From north to south: The ultimate guide to Sweden’s best hiking trails

Hiking in Sweden

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker looking for your next challenge or a casual walker seeking to immerse yourself in the beauty of the outdoors, this guide will navigate you through the best that Sweden has to offer.

Good to know about Sweden’s best hiking trails: Before lacing up your hiking boots, consider these essential tips to ensure a memorable and safe adventure:

  • Seasonal considerations: The best time to hit the trails varies depending on the location. Northern trails like Kungsleden are best experienced in late summer, while southern paths like Skåneleden offer pleasant conditions from spring through autumn. Always check the weather forecast and trail conditions in advance.
  • Preparation is key: Equip yourself with suitable gear, including waterproof clothing, a reliable map or GPS device, and adequate food and water. Remember, the weather can change rapidly, especially in mountainous areas.
  • Respect the right of public access: Sweden’s unique ‘Allemansrätt’ allows everyone to roam freely in nature, but with great freedom comes responsibility. Be mindful of the environment, avoid disturbing wildlife, and leave no trace.
  • Trail difficulty and accessibility: Our list caters to a wide range of fitness levels and interests. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely day hike or a multi-day expedition, there’s a trail for you. Detailed descriptions will help you choose the right path.
  • Cultural encounters: Many of Sweden’s trails offer more than just natural beauty; they are steeped in history and culture. Take the time to explore the local heritage, from ancient Viking landmarks to traditional Sami villages.

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Hiking in Sweden in the forest

Kungsleden

Kungsleden, also known as The King’s Trail, is Sweden’s premier hiking path, attracting adventurers from around the globe to its stunning northern landscapes. This trail stretches about 440 kilometers (roughly 270 miles) from Abisko in the north to Hemavan in the south, offering a diverse and enriching outdoor experience through some of Sweden’s most beautiful and untouched wilderness. The trail’s origins trace back to the early 20th century, with various extensions over the years, including a significant one in 1975 that extended it to Hemavan, coinciding with the creation of the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve​​. It’s not just a trail but a journey through Swedish Lapland’s heart, showcasing the rugged beauty of the Arctic landscape.

The trail is divided into four sections, each roughly corresponding to a week of hiking, with the northernmost section between Abisko and Kebnekaise being the most popular​​. The King’s Trail is famed for its accessibility and the infrastructure in place to support hikers. Well-marked paths guide you through varied terrains, from rocky passes to soft marshlands, aided by plank walkways and sturdy bridges. During the summer, when the trail is most frequented, hikers can use rowing boats provided at certain points to cross lakes and rivers, adding an element of adventure to the trek​​. Accommodation along the trail is thoughtfully arranged, with a network of huts set approximately a day’s walk apart, offering basic amenities such as mattresses, cooking facilities, and sometimes even a sauna to unwind after a long day’s hike. These huts, mostly operated by the Swedish Tourist Association (STF), allow hikers to travel light, focusing on the experience rather than the burden of heavy backpacks​​.

The trail meanders through Laponia, a World Heritage Site renowned for its dramatic mountain ranges and the rich cultural heritage of the Sami people. The stark beauty of places like Sarek National Park, with its untouched wilderness, offers a chance for introspection and connection with nature​​.

sea, coast, hiking

Höga Kustenleden

Höga Kustenleden, or the High Coast Trail, offers a unique hiking experience stretching 129 kilometers from the High Coast Bridge at Kramfors up to Örnsköldsvik. This trail is a true adventure through a landscape shaped by millennia, featuring a distinctive coastline, a national park, sandy shores, craggy cliffs, and ancient woodlands​​.

The trail can be approached from either end, with Hornöberget and Örnsköldsvik serving as the starting points. Conveniently, both locations are accessible by car, with free parking available at Hornöberget, and public transportation options like buses that link the trail to nearby towns and cities. This makes it easy for hikers to plan their journey to and from the trail​​. Hiking the Höga Kusten-leden is about immersing oneself in the breathtaking beauty of Sweden’s High Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its dramatic landscapes and the world’s highest coastline that continues to rise due to post-glacial rebound.

The trail is well-marked, guiding hikers through diverse terrains that include coastal stretches, forested paths, and rugged cliffs. Accommodation along the trail varies, offering hikers the choice to camp in tents, stay in huts, or seek shelter in windbreaks or cabins. However, it’s wise to note that options may be limited during peak season, making it advisable to carry a tent to ensure a place to stay each night​​.

