Stockholm wears its reputation as Europe’s coolest capital lightly and remains an essential stop either as a city break or start point for a stylish exploration of the rest of Sweden. Strike out beyond the city though to uncover a world-class adventure playground, with designer properties and exceptional places to stay.
Come for the endless midsummer days or travel in autumn or winter for the surreal spectacle of the Northern Lights; each season has something unique and special to offer, from cruising on crystal lakes and hiking deep into ancient boreal forests to husky safaris and snowmobile expeditions on the frozen water.
Outdoor activities and bold pursuits are a way of life here so immerse yourself in the local mindset and try something adventurous, all the while working up an appetite for the country’s pioneering take on Nordic cuisine. The country’s cultural legacy is apparent all around as well, evidenced by burial mounds, buried rune stones, Viking relics and the remains of once-proud fortresses.
Travel to Sweden in order to journey deep into the Arctic Circle and discover the magic of Swedish Lapland’s winter wilderness. Watch the Northern Lights from the heart of this pristine wilderness on a snowmobile ride or husky safari, or if that sounds too rigorous, from the comfort of your hot tub on the deck of your private Arctic cabin – glass of champagne in hand.
Spend a night in some seriously stylish design properties or try one of the country’s unusual places to stay, from a room perched in the forest canopy to a hotel made out of ice. Relax in a private spa, with a food-fired sauna or Jacuzzi under the stars. Explore the wild landscapes by tracking the annual reindeer migration with Sami herders, rafting down the Klarälven River or listening to wolves calling in the central forests while you sit around a campfire supper. Fly-fish for Arctic salmon or dangle a line through a hole cut in the ice to catch Arctic char and have your freshly caught fish cooked up on the shore or later that evening for dinner.
Discover a fishing tradition by joining a lobsterman for a morning pulling in the catch. Meet the locals for a raucously authentic kräftskiva (crayfish party) and eat your fill while belting out drinking songs. Prepare to be blown away by Gothenburg’s experimental food scene or, for something altogether more refined, take a helicopter to Åre for the delicious foraged food and theatre of Magnus Nilsson’s famous two Michelin-starred Faviken. Cruise the calm waters of Lake Mälaren and discover the 30,000 islands, islet rocks and skerries of the tranquil Stockholm archipelago, dropping anchor at your own private hideaway.
Head to Skokloster Slott palace to witness a medieval jousting tournament or wander Gamla Stan’s maze of winding medieval alleyways, led by a top local guide so you don’t get lost. Discover the incredible 17th century warship, Vasa, which was salvaged and brought back to shore after 333 years on the sea bed. For families, catch your children’s imagination with a Viking-themed adventure and discover the old Norse tales from a traditional Sami, or cement their belief by personally introducing them to Santa Claus.
Start by basing yourself in Stockholm’s hip design hotels and chic boutique stays. Then swap urban exploration for pure adventure, with exciting accommodation to match. Ascend to your bed in a lofty, luxury grown-up tree house cabin, high in the forest branches at the famed Treehotel. Enjoy back-to-nature immersion in incredible locations in properties such as the Arctic Retreat or venture to private eco-lodges set amid the pure and empty Arctic wilderness, such as the cosy Loggers Lodge, who benefit from zero light pollution and make the best spots from which to watch the Aurora Borealis. Bunk down on a bed of ice, protected from the cold by reindeer blankets at igloos and ice hotels, including the original ICEHOTEL, once made anew every year but now available 365 days. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask us as well about private tented camps in the wilderness. During the summer, swap wild living for pretty pastel-painted cabins on the islands.
The original ice hotel and first property of its kind, the ICEHOTEL has set a new standard in unusual overnight stays, and continually outdoes itself year on year with its innovative designs.
The Treehotel, set in a rugged, attractive forest is an eco-friendly and unique concept that takes the breath away of everybody lucky enough to stay at this boutique property.
This one time logger's lodge is now a beautiful, cosy cabin in the heart of Swedish Lapland's forest. Original features – including a tremendous fireplace – make for a truly authentic nature retreat.
A cutting-edge design icon floating in the Lule River, Arctic Bath is all about rejuvenating spa treatments, wellness activities and the beauty of the Swedish countryside.
Although most readily associated with winter, Sweden is a year-round destination, with different activities and special experiences available according to the seasons. Summer in the south is picturesque and warm, with June to September the best months to explore Stockholm and the islands. Then, from September, you can expect dazzling autumn colours, forest hikes and foraging, mild weather and the first glimpse of the Northern Lights. In contrast. as winter sets in across the Arctic regions and Swedish Lapland between November to April, temperatures plunge, snow falls and there's a huge array of winter activities and adventures to choose from. Note though, that the once-seasonal ICEHOTEL now operates all year round, so you can enjoy this exceptional, surreal stay, whatever the time of year you travel.
Treehotel & ICEHOTEL
5 days from £2,030 pp incl. flights
With stays at two on Scandinavia's most iconic hotels, plus the chance to add on a raft of thrilling activities, this holiday to Swedish Lapland makes for an exceptional winter adventure.
Winter Adventure at Treehotel & Arctic Bath
4 days from £1,585 pp incl. flights
Experience Swedish design at its absolute best, with a two-night stay and action-packed day at Treehotel, followed by a day of sauna relaxation and fine-dining delights at the innovative Arctic Bath.
Winter break at the Arctic Retreat
4 days from £3,230 pp incl. flights
Get away to Swedish Lapland's most boutique luxury offering, where days are spent snowmobiling and dogsledding and evenings in a private hot tub under the Northern Lights.
4 days from £1,265 pp incl. flights
This is the ideal holiday for the adventurous at heart – a three-night break in the wilds of Swedish Lapland, staying at the world-famous ICEHOTEL. Add on everything from husky sledding to Northern Lights hunts.
Loggers Lodge & Treehotel
5 days from £4,795 pp incl. flights
Ah, Swedish Lapland. Snow-laden trees and frozen landscapes, Scandinavian design lodges, traditional saunas, winter sports and exceptional outdoor experiences.