Kolarbyn is a wonderful and wacky Swedish eco-lodge with 12 elf-like huts scattered through the forest in the Bergslagen region just two hours outside of Stockholm near the misty shores of Lake Skärsjön. Ideal for adventurous types seeking an off-the-beaten path experience, everyone from nature lovers to free-spirited families find their way to this primitive wooded camp, which feels like a place Gandolf would happily call home. Just opened for the Nordic summer season on May 1, it’s definitely where the wild things are!
Camouflaged huts house basic accommodations consisting of two hard platform beds covered in sheepskin rugs positioned in front of a wood-burning fireplace. Continuing the rustic theme, it’s BYOSB, as in bring your own sleeping bag, and candles and oil lamps are the only form of lighting. A freestanding outhouse a few steps from the slatted front door is available for those who aren’t totally comfortable going bush, and the nearby stream suffices for bathing au naturel. Meals are cooked over outdoor fires and the basics are provided, but the rest is DIY. (No need for white table linens or butler service in this neck of the woods). Don’t miss out on dessert though – the Swedish version of s’mores– sizzling hot bananas stuffed with chocolate and peanuts straight from the fire.
In the light of the Scandinavian midnight sun, guests can enjoy a variety of outdoor adventures such as wolf howling expeditions, moose safaris, lynx adventures, and beaver watching tours. In the winter season, there is wolf tracking as well. For the kids, there is blueberry picking in the summer, and troll, fairy and forest elf adventures to see where the little people live. If you want to kick it up a notch and be really hardcore, take the Bushcraft/Survival course where you can learn basic skills such as how to make a fire, find and purify water, forage for food and build a shelter. Or you can just row out to middle of the lake, chop up some firewood, and enjoy a nice hot sauna. Watch out for Nacken, a Swedish mythical figure who sometimes plays the violin naked by the lake. Whatever your into, Koralbyn is a wonderful place to let your imagination run wild and to roam free, for a song.
Rates: Lodging in forest hut, Sundays – Fridays: $60 per/person, per/night; kids $30. Kolarbyn offers an organic self-service breakfast at $10 per/person; kids $8. For bookings and enquiries, email: email@example.com or phone: +46 70 400 7053 (open Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm.) or visit their website for more information. / Photos courtesy of Koralbyn.
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