Although most readily associated with winter, Sweden is a year-round destination, with different activities and special experiences available according to the seasons. To help you choose your favourite time of year, we explore the perks of traveling through each season.
Adventure-filled summer days
As you might expect, summer is a popular time to visit Sweden and is particularly ideal for self-drive holidays. Between early June and September, take advantage of the long daylight hours to explore peaceful azure lakes, swathes of pristine forest and traditional Nordic villages as well as interesting cultural cities with the likes of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo. It can be delightfully sunny and pleasantly warm, particularly in the south of Sweden, so this is a great time to explore Stockholm and the islands. For something different, head north to Swedish Lapland, where you’ll be able to experience one of the world’s most arresting visual phenomena. Here, the Midnight Sun sheds ethereal light on picturesque archipelagos, where kayak tours bring you between untouched flora and fauna. You can also head into the surrounding countryside for mountain bike and hiking trails or simply take the opportunity to laze by the beach with a good book.
A colourful autumn
Marked by milder temperatures, fewer crowds and a beautiful change in scenery, the arrival of autumn in Sweden offers the perfect time to take advantage of the country's outstanding outdoors. From September, you can expect dazzling autumnal colours, forest hikes and foraging, and potentially a first glimpse of the long awaited Northern Lights. The latter is particularly prominent the further north you go, where the aurora is at its most active. Heading into Swedish lapland's forested interior will also present the chance to stay at some unique hotels, from private luxury log cabins to designer treehotels, not to mention the year-round ICEHOTEL 365. The rural north of Sweden also contains some of the largest populations of bears in the country, and autumn is one of the best times to experience them in the wild.
Back south, the wild west coast of the country is perfect for an island-hopping adventure, whilst the inviting cafes and bakeries of the southern cities make for a perfect stop for fika in the chillier autumnal days. Elsewhere in the south, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the cities is Dalarna, a spectacular mountainous region right in the heart of the country. And whilst the countryside is beautiful at any time of year, between September and November, the deep orange leaves sets an impossibly pretty backdrop for the signature red timber-clad houses and calm shimmering lakes – perfect for getting lost in the wilderness.
Head to the north for winter
Come the winter, holidays to Sweden are all about the frozen north. As a blanket of snow begins to cover the mountains and forests of much of Swedish Lapland from December onwards, temperatures plunge, bringing with it a huge array of thrilling winter activities, from husky sledding and snowmobiling, to ice fishing and of course trips to spot the Aurora Borealis. Although it is colder and darker in winter, there are plenty of opportunities to keep warm while on holiday in Sweden. After fun-filled days in the chilly outdoors, almost all hotels have a combination of outdoor hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms to help you recover.
Luckily, when it comes to places to stay, there are no shortage of options. Choose from the likes of luxury log cabins, to one of 7 designer room at the Treehotel. Or perhaps you wish to combine a modern riverside spa retreat with a night sleeping on a bed of ice at the famous ICEHOTEL. Either way, your days will be filled with adventures, exploration and wilderness thrill. Once the sun dips below the horizon, the skies come alive with the spectacular shimmering colours of the Northern Lights.