Experience a tour in the unique & historical landscape of Västmanland, a province situated in Central Sweden. The focus on this tour is on organic farming, local food and experiencing the overwhelming nature that surrounds the organic farm Fallängetorp.
- Experience the Swedish countryside and organic farming
- Go down to a 155 meter level in the Silver mine of Sala
- Beaver and Breakfast tour at sunrise
- Nature photo walk in the scenic Black River Valley
- Forest bathing session
- Bushcraft, the basics of boreal survival and forest living
- Outdoor cooking session & other local food experiences
Less than 2 hours northwest from Stockholm you will find the province of Västmanland, situated in Central Sweden. In Västmanland there is a lot of fantastic nature in which you can indulge yourself like for example the Black River Valley. The Black River Valley (Svartådalen) is a unique, historical Swedish landscape with marches, wetlands and lakes in open farmland. Here you’ll experience wide-open spaces, great forests, wilderness and silence as well cultural heritage set in the beautiful countryside. Svartådalen’s wetlands are classified as internationally important for a number of migratory birds and are part of the EU’s valuable natural areas recognized as Natura 2000 and designated as a Ramsar site by the International Wetlands Convention. On this tour you will get a glimpse of what the beautiful nature of Sweden can offer.
Fallängetorp is a rural, natural and homely organic farm that you can call your home during the 4 days tour. The farm dating from the 16th century is situated in the scenic Black River Valley and comfortable lodging is waiting for you at the B&B Mellangården which is situated at the farm.
You will be surrounded by the forest, meadows and animals and will have the opportunity to experience the rustic tranquility and the amazing silence of the autumn nights. In Mellangården you will sleep in a double room and there are three shared bathrooms in the building. The ground floor is adapted to people with limited ability, both the bedrooms, the bathroom and the kitchen are adapted and accessible for people in wheelchairs.
In the B&B Mellangården you will be able to enjoy a rural breakfast and Swedish home cooked meals. It is an excellent place to try out how it feels to be a Swedish farmer on an organic farm with breeding of cows, sheep and pigs.
Day 1 – to the scenic and historical landscape of the Black River Valley, above and 155 meters below ground
The tour start at 9.00 when we meet up with the appreciated Bushcraft and Survival Instructor Jonas for a 2-hour workshop focusing on the basics of robust outdoor life. Jonas will talk about the definition of Bushcraft and Survival explaining the basics of boreal survival and forest living. Three of the most basic components of Bushcraft are Fire, Shelter and Water. During this session you will get to learn about fire and practice your fire making skills using a ferro rod (fire steel) producing sparks that will ignite different tinder materials.
After the bushcraft we drive to the small city of Sala and the Sala silvermine. There we will be served lunch in the restaurant Värdshuset, which is one of the many cultural heritage buildings on site. In the old days the water system engineer of the mine lived here with his family. Traditional Swedish Raggmunk with lingonberries will be served to prepare you for the underground tour. After lunch we visit the old Silver mine of Sala, one of the world’s best preserved mining heritage sites. Together we will go down into the mine for a guided tour on the 155 meter level, this level can be reached by elevator and is entirely accessible for wheelchairs. You will experience a large cavity where silver ore was found in the 1700s, long galleries and the unique Mine Suite – the world’s deepest hotel room. Meanwhile you will be learning about the long history of the silver mine, its surroundings and the important connection to the national history of Sweden. Please note that it is cold in the mine, so everyone needs to bring warm clothes.
When we have coming up from the 155 meter level, we will drive to Västerfärnebo and the visitor center of the rural Black River Valley. There you will get the opportunity to see an exhibition about the unique landscape of the valley and also get an insight of the area of Sweden in which you are spending a few days. Then we are taking you to Fallängetorp, the farm that will be your home during the tour in the region of Västmanland. You will get time to feel at home in your room and freshen up. The day will end with a two course dinner and a rather early night.
Day 2 – Learn everything there is to know about beavers on a Beaver & Breakfast tour and enjoy a nature photo walk in the beautiful Black River Valley
We wake up early and go by bus to Edens garden B&B. Before sunrise we paddle quietly to the beaver’s realm. At that time the nocturnal animals are taking a last meal, washing themselves and preparing for sleep, while the day animals wake up. This moment is one of the most beautiful times of the day! The upcoming morning light creates perfect conditions to experience a pageant of unique moments within the beaver’s realm. When the sun has risen into the sky we paddle back to base camp. Here the host will offer you a delicious breakfast, cooked over an open fire. Tasteful fried eggs with freshly brewed coffee make this experience complete. During breakfast, the guide will tell you about the beaver habitat and the bio diversity of the Black River Valley.
After that we go back to Fallängetorp and you get some time to rest before lunch. Charge your batteries on both the camera and yourself. We meet the nature photography guide Sylvia after lunch, where you will join her for an 8 km walk. To those who have difficulty walking, we offer you to use our Zoom Uphill, a four-wheel drive off-road vehicle. Photo walks are a great way to get out and get clicking, either by yourself or with a group of people. It is a great way to learn creative skills in a practical, inspiring and friendly environment. The idea behind a photo walk is to make you more aware and mindful of the surroundings. What do we look for when shooting in nature? There are some triggers that will attract us to certain things such as the quality of light, colors, forms, different angles/perspectives & compositions. We will try to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. By isolating your subject by experimenting with shallow depth of field, you will create a more interesting image.
You don’t need expensive camera gear, as long as you bring something that takes photos, you’re set. It is not the camera that makes outstanding pictures, it is the photographer behind the camera. If you have a digital camera you can bring it along, try to also limit yourself to one lens. Feeling light and comfortable helps keep your creative juices flowing. Halfway through the walk you will be served coffee/tea and good homemade cake. After this nature photo walk you will have learned a lot but also have had a lot of fun! Full of inspiration and a lot of pictures to show to each other it´s time for a good local and organic two course dinner with ingredients grown on the farm lands surrounding Fallängetorp.
Day 3 – Live like a Swedish farmer and learn more about forest bathing and outdoor cooking
After a good night sleep we prepare to go outside where you will experience the life of a Swedish farmer on an organic farm with cows, sheep, pigs, horses, dogs and cats. We will go by tractor and trailer to all the different sites of the farm and give all the animals their food and water. Off course there will be opportunities to cuddle them. We will let you know how it is like working on an organic farm and what it means for us, the animals, the future and nature’s sake. When all the animals have got their food and love, we will gather in Mellangården. You will get time to freshen up after which we serve lunch.
After lunch you will get the chance to challenge yourself and relax from everyday stress. By leaving everyday life and technology aside and allowing nature and animals to speak to you. You will get a picnic basket, a sheepskin and a place in the forest where you can sit or lay down and just be with yourself and nature for a forest bathing session. At first you will maybe not notice the small things that surround you, but probably after a while, you will hear an ant pulling a needle to its home. It´s an amazing experience to see what happens with your thoughts and feelings, in the body as in the mind after the forest bathing session.
When the evening is coming it´s time to take the tractor and carriage to the farm ruin of China and around the burning fire prepare a two-course dinner made of organic raw ingredients from the farm, local food producers and the nature around us. We sit together to enjoy our dinner, coffee made over the fire, and the evening’s silence – if we are lucky even the presence of wildlife and the stars in the sky. When we feel up to it we go back by tractor and trailer to Mellangården and get a good night sleep.
Day 4 – Time for a last cuddle with the animals and then time to go home
After a late breakfast you will get the opportunity to take a last walk or cuddle with some of the animals before we will drive you to the train station from which you can start your way home.