Värmland - The River Klarälven, Karlstad, Arvika, Årjäng, Hagfors, Grums

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What does the name of the region mean?

It is not 100% clear where this name came from. One of the Latin versions was “Vermelandia”, which might be a reference to a lake with a similar name. Another theory is that the name can be translated as “warm country”, though this is not really the case for most of the year.

What is the region's historical importance?

Compared to other Swedish regions, there are not that many ancient remains, as this region was more sparsely populated than other regions. Of course, the close location to Norway also meant that the wars with Norway had quite an effect on the people of Värmland. While Värmland does have a lot of history to tell, most people do not go there for a lesson in history.

What is the region known for?

The region is known to have one of the most picturesque scenery in Sweden, which makes it very popular with tourists and photographers. There are many lovely, little lakes, gorgeous forests, and of course the beautiful mountains – though the mountains are not really that high. The tallest mountain in Värmland is just 701 meters high. The region has been an inspiration for many artists for a long time.

The region is also well known for its good moose meat. So if you are brave, and a meat-eater, you should try one of the local specialties with moose meat. You can actually find some rather interesting eating habits in this part of Sweden. One very good thing are the mushrooms though. They are called the berries of the forest, and definitely are worth a try (maybe with moose meat or on a pizza in one of the uncountable pizzerias in the region?)

The sheep of this region are one of the oldest sheep breeds in Scandinavia.

What are some places you need to visit in Värmland?

The River Klarälven

If you like rivers and are into alternative modes of exploring a region, then the river Klarälven might have just the right opportunity for you: you can go on a multiday rafting tour (or just go for one day) and see the region from a different point of view. The wooden rafts slowly let you admire the lush forests – usually it is best to go on a guided tour so you can learn more about the area, and everything from transport to food and tents will be organized for you.


Karlstad is the capital of the region, and also the largest city in Värmland. While the city has a cathedral, and a good museum, it is mainly used as a gateway to the nature outside the city. Spend a day or two in the city, get to know it a little, and then head into the real adventure.


This small city is known for the yearly Arvikafestivale, which is a music festival in summer. In general, Arvika is a good place for people who are interested in arts and culture. There is a glass blowing studio and a linen mill, for example. Arvika is surrounded by forests and nature reserves, so it is also a great gateway if you would like to explore some beautiful landscapes.


While Årjäng is neither big nor very popular with tourists, it might be a hidden gem for you if you would like to be close to the border of Norway, and explore some quiet forests.


This beautiful place is slowly discovering tourism – so now is a good time to go there. The activities are on offer, but the masses of tourists are not yet there. It is another place in this region where you can mainly experience the beautiful outdoors, but there are more guided activities on offer than in smaller town and villages. It's a good place to start if you are not an experienced outdoor person. There are also moose safaris and you can go horse-back riding if hiking is not your thing.


Grums is a lovely town at the lake Vänern. It has a bit over 5,000 people living there, so it is not a huge town. It has everything you need though, and is located in a very scenic part of the region (but then most places in the region are scenic!).