Things to do
Nature loving Sweden
The north is mostly wilderness, foaming rivers, high alpine peaks and plains in Swedish Lapland, while the south of the country is rolling countryside and beaches that never end. East lies Stockholm and its wondrous archipelago or west for its coastline and islands, as well as giant lakes..
Mostly everything in Swedish Lapland in the far north of Sweden is a ‘must do’ in terms of nature experience; here are just two.
The first is gazing at the Northern Lights at Abisko National Park in November-April at the Abisko Mountain Station. The significant other is Sarek National Park. Sarek is 2,000 square kilometres of high alpine peaks, valleys and foaming rivers. And nothing else. Be warned; you must have experience of this type of terrain before attempting Sarek.
See a giant head in a pristine natural setting at Stenshuvud National Park. Stenshuvud means ‘Sten’s head’ in English and this almost 100-metre hill on the coast actually resembles a head. From it you get fabulous views of the Baltic Sea, over to Danish island Bornholm and around it, lush forest and pastoral heath and marshland settings. Good for sea views, great for discovery walks and brilliant for the soul. And you can take a dip in the sea here.
Go east for Sweden’s archipelagoes, starting with capital city Stockholm, which has its very own. So what do to? Go island-hopping summertime by taking an archipelago boat from Strömkajen in front of the Grand Hotel, Nybrokajen or Stadshuskajen outside the City Hall (Stadshuset). There is a wide choice of accommodation to suit all tastes and pocket depth, what with a mind boggling 24,000 islands.
The big hitters, nature-wise, in the west of Sweden are the fabulous West Coast, also called the Bohuslän coast. The West Coast and its archipelago have become world famous for their delicious shellfish; oysters, lobster and prawns. Visit quaint fishing village Grebbestad from where you can take an eco-friendly seafood ‘safari’ and then devour your catch at Everts Sjöbod, a restored 19th century boathouse.
For wild nature at its most watery take a trip to Sweden’s first national marine park, Kosterhavet National Park, centred around the car-free Koster Islands with its unique coastline of beaches and rocky islands. And Sweden’s only coral reef. You can take a boat out to many of the islands in the archipelago from Gothenburg.