We’d bet everyone reading this will be a fan of nature in one form or another, and we’re also sure that many will also be wondering if there’s anywhere they can currently go to recharge their batteries and experience nature in all its glory. There is, and that country is Sweden.
The country, which was recently added to the UK travel corridors list, is 70% covered with forest and is home to open landscapes with quiet lakes, miles of coastlines, and thousands of islands. It is not only the sparsely populated North that boasts lush wilderness, cities throughout the country have lakes, meadows, forests, scenic coastal paths, and vast archipelagos around the corner, which makes nature easy to reach wherever visitors go.
To inspire travel, Visit Sweden has curated 15 unique experiences in the country’s most fascinating natural surroundings. The tourist board is already known for its successful wellness-focused initiatives, such as the “The 72 Hour Cabin” study, which highlighted that three days immersed in nature reduced negative emotions and lowered stress levels.
Research shows that just twenty minutes in nature is enough to lower stress hormone levels*, one of the many benefits of outdoor holidays which are known to improve both mental and physical health. Spending time in green areas has a positive impact on several health conditions, such as lower blood pressure, cortisol, and heart rate.**
From an outdoor design concept to a sustainability-focused dining experience tucked into the woodlands, to midnight paddle boarding, there are a number of atmospheric experiences that bring visitors into the natural surroundings. From a one-bedroom former observation bunker to a new lighthouse hotel and floating cabins, Sweden also boasts a range of unique accommodation options:
1. Meditate at Bergaliv’s beautiful nature cabin (Hälsingland)
Bergaliv offers panoramic views along the Ljusnan River Valley, across the neighbouring meadows over to the dense forests beyond. This minimalistic yet beautiful cabin, designed by Swedish architect Hanna Michelson, is built with pale ash and birchwood, and the upper floor’s open terrace has magnificent, unobstructed views — the perfect place to meditate. Read more.
2. Stay carbon neutral on Zero Island (Roslagen)
An eco-paradise in the Swedish archipelago is the Nolla Cabin on the island of Lidö, just north of Stockholm. The Nolla Cabin was part of the Zero Island project aiming to make the island of Lidö carbon neutral by working with every aspect of sustainability in connection to food, energy, accommodation, waste and transport. Here, guests will live in a unique and completely carbon-neutral cottage with the sea visible from the glass front Read more.
3. Dine amongst the forest at Stedsans in the Woods (Halland)
In the middle of the woods and near the lake lies this incredible restaurant where the former Copenhagen restaurant stars, Mette Helbæk and Flemming Hansen, live and work with nature. The resort has a 100% self-sufficiency approach, with all meat and dairy produce coming from the region and can be enjoyed at the off-the-grid restaurant where everything is cooked over a fire. For overnight stays, Stedsans offers cabins and a relaxing spa area by the lake. Read more.
4. Explore the evolving design concept ArkNat (The High Coast)
ArkNat is an evolving design concept made up of nine different shelters designed by leading Scandinavian architect students. One of the shelters, known as ‘He’, is an alternative wind shelter for the lone hiker, offering a magnificent view of the surrounding landscapes. ArkNat merges nature and architecture to create beautiful spaces for visitors to connect with themselves and the surrounding nature. Read more.