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A woman wearing headphones rests against a pine tree next to a lake. The weather is gloomy.
Spellbound by Sweden
The deep forests of Sweden possess both beauty and tranquillity – but also drama and mystique. Come here, and you'll be spellbound by the places and experiences where fairy tales, culture and nature meet across Sweden.
Photo credit: Johan Wennerström/Visit Sweden

National parks in Sweden – where myths and legends come to life

Home to many of our most famous mythological creatures, Sweden’s forests and nature are steeped in legend. So, what better place to experience this magical, mystical world than right here, in one of Sweden’s national parks? Follow our guide and discover another side to some of our parks, complete with thrilling stories and fairytale scenery, as well as outdoor activities and accommodation close by.

And while you wander in the forest, listen to author John Ajvide Lindqvist’s chilling audio story KILN.

A woman is standing on the edge of a jetty while enjoying the view of a lake.
Åsnen National Park, Småland
Åsnen National Park is a large lake archipelago with almost 1000 islands, but also a national park with forests steeped in mythological tales.
Photo: Alexander Hall/Destination Småland

Åsnen National Park – Småland

Åsnen National Park, with its unspoiled nature and forests, lakes and wetlands, is steeped in mythological tales. Enter via the park’s ‘Trollberget’ (Troll Mountain) entrance and explore the rocks and boulders where trolls are said to celebrate Christmas. Legend has it that there’s a hidden chamber full of gold and silver – though it’s yet to be found.

While you are here…

Three people walking on a forrest trail surronded by lush green trees and a small stream.
Getåravinen Nature Reserve, Östergötland
Hike through jungle-like surroundings down to the bottom of the ravine at Getåravinen Nature Reserve.
Photo: Norrköpings kommun

Getåravinen Nature Reserve – Östergötland

Östergötland county is full of mythological creatures. The stone troll has found his home in the jungle-like Getåravinen Nature Reserve in the Kolmården forests, where he sleeps on a bed of pine needles. Follow the winding stream to the bottom of the ravine, surrounded by old spruce and pine forests. Don’t be surprised if you get a feeling of being watched – the stone troll loves to spy on the visitors to his properties.

While you’re here…

Two women are listening to a guide while standing in a forest.
Tiveden National Park
Tiveden National Park includes caves, lakes and up to 10 metres high boulders, attractive to mythological creatures and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Photo: Pavel Koubek

Tiveden National Park – Närke and Västergötland

Vast, dramatic and enchanting, Tiveden National Park is situated between Sweden’s two greatest lakes, Vänern and Vättern. Tiveden boasts enough rock crevices – as well as smaller lakes and numerous hiking trails – to delight mythological creatures and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Hike to the vantage point of ‘Trollkyrka’ (‘the trolls’ church’) for a stunning view of the park.

While you are here…

Three people walk on a small wooden bridge over a lake. On either side of the bridge are forests.
Tresticklan National Park, West Sweden
Experience untouched forest, beautiful lakes and varied hiking in Tresticklan National Park.
Photo: Roger Borgelid/

Tresticklan National Park – West Sweden

Stretching between the lake of Stora Le and the Norwegian border, Tresticklan in Dalsland is steeped in Viking mythology and boasts the largest roadless, uninhabited pine forest region in southern Sweden. You can walk for days through uninterrupted wilderness, passing crystal-clear lakes and epic scenery. And with its dramatically high mountain ridges, it’s no surprise that a giant named Bore is said to have lived in the caves at ‘Bore Kulle’ (Bore’s hill).

While you are here…

A forest with moss and trees. The sun is shining through the branches.
Tyresta National Park, Sörmland
Tyresta National Park is the largest old-grown forest in southern Sweden and has a great variety of nature and wildlife. Just look out for the flame-bearing character ‘Lyktgubben’.
Photo: Nicklas Wijkmark/Tyresta Nationalpark

Tyresta National Park – Sörmland

Even though it’s only 45 minutes by bus from central Stockholm, Tyresta National Park is a world away. Southern Sweden’s largest old-growth forest, Tyresta is fit for a fairytale, complete with thick, knotty pines, moss-covered landscapes, and Stockholm’s scenic archipelago. Legend has it that a flame-bearing character called ‘Lyktgubben’ haunts Tyresta’s darkest enclaves, attempting to lead visitors astray.

While you are here…

A woman is standing by a tarn during summer. The sky is reflected in the water.
Kittelfältet Nature Reserve, Värmland
There are a number of smaller tarns formed by the ice sheet, with almost vertical edges and flat bottoms in the beautiful forests of Värmland.
Photo: Sabine Klautzsch

Kittelfältet Nature Reserve – Värmland

Kittelfältet’s unique topography goes back to the Ice Age, with water-filled potholes left by receding glaciers. Walk the one-kilometre-long ‘Dödisgropar’ loop that passes Sundstjärn, the largest of these glacial relics. Surrounded by old-growth pine trees, Sundstjärn’s turquoise waters cast a magical sheen on the whole landscape. Part of the EU’s Natura 2000 protected areas, Kittelfältet boasts several hiking trails for all experience levels.

While you are here…

A waterfall falls between two ravines.
Fulufjället National Park, Dalarna
Njupeskär waterfall is located inside Fulufjället National Park in Dalarna. The waterfall is 93 metres and the water falls completely free for 70 metres, which makes it one of Sweden's highest waterfalls.
Photo: Nisse Schmidt/Visit Dalarna

Fulufjället National Park – Dalarna

At 385 km2, Fulufjället is one of Sweden’s largest national parks. You’ll find virtually untouched nature, complete with a magical waterfall, one of Sweden’s highest, Njupeskär. Home to the world’s oldest tree, Old Tjikko, Fulufjället is situated in Älvdalen, the site for the Älvdalen witch trials of 1668. This is where the first women accused of being “witches” were executed in 1669, unleashing a vicious witch hunt all over Sweden.

While you are here…

A person is hiking through a landscape during summer.
Vålådalen Nature Reserve, Jämtland
Vålådalen Nature Reserve offers a varied landscape with lush forests, beautiful lakes and fantasy-worthy ‘pyramid hills’.
Photo: Szymon Dubowik/Vålådalens Fjällstation

Vålådalen Nature Reserve – Jämtland

Vålådalen Nature Reserve boasts magical scenery and a varied climate. Set in the southern mountains of Åre, Vålådalen’s landscape ranges from mountainous old-growth forest and pristine waters to Jämtland’s fantasy-worthy ‘pyramid hills’, a remnant from the last Ice Age. Wildlife and humans have inhabited the region ever since and there are two Sámi villages, so you may come across the Sámi people’s reindeer herds. If you do, be sure to watch them from a distance.

While you are here…

A river flows through a landscape during summer.
Muddus National Park
Muddus in Swedish Lapland is Sweden's largest forest national park. The nature here has inspired the local Sámi people’s rich storytelling tradition.
Photo: Elin-Anna Labba/Laponiatjuottjudus

Muddus National Park – Swedish Lapland

Part of Laponia, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Muddus National Park ('Muttos' in Sámi) is the largest of Sweden’s forest national parks, covering some 500 km2. With its deep ravines, boggy marshlands, primeval forests and an all-encompassing silence, Muddus evokes a fairytale world. Little wonder that the region’s nature has inspired the local Sámi people’s rich storytelling tradition.

While you are here…

Spellbound by Sweden – a chilling nature experience for all the senses

Spirits, trolls, elves and ‘näcken’ – discover Sweden’s mythological creatures