The town Hjo (pronounced “yo”) on the western shore of Lake Vättern is small-town gem with many well-preserved 17th-century wooden buildings. During the Middle Ages, it played an important role as connection between the Vadstena Abbey, the motherhouse of the Bridgettine Order, on the eastern shore the lake and the people in Västergötland. In 1876, four wealthy men decided to turn Hjo into a health resort, and a bought a large piece of land on the lake. They constructed grand villas, a spa and a beautiful park surrounding the facilities. Although the spa is long gone, the buildings and the park remain, so stroll along the footpaths and breathe in some of that fresh lake air.