9 Best Beaches, Hikes & Northern Lights in Sweden

Fancy a relaxing weekend in the autumn darkness, without traveling far? Sweden is one of the most interesting European travel destinations that never seems to get talked about. Often lumped into the broader region of Scandinavia, and specifically paired up with Finland and Norway, it just is not always viewed as a distinct destination.

One of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world, Sweden should be on the bucket list of any European traveller. This country is famous for its Viking heritage, but today there are a thousand reasons to visit Sweden and is one of the best places to travel solo in Europe. Sweden is also one of the Scandinavian countries that is usually a regular in the lists of the best countries in the world to live.

Sweden is a multi-ethnic country. It has absorbed considerable immigration for the last 50 years and is safe, hospitable, beautiful, modern, peaceful, healthy, with non-existent unemployment. And if in winter you get tired of not seeing the light and having to leave home lined with three or four layers of clothes, you can always make a trip to Southern Europe to see family and friends.

Once you look into what Sweden has to offer, you will begin to discover a beautiful and fascinating country with all kinds of things to offer. There are adventurous hikes, stunning natural phenomena, urban breaks for a bit of relaxation, and even some beaches in Sweden that are surprisingly picturesque (given how far north Sweden really is).

For a country with a population of less than 10 million, Sweden has punched above its weight in terms of its impact on the world at large. From Vikings to IKEA, the Nobel Prize to ABBA, Sweden certainly has certainly made an impression on the global stage. A solo backpacker who visits today is rewarded by stunning landscapes, charming towns and cities and welcoming people.

This is one of the best countries to visit in the world if you are looking for a calm and enriching adventure. Sweden is a nation that proudly boasts about its wonderful natural landscapes, white sand beaches and peaceful little towns with cobblestone streets. In terms of hiking opportunities, there are many exciting locations that you should consider exploring if you visit Sweden.

Is it your dream to sail in the Stockholm archipelago? To build your own logging fleet and float on the Klarälven with family? Or just take it easy in a hotel on the Swedish Riviera? From the midnight sun's Luleå in the north to beautiful Malmö in the south. Choose and toss between everything from lovely sea baths and breathtaking nature experiences to beautiful archipelago and city-close locations.

Build your own log barge and glide on the mighty Klarälven River in Värmland. Choose if you want to stay 1, 2 or 4 days. You can live in tents and the place offers adventures and many nature experiences. Stay in exclusive tiny houses in Hjo, a hundred meters from the beach in Varberg or enjoy the outdoor feeling in Tylösand with Sweden's perhaps best sandy beach.

Sweden Beaches

So, giving a little bit of attention to each of these categories and more, we are going to delve into Sweden, and why it is such an appealing place for a holiday.

1. Kiruna


If you are going to visit Sweden then you should also try to see the aurora lights at some point. Sweden came up in a previous piece about celebrating holidays under the Northern Lights, and as you might expect of a northern European country like this, there are indeed chances to see this stunning natural phenomenon.

In fact, the northern lights can be seen all over Sweden, such that even people in the southern cities have occasionally reported a little bit of light activity in the sky.

Still, your best bet is to head north, where you will have far and away the best chance of seeing something amazing. There is not one specific destination that is recommended above others, but the closer you get to the northern borders with Norway and Finnish Lapland, the better your chances of witnessing the Aurora will be. You can also look into booking tours specifically aimed at sightings - including some that also offer dog sledding adventures!

Sweden

2. Lund


There are wonderful cities and towns sprinkled all over Sweden, and any of them can make for a nice refuge if you do not want to spend your whole time hiking and adventuring. On the smaller side, travelers might enjoy Lund, a charming old town of fewer than 100,000 people with cobblestone roads and a Renaissance cathedral.

Sweden

3. Gotland


Visby is famous for it's sheepskin products and you'll find sheep sculptures all around the city. Wander around the Botanical Gardens and find several there along with wild roses. Visby is arguably Scandinavia's best preserved medieval city and whether you're walking along the wall, around the ruins or along the west coast pebble beaches, you'll be in awe at how well looked after everything is and how proud locals are of their island.

