For years, Camilla Läckberg has remained firmly planted within my top ten favourite authors list. Her stories are beautifully written tales, intricately woven with characters and history and murder. And so, when my husband and I booked our summer vacation to Sweden, I had but one request — we had to visit the site where Läckberg’s mysteries are set, the little village of Fjällbacka.
It was a two-hour drive from where we were staying to the coastal village of Fjällbacka. The drive there is filled with a mixture of pasture and forest, with Sweden’s adorable yellow and red homes dotting the farmlands outside our car window. Our GPS took us on a half-hour detour down a deserted gravel road and I joked that the murder mystery tour had already begun.
As we pulled into Fjällbacka, the landscape takes a sudden turn. The sea dazzles and sparkles in the sunlight while the dark rocks loom up behind the picturesque fishing village. This is what I’d been waiting for.
Arriving in town just before noon, we managed to snag one of the last parking spots in a lot just down from the church. The tall, stone spire of the kyrka scrapes its way across the skyline — the kind of old-world beauty you just don’t get back here in Canada. Shops line the street down towards the water and the cobblestones are packed with tourists window shopping and eating ice cream cones. Already, I could tell that this had the potential to be one of my favourite spots in the world.
Before we’d left, I’d really hoped to catch one of the “Camilla Läckberg Murder Mystery Tours.” I’d assumed that given the volume of tourists in the summer, they’d run them fairly frequently. I assumed wrong. Upon our arrival in Sweden, we called the visitor centre to inquire, but alas, the only one that month had taken place the weekend before. In fact, the town avoids advertising their famous author so completely, that at times I wondered if we were even in the right place.
But the lack of official guidance wasn’t going to deter me that easily. We were here to explore this murderous little village and explore it we would!
Traipsing throughout the village, my heart fairly sang. We wandered the streets and pier, soaking up the summer sun and the crisp, salty wind. Our first stop was along the water by the diving tower (a spot that features in some of Läckberg’s mystery novels.) The boats bobbed peacefully in the marina while coloured boat shacks lined the water’s edges. Everything about this place was cute. Cute. Cute. Cute.
After trekking around the tiny village, we decided to stop for a bite to eat at one of the restaurants along the pier, before heading up to hike Kungsklyftan.
Kungsklyftan is a really unique walk and ended up being one of the highlights for our family this trip. This huge hunk of granite rises up more than 200 feet above the shore and is, at one point, cleaved in two with several large rocks hanging from above to create a sort of ceiling.
This is one of Fjällbacka’s main tourist attractions and was, coincidentally, another check-mark off my list of sites mentioned in Läckberg’s novels. Kungsklyftan is a short trail made up of a mixture of wooden stairs, stone steps, and loose rock. The stairs to the top were quite tight with the number of tourists traipsing up and down but it was well worth the breathtaking views at the top.
We finished off the day with an ice cream cone by the water and a little bit of shopping (because what kind of tourist and mystery-enthusiast would I be if I didn’t buy a “Fjällbacka” hoodie?) And before we knew it, we were loading up the car with a couple of sleepy kids and a perfectly content mama, and heading off again on further adventures.
I could have quite happily spent hours here and would gladly return. There’s something so beautiful and peaceful about this tiny village and I can see why it’s been such an inspiration for Camilla Läckberg’s series. I can’t wait to give the books a re-read and see how they’ve been transformed by this first-hand experience.
Next on my Swedish bucket list:
Travelling the rest of the way down the coast to Gothenburg!
What’s one real-life “book location” that you’ve always wanted to visit?