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Why We Fell Hopelessly in Love with Sweden 

It’s been over a week since we returned from a fantastic 3-week camper trip to Sweden. We’re still getting used to the hectic lifestyle in Antwerp, and everything in me is screaming to go back. But alas, every good story must end, and slowly (very slowly), we’re easing back into our daily life here.

Sweden has left a mark. Yeah, I know we say that about almost every destination, but this time, it feels different. The freedom to roam, the open roads, the slow pace of life, and the endless lakes hit us hard.

part of a tree hanging over the water and reflecting in in during sunset in sweden
two boats lying partly in the water and on the shore during sunset

It’s a country made to explore by camper, caravan, tent, or whatever you want to use to sleep under the stars. Well, not really stars because in Summer, the sun doesn’t set, so it doesn’t get dark completely. But who cares? These endless days were magical!

How’s the Weather in Sweden?

Let’s talk about the weather. We were lucky and had three weeks of sunshine and one day of rain. When you think of Sweden, I imagine cold and wet weather but not perfect summer weather like ours. Even more perfect was that the temperatures dropped to twelvish degrees at night, so we were never too warm to sleep.

me and florian standing on a bridge over a swirling river in sweden on the vildmarksvägen
sunset over the water seen from behind a hammock hanging between the trees with boats in the background
kelly posing on a rock in the lake with the sun setting behind her in sweden

Wild Camping in Sweden

What are the rules? “The Right of Public Access,” or ‘Allemansrätten,’ allows everyone to roam in Sweden. It means you have the right to walk, cycle, ride, ski, and camp on any land except for private gardens, near a dwelling house, or land under cultivation. But this also comes with the responsibility of caring for nature and wildlife. Also, show consideration for landowners and other people enjoying the countryside. Don’t disturb – don’t destroy!

our fiat ducato camper standing in the forest in sweden
a plate of nachos with shredded cheddar with a view of a lake behind
florian eating lunch inside our camper
our fiat ducato camper standing on the stekenjokk plateau in sweden with florian standing next to it

A Slower Pace of Life

The moment we crossed the border into Sweden, I felt lighter. Driving vast stretches of road without passing another car or walking in a National park all alone (we knew this because we were the only ones in the parking lot). Everywhere we went, there was this sense of slowing down. Even in the supermarket, you could take your time bagging your groceries, not hurrying along and freaking out.

me and florian lying on a picnic blanket on a wooden pier on the lake in sweden

The deafening silence in Sweden is my favorite! Being a neurodivergent person, I struggle with overstimulation a lot. Living in Antwerp can be a severe attack on my nervous system. I wear Loops earplugs to dampen the noise of my surroundings (but with my ADHD brain, I forget to wear them often) because everything is too loud. It wears me down, the constant noise of the highway, airplanes overhead, cars honking.

green leaves of a beech tree with water of a lake in the background
ripples in the lake during sunset

But in Sweden, there was nothing. Can you imagine? Only the sounds of nature. The calling of birds, the rustling leaves in the wind, or the water slapping against the rocks. That’s paradise for me.

Forests, as Far as the Eye Can See

These days, many people have discovered the healing properties of a forest bath. Sweden has plenty of trees. Almost 70% of the country is covered by forest. Spruce, pine, birch, and other species are plenty.

florian walking in the forest in sweden
florian walking over a bridge with the forest in the background

We didn’t focus on hiking during this trip, so we only visited two National Parks, Hamra NP, and Fulufjällets NP. In Hamra, we did the Barmarksled, a short 3 km loop with views of Svansjön Lake. This is also the place to be if you want to spot a bear, as this NP is one of Sweden’s most bear-rich areas.

wooden signs in hamra national park along the trail
zoomed in on cotton grass fluff balls
florian walking on a small wooden path in hamra national park in sweden

We couldn’t leave Sweden before visiting the highest waterfall in the country, Njupeskär. With its 93 meters high and a drop of 70 meters, it’s a spectacular sight to behold. But what we loved even more was the forest around the waterfall. The Njupeskärs loop, a 3,9km trail, leads you through the Njupån valley, where you’ll find fir trees up to 400 years old!

a big wooden sign at the entrance of Fulufjällets national park in sweden
florian walking on a wooden boardwalk in Fulufjällets national park in sweden
kelly standing in front of the Njupeskär waterfall in sweden

Have I convinced you to visit Sweden yet? If not, I’m publishing part 2 of why we fell in love with Sweden next week; stay tuned!

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