The 5 coolest places
The biggest risk of a holiday to Sweden is to be so overwhelmed by the beauty of the country that you stay. That’s what happened to Sylvia Adams, nature photographer, and owner of Amazing Nature Scandinavia. These are her 5 favorite pearls in central Sweden.
Originally from Belgium, Sylvia is a passionate nature photographer. Sweden is an ideal location for nature photographers. After all, there are only twenty people per square kilometer in Sweden. This means that there is a lot of nature left for the numerous animals that live in Sweden.
On one of her trips to Sweden, she thought she might as well stay. After all, she fell completely in love with the beautiful country. She chose the province of Västmanland, home to Europe’s densest wilderness. In 2017, she founded Amazing Nature Scandinavia so she can share all her discoveries with others. “For a nature photographer, there is no better place in this world,” says Sylvia. “The overwhelming nature in my home base is something I want to share with you through photography workshops, wildlife safaris, and other outdoor activities.”
But in between all those adventures, you also need to spend the night somewhere. And preferably in special places. Sylvia has discovered quite a few. This is her top 5 of the most special gems in central Sweden.
A film by Stan Lennips for WideOyster Media
Being able to rent part of the spa privately is the ultimate luxury
Country house Färna Herrgård
Favorite haunt of the Swedish king
It is not only nature and outdoor games in Central Sweden. If you are looking for luxury, you can rest easy at the stately Färna Herrgård. And the Swedish king does, too, from time to time. So you are in good company.
The immense Färna Herrgård manor house lies majestically between the forests of Skinnskatteberg. This monument to the iron industry was once owned by the Dutchman Abraham Mommas, who traded in iron and tar. Today, the manor house and its outbuildings are a beautiful and very chic hotel. The classically furnished rooms exude the wealth and opulence of the past in a contemporary way. A spa, with all the trimmings, is, of course, a must. The fact that you can also hire part of the spa privately is, of course, the ultimate luxury.
It is here that the current King of Sweden comes to stay in between his moose hunts when it is hunting season. It is his favorite spot. “Wow. Taste this” calls photographer Frits as he hands me his bottle of rhubarb lemonade. I pour some into a glass. So, that’s good. “It comes from rhubarb from our own fields,” says the waitress at Färna Herrgård’s restaurant. “We also make our own ice cream with it,” she says as she serves my plate of fried perch from their own lake. So cool that just about everything in the dish comes from our own land.
Not much later, we are walking through those fields. Apart from rhubarb fields, the woods are bursting with raspberries, wild strawberries, blueberries, and wild cherry trees. There may have been riches in the ground in the past, but nowadays, natural riches grow and bloom everywhere you look. An osprey flies high above us. The water of the lake behind Färna Herrgård glistens in the summer sun. Below the water surface, groupers play their fishy game. Crickets sing their song. In the field, we discover a mausoleum of one of the former owners of the estate. The mausoleum is very appropriately constructed of turquoise and blue-tinged snails, the residual product of iron production.
And there are more indications of Färna Herrgård’s iron past. A wooden tube hundreds of metres long runs across the site. Water flows through it from one lake to another and still creates energy. About 500 kilowatts. Enough for five hundred households.
Färna Herrgård gets its own energy from this; the rest is sold to the energy company. Since the beginning of the last century, the pipes have been there when the ironworks needed the energy, and they still work.
It is a magically beautiful estate. “Try lying in the green moss and looking up at the sky through the treetops,” says Wenche Engström, owner of the estate.
I almost eat my fingers at the dessert, again all from their own garden. “Food is important, not only as nutrition but also as a treat for both the eye and the palate,” Wenche gloats. “It is a special feeling when you know where the products come from, from our own vegetable garden and from local farmers. In the hands of our head chef, Inga-Lena Eriksson, and her kitchen team, the produce is transformed into delicious dishes.” Färna Herrgård. That is the real luxury.
Relaxing is a breeze
in the Swedish countryside
at the edge of the wilderness
Supermoon and the eye of oddity
Willem and Mireille were looking for adventure and decided to change course completely. They created a rather special place with even more special accommodation options. Who wouldn’t want to sleep in a treehouse and experience nature differently?
The most significant danger of traveling to Sweden is that you don’t want to leave. That is what Mireille and Willem found out. But is that really a danger? Willem and Mireille took the opportunity to take over Näsets Marcusgård, Marcus Eriksson’s estate. The farm, painted of course in typical Swedish red, is beautifully situated in the vast forests of Furudal in the province of Dalarna.
Näsets Marcusgård was originally a farm. In 1910 the current house was built, and in 1917 the outbuildings. The owner was Marcus Eriksson, who took over the farm from his parents at the time. He started with 2 horses, 7 cows, and 15 chickens. He started a forestry and transport business on the farm and owned a sawmill. He married Johanna Gök from Näset. Together they had seven sons. In his time, the farm was full of life and activity and was known as the center of Näset.
“We were immediately inspired by the nature, the place, and the story of Marcus Eriksson and his wife Johanna,” Willem says, picking up a few logs from the barn. “The couple had made this place a meeting place for the community. We knew immediately: we want to share this feeling. We picked up where Marcus left off. Näsets Marcusgård combines history and nature with comfortable modernity and high quality. We want our customers to feel at home, relaxed, and inspired.”
Relaxing is a breeze in the Swedish countryside on the edge of the wilderness. Willem and Mireille have several accommodation options to choose from. The most special are the Oddis Öga and the Supermåne, two magical forest -and treehouses.
The Oddis Öga looks a bit like an aircraft or a spaceship. If you like design, then this luxury forest hut is for you. Oddis Öga is Swedish for ‘eye of oddity’ because you can peek outside through the large windows.
The view? Elks, deer, foxes, and lynxes (if you’re lucky).
