explore these forests more closely, put on some good hiking shoes and choose one of the routes that cross these lands.
A good option is the Långberget area . The Långbergets Sporthotell organizes a good number of guided activities in nature.
Vildmark i Värmland has a campsite on one of the river's beaches where to build the rafts © David Escribano
Trekking will allow you to know, on foot and closely, these magical forests, but if you want to see the most splendid animal that inhabits them, you should sign up for a moose watching safari.
About 10 at night, when the light begins to dim through these latitudes, parts in a jeep with an expert in moose and customs.
The elk, one of the illustrious inhabitants of the Värmland forest © Getty Images
He will lead you through paths only suitable for 4x4 vehicles until you find yourself face to face with one of these wonderful creatures. The elk weighs 600 kg and is 2 meters tall. Not bad for a species that feeds mainly on grass and small pines.
Males have huge and powerful horns that renew once a year. The print of one of these animals cut against the Swedish forest sunset is something you will not easily forget.
With the arrival of summer and the thaw, nature explodes in Sweden © David Escribano
In Långberget, you will also find a system of beautiful lakes that you can go by rowing on a canoe. This is one of the best ways to get to know the area at your own pace.
If you like this type of adventure, load with provisions for several days, a tent, a sleeping bag and go furrowing the waters from lake to lake - they are all connected through narrow channels - until it flows into the waters of the river Klarälven.
There is another Sweden when the snow melts. Both are beautiful in their own way, but the explosion of nature in summer dwarfs the figure of man while enlarging his heart.
Earth or water? In Långberget there are options for all tastes! © David Escribano