The awesome natural landscapes of Sweden range from remote arctic tundras to deep volcanic gorges and sweeping seascapes. Get ready to immerse yourself in the wilds of Sweden’s most beautiful national parks.
The often cold but lush land is rich with unique and interesting wildlife, and it is the job of the national parks in Sweden to protect and preserve this ecology for future generations. The national parks cover huge areas of land, reaching often extremely remote parts of the country. Many of the national parks offer the chance for visitors to experience the captivating scenery, with well-marked hiking routes along ridges and to the top of lookouts. When the snow is too thick on the ground, traveling by dog sleds or using snowshoes is the only way to travel.
Map of National Parks in Sweden
The awesome spectacle of the northern lights can be spotted in the wilds of the parks, where bears, lynx and eagles roam, and there is the chance to stay overnight in park wildlife lodges. Summer in more southern parts of Sweden means verdant landscapes with rushing waterfalls, lakes, and camping in ancient forests. These are the kinds of landscapes that make unforgettable trips, where bucket lists get ticked off and you see things you never imagined you would see.
If you are searching for a bit of peace and quiet, then you should head to this national park; it is claimed that Muddus is the quietest place in all of Sweden. The quietude is down to the park’s primeval forest that blankets most of the park, soaking up all the noise. The park’s landscape is diverse – from the Muttosädno river that meanders its way from the marsh land in the south all the way to the Muddus waterfall, to the Måskosgårsså box canyon – a narrow gorge that looks like a slit in the land. Hiking in the park offers the opportunity to follow ancient migratory routes past old settlements, and cabins that are open year-round for visitors to spend the night. Autumn in the park is particularly magical, with the arrival of mysterious mists and a spectrum of rusty reds and auburns as the leaves change color.
Shaped by the Dalälven river running through it, Färnebofjärden National Park – with its rapids and wide bays – is a sublime setting for fish, birds and plants to thrive. The park’s landscape is greatly affected by flooding in the Spring, which contours and feeds the land, creating a unique habitat of floodplains, riverside fens, green meadows and old forest. Over 205 bird species live within Färnebofjärden – which is a big attraction for many visitors – as well as deer, elk, lynx and beavers. With the flooding of the land, islands appear, and the best way to explore them is by hiring a canoe and traversing the waterways. Find yourself the ideal place to set up camp on the water’s edge and fish in the abundant river – or try to catch a salmon trout in the rough of the Gysinge rapids.
The only marine park in Sweden, Kosterhavet National Park is a haven for coastal wildlife and coastal preservation. The park borders Norway and its Atlantic scenery, providing an incredibly diverse array of over 6,000 different types of sea-life, including cold-water coral. Tourists are drawn to the park to experience the strange and serene natural expanse. The best way to see this landscape is by kayaking in the autumn, when you might get the chance to spot some seals. Kayaking also enables visitors to reach the small, remote islands where the seals sunbathe. In the summer, the sea is warm enough for snorkeling, which opens up the underwater world – or you can take a boat trip to further-out areas.
Craggy cliffs, thick forest and sandy beaches make up the enticing Stenshuvud National Park. A beautiful part of the Swedish coast, the park is perfect for hiking. One of the best routes through the park takes you from sea-level up to the 100-metre-high lookout, where views of the sunsets are beguiling. Hikes through the park are color-coded for difficulty. Rest at the top of the peaks for a while, listen to the birdsong and take in the sea views. The beach is a popular spot for sun-worshipers and families in the summer months; it’s great for days spent lounging, enjoying picnics, playing in the surf or swimming. This is the kind of landscape that, during the summer months when the sun is shining, it could seem as if you were on a beach in a tropical place. But this southernmost Swedish park is more than just a pretty beach; the park’s forests provide a home for a huge variety of plant life, including rare species such as the barren strawberry. The visitor’s center offers information and tips on how to identify fauna and fauna.
