Uppsala, 756 53
Lake Mälaren is as much a part of Swedish cultural history as their language or their cuisine. Not truly a lake in the sense that it drains into the Baltic, it was in fact separated by a strip of land as recently as the 19th Century, but with the digging of the Södertälje canal, Mälaren once again became an inlet of the sea. The Lake has an almost uncountable number of small inlets and harbors, and its many twists and turns hide tons of peninsulas and islands. It offers both easy access by water to its many secrets and demands a high level of familiarity in order to find them, and thus has long been the summer retreat and wilderness vacation spot of Swedes of all social classes and professions. Today, it is still a great jumping off point for those in search of green and growing spaces that are not too far away from civilization.