One of the trail’s highlights is the central section around Skuleberget and the Skuleskogen National Park, known for its stunning natural beauty. This area offers plenty of opportunities for detours to explore dark tarns, boulder fields, babbling brooks, and deep ravines, including the awe-inspiring Slåtterdalsskrevan​​.

Hiking in Sweden

Padjelantaleden

Padjelantaleden, nestled in the heart of Sweden’s majestic Lapland, is a remarkable 160-kilometer-long trail that showcases the raw beauty of Padjelanta National Park, part of the larger Laponia area, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This trail is an invitation to explore the serene and untouched landscapes of Sweden’s largest national park, offering a journey through rounded mountains, expansive heaths, and vast lakes, presenting a picturesque greeny-blue vista that captivates every hiker​​.

The trail connects Kvikkjokk to Ritsem, winding through an enchanting high mountain plateau adorned with wild rivers and countless lakes, making water an ever-present element along the route. Padjelantaleden is uniquely accessible, welcoming walkers of all skill levels, including those less experienced in the rigors of mountain hiking.

The path is well-marked, ensuring a safe and enjoyable hike through this pristine wilderness​​. The trail’s endpoints, Kvikkjokk and Ritsem, are well-connected by train and bus services from major cities like Stockholm, providing a seamless journey for adventurers coming from afar. For those seeking a quicker route, flights to Kiruna offer an alternative, albeit less eco-friendly, option​​.

Along the trail, hikers will find a series of huts offering shelter and basic amenities, from the larger fell stations at Kvikkjokk and Ritsem to the more intimate cabins managed by the Sámi herding districts within the national park. These huts provide respite for weary travelers and also a unique glimpse into the region’s cultural heritage, deeply intertwined with the indigenous Sámi people and their reindeer herding practices​​.

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Hiking trail forest

Sörmlandsleden

Sörmlandsleden, affectionately known as the “Sörmland Trail,” offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural history, stretching over 1,000 kilometers across the Södermanland province, just south of Stockholm, Sweden. This extensive network of hiking trails is one of the longest in Sweden and takes adventurers through landscapes, with deep forests, rugged rocky knolls, and dark, glittering lakes​​​​.

Established in 1973, Sörmlandsleden was Sweden’s first lowland trail and remains one of its most beloved. The trail starts near the heart of Stockholm, in Björkhagen, and meanders through not only picturesque wilderness but also past towns such as Eskilstuna, Katrineholm, and Nyköping. This offers hikers the flexibility to embark on day-long excursions, select specific segments that catch their interest, or challenge themselves to conquer the entire trail in one comprehensive journey​​.

What sets Sörmlandsleden apart is its diverse terrain, providing something for every type of hiker, from those seeking a leisurely Sunday stroll to those hungry for a more demanding trek. The trail’s design caters to this variety, with parts that might have you navigating wooden planks across a marsh one minute and the next, taking in expansive views of the Baltic Sea​​. Marked by distinctive orange rings on trees or poles and signs adorned with symbols or an “S” on an orange backdrop, the trail is easy to follow. It winds through various terrains and difficulty levels, ensuring that each step brings a new experience.

Along the way, hikers will find rest areas, lean-tos, campsites, log cabins, and other shelters, providing ample opportunity to rest and refuel. Moreover, springs along the trail offer fresh drinking water, a vital resource for any long-distance trekker​​. Divided into over 100 sections, the lengths of these segments vary, but most hover around 10 kilometers, making it convenient for hikers to plan their journey according to their abilities and interests.

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the serene beauty of nature reserves like Tyresta National Park and Nackareservatet or explore historical monuments and areas rich in cultural tradition, Sörmlandsleden offers a gateway to the varied landscapes and heritage of Södermanland​​.

Walking trail forest Sweden

Roslagsleden

Roslagsleden, often celebrated as a journey through time and nature, stretches 190 kilometers across Stockholm County, Sweden. Marked by the distinctive orange color on trees and other landmarks, Roslagsleden guides hikers through deep forests, coastal landscapes, and numerous cultural sights that tell the stories of centuries past​​​​. Initiated in 1977 and later extended, Roslagsleden traverses six municipalities, making it a trail that is both immersed in wilderness and yet never far from civilization.

