There are good reasons to visit Hammarsjön all year round, particularly if you are into “boatlife”, but if you need a better excuse than that, you’d be mad to miss the annual floating harvest festival that takes place on the lake in early autumn, after the first heavy rainfall of the season.
All the organic food producers, craftspeople and artists of the area—and there’s a lot of them up here in the Lakelands!—moor their houseboats in Hammarsjön outside Kristianstad and put on one heck of a festival! Good music, great food and cheap organic products; what more could you wish for? And it’s a perfect event to bring the kids to, as well—but bear in mind that Swedish kids get compulsory swimming lessons at school, so if your younglings aren’t comfortable in the water, it’s your responsibility to make them wear their water-wings.
There is no entrance fee to the market, which runs for the best part of a week, but there is also no regular public transport available. This means that you either need to bring your own boat or amphibious vehicle, or haggle your way on to one of the private contractors’ bus rafts (which is a bit on the expensive side). A nice way to get around this is to book a couple of nights with one of the many floating bed & breakfasts, who usually have canoes and paddle boards available to their guests free of charge. Meanwhile, backpackers and the budget-conscious—as well as those who just like to keep their hands busy—may be able to trade transportation for a little bit of labour; this is the peak of the local calendar, business-wise, so it’s all hands on deck!