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Bordering Norway to the west, Dalarnas län (county) occupies a broad swath of land in middle Sweden. It runs from the remote and rugged landscapes of Grövelsjön and Idre in the northwest for about 350km to its southeastern extent, putting it within striking distance for holidaying Stockholmers.

At its heart, the shimmering waters of Lake Siljan, mirror-like in the late, midsummer sun, are bounded by mythical forests and rolling hills dotted with those picture perfect red-painted cottages that epitomise Swedish country life. Dalarna is also the origin of the iconic painted wooden Dalahäst (Dala horse) central to Swedish folklore.

Falun is the county capital, with its World Heritage copper mine and opportunities to get active in the great outdoors year-round. Stock up on painted horses outside Mora in the village of Nusnäs or if it is relaxing you seek, the village of Tällberg is sure to please.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Dalarna.