Once you have visited Värmland and Fryksdalen, you are likely to return. The beautiful countryside and the valley around the lake offer great potential for you to be able to enjoy the outdoor life and the culture. At Tossebergsklätten, the view is magnificent and stretches over a majority of Fryksdalen.

Here, legend meet reality, above all through Selma Lagerlöf’s stories. Many buildings and places are described in her novels, but with other names, in “Gösta Berling’s saga” in particular. Ekeby, for example, originates from Rottneros manor in Rottneros Park and Lake Fryken is described as “Löven” in Gösta Berling’s saga. Tossebergsklätten is what inspired Selma Lagerlöf to write about Gurlitta klätt. Selma Lagerlöf lived most of her life on her mansion Mårbacka, which is now a memorial estate and a large tourist attraction. The theatrical company Västanå Theatre has adapted many of Selma Lagerlöf’s stories for the stage in Berättarladan – a stage right next to Rottneros Park.

Places to see along the way

Mogården’s and Illberg’s cemetery

After having passed Apertin’s manor, by Mogården and Illberg, you will find two typical Iron Age cemeteries with all in all 50 piles and stone formations. Stone formations and smaller barrows were the most common burial forms in the Iron Age, and are often gathered in cemeteries. In the Iron Age, the dead were often burned before they were buried. Usually, the grave was built above the gathered remains of the funeral pyre.

Through the area, the railway embankment from Sweden’s first public railway, stretches from Fryksta to Clara Elfs jernväg.


Fryksta-Clara Elfs jernväg

The railway “Frykstabanan”, which was initiated in 1849 by King Oscar I was the first railway used for public traffic. This train line was busy between 1849 and 1871 and travelled between Fryksta, (by the lower Fryken), and Lyckans loading area (by the river Klarälven). During the 1st year ox- or horse-drawn carriages only drove there, but in June, in 1856, the locomotive engine Fryckstad was commissioned. Mainly for the purpose of shipping iron and wooden goods, but also for passenger transport. At Illberg, there is a memorial as well as remains of the railway. You can also find distinct traces of the railway embankment. Near Frejakajen in Fryksta, there is also a small railway museum.


Apertin’s manor and nature reserve

Apertin’s history goes back to the 12th century, when monks settled down, having arrived from Aberdeen to christianize Värmland. The name Apertin is most probably an attempt to make the name Aberdeen more Swedish.

Apertin’s manor is situated in a nature reserve, with deep gullies, which have been worn by waterflow, as well as beautiful greenery. Apertin’s gullies became a natural monument in 1936, and was thereby the county’s first nature protected area.

The manor’s oldest part, the ground floor, is from 1670. The cavaliers, who were noble officers, used to gathered here to dine and feast with countess Sara Catharina Linroth Löwenheim. Here Selma Lagerlöf found the inspiration to write about Gösta Berling’s saga’s “Ekeby” and also from a priest operating in the parish at the time. Read more about blood stains and ghosts…

Fryksta Pottery and Garden Coffeehouse

Fryksta Pottery is located at the most southern part of lower Fryken. The pottery designs and makes utility articles as well as exhibits in stoneware clay. The workshop is in conjunction with the shop, and therefore it is possible to see the manufacturing of the items.

You can also book an appointment to make your own pottery, a bowl – signed, glazed and kilned. 

In conjunction with the pottery, there is also a garden coffeehouse, serving home-baked bread.


S/S Freja af Fryken is a steamer, launched in 1869 and foundered in Bössviken, Östra Ämtervik, in 1896. 11 people perished. The boat was salvaged and restored in 1994 and operated on Fryken until 2016. The steamer is now under restoration and is being rebuilt to be a museum, which will open in 2018.

By the docks, “Frejakajen”, in Fryksta, there is a small museum, well worth visiting. In the museum, you can take part of the history of the steamer Freja, and see the items that were found when the boat was salvaged. Here you will also find the coffeehouse, Café Freja.

Nilsbybron/Harry Nyquist/Kammersrudseken

he bridge, Nilsbybron, was built in 1997, and received the “Beautiful roads’”-award that same year. It is made up of eleven ranges of concrete arches, shaped in red concrete.

At the eastern bridge abutment, there is a memorial, in honor of the technics genius and inventor Harry Nyquist, who came from Nilsby.

At the eastern side, approximately 1,5 kilometers north of the bridge, in the village Kammersrud, you will find the oldest oak in Värmland, believed to be 1000 years old. In the gnarled, whitened tree trunk there is a hole, which was made in the olden days to pull sick children through. According to folklore, it was a way to expel the evil from their bodies.


Hagudden is a beautiful cape, located in the middle part of Fryken, north of Nilsby. Here, you will find piers, a grass court and a sandy beach. The farm, Hage, is one of the oldest farms in the neighborhood. Take the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful surroundings or go for a swim in Lake Fryken.


The barrows of Smedsby

At Smedsby, in the steep slope down towards Lake Fryken, you will find one of the most beautiful areas in Värmland. Here you will find graves from the Bronze Age (1800-500 B.C.). On plateaus and landings, visible from the water, there is a large patch of five barrows and eleven stone circles. The patch is marked with orange colored poles.


Östra Ämtevik’s church

The church is known as Selma Lagerlöf’s church. Here, the Lagerlöf family grave is located. The present church was built 1978-1998 and replaced the earlier medieval church, which burnt to the ground after having been struck by lightning. In the 1920s, Selma Lagerlöf donated an oil painting by Paul Piltz to be used as altarpiece. The cross was taken down, and the painting with the crucified Jesus was used instead.

Ås Brunn, Östra Ämtervik’s heritage centre

Erik Gustaf Lagerlöf, Selma Lagerlöf’s father, started the arterial well business in Södra Ås in 1855, which he then ran until the 1950s. 

The local history society started in 1948. The heart of the heritage centre is presently a double cottage from the 18th century. In the area, you will find an outdoor stage and a dancing barn. During the summer, the restaurant, “Brunnsrestaurangen”, is used for parties. Every year, at the beginning of August, there is a Lagerlöf feast and, celebrating Selma Lagerlöf’s books with theatre performances. Here, you can also find “Östra Emtervik’s Sparbanksmuseum”.

The Horse Cab Museum

The museum exhibits carriages, traps, sleds and farming machines. These were used from 1800 until the early 1900s. In the museum, there is a two-level carriage hall, a stable and a harness chamber.

The museum is run by the “Trillan and churchroads’ society”. In the summer, the society arranges hikes along old church roads, with features of historical tales and cuffers.


South of Mårbacka, there is a rock that looks like a little sofa, called “Vilarstenen”. Here, the ghost of a murdered medieval priest attacked people until the end of the 17th century. 

He stopped haunting people after having made an agreement with Selma Lagerlöf’s ancestress.