Travel News

Swede dreams are made of this: wild swimming and forest walks in West Sweden | Sweden holidays

Swede dreams are made of this: wild swimming and forest walks in West Sweden | Sweden holidays

As I slip off the jetty into the chilly water of Lagmanshagasjön, the world loses all distinction. Low mist blurs everything; I can’t see where the lake ends and the sky begins. It is like breaststroking into a silvery infinity. I haven’t bothered with swimwear. Between the tannin-dark water and early morning brume, I can barely see myself, let alone be seen. And dissolving into nature feels delicious: wearing nothing and seeing nothing, I am feeling everything.

I eventually climb out (flashing an unsuspecting heron), dress quickly and walk back to my “room” – a dazzling cabin made of glass hidden among mossy mounds, blueberry bushes and pine trees. Before long, Katarina arrives with a basket of home-baked sourdough and local cheese. She leaves, and I eat in a silence so loud it seems to vibrate.

That’s partly because I’m well off the tourist trail in Västergötland (West Gotland). Though that may change with places to stay as lovely as this. I’m at Erikson Cottage, a fourth-generation family farm two hours east of Gothenburg. It is a perfect marriage of Swedish taste and sustainability, with three greenhouse-like cabins scattered around the grounds. It’s run by sisters Elisabeth and Katarina, and everything is just so: from the lovely linen to the hygge-ness of Elisabeth’s bakery-cafe – all fresh flowers, candlelight and coffee in handmade mugs.

But there’s substance to the style. The glasshouses are off-grid, and if lifted away would leave no trace. The site has solar panels and its own well. Food is mostly from local suppliers, the bread made with heritage grains. There’s an EV charging point and two nearby train stations from which guests can be picked up.

An off-grid glass cabin, part of the Erikson Cottage family farm two hours from Gothenburg. Photograph: Jonas Ingman

Activities on offer at the farm are low-impact, too. Guests can swim (naked or otherwise), kayak and paddleboard out on the lake, walk in the forest and learn to make pizza.

“But 90% of guests do nothing,” says Elisabeth. “They read, lie in bed, read some more. They enjoy slowing down.”

Which is, increasingly, what West Sweden is all about.

In 2021 West Sweden launched Stepping Up Sustainability, a tourism programme looking to minimise the industry’s environmental footprint. But it’s more than a nice green manifesto: West Sweden has put its morals where its money was. The tourist board has ceased marketing to North America and Asia, instead focusing…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Travel | The Guardian…