The region of Småland is one of dense forests, glinting lakes and bare marshlands. Historically it served as a buffer zone between the Swedes and Danes; the eastern and southern coasts in particular witnessed territorial tussles. Today it’s better known for the Glasriket (Kingdom of Glass), a sparsely populated area in the central southeast dotted with crystal workshops. Småland is broken up into län (smaller counties): Jönköpings in the northwest, Kronobergs in the southwest and Kalmar in the east.
With its hypnotic glass-blowing workshops, the ‘Kingdom of Crystal’ (www.glasriket.se) is Sweden’s third-biggest drawcard after Stockholm and Göteborg. There are at least 11 glass factories (look for glasbruk signs), most with long histories: Kosta, for example, was founded in 1742.