Älmhults Kommun

From lakes and forests to IKEA and Linné

In the southwest of the småland province of Kronobergs Län, where the wooded Småland meets the provinces of Skåne and Blekinge, lies the municipality of Älmhult – home of IKEA as well as Sweden's most famous scientist, Carl von Linné (1707 – 1778).

If you approach Älmhult from the south, the predominance of Skåne's agricultural land gradually disappears and gives way to the wooded landscape of Småland. Around the central town Älmhult in the extreme south of the municipality, the landscape is a little more open, but becomes increasingly wooded to the north.

The landscape of the municipality of Älmhult

The woodland, consisting mainly of coniferous forest, is interrupted here and there by some marshland and small scattered meadows and fields, but above all by just over 100 lakes, which cover about 10 percent of the region. Möckeln, the largest lake in the municipality, is about 46 square kilometres in size and borders directly on the outskirts of Älmhult. From there, it extends northwards through the entire municipality to the area of the neighbouring municipality of Ljungby.

The many lakes offer innumerable possibilities for fishing or canoeing, and the possibilities for canoeists are further increased by the river Helgeån, which crosses the entire municipality. The Helgeån river is a designated route for canoeing, with numerous places to stay and rest on its banks, and in combination with several lakes that the Helgeån crosses on its way, the canoe route has a total length of almost 100 kilometres. Not only anglers or canoeists will enjoy this much water, the lakes also have several large and small bathing areas, so there are plenty of opportunities to refresh yourself in the water of a clear lake on a hot summer's day.

The predominantly flat terrain and several little frequented side roads and well developed paths are well suited to explore nature by bike. To dive even deeper into the partly wilderness-like nature there are also numerous possibilities for extended walks or hikes. The easiest way to do this is to follow the marked circular paths within the ten nature reserves in the municipality of Älmhult, whereby the nature reserve Höö on the island of the same name in the lake Möckeln is the largest in the region with 365 hectares.

Sagobygden and known representatives

At a total of ten locations within the municipality, you can find the origins of folk tales and legends, because the southwest of Småland is also known as the Swedish fairyland (Sagobygden), from which many of Sweden's written folk tales originate. The individual places of the often mysterious traditions are well signposted and at each place there is a small showcase with the history written down in Swedish, German and English.

Sagobygden, with a total of 40 different mystical places, stretches from the municipality of Älmhult to the neighbouring municipalities Alvesta Kommun and Ljungby Kommun, with the romantic fairy tale museum Sagomuseet in Ljungby being the centre of attention.

The municipality of Älmhult is also the home of two world-famous names. One is the IKEA company, whose rapid rise to the world's largest furniture company began in 1958 with the opening of its first furniture store in the centre of Älmhult. And it was precisely this very first IKEA furniture store that was transformed into the IKEA Museum in 2016, which tells the exciting story of the furniture giant in a very vivid way.

The second important person from the region is the botanist Carl von Linné (1707 – 1778). Carl von Linné was the one who developed the binary nomenclature used until today, according to which all animal and plant species are designated by uniform Latin names. His birth house is located at its original place in the cultural reserve Linnés Råshult and still looks like in the early 18th century, like the associated gardens, in which little Carl discovered his love for botany at an early age.

The municipality of Älmhult in figures

With an area of around 980 square kilometres, the municipality of Älmhult is one of the medium-sized municipalities in the province of Kronobergs Län. With almost 18,000 inhabitants within the municipality, the population density is a little below the national average with slightly less than 20 inhabitants per square kilometre. Slightly more than half of the inhabitants, about 9,500, live in the surrounding area of the central town Älmhult. Another 900 inhabitants live in Diö, the second largest village within the municipality, and Liatorp, the third largest village, has only slightly more than 500 inhabitants.