Sweden has a great and long-standing love affair with the great outdoors, as evidenced by the very strong right to roam laws that allow people to pitch their tents just about anywhere—for a few nights at least—as long as no one else is disturbed. While back-to-basics camping will never truly die in Sweden, glamping has quickly gathered fans and here are some of the places where people have been staying in order to get close-ish to nature.
With a close connection to the earth, Greenstones still manages to bring the glamour in an eco-conscious yurt camp set in the middle of a lush, gorgeously-green island of Flatön. Greenstones offers a regular programme of Yoga, Tai Chi and other disciplines taught by both the international team and by visiting world-class teachers. This is a true retreat, with just the right touch of pampering—and a big dose of communing with nature.
Located on an island (hence the name), these two-story tree houses provide generous-double beds, bed linen, and towels. There’s also an outdoor kitchen and a summer shower. Guests can row and fish for some of the abundance of pike and bass in Lake Havern. The water is so clean, clear, and fresh that some call it the best in the world. And yes, it’s comfy camping—and they’re building more, while still respecting the glorious Swedish nature.
Twenty four years ago, the first Ice Hotel was created out of the ice in Lappland. At the time, it was an international marvel. Each year when the weather turns, it’s rebuilt from scratch. The impetus has always been to showcase the glories of Sweden’s far north during winter time instead of when the midnight sun and the summer are in full swing. Sculptures, bars, glasses, walls, and rooms are all made from ice. Snuggle up in reindeer and other skins, grab a parka, and glamp in a totally unique way while managing to stay warm at the same time.
It proudly calls itself ‘Sweden’s most primitive hotel’, but that doesn’t mean these rustic eco-lodges located in the Bergslagen forest can’t provide the ultimate form of glamping. After all, glamping is all about getting back to nature without actually sleeping on dirt. However, Kolarbyn doesn’t offer showers or electricity. Covered with mud, the ‘hobbit houses’ as they’re called are forest huts covered with wild berries and mushrooms growing on the roof. The lounge provides basic beds with sleeping bags and sheep skin blankets to keep guests cosy.
Six rooms (and counting) with modern design plunked down in the midst of the forest in northern Sweden. Those looking for luxury with a mix of rustic standing in the heart of nature, look no further. Each ‘room’ is unique and suspended among the trees and while ecological values are paramount, the Treehotel doesn’t skimp on luxury. Like all of Sweden, respect for the environment is foremost. So while guests will enjoy a cosy, warm experience, their imprint will be minimal.
Owned by photographer Fredrik Broman and billed as ‘wild and peaceful’, Aurora (the name serves as a hint as to what guests can enjoy while they’re there) is located close to the Råne River in Lapland. With no artificial light to disturb the Northern Lights’ view (or anything else) and the three-comfy Lavvu rooms can be arranged as doubles, twins, or family rooms. A fire-driven heater keeps things cosy as do the drinks offered in the lounge. Fine dining and a floating sauna are also available, so the Camp is basically glamping with all the fixings.