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 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.
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.
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.
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. In contrast, the Arctic regions and Swedish Lapland are especially magical from November to April, with a huge array of winter activities and snowy adventures to choose from. Note though, that the once-seasonal Ice Hotel now operates all year round, so you can enjoy this exceptional, surreal stay, whatever the time of year you travel.
Fjellborg Arctic Lodge & ICEHOTEL
5 days from £5,895 pp incl. flights
This thrilling journey takes you deep into Swedish Lapland and is a luxurious take on an Arctic adventure, combining a Scandi-luxe private log cabin with a stay at the iconic ICEHOTEL.
Treehotel & ICEHOTEL
5 days from £1,840 pp incl. flights
This amazing winter holiday to Swedish Lapland makes for an exceptional adventure. Snuggle up in front of the roaring fire, watch the Northern Lights from your hot tub and race across frozen lakes.
Loggers Lodge & Treehotel
4 days from £3,340 pp incl. flights
Ah, Swedish Lapland. Snow-laden trees and frozen landscapes, Scandinavian design lodges, traditional saunas, winter sports and exceptional outdoor experiences.
4 days from £765 pp incl. flights
Achieve the perfect balance of adventure and experience on this luxurious break to Swedish Lapland. With a night in the renowned Ice Hotel, staying in a freshly carved, individually-designed Ice Room.