Dalarna, latinized form Dalecarlia, is a province and county in the region Svealand, in Sweden. It has a population of almost 280,000 and mostly consists of smaller towns, except for the two larger ones; Borlänge and Falun.
Dalarna is Svealand's largest province with much difference between the mountainous wilderness in the north-west, and the flat south-eastern farmlands.
|Västerdalarna (Vansbro, Malung, Sälen and Älvdalen)
The forested, mountainous border to Värmland and Norway contains ski resorts and wildlife.
|Siljansbygden (Mora, Orsa, Rättvik, Leksand, Gagnef, Tällberg and Gesunda)
The settlements around Lake Siljan make up an archetype of Swedish folk culture.
|Dalabergslagen (Avesta, Borlänge, Hedemora, Falun, Ludvika, Smedjebacken, Säter)
A mining and metalworking district, more populated than the rest of Dalarna.
- Avesta, small town where you'll find the largest Dala Horse in the world
- Borlänge, a blue-collar town and friendly rival of its sibling Falun
- Falun, known for its copper mine, and two of its by-products: red paint and sausage.
- Leksand, famous for its Midsummer celebrations and ice hockey team
- Mora, home of the Dala Horse
- Orsa, with nice small-scale skiing and Europe's largest bear park
- Rättvik, with great views over lake Siljan
- Vansbro, known for its annual river swimming contest
Dalarna is an important province in the history of Sweden. Several uprisings against foreign and domestic rulers have occurred. The most famous is how Gustav Vasa, the last remain of the Swedish nobility after the Stockholm Bloodbath, hid in Dalarna when the Danish were looking for him. Here he sought support amongst the locals for an uprising against the Danes, who had occupied Stockholm and thereby the control of Sweden.
As nationalism rose in the 19th century, the folk culture of Dalarna, especially in Siljansbygden, became important to national identity all across Sweden.
Dalarna has a thriving pop music scene, with the Peace and Love festival in Borlänge, and acts such as HammerFall and Miss Li.
As in the rest of Sweden, everyone, except the elderly, speaks some English. When it comes to local language, Dalarna has a special-sounding dialect. The dialect of Älvdalen is usually considered a language distinct from Swedish.
Resrobot is a search engine for all public transport inside Sweden.
Flights to Borlänge go from Stockholm, tickets can be booked online at the site of the airline Skyways. Borlänge can also be reached by air from Malmö, Gothenburg and from Oslo, the capital of Norway. Tickets online at Direktflyg. There are also domestic flights to Mora from Stockholm. Tickets available online at the site of the airline Avies. All airline sites have booking services in English.
Most cities are reachable by rail, either operated by SJ or by the regional company Tåg i Bergslagen. Tickets for both can be bought at the website of the Swedish railway company SJ.
Going by bus is usually slightly cheaper than by train. You can buy tickets at the website of Swebus Express (Available in English).
Travelling within cities is by bus, and the ticket can be used multiple times in one hour.
- Falun copper mine. Known as the Great Copper Mountain, the millennium-old mine and its surroundings are on the UNESCO World Heritage List since December 2001 and a must-see when in Falun.
Information and rental adresses are found in this region south of Malung
- Winter sport. In the northern part of the province there are several popular ski-resorts, such as Sälen and Idre. There's also a pretty big alpine resort i Borlange, called Romme Alpin.
- Dalhalla, in an old quarry outside Rättvik, ranks as the fourth best outside-arena in the world (by Austrian Magazin Festspiele). During the warmer half of the year lots of concerts and theatre plays are shown here.
- Kupolen. The largest shopping-mall in the province with over 80 stores and several more nearby, located in Borlänge.
- Dala Horses in Nusnäs, Mora.
There are dishes from all over the world available at restaurants. Domestic and international fast-food companies are well established.
There is nothing in particular to watch out for. Pickpockets may sometimes appear in crowded areas, such as popular markets and shopping malls. Although if you ask a local they'd probably be hard pressed to remember ever hearing about that kind of stuff.