Woodland and lake landscape in western Värmland
The municipality of Arvika Kommun in the west of the central Swedish province of Värmlands Län reaches with its northern tip to the Norwegian state border and is characterised above all by a landscape that is extremely rich in forests and lakes. The central town is the small harbour city Arvika on the shore of the almost 100 square kilometre large lake Glafsfjorden.
With a land area of 1,650 square kilometres, Arvika Kommun is the third largest municipality in Värmland in terms of area after Torsby Kommun and Hagfors Kommun. Its greatest extent in north/south direction is about 85 kilometres, and in east/west direction it is about 45 kilometres.
In addition, there is a water area of over 300 square kilometres, which is formed by the above-average number of around 490 inland lakes. The three largest lakes, Glafsfjorden, Värmeln and Stora Gla, account for about two thirds of the water surface. This lake landscape is embedded in a densely forested, rocky and hilly landscape with elevations of up to 300 metres. The forestation consists mainly of deep coniferous forests and covers almost 90 percent of the land area within Arvika Kommun. Agricultural land occurs only sporadically and accounts for about five percent of the area.
Arvika Kommun as a tourist destination
Without question, Arvika Kommun is a good travel destination if you are primarily looking for impressive nature experiences – whether on foot, by bike or on the water. If you are a hiker, you will find a large network of hundreds of kilometres of marked hiking trails, as well as places to rest and spend the night. The routes vary in difficulty from short distances of only a few kilometres to hikes lasting several days. Some of the routes lead through one or more of the ten nature reserves within the municipality. The impressive Glaskogen Naturreservat alone, with 28,000 hectares the largest nature reserve in Värmland, has a total of 300 kilometres of hiking trails.
If you want to explore the region by bike, you can expect a network of trails with various degrees of difficulty, ranging from bike tours with the whole family to long distances for racing cyclists to technically demanding routes on mountain bikes. And for tours on the water, there is a total route network of around 800 kilometres for canoeing, with designated rest and overnight stops.
In addition to the abundant nature experiences, Arvika Kommun also offers you some cultural experiences. There is a lively arts and crafts scene, especially in ceramics, and the Rackstadmuseet in the central town of Arvika is one of Sweden's best-known art museums. Arvika also has a long motorsport tradition and has produced some of the greats of Swedish motorsport such as Kenny Bräck, Per Eklund and Tommy Kristoffersson. In the Arvika Fordonsmuseum, founded by Per Eklund, you can marvel at over 100 different vehicles from several eras, in addition to racing cars.
In the open-air museum Brunskogs Hembygdsgård or in the historic industrial plant Brunsbergs Kvarn och Bruk you can immerse yourself in the living and working conditions of past generations. On the other hand, you can experience an old but very much alive tradition during a visit to Klässbols Linneväveri, the only linen damask weaving mill in Scandinavia that has been producing the finest home textiles since the early 20th century.
Arvika Kommun in figures
Arvika Kommun is the second largest municipality in Värmland in terms of population, but with around 26,000 inhabitants it has a population density of just under 16 inhabitants per square kilometre. Around 14,000 of these live in the immediate vicinity of the central town of Arvika, which is the fourth largest town in Värmland. The other towns within the municipality are much smaller; the next largest town, Jössefors, has only 700 inhabitants.