Gränna: the home of Swedish candy canes

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One of Sweden’s most iconic sweets has its origins in Gränna: polkargrisar, the popular candy canes! But not only those with a sweet tooth will feel at home in the idyllic town on Lake Vättern – the town is also a perfect place for camping fans and nature lovers. You can find all the important information about the small town in the north of Småland here!

Why holiday in Gränna?

Gränna is a charming town on the eastern shore of Sweden’s second largest lake, Lake Vättern. Here, idyllic lakeside scenery meets the picturesque hilly landscape of Småland and an interesting cultural background. Gränna is famous for one thing in particular: delicious candy canes!

The popular Swedish sweet was invented in Gränna and still influences the cityscape. Countless confectioners and sweet manufacturers offer all kinds of polkagrisar – if you are looking for a typical Swedish souvenir, you will definitely find it here.

But Gränna is also worth a visit in other ways – you can spend a relaxing camping holiday here, go on hiking tours, stroll around the wooden house-lined town centre or take a ferry to the legendary island of Visingsö in Lake Vättern. It certainly won’t be boring here!

Gränna Holidays
In Gränna, you can enjoy a holiday against a fantastic natural backdrop.

Where is Gränna?

Gränna is located on the eastern shore of Lake Vättern in the north of the historic province of Småland, not far from the town of Jönköping, which lies at the southern tip of the lake. The small town is approximately halfway between Malmö (approx. 330 km by car) and the Swedish capital Stockholm (290 km by car). Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg, is approximately 190 kilometres away.

Gränna: weather

Due to its location in the southern part of Sweden, Gränna has a milder climate than the north of the country. It is therefore particularly suitable to visit the city in the summer months, as the summers are mild and pleasant, the warmest month being July with an average temperature of 17 degrees. Due to its location by the lake, however, it can also be windy – and there can be rain showers, which is why you should bring an umbrella or rain jacket.

Gränna: places of interest

Gränna: candy canes and polkagris

You can’t get past them in Gränna: polkagrisar (plural of polkagris, meaning “polka pig”), originally red and white peppermint sticks. Dozens of sweet shops and confectioners line the streets of Gränna, and for good reason: Amalia Eriksson, the inventor of the candy canes, opened her own shop here in 1859, where she produced and sold the treats. They quickly became a real bestseller and were so popular that even members of the royal family stopped by Amalia’s candy store in Gränna. Today, a statue in Gränna Park commemorates the successful businesswoman.

Polkagrisar are so popular in Sweden that, like kanelbullar and waffles, they have their own day : 20 April is Polkagrisens dag.

Thanks to Amalia Eriksson, Gränna is a real hotspot for sweets and is still the centre of candy cane production. You can not only buy the candy canes, which come in all shapes, colours and flavours (they make excellent souvenirs!), but also watch them being traditionally made. In some factories, you can also try your hand at kneading, rolling and moulding the sugar mass yourself. Every year on 25 July, the world championship in polkagris production also takes place.

Gränna Candy Canes
Gränna is famous for its candy canes and sweets in all shapes and sizes.

By ferry from Gränna to Visingsö

A highlight not to be missed when in Gränna is the island of Visingsö in Lake Vättern. The long and narrow island (14 km long, maximum 3 km wide) plays a major role in the culture and history of Sweden – due to its tactical location, the country’s first royal seat, Näs slott castle, was located here in the 12th and 13th centuries. The ruins of this castle and Visingsborg can be visited today. There are also rune stones and other prehistoric archaeological sites. Brahe Church is also worth a detour.

Visingsö is about six kilometres from Gränna. There is a ferry from here that takes you to the island in no time at all. It departs several times a day between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m., and every half hour during the day in the summer months. The journey takes 25 minutes.

Gränna Mountain & Tegnér Tower

Gränna is located on Gränna Hill – a trip to the top is not to be missed. A staircase begins not far from the church, with 243 steps leading up. At the top, you can reward yourself with a fika in the popular café. If you want to go even higher, you should visit the Tegnér Tower, which is around one and a half kilometres away. 144 steps take visitors to a height of 351 metres – from up here you have a fantastic view over Gränna, Vättern, Visingsö and the surrounding nature of the four Swedish provinces that surround the lake.

Gränna Mountain Viewing Platform
From the nearby mountain you have a fantastic view over Gränna and the region.

On the shores of Lake Vättern

Gränna’s location on the shores of Lake Vättern makes it the ideal starting point for outdoor activities of all kinds. You can hike, walk or cycle along the shore. You can also go on excursions on the water – either on a ferry or boat trip or by canoe or kayak. Of course, there are also bathing spots where you can cool off from the summer heat or relax in general.

Accommodation in Gränna

Gränna camping and campsites

Camping is one of the most popular types of holiday in Sweden, especially, but not only, in summer. This is because the Scandinavian country has the perfect conditions for a camping holiday – pure nature. Campsites are ideal accommodation, especially for families, and many campsites are located right by the water. Whether with a tent on a campsite or with a motorhome on a pitch – in Gränna you will find a suitable spot on the banks of the Vättern.

If you want to be even quieter and more in touch with nature, you can go wild camping. The Swedish Everyman’s Right allows you to spend the night in the great outdoors – but there are also some rules and regulations that you should follow! If you do this, you can get to know a whole new side of Swedish nature and have an extraordinary holiday in the beautiful wilderness of Småland!

Gränna: Hotels and holiday homes

If you don’t want to miss out on the luxury of a real bed, you can stay in a hotel or holiday home. As Gränna is a popular holiday destination in the summer months, there is a wide range of offers, often in central locations or close to the water.

You can get the real Swedish feeling with a holiday home – the Swedes love to spend their summer in a red-painted hut in the countryside – quite a few of them own their own stuga. Even if you’re not Swedish, a holiday home has some advantages – there’s plenty of space, but also independence and the opportunity to cook. Depending on the situation, you can also bring pets, which is often more difficult in hotels.

Travelling to Gränna

By car and ferry to Gränna

If you’re starting from Germany or Denmark, the journey to Gränna is not quite as long, as Gränna is located in the southern part of Sweden. Further, its distance to Swedish ferry towns is not that far. You can take a ferry to Gothenburg, Malmö or Trelleborg, for example. From there, it is then “only” a two to four hour journey to Gränna – a comparatively short distance by Scandinavian standards. Alternatively, you can also choose the overland route by ferry between Germany and Denmark and travel over the Öresund Bridge.

Travelling to Gränna
Gränna and Lake Vättern are quite easy to reach from Germany and Denmark or Swedish ferry towns

By plane to Gränna

Alternatively, you can travel to Gränna comfortably by plane. The airports in Stockholm and Gothenburg are well connected to the British flight network, so you can easily reach the Swedish cities from many cities in the UK. From there, you can cover the rest of the distance by train or hire car.

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