National and Natural parks in Sweden

Protected nature areas in South Sweden

Find your Swedish heritage nature site

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National and Natural parks in Sweden – find your favourite nature spot in South Sweden.

 There are plenty of National and Natural parks in Sweden. Therefore,  trekking in Southern Sweden is a bliss, nature is always around the corner. 

The Swedes themselves love their nature areas and spend much of their free time in nature. For example, they go hiking, running or jogging. To relax and to enjoy the pleasure of homemade delicacies they pick mushrooms and berries. Swedes are keen dog owners and they love to walk with their dogs. Another reason to go to nature reserves is to go swimming and MTB adventures with friends and family. 

The Swedish national parks and nature reserves tells a story about preserving valuable biodiversity as well as the shared natural and culture  Swedish heritage. 

Starting-point Gothenburg

From Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden, you have great access to Southern Sweden, a region with coastline, lakes, forests and plenty of National parks and Nature Reserves.

Above all, from Gothenburg you can easily reach provinces such as  Bohuslän, Dalsland, Värmland, Närke, Östergötland, Småland and Halland, as well as the two largest Swedish lakes Vänern and Vättern. In this regions you can find a many National and Natural parks in Sweden

Gothenburg is a coast city.  For instance, you can travel to Gothenburg  by plane, car, train and ferry. 

From Gothenburg you have direct transport by train and bus to many towns and cities in Sweden. There is a well built up public transport system taking you to neighbouring municipalities, villages and islands.  

Reaching nature from the Gothenburg city centre

Once in Gothenburg you do not have to travel far to reach nature. For example, you can take a local but from the city centre to the municipality of Mölndal. Here you find great nature reserves for outdoor fun. We can recommend the nature reserve Änggårdsbergen, a vast outdoor area with hiking, MTB and horseback riding ( on some of the paths). For a shorter trekk walk up to Safjället and enjoy nature, explore ancient monuments from early settlers. 

Urban meets countryside and nature 

Many of the nature reserves are close to urban areas. Once in a small town you can find ways to reach the national park or nature reserve. The locals can help you.

At local accommodation and campsites they will give you instructions on the best hiking paths and give you tips on where to find the most precious nature monuments. These might be a century old oak tree or a gigantic stone. 

 Some countryside B&B rent out bikes if you want to cycle to a special protected nature area. 

Swedish tourist boards are working together with municipalities to offer transport from a town centre to popular nature spots. However, this collaboration is still in an early stage. 

Rent a motorhome to reach nature

Renting a motorhome is a popular option for many international outdoor and nature lovers. Rent a motorhome close to the part of Sweden you want to explore and travel along with your own accommodation. Park overnight  with local campings or farms and start to explore the closest nature reserve. 

 If you want to rent a motorhome in Gothenburg you can rent a motorhome from Daylight Husbilscenter and Skanditrip Premiun Motorhome Rental. The rental station is in Mölndal and the closest nature reserves are walking distance. 

If you want to rent a bike and travel around with a bike check out  Cykelkungen.

National and Natural parks in Sweden

The story behind the National Parks

National Park is the strongest protection of a nature area. In other words, these are the finest and most valuable areas of the Swedish landscape.  Sweden wants to preserve the shared natural and cultural heritage. 

Many protected nature areas hides interesting stories of human settlers

Tiveden, a National Park between the Great Lakes

Between the Great Lakes Vättern and Vänern you can find the National Park Tiveden. Tidveden is a national park with an interesting story and covering several regions and municipalities. It is the most southern part of the so called Finnskogen or the Forest of Finns. Historically a wave of Finnish people, the Forest Finns, settled in to different regions in Sweden from the 16ht century and onwards.

You will find interesting nature and cultural sites, outdoor activities, accommodation and overnight parking for motorhomes

In  2019 visitors will be able to travel to Tiveden from the town of Laxå for free by public bus. For more information on getting there

Tresticklan National Park, Dalsland

The Trestickla area is a forested wilderness region that is unusually large for this part of Sweden. Tresticklan National Park is in the Dals-Eds municipality in north-western Dalsland, close to the Norwegian border.

The Tresticklan area became a national park in 1996. It consists of a total of 2,908 hectares of protected land and water. 

For motorhome overnight parking in Dals Ed and accommodation visit the website of the municipality or Väst Sverige.  

Åsnens National Park, Småland

The Åsnens national park offers remarkably unspoilt forests and lakes. On your South Sweden trip spend some days in this beautiful Lake District. It is a Sweden in miniature in terms of nature. There are  noble broad leaves woodlands and swamp forests with considerable conservation value because of their rich biodiversity which includes many threatened species. There are marshlands, sandy beaches and water lily bays.. The esker “Husebyåsen”,  is a long winding ridge that extends through the region, beneath and above the surface of the lake.

 

Nature Reserves in Southern Sweden

The purpose of Nature reserves is to preserve biodiversity, nature and valuable natural environments as well as to meet the local need for outdoor areas. 

For example in Gothenburg there are several nature reserves close to the city centre. 

For information on Nature Reserves and Nature Monuments close to Gothenburg, in Mölndal click on the link.  

Nature reserves north of Gothenburg in Bohuslän, Dalsland and Skaraborg

The nature reserve Tjurpannan in the municipality of Tanum features an unprotected coastal location. Therefore it is a dreaded passage among seafarers of all times. 

The nature reserve lies in the western part of the Havstensund peninsula. The landscape has been shaped by the exposure to nature, the marshes, steep rocky beaches and moorland landscapes. Along the pebble beaches you can find rare plants. 

A visit to the Tjurpannan during a storm is a rare experience. 

Kynnefjäll

Stay a day extra in Tanum and visit the nature reserve Kynnefjäll. The landscape features  a plateau area surrounded by the lakes the Bullare (Bullaresjöarna) in the west and the valley of the Örekils River in the east.

During the 1700s and 1800s, Kynnefjäll was an almost forestless land, which was strongly characterized by heaths, marshes and rocky fields
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the fields were forested through self-sowing or planting. However, you can find elements of individual pine trees that can be over 300 years.

You can find accommodation and overnight motorhome parking.

Nature reserves south of Gothenburg in Halland and Skåne

You can also spend an extensive time