Ponies replace yachts in wintertime Västervik

There's only one way to see the picturesque town of Västervik during the winter months - and that's from the back of an Icelandic pony, writes Vic Bassey.

Ponies replace yachts in wintertime Västervik
Västervik. Photo: Shutterstock

The southern Swedish port town of Västervik is a picturesque marvel in the summer that has seen it garner a reputation as place of summer pilgrimage for the yachting set; however the town really comes into its own as the first flurry of snow settles to usher in the onset of winter.

Perched just off the coast in southern Sweden and against the backdrop of an astounding archipelago, Västervik offers something to cater to every taste and mood.

Winter Activities

One of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in all Västervik has to offer is to saddle up and embark on a guided tour of the town on horseback – Icelandic horses to be exact. As highlighted by the name, the pony-sized breed is reared in Iceland and is well regarded as a sturdy, dependable horse well suited to the harsh rigours of winter.

Led by a knowledgeable guide, the excursion can be experienced individually or with a group of up to seven other enthusiastic riders per tour keen to soak up all the town has to offer.

With a plethora of accommodation packages available, visitors can enjoy the experience for a couple of hours or over several days.

Food & Drink

With a focus on ingredients reared, tended and harvested locally, the town’s restaurants offer some of Sweden's best culinary experiences.

A mainstay since its inception in 1991, the Briggen restaurant is one of the town's oldest eating and drinking establishments and along with a wide assortment of tasty meals to choose from, the restaurant and pub also has over 60 different types of beer and around 150 different single malt whiskeys for punters to select from. Briggen also holds weekly quiz nights throughout the year.

For tasty dairy treats, then look no further than Saltmagasinet. An ambitious enterprise that also houses conference facilities, the establishment has been voted Västervik’s best restaurant every year since 2006 and is regularly on the list of top eateries in Sweden for its variety of organic dishes. While locally revered for its dairy delicacies, Salmagasinet also serves up a veritable feast of cosmopolitan cuisine, peppered with traditional Swedish favourites. It is a must for connoisseurs of fine cuisine.

Getting here

Regional train services run regularly from most major cities to Linköping, which in turn has trains that travel to Västervik daily. The town is also a few hours’ drive from at least three airports: Skavsta, Linköping city airport and Norrköping airport. All of the above as well as being easily accessible via all major modes of transportation make Västervik an attractive and ideal destination to unwind and while away the winter blues.

Article produced in cooperation with Västervik – Sweden's most beautiful archipelago. To plan your trip to Västervik, visit

Vic Bassey

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