Get lost in nature and experience the Swedish countryside at this hilly and mountainous park that’s been shaped over millennia by glaciers. With deep forests that are just asking to be explored and sparkling blue lakes for swimming, Tiveden is like a playground for eco-explorers. Marked trekking routes take visitors along undulating paths, over big boulders and along rocky rifts to expose views of the magnificent treetops. The park isn’t overloaded with tourists and so much of it feels like a remote and far-reaching area, although it is easily reached via the highway. For camping enthusiasts this park is a dream: pitch up your tent in the summer months, spend the night under the stars and wake up to the sunrise over the lake.
Translating as ‘the higher land’ in the native Lulesámi language, Padjelanta is Sweden’s largest national park. The hiking opportunities here are diverse and relatively easy. There’s the option to try out short half-day hikes, or attempt a longer overnight trek and stay in the park’s lodges overnight. Padjelanta is famous for its varying and abundant plant life, much of which can be spotted along the trails. There are also many different bird species that can be seen living in the park, from the powerful golden eagle to the dainty European golden plover, amongst others. Climbers that take the difficult routes up the toothy mountainside are paid off with amazing views across the great lakes of Virihávrre, Vastenjávrre and Sáluhávrre, which together have been given the title of the most beautiful scenery in Sweden.
Mountains, woods, seas and lakes – Skuleskogen National Park never ceases to amaze. Summer in Skuleskogen ushers in a glistening Baltic seascape and a copious amount of bountiful blooming nature. The trails through the park take visitors through the remains of age-old coastal forest, verdant woods, tracing streams and rocky tundra to reveal astonishing views across the land. There is the opportunity for visitors to spend the night in one of the log cabins within the park’s boundaries. Staying the night means more time spent enjoying the hiking at a slower pace, plus waking up for the sunrise over the treetops. The best thing is that the cabins are free to use – just make sure to check in at the visitor’s center when you first arrive. Winter is snowy and cold, but with the ice the beauty of the park is revealed in a delicate wonderland of snow-coated pines and ice-covered lakes.
Like an image from another planet, Sarek National Park’s jagged glacial vales, serrated peaks and tumultuous rivers are a challenge for many visitors. This remote national park is incredibly secluded and offers adventurous hikers the chance to adventure through a landscape dotted with brown bears, lynx and massive moose, whilst birds of prey circle overhead. There aren’t many marked trails through the park, so much of it remains untouched. But the mountainous peaks are not altogether inaccessible and, with the help of a wilderness guide, the awesomeness of Sarek can open up. It is still possible to spot the indigenous Sami people‘s villages inside the boundaries of the park, where they have lived and practiced traditional customs for thousands of years. This is a park for enterprising explorers, but all the hard work of trekking through the snowy tundra is easily paid off with a glimpse of the northern lights.
Tyresta sits on the outskirts of Stockholm and is popular with day-trippers from the city. Being within reach of a major city means Tyresta is the perfect place to teach visitors about respecting nature and enjoying the outdoor environment. The park’s rift valley landscape is the ideal habitat for many species of animals that live within the primeval forests coating the slopes. Some of the pine trees in the park’s boundaries are over 400 years old, an incredible sight for visitors. With paths winding past lakes and along ridges, there is a selection of trails varying in difficulty, meaning the beautiful landscape is accessible to many. Tyresta Village itself is a charming and well preserved 18th-century town which acts a gateway to the park – it’s an excellent place to learn more about the hiking trails and the indigenous wildlife.
Abisko’s magnificent landscape is actually one of the easiest national parks in Sweden to reach. Located in Swedish Lapland, the park is a magical and diverse habitat that encompasses fjords and waterfalls, forests and snow-capped mountains. The scenic views draw many visitors – in fact, Abisko is the most visited national park in the country. Activities in the park are a big lure to the many tourists who come to try out hiking in the undulating hills, cross-country skiing and even dog sledding. In the summer months, temperatures remain relatively cool, but 24-hour sunlight means the chance to hike all day long if people so wish. The cacophonous landscape of the park is home to some incredible wildlife: the arctic fox, reindeer, elks, lemmings, and even wolverines live among the boreal forests and snow plains.