In the heart of Sweden, just across the border from Norway, lies the province of Jämtland. An oasis of mountains and forests, this superb off-the-beaten-track destination is perfect to get away from it all and reacquaint yourself with nature.
From December through to March, winter in Jämtland is truly beautiful; rich in spectacular snow-covered landscapes and celebrated with Nordic traditions. From dog sledding and skiing to snowmobiling and snow-kiting, there is so much to enjoy. And, after a day out in the snow, what better way to warm up, relax and unwind, than in a traditional Swedish sauna.
Accommodation – Swedish style
Local outdoor-adventure company Escapade Sweden are the point of contact for those wishing to explore Jämtland. Escapade founder Åsa Lind Chong understands that travellers are looking for an authentic experience and recommends Buustamons Fjällgård and Hotel Åregården. As well as providing stylish and comfortable accommodation, both also serve as an ideal base to meet with guides before adventuring out into the wilderness.
Buustamons Fjällgård, a mountain lodge set in a beautiful nature reserve, is also home to one the region’s best restaurants. Using only the highest quality ingredients to serve delicious meals this popular eatery was a worthy recipient of “Best in the White Guide 2017”. In more ways than one Buustamons Fjällgård offers a taste of the real Sweden: it has a traditional sauna, an outdoor hot tub, its own distillery which produces Swedish Brännvin (snaps). Even the ice in the bar is made from a mountain spring.
Hotel Åregården is the oldest hotel in Åre Village and has been lovingly maintained since it opened in 1895. This trendy boutique hotel has two restaurants, its own wine bar and a lobby bar where you can chat with locals – there’s always much to discuss.
To really get to the heart of this unique region why not head out with a guide and stay a night or two in a Sami village? Here, you’ll meet with reindeer herders, and learn all about the Sami way. You’ll arrive by snow mobile and a stay is often combined with cross-country skiing (or lessons for beginners) – it’s a total adventure at every turn.
Thanks to its pure air and stunning scenery Jämtland has always been popular with visitors. Indeed, evidence dating back to 12th century shows that pilgrims found solace here. The local hub is Åre Village, where there are restaurants, cafes and shops selling winter fashions, sports gear and anything else you might need to embrace this outdoor-adventure haven.
Rewild your life
In his book “Last Child in the Woods”, Richard Louv coined the phrase “nature deficit disorder”, to describe the wide range of problems that result from not spending enough time outdoors. In Jämtland, this is not a problem. People embrace outdoor culture as a part of daily life – and with its crystal clear rivers, native forests and vast mountains it’s ready to welcome you too.
Escapade Sweden, specialises in making sure you get the most from this stunning Nordic region. Working with a network of experienced guides, Åsa Lind Chong brings her love of the wilderness and adventure travel to the core of each experience.
“We continuously seek out fun experiences and pride ourselves on only offering adventures with authenticity. In piecing together the experiences, we have taken to heart the need for people in today’s busy societies to ‘rewild’ themselves,” says Åsa.
What is rewilding? “Rewilding for us means returning to a more wild or natural state – sort of the opposite of domestication. This is precisely what we have created all our adventures around”, says Åsa.
Escapade Sweden specialises in the personal touch, and Åsa personally curates many of the trips and often comes along. She never tires of the wilderness and the skills involved, such as a making fire from only tinder and cooking under the stars. “It’s not only fun to do, but it’s integral to a happy life,” she adds. Θ