The 1,067-km (667-mi) Inlandsbanan (inland railway) carries you along the spine of central northern Sweden, Built to serve the logging industry, it has now diversified to cater for the burgeoning tourist trade. The pace of the train is very laid back. As befits a Swedish operation, you are transported at an average speed of 50 kph (30 mph) through magnificent pine and birch forests.
As the train departs Mora on its northbound journey, all eyes are drawn to the deep forest where yellow wild flowers line the track. This is an ideal habitat for bear, reindeer and moose and the train will conveniently slow down if any are spotted, so be sure to have your camera primed and ready. The train passes many water features on the way but the waterfalls at Strorstupet and Helvetesfallet are the most spectacular.
Whilst it is possible to make this gentle journey inside two days, it is best experienced in separate stages with stopovers between. Aside from the wonderful forest surroundings, there is much to enjoy on the way. The first main stop is at Ostersund. More associated with winter sports, it takes on a different life in summer.
A picturesque little town, it offers historic walks, a heritage museum and the splendid Lake Storsjon is nearby.
The next stop, Vilhelmina, is most worthy of exploration. Surrounded by invigorating fast flowing streams, it is home to many Sami artisans and has many naturally heated pools and an extensive cycleway.
WHEN TO GO:
The train runs only in summer (June to August).
TIME IT TAKES:
Two days without stopovers
The Jamtli Historieland – a heritage museum in Ôstersund.
The Inland Railway Museum at Gallivare.
Beaverland – a Sami craft gallery located in vilhelmina.
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Summer brings out the area’s large mosquito population. This should not be a problem if you take precautions, insect repellent can be effective, but you should also avoid using halrspray or any other highly perfumed products.