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Two people walking over a wooden bridge in a forest. There is a waterfall in the background.
Älgafallet, Bohuslän
Älgafallet is located in the northern part of Bohuslän on the border between Sweden and Norway.
Photo credit: Lukasz Warzecha/

Coolcationing in Sweden: 11 ways to keep your holiday refreshing

As the summer sun beats, many travellers seek respite from the scorching heat waves. A new trend, coined "Coolcationing," has emerged, drawing attention to destinations that offer moderate temperatures and tranquil environments. With its northern charm and abundant natural beauty, Sweden is increasingly becoming the go-to destination for those looking to escape the summer heat.

A notable shift has occurred in how travellers plan their summer holidays. Gone are the days of relentless pursuit of scorching sun and sweltering heat. Instead, a new trend has emerged, aptly named "Coolcationing." This trend, identified by the renowned travel magazine "Condé Nast Traveler" as one of the key travel trends of 2024, reflects a growing desire among travellers to seek out destinations with moderate temperatures and tranquil environments. With rising concerns over climate change and the adverse effects of extreme heat, more and more people are opting for cooler destinations that offer respite from the oppressive summer temperatures.

Sweden has emerged as a prime destination for coolcationers, with its moderate summer temperatures and relaxed holiday style making it an ideal escape for travellers seeking to beat the heat. With average summer temperatures between 20–25°C in southern Sweden and endless opportunities for outdoor exploration, Sweden offers a refreshing alternative to traditional hotspots in Southern Europe. Moreover, Sweden experiences significantly longer summer days due to its high latitude than in more southern countries.

As travellers increasingly prioritise destinations with easy access to water and natural landscapes, Sweden's diverse offerings have become particularly appealing. From city beaches in Stockholm and Gothenburg to approximately 100,000 lakes scattered across the country, Sweden offers many ways to cool off and unwind amidst stunning natural surroundings.

Furthermore, Sweden's commitment to sustainability and eco-tourism aligns with the values of modern travellers, contributing to its appeal as a coolcation destination. With a range of eco-friendly accommodations, a focus on locally produced food, and eco-conscious tour operators, Sweden provides travellers with the opportunity to enjoy a holiday experience that's both refreshing and environmentally responsible.

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Jump in!

A warm summer day is perfect for a swim. To choose from, Sweden has roughly 96,000 lakes larger than 10,000 square metres, and uncountable numbers of smaller lakes.

Photo: Lieselotte van der Meijs/

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Five young people in swimwear are jumping into a lake from a wooden pier.

Jump in!

Photo: Lieselotte van der Meijs/

West coast

West coast

Photo: Per Pixel Petersson/

People sitting on a ski lift looking at a person jumping with skis.

Skiing, Riksgränsen

Photo: Lapland Resorts/Axel Adolfsson

Friends in the park

Friends in the park

Photo: Simon Paulin/

11 refreshing ways to beat the heat this summer

Take a city plunge

Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo: Sweden's largest cities are all situated by the sea, offering convenient opportunities for a refreshing dip when the heat becomes too much to handle. Numerous popular beaches and rounded cliffs directly connected to the city provide bathing opportunities.

Tour the archipelago

With miles and miles of coastline and countless islands, Sweden's archipelagos are perfect for cooling off on a hot day. Embark on an archipelago excursion to explore these scenic wonders. Hop on a boat tour or rent a kayak and paddle away.

Snorkelling along the Swedish west coast

Several fantastic snorkelling trails in crystal-clear waters are located along the picturesque west coast of Sweden. A snorkelling trail is like a nature trail in the water, where signs guide you along animals and plants. Discover the marine life beneath the surface and enjoy the coolness of the sea.

Celebrate midsummer with skiing in Riksgränsen

In the north, snow often remains until June. Take advantage of this by skiing at Riksgränsen for a unique Swedish midsummer experience, followed by a traditional celebration with herring and potatoes. Plus, the ski lifts will be running until midnight.

Indulge in ice cream

Sweden is renowned for its ice cream culture, with the average person consuming approximately 12 litres annually. Various styles are available, from ecological gelato to locally produced flavours. Treat yourself to a cone of delicious ice cream in charming towns like Söderköping and Åhus, celebrated for their vibrant ice cream scene.

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There are many beautiful hiking trails all over Sweden in which you can discover stunning landscapes with wide and varied plants and wildlife. As long as you cause no harm or disturbance, Allemansrätten, allows you to roam freely in Swedish nature.

Photo: Yirui Aries/Visit Sweden

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An aerial view of a forest.


Photo: Yirui Aries/Visit Sweden



Photo: Tomas Utsi/

A wooden sauna by the blue clear water inside a mine.

Adventure Mine Sauna, Dalarna

Photo: Visit Dalarna

Two people are drinking from a river in Swedish Lapland.

Hiking, Swedish Lapland

Photo: Mattias Fredriksson/Swedish Lapland

A wide waterfall surrounded by spruce forest. A person stands on a viewing cliff on the left side of the waterfall.

Tännforsen Waterfall, Jämtland

Photo: Lukasz Warzecha/Epic Trails

Try forest bathing

Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of Sweden's lush forests with a rejuvenating forest bathing experience. Let nature's sights, sounds, and scents wash away your stress and heat-induced fatigue.

Go camping

Spend a night under the stars amidst Sweden's breathtaking landscapes. Whether you prefer traditional camping or glamping, sleeping in the crisp night air will surely be a refreshing experience.

Explore a mine

Delve into the cool depths of Sweden's underground mines and caves. Discover the fascinating history and unique geological formations. Enjoy Sala Silvermine with a guided tour down to a depth of 60 meters, or explore a thousand years of history in Falu Gruva in Falun. Or how about combining adventure and relaxation 80 meters below, with a sauna experience and bathing possibilities in the crystal-clear water of the Adventure Mine outside Borlänge.

Hiking in the mountains

Head to Sweden's majestic mountains for some invigorating hikes surrounded by stunning scenery. Feel the mountain breeze as you traverse scenic trails and summit breathtaking peaks, and take a sip of fresh water from a mountain stream. Most are fully drinkable, but be sure to check.

Take a dip in a mountain stream

Cool off in the pristine waters flowing down from Sweden's mountains. Don't miss the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in a mountain stream during your hiking adventures.

Let the sprinkles of a waterfall cool you off

From the thunderous Tännforsen to the tranquil Njupeskär – exploring Sweden's waterfalls is a must for coolcationers. Embark on a waterfall hike, feel the mist on your skin, and let the rhythmic flow of water soothe your senses, making it an essential stop on your coolcation itinerary.