The name Småland means the small lands. The lands, or sub-provinces, were Finnveden, Värend, Njudung and others.
Småland is divided into three counties: North-western Jönköping County, south-western Kronoberg County, and eastern Kalmar County (including Öland).
- 1 Eksjö — One of the most well preserved traditional wood towns in Sweden.
- 2 Jönköping — The biggest city in Småland is located on the shores of lake Vättern. Known as "Sweden's Jerusalem".
- 3 Gränna — Known for polkagrisar (peppermint candy) and the Andrée Museum (of a balloon expedition to the North Pole)
- 4 Mariannelund
- 5 Vaggeryd — An industrial city once known for its furniture manufacturing.
- 6 Värnamo — Known for the morass Store Mosse National Park and the Old West-themed themepark High Chaparral.
- 7 Hultsfred — Famous for its pop festival.
- 8 Kalmar — Famous for its medieval castle, where the Kalmar Union was founded in 1397.
- 9 Nybro — Centre of "Glasriket" (the realm of glass), Småland's historical glassworks, whereof several are still active today.
- 10 Oskarshamn — A coastal town with a nearby archipelago.
- 11 Vimmerby — Home of Astrid Lindgren and seat for the Astrid Lindgren's World theme park.
- 12 Västervik and Tjust — Tjust is a traditional province dominated by the port town of Västervik, known for Lysingsbadet, one of the largest camping and bathing areas in the Nordic countries.
- 13 Växjö — Seat of Kronoberg County, the episcopal see of the Diocese of Växjö, and home to the main campus of Linnaeus University.
- 14 Ljungby — Town close to lake Bolmen surrounded by deep forests.
- 15 Älmhult — The first IKEA store, and birthplace of Carl Linnaeus.
- 1 Bolmsö. An island in the Bolmen lake.
- 2 Taberg. A mountain and natural reserve.
- 3 Visingsö. The largest island in lake Vättern.
- 4 Åsnen. A national park.
Småland is a very hilly province, with deep forests, abundance of lakes but with poor and rocky soils. Except for the Baltic coastline, Småland has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. Its northern and western parts contain highlands, and have a climate which is more similar to that of northern Sweden than its surroundings.
Due to the limited opportunities for farming, Småland was not united like other Swedish provinces, but was rather divided into several minor political units collectively known as the small lands, and hence the name Småland. When incorporated into Sweden, they were merged into one province.
Until the 17th century Småland was a border province between Sweden and Denmark, and the stage for several wars and civil uprisings. Småland's poor soils have forced waves of emigration, not least during the 19th century, when many inhabitants left for North America. During the 19th century the Free Church movement grew strong in Småland, especially in the area surrounding Jönköping, giving it the nickname "The Swedish Bible belt". In modern times, Småland is known for entrepreneurship, with glass manufacturing as well as the world-famous furniture retailer, IKEA.
The stereotype of the Småland people being frugal, hard-working and pious has to some extent been formed by writers such as Astrid Lindgren (see also Astrid Lindgren tourism) and Vilhelm Moberg.
In Småland, there are airports at Jönköping, Växjö and Kalmar. International travellers can use the Copenhagen airport and connect by train.
- SJ runs high speed trains between Malmö and Stockholm, some going from Copenhagen. They stop at Nässjö and Alvesta, where there is transfer to local trains.
- SJ also has trains between Gothenburg and Kalmar.
- Öresundståg - Trains from Copenhagen, stopping at Malmö, Lund, Alvesta, Växjö ending in Kalmar.
By train and bus
- Öresundstag — Trains Malmö-Alvesta-Växjö-Kalmar
- Jönköpings Länstrafik[dead link] — around Jönköping
- Länstrafiken Kronoberg — around Växjö, buses only
- Kalmar Länstrafik — around Kalmar
The larger roads E4 and E22 both head in a north-south direction; E4 through the western part of Småland and E22 by the eastern coastline. The intermediate area lacks major highways but have a web of smaller country roads.
- Astrid Lindgren tourism: Astrid Lindgren was one of the world's most successful writers of children's books. Many of her stories are set in or near her native Vimmerby, which has now a theme park: Astrid Lindgrens värld. Some of the film settings can be found nearby.
Småland has deep forests, hard to find anyway closer to the middle of Europe. They have great opportunities for outdoor life. In summer there are several major music festivals; including Emmabodafestivalen, focusing on electronic and indie music, and This is Hultsfred. The southernmost of Swedens large winter ski resorts is Isaberg Mountain Resort next to Hestra when following national road 26 from either Gislaved or Jönköping
Kroppkakor is a traditional dish, most popular along the eastern Småland coast. They are best described as potato-dumplings, about the size of a tennis ball, with filling made of pork and onion. They are served with lingonberry jam, butter and cream. It is similar to the dish palt, which is popular in Norrland, but contains some other ingredients.
The countryside contains many old farmhouses and cabins for sale or rent.
- Öland, Sweden's second largest island, is just a bridge away from Kalmar.
- Gotland, Sweden's largest island