In West Sweden, there is a winter tradition that’s all about light. Residents believe that illumination and anticipation defeat the darkness; and that’s both physically and spiritually. That’s why Wintertime in the lead-up to Christmas is all about the sparkle.

Candles glow in windows, trees twinkle and the cold and snow is accented by a warmth emanating from every part of the region… it really makes for some really pretty pictures! But the lights aside, West Sweden offers some exciting, Christmassy experiences too – from the region’s capital in Gothenburg to the farthest Archipeligos – some of which we’ve taken the pleasure of highlighting below.

Christmas at Lådfabriken

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The gay owners of this wonderful property, Johan and Marcel (and their two dogs Bruno & Rödbär) welcome you to a very Swedish Christmas experience on the West Sweden archipelago. Their much talked-about Shellfish Christmas-table is available now until the weekend before Christmas, a traditional Swedish Christmas dinner, but with a special seafood touch, to remind you that you’re by the sea. After the merriment, you can stay overnight in their charming boutique property. It is really a special treat, as there are only 4 gorgeous rooms to choose from.

ladfabriken.eu

Lights on Artscape

Gothenburg’s Amtscape festival has drawn significant attention to the city’s street-art scene, but this Christmas, Gothenburg sets street-art alight! Not literally of course, but from the 1st December right into the first week of New Year, 11 works from the street-art festival is illuminated among the Christmas lights. And there’s an infamous, gay artist among them – but you’ll have to make a visit to find out which one!

artscape.se

Nude Santa

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Yes, you heard correctly. The West Swedish love to skinny dip in the winter, so if you can’t beat them, join them! In the Weather Islands or Väderöarna, you’ll find a stunning nature reserve with its very own archipelago of 365 islands. There, at the immaculately decorated (to an inch of its life) Weather Islands Guesthouse, you’ll enjoy a Christmassy “Touch the Sea” dinner. A seafood feast awaits you before you’re ushered into the sauna and hot tub with a view over the sea to warm up before you take a swim. Legend has it, Santa comes here for a dip to invigorate himself before the night ahead.

vaderoarna.com

Shop ’til you pop

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With nearly 5,000,000 Christmas lights you can’t expect anything less than a brilliant (if not the campest) Christmas at Liseberg. Sweden’s biggest and most atmospheric Christmas market. Liseberg is an amusement park that opened in 1923 and has since grown to be one of Europe’s biggest attractions and host to Sweden’s largest Christmas market boasting 80 stalls an ice-skating rink and a belly-busting Swedish Christmas buffet. Besides the traditional market, a more modern ‘Design Market’ is held each year, featuring both home-grown and international makers. The highlight for adults, kids and gay families alike is the Nutcracker Ice-skating show and also Santa’s World, with real life reindeers.

liseberg.com

To find out more about Christmas in Gothenburg, visit gothenburg.com

More West Swedish excitement and ideas at westsweden.com.

For all-year round LGBT-travel inspiration to the welcoming country of Sweden, visit visitswedenlgbt.com.

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