But you can also choose to be rocked to sleep in the Supermåne. You are suspended in the sphere, uhh tree house, between two tall pine trees. The Supermåne is also design at its best. And in the evening, you can hear the sounds of nature and look through the dome window into the starry sky.
The farmhouse is one big adventure for guests to discover nature and all it has to offer, or just to sit back with a book, stare into the fire and enjoy the magic of Dalarna’s forests.
Would you like to help feed the lambs?
In the vast forests of Västmanland, two hours west of Stockholm, wilderness meets rural life. Here at Ulvsbomuren, Hellen Wistrand’s farm, you will experience the pure flavors of Sweden. And Hellen knows all about the wildlife and birds in the area.
Ulvsbomuren is situated about ten kilometers northwest of the small town of Ramnäs along the Kolbäcksån river. The iron industry was highly developed in this area. The ironworks gave away forest land to farmers who supplied the factories with wood and charcoal. This is how Ulvsbomuren came into being in the 17th century.
Owner Hellen has turned it into a warm, contemporary inn. Warm and wonderfully cozy. Would you like to help feed the lambs or go on a discovery tour to study the mating dance of the capercaillie? That is possible. Elks also wander across the fields.
Being with Swedish nature makes you hungry. Luckily, Hellen cooks the stars out of the sky with fresh ingredients from the farm and the surrounding nature. The farm’s own products such as lamb, vegetables, fruit, berries, and herbs are thoughtfully and creatively mixed with ingredients from the forest such as game and feathered game, mushrooms, wild berries, and fish and crayfish from several lakes in the area. Freshly harvested, well prepared, tasty, and delicious.
don’t look any further.
Discover the outdoor cooking workshop
Accessible life on the farm
Sheep, horses, lush forests and fields, and the pleasures of Swedish rural life. Also accessible to those with limited mobility. Oh, and China, of course. Welcome to Fallängetorp.
Waves of forest and fields alternate on the horizon. Treasures for the eyes. We are in a trailer attached to Per Hellstrand’s Volvo tractor. Per and his family-run Fallängetorp, a beautiful farm with lots of fields and land. Here, you can spend the night, do outdoor activities and take part in the daily business of the farm.
We wander through the dense forests. Suddenly we come to a large clearing, with little vegetation and a single large tree. “Was there a fire here?” I ask Per. “No, no,” he says, laughing. “We cleared this area last year. It’s necessary to keep the forest healthy and makes nice pocket money.” But why are there still a few large trees there? “We deliberately left those trees standing. They ensure that the forest grows back in a natural way. You learn something new every day.
That you can explore the forests of Västmanland when you are less mobile. The B&B is designed to be perfect for travelers with limited mobility. For example, in the kitchen, you can lower the sink with a button so that people in wheelchairs can enjoy cooking. But the most fun are the two Zoom all-terrain vehicles.
With these four-wheel-drive vehicles, even if you cannot walk by yourself or have difficulty walking, you can simply enjoy ‘walking’ in the paths and forests around Fallängetorp. You can even drive over tree trunks. Ingenious devices.
For the culinary explorers, look no further but discover the outdoor cooking workshop with fresh home-grown products in China’s special place. Fallängetorp is the place to be.
A film by Stan Lennips for WideOyster Media
With the doors open,
you fall peacefully asleep
on the soft sound of
View over your own private lake
There is no better way to wake up than with a view of your own private lake. At Hotel Sommarhagen, you can choose to stay in the old rectory, in a floating hotel room or in a glass house built on the rolling hills by the shore of a beautiful lake. Would you like to go canoeing?
In the old days, which are not that long ago, the smallholders of Östergötland would walk four hours there and four hours back in all weathers to attend church services in the former presbytery from the 17th century. Today, Sommarhagen is a friendly hotel with a sublime restaurant run by Marianne and her husband Bengt-Göran.
Here in the middle of the wilderness of southern Östergötland, just 2.5 hours from Stockholm or Gothenburg, most people drive in the middle of the road. Simply because other motorists are less frequent than the moose and other wildlife that crosses the road.
You wake up at the hotel with a view of the grazing horses in the fields and woods. But Sommarhagen also offers two extraordinary places to spend the night in the woods nearby.
You will find a brand-new cottage on a pontoon on a lake, a floating hotel room. With the doors open, you will fall asleep peacefully in the softly murmuring water. Your canoe is, of course, faithfully waiting.
But also, the two glass houses that Marianne and her husband have built on the slope of a hill overlooking, another lake. You can walk down in a minute to the banks where you can light a fire or take a night-time canoe trip across your own lake for the night. And when it gets close to midsummer, the moon gives off the most beautiful blue light you’ve ever seen, so it’s like paddling to Valhalla.
Do you want to learn
how to take
Creative photography workshop
Do you want to learn how to take fantastic photos in a relaxed atmosphere while enjoying the power of nature? Then you do not want to miss the three-hour nature photo walk through Svartådalen with professional nature photographer Sylvia Adams.
We are standing at a lovely redwood cottage. “Look closely at the shapes and lines of this house,” says Sylvia. “Take three pictures from different perspectives.” Sylvia will playfully teach you new insights to make your photography even better. In small groups of a maximum of six people, all with about the same level of experience. Along the way, it is pure enjoyment of nature in the Black River Valley.
Learn to look at nature differently and make creative and distinctive photos.
During the walk, you will receive tips on how to take more creative and distinctive photos. You will learn how to look more consciously at your surroundings with the help of practical and pleasant photography techniques. You will also learn about light, colors, shapes, angles, depth of field, and composition. Discover the special in the seemingly ordinary.
You do not need expensive camera equipment for this walk, as long as you bring something that takes pictures. It is not the camera that takes the picture, but the photographer.