Lake Vänern is the largest lake in Sweden and the third largest lake in Europe. It has a large archipelago with a total of 22 000 islands and islets. The large water mass of the lake contributes to a warmer micro climate. You may therefore find species natural to the very south of Sweden in the Biosphere Reserve. Since Lake Vänern is a reminiscent of a great ocean, there are several marine species here as well. The Biosphere Reserve consists of approximately 63% of the total surface area and includes 4 569 islands that are larger than 10 m2.
Here are several areas valuable for tourism and recreation, but also areas of high conservation value. Some of these areas are Hindens rev and the archipelagos of Kålland, Djurö, Brommö and Torsö. During the summer, the archipelago is frequently visited by boaters.
The shorelines of Lake Vänern are varied. The most common forms are meadows and rocky beaches. In addition, there are sandy beaches, shingel and sand dunes. This variation, together with the developed islands, results in a rich bird life and fish fauna of 38 species. Here are unique strains for salmon and trout, which are remanants from the time just after the last ice age when the lake still was part of the ocean.
The Biosphere office is conducting a LONA project in order to investigate Possibilities for canoeing and kayaking in the Biosphere Reserve. The project will be completed in spring 2011.