Hot travel destination 2012: Dalarna, Sweden.

Here on the blog we haver already noticed Helsinki making it to the second place in The New York Times' list of must-go-destinations 2012. Destination number 44 on the very same list is the region Dalarna in Sweden. Dalarna has always been known for its beauty, the blue mountains, the red-painted wooden houses and traditional craftsmanship. The traditional pattern of the Kurbits flower is a symbol of Dalarna, and in recent years the kurbits have emerged very successful in interesting new interpretations and contexts within art and design. One example is the French fashion house Rochas who used local Dalarna artist Slotts Barbros kurbits patterns on skirts, cardigans, scarves in their spring and summer collection 2011.

From The New York Times:

44. Dalarna, Sweden

A storied region offers a getaway from StockholmMost travelers knowSwedenonly for the urban cool ofStockholmand Gothenburg. But when the sun approaches its summer apex, city dwellers often leave town for one of the country’scentral provinces, Dalarna. Its deep forests and glimmering lakes host traditional midsummer parties, and every brick-red farmhouse deserves its own postcard. With Dalarna’s southern edge only about 125 miles from the capital, getting there — by car, bus or rail — is easy enough, though the rustic landscape of “the Dales,” as Dalarna translates, can feel worlds apart.

That’s made it a natural respite for Swedish painters like Anders Zorn, whose home in the town of Mora is now a museum. Artisans still produce traditional handicrafts like the Dala Horse, a national mascot. But Dalarna is not just for summer journeys: every March, the region hosts the Vasaloppet, one of the world’s biggest cross-country ski races, and autumn brings incredible foliage and rich game dishes at restaurants of surprising sophistication like the Dala-Husby Hotell. by  EVAN RAIL