This unique combination allows for an escape into nature with the comforting knowledge that you’re never too far from the amenities of modern life. It’s a trail where one can follow in the footsteps of the Vikings, feeling the echoes of history with each step while enjoying the convenience of accessible starting points, thanks to local bus services​​. The trail is divided into 11 manageable sections, offering hikers the flexibility to choose their adventure, from short evening walks to weekend explorations. Each section presents its own charm, from lakes to the coastal side of Grisslehamn, where the trail concludes.

Accommodation options along the trail are varied, ranging from shelters and campsites to cabins and hotels, ensuring comfort for every preference and budget​​​​. Highlights along Roslagsleden include Angarnssjöängen, a birdwatching paradise; Wira Bruk, known for its idyllic red cottages and rich historical ambiance; and the studio of Albert Engström, an artist and author whose work offers a window into Swedish culture and heritage.

These landmarks, among others, provide hikers with a multidimensional experience that combines the beauty of nature with the depth of Swedish culture and history​​.

Hiking in Bohuslän

Bohusleden

Bohusleden, a 340-kilometer hiking trail that carves its way through the breathtaking landscapes of Sweden, from Lindome in the south to Strömstad in the north, is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. This trail is segmented into 27 diverse sections. Distinguished by its accessibility and the sheer variety it presents, the southern segments of Bohusleden, particularly around Gothenburg and Kungälv, are easily reachable by public transport, making them ideal for less experienced hikers or those looking for leisurely day trips.

This part of the trail is well-supported with numerous accommodation options and eateries, ensuring a comfortable experience for all who traverse its paths​​​​. As one ventures further north, the trail adopts a wilder character, with the terrain becoming more challenging and the sense of adventure intensifying. This section, especially noted between stages 18-24, is less accessible by public transport, beckoning the more adventurous souls who are willing to embrace the wilderness in its rawest form.

Here, overnight stays are primarily in tents or wind shelters, and hikers are advised to carry all necessary supplies, including water purification means for the lakes along the way​​​​. Bohusleden isn’t just about the physical journey; it’s an exploration of Southern Sweden’s most stunning natural backdrops and a real treat for nature lovers. The trail is peppered with notable landmarks and natural wonders, from the majestic Älgafallet, Bohuslän’s highest waterfall, to the mythical Blacktjärn, surrounded by legends of invisible beings and protective sprites guarding treasures beneath its depths​​.

The trail also offers cultural enrichments, like the serene Jonsered Gardens and the historical Gunnebo House, blending the beauty of nature with great Swedish architecture and horticulture. Not to be missed are the breathtaking views from Getryggen, offering panoramic vistas that stretch to the Port of Gothenburg and the shimmering sea beyond, making every strenuous step up the hill entirely worth the effort​​.

Dalarna, hiking, vasaloppet

Vasaloppsleden

Vasaloppsleden is a 90-kilometer hiking trail that offers an immersive journey into the heart of Swedish nature and history. Stretching from Sälen to Mora, this trail follows the same path as the renowned Vasaloppet, the world’s oldest and longest cross-country ski race.

The trail is a magnet for those who are drawn to the outdoors, seeking to experience the rugged beauty of Sweden’s landscapes, the challenge of long-distance hiking, and the rich cultural history embedded along the route​​​​​​. The trail is divided into manageable sections, making it accessible for a wide range of hikers, from families looking for a day out in nature to seasoned trekkers embarking on a multi-day adventure. Along the way, hikers can find well-placed cabins for overnight stays, which offer a basic but comfortable shelter, adding to the rustic charm of the journey. These cabins are strategically located to ensure that hikers have a place to rest after a day’s trek, without the need for carrying tents​​​​.

Vasaloppsleden is not just a trail; it’s a historical journey. The path retraces the steps of Gustav Vasa, a key figure in Swedish history, whose flight from Danish forces in the 16th century is commemorated by the Vasaloppet race. This historical backdrop adds a layer of depth to the hiking experience, allowing trekkers to reflect on the enduring spirit and resilience that characterize Swedish history​​.

