The Big Six: Swedish retreats

From lakeside locations to stone farmhouses and city harbours

Angavallen, Skane

This idyllic farm is set on a bucolic patch in Skane county, just south of Malmo. It specialises in chemical-free produce, with 100-per-cent organic food served in its farm-to-fork restaurant, shop, cafe and on-site bakery. Even the resident cows, sheep and pigs are fed from the farm's untainted fodder. The ethical ethos doesn't mean there's a compromise on quality though: guests can dine on sourdough bread with smoked salmon for Sunday brunch, or pack picnics to take to nearby beaches. The 11 bedrooms and eight apartments are also delivered in the same spirit, with linen made from unsprayed cotton and an organic breakfast of bread, eggs, sausages and cheeses.

Angavallen, Norra Haslov, Skane (00 46 40 42 32 50; Doubles from Sk1,600 (£148), including breakfast.

Villa Sjotorp, Uddevalla

This fairytale house by the sea covers all the bases for an active summer escape. Located north of Gothenburg, in the waterfront town of Ljungskile, it has its own private beach, with bikes to borrow and the nearby mountain region of Norra Fjallet for hikers in search of strenuous walks. For waterborne adventures, there are kayaks to hire and island tours of the nearby archipelago from Uddevalla harbour. Afterwards, guests can dine in the hotel's garden, then crash out in one of 10 traditional bedrooms.

Villa Sjotorp, Ljungskile, Uddevalla (00 46 522 201 74; Doubles from Sk1,598 (£149), B&B.

Stora Hotellet, Gotaland

You could be forgiven for humming "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" during a stay at Stora Hotellet. With an idyllic location on a pier in the seaside town of Fjallbacka, it offers the prospect of lazy summer evenings spent eating local seafood and sipping chilled white wine while staring out past boat masts to the sunset. Elsewhere, a range of rooms, apartments and houses stand scattered around the pier, with nautical hues or interiors that pay tribute to ports around the world.

Stora Hotellet, Fjallbacka, Vastra Gotaland (00 46 525 310 60; Doubles from Sk1,690 (£157), B&B.

Smaland Manor, Smaland

Avenues of trees and flourishing herb gardens surround this rural villa in the southern province of Smaland. Converted into a guesthouse in 2008, it's owned by keen gardeners, who have transformed the grounds and named the three suites after flowers. Paeonia is painted in pink, Helleborus in shades of green and Hemerocallis in rustic orange. Downstairs, you'll find original 1930s parquet floors, home-cooked food, a background soundtrack of classical music and strictly no televisions.

Smaland Manor, Ryd, Smaland (00 49 163 737 2509; Doubles from €107, B&B.

Hotel Stelor, Gotland

This 18th-century stone farmhouse stands on the west coast of Gotland – Sweden's largest island. Each of the six charming rooms are atmospherically decked out with antiques and trinkets. There are wooden floors under foot, soft pastel walls and huge windows, facing the large two-acre garden, that let in floods of light. Seafood is served alongside summer salads in the on-site restaurant. The coastal city of Visby, a favoured playground for Swedes in summer, is a short drive away.

Hotel Stelor, Vastergarn Stelor 117, Gotland (00 46 707 96 01 28; Doubles from Sk1,950 (£180), B&B.

Hotel J, Stockholm

With Hotel J, you get the benefits of a city while staying by the sea. Located on Stockholm's harbour, a 10-minute drive from the Swedish capital's red-brick buildings, it offers New England-style rooms with star-spangled furnishings, Gant linens, whitewashed walls and wood-framed beds. At the water's edge, a restaurant entices locals and overnight guests with its summer terrace and a seafood menu that includes plates of grilled seabass, lemon sole and smoked prawns.

Hotel J, Nacka Strand, Stockholm (00 46 8 601 30 00; Doubles from Sk1,112 (£103), B&B.

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