In fact, game development has been offered as a subject of choice at the country's Gotland University since 2001.

Sweden

4. Uppsala


Uppsala is another destination worth considering, both for its deep history (it is often mentioned in association with Vikings, though these histories have been twisted somewhat) and for the charming university town, it is today.

Sweden

5. Malmo


And then there is Malmo, a slightly larger but not massive coastal city that is linked by tunnel to Copenhagen in Denmark. Any of these places to visit in Sweden can make for a nice place to rest and do a bit of local sightseeing.

Spring comes early, cycling is easy because the landscapes are flat, winters may be free of snow and ice (you get rain instead - often lots), and the European continent is nearby. It feels bubbly, warm, and European. You might as well be in Holland, Denmark, or Germany. Just less crowded.

6. Faro


We won't spend too much space on beaches of Sweden, but if you are looking for further outdoor activity in Sweden that is a little more relaxing and less adventurous, the selection of pleasant coastal areas is surprisingly broad and impressive. Because Sweden is recognized as a Scandinavian country many forget all about the fact that much of it runs along the Baltic Sea, which is a famously beautiful resort area.

Among the famous beaches in Sweden are Ribersborg, Tanto Beach, Faro, Lysekil, and Norrfallsviken, and all are pretty and relaxing options.

Faro makes for perhaps the most complete beach getaway. It is its own island, well south of Stockholm and just off of the larger island of Gotland, smack in the middle of the Baltic Sea. It is a charming coastal area complete with restaurants and ice cream shops, beach walks, mini golf, and boating and was one of the locations of Game of Thrones.

Sweden

7. Kalmar


In Sweden there are many nice towns and places to discover. One of them is the East Coast's beautiful archipelago town Västervik! The 5000 islands make it a holiday paradise for the whole family. In today's guide we give you tips on what you should do here. Vastervik is perfect for an active holiday with canoeing, hiking or biking. But also for those who like cozy cafes or boat trips in the archipelago.

Treat yourself to a golf holiday in Tofta Manor, spa at Hooks Herrgård, or a piece of Japan at Yasuragi with hot springs and sushi school for children. There is a partially floating hotel, spa and restaurant with rooms and suites inspired by ABBA's music and history. Live off-grid in exclusive tiny-houses in the woods outside Hjo, on a quiet forest near the campsite at Happie Camp in Varmland, or in family homes in Halland Riviera.

8. Karlskrona


Karlskrona in the middle of the archipelago is really the sunniest city in Sweden. There are endless things to do in Karlskrona. You can visit many of the places to visit on your own, although some must be visited with a guide. Take a walk through the streets and experience how the modern pulse of the city mixes with its historical spirit, a fantastic combination of past and present.

The flagship of the tourist attractions of Karlskrona is its Naval Museum. Many Baroque buildings remain intact, like those on the grandiose main square, Stortorget. After having protected the harbor for more than three centuries, the Kungsholm Fortress and the Drottningskär Citadel reveal a remarkable history.

At the fascinating Sea Museum, explore a Soviet submarine, inspect a minesweeper from World War II and observe an 18th century sunken ship through an underwater tunnel.

9. Sälen, Sweden


With one of Europe's largest wilderness areas and 29 national parks, there is much untouched nature to experience in Sweden. Our most famous hiking trail is Kungsleden which runs through four national parks. But hiking doesn't have to be extreme and far away - hiking is for everyone, everywhere. Take a walk along the coast, in the Kosterhavet National Park, in the forest next to you or hike and explore a new city.

Hopefully, this paints the accurate picture, which is that Sweden is a remarkable place for an adventure. No matter what your primary reason for going may be, there is a little bit of everything to enjoy, and you might just manage most of it in one trip.
Kalyan Panja

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