The trail boasts a variety of landscapes, from dense forests and peaceful lakes to open countryside, offering a diverse hiking experience. The southern sections near Sälen are known for their accessibility and are ideal for those new to hiking or looking for less challenging routes. In contrast, the northern sections towards Mora present more rugged terrains, promising rewarding views and a sense of solitude for those seeking a more adventurous hike​​​​.

Vasaloppsleden offers a unique blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and hiking challenges, making it a cherished destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re drawn to the trail for its cultural heritage, the physical challenge, or the opportunity to connect with nature, Vasaloppsleden promises an enriching and memorable experience in the heart of Sweden.

Hiking in sweden

Blekingeleden

Blekingeleden, stretching over 260 kilometers from Sölvesborg in the west to Bröms in the northeast, is a captivating trail that showcases the diverse landscapes of Blekinge. This trail is a favorite among hikers for many reasons, including the rich historical sites, the varied terrain that includes forests, pastures, lakes, and small fields, and well-maintained facilities such as water and toilets available along most sections​​.

The trail is well-marked with orange signs, guiding hikers through the picturesque countryside of Blekinge. With sections connecting to the ARK56 network, comes opportunities to explore the region’s stunning archipelago by bike, kayak, or ferry. Accommodation along the Blekingeleden is varied, ensuring that hikers can find a comfortable place to rest. The trail is divided into 15 sections, each offering unique landscapes and experiences. The trail also provides a comprehensive view of Blekinge’s varied terrain.

Along the way, hikers can enjoy the hospitality of local accommodations, making the journey not just about the landscapes but also about the warmth of Blekinge’s communities​​. The Blekingeleden Trail also connects with the Skåneleden Trail in the west, providing an extended hiking experience into the neighboring province of Skåne. This connection highlights the trail’s significance as a link between different regions, offering an expansive exploration of southern Sweden’s natural and cultural heritage​​.

For those looking to explore Blekinge’s outdoors, the Blekingeleden Trail offers a comprehensive experience, combining the tranquility of nature with the rich tapestry of history and culture that defines the region. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or someone looking to take a leisurely walk through Sweden’s countryside, the Blekingeleden promises an unforgettable journey through one of the country’s most beautiful landscapes.

Skåne, hiking

Österlenleden

Österlenleden, part of the Skåneleden Trail, is a mesmerizing hiking experience in southeastern Sweden. Stretching approximately 93 kilometers, it takes hikers through a varied landscape, from the beautiful shores along the coast to the lush, verdant interiors marked by dense forests and open fields. This trail, primarily running from Nybrostrand to Andrarum, offers a blend of natural beauty and cultural richness, making it a sought-after route for both domestic and international hikers​​.

The trail is segmented into manageable stages, with daily stretches ranging from 5 to 19 kilometers. This flexibility makes Österlenleden suitable for a wide range of hikers, from those seeking leisurely day walks to more ambitious trekkers looking to cover longer distances.

Along the way, hikers have access to various amenities, including food and water, with notable stops in Simrishamn, Ystad, Skillinge, and Kivik. Accommodation options are plentiful, with hostels, hotels, and camping sites providing restful stops for weary legs​​. One of the unique aspects of Österlenleden is its coastal path, offering stunning seaside views, sandy beaches, and the opportunity to explore picturesque fishing villages. Inland, the trail winds through dense forests home to majestic oaks, pines, and beech trees, enhancing the hiking experience. Highlights of the hike include breathtaking viewpoints like Hammarsbackar and Stenshuvud, which promise unforgettable vistas​​​​.

Cultural encounters along the trail are equally enriching, with a plethora of galleries and apple orchards dotting the landscape, reflecting Österlen’s allure to artists and nature lovers alike. For those venturing along the coastal stretches, bringing along swimwear is recommended to take advantage of the beautiful beaches that make perfect spots for a refreshing dip​​. The starting point of the trail in Nybrostrand is easily accessible from Ystad via public transport, making it convenient for hikers to reach the trailhead.

For those completing the trail at Andrarum, planning for transportation back is advisable, given the limited bus services in the area​​. Österlenleden offers a unique hiking experience that combines the natural splendor of Sweden’s southeastern coast with the rich cultural tapestry of Österlen. Whether you’re drawn to the scenic coastal walks, the tranquil forest paths, or the vibrant local culture, Österlenleden promises a hiking adventure that caters to a wide array of interests and preferences.

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