When you say Sweden, you mainly say nature. Sweden is filled with crystal clear lakes, forests, tiny red houses and endless landscapes. I first visited Sweden in 2007, when I went on a city trip to Stockholm. 13 years later, I’m madly in love with Sweden and have traveled there 10 times over the past decade. We are even considering buying a house there so we can spend our summers up north, far from the hustle and bustle here in the Netherlands and the hectic everyday life. In recent years we regularly drove by car to Sweden via the bridge from Denmark to Sweden. Sometimes in winter, but usually in summer. In this article I’ll share the most beautiful places in Sweden with you, from south to north. Be inspired and who knows, maybe we’ll see each other in Sweden!
The islands at the Göteborg coastline
During my city trip to Gothenburg during the Easter weekend of 2017, I went out with a Swedish friend who lives here. She took me to the islet of Styrsö, located in the southern part of the Gothenburg archipelago. We took a hike here to Stora Rös, the highest point on the island and enjoyed a hot chocolate in one of the cafes. In summer it is a wonderful place to walk, swim or moor with your boat or canoe.
The Småland region is a relatively short drive away from the Netherlands. This is Sweden as you see Sweden on television. Red houses with white shutters, endless forests and numerous super smooth lakes. In Småland you can get lost on the endless hiking trails, go canoeing and wild camping on your own island, enjoy delicious food and visit the town of Växjö. Småland is actually Sweden for beginners, if you like it here, then you will undoubtedly enjoy the rest of Sweden too!
An area that I only recently got to know was that around Lake Väner (the Vänervatten). With an area of over 5,000 square kilometers, this is the largest lake in Sweden. We spent some time here in the vicinity of Trolhättan and Vänersborg, which can easily be done from the Netherlands in one day driving via the bridge between Denmark and Sweden. Next to the Vänervatten are the Halleberg and the Huneberg, a nature reserve where you have a great chance of seeing moose late at night. Sometimes even right next to the car, as the photo below shows …
Although busy, I still think Stockholm is a great city. Grand, modern, charming and lovely at the same time. I visited Stockholm several times in both summer and winter. In the summer you can stroll through the narrow streets of Gamla Stan and enjoy the long days and many terraces. It is often very busy there, so it’s more fun to visit Stockholm in winter, when it is much quieter. The old town is nice too, but this period is also perfect for visiting one of the many museums (for example the Vasa Museum or the Abba Museum) or taking a winter walk through Djurgården.
Also read my article with the best cities in Sweden!
Fulufjället National Park
My favorite part of Sweden actually only starts further north, there where the mountains are. One of the most beautiful national parks that you can easily visit is Fulufjället National Park. With the highest waterfall in Sweden and the oldest tree in the world, Fulufjället is a real attraction for travelers visiting the province of Dalarna. Read all our tips for Fulufjället National Park here.
Sonfjället National Park
The Sonfjället National Park is a lot more inaccessible and therefore considerably quieter. This mountain (fjället) is known to be one of the best places to see bears in Sweden without them being lured with food. Sonfjället is also located in Dalarna but receives far fewer visitors to Fulufjället because it is smaller and there are hardly any tourist facilities. We saw a bear, a lot of reindeer and some moose during our wild safari, here you can read all about it.
Vålådalen Nature Reserve
A little further north, at the very end of the road towards Norway, you will find the Vålådalen Nature Reserve. Few foreign people know this area and that’s nice, because you will encounter very few people other than Swedes. We made a four-day trek here and almost only encountered Swedes who were on the road here. If you do not want to go trekking, there are several short walks that you can take here to still enjoy the beautiful nature.
Tärnaby and Hemavan
The small towns of Tärnaby and Hemavan are popular places with the Swedes themselves to spend their summer holidays. These villages in Swedish Lapland are on the border with Norway, near Mo i Rana. In summer you go here for fishing and hiking, in winter for skiing. The famous Kungsleden Trail ends here and hikers can indulge themselves on the countless beautiful hiking trails. For a good impression of the area, check out the video of the Kungsleden trek we made:
Sarek National Park
One of the most beautiful wilderness areas in Sweden is Sarek National Park. This national park is only accessible on foot or by boat and you will find braided rivers, glaciers, high mountains and lots of wildlife. We visited Sarek National Park during the second part of our Kungsleden hike and made a trip to the Skierfe Klippan, a well-known viewpoint in Sweden. From here you have a beautiful view of the wilderness and ruggedness of the area. Note: to get here you have to walk (and back) for at least two days, so it’s not a trip for the faint hearted!
The artic cirle area near Jokkmokk
And the last on this list of most beautiful places in Sweden is the Arctic Circle area around Jokkmokk. Although it is of course only an imaginary line, it is still special to cross the Arctic Circle. Especially for us because we had such very hot weather that we walked in shorts and flip flops. When you drive to Lapland via the E45, you pass the Arctic Circle at the town of Jokkmokk. The village itself is little, but the surroundings are beautiful. We camped on a peninsula on the water at Camping Skabram, which is run by Dutch people. Here we enjoyed the beauty of this area, the peace, we fished, read books and enjoyed the Midsummer Night Sun.
Conclusion and disclaimer of the most beautiful places in Sweden
Hopefully you enjoyed reading this article with the most beautiful places in Sweden. Of course we have not been everywhere, but I think we have given you a nice picture of one of our favorite holiday destinations. If you have any tips for our next visit to Sweden, be sure to leave them in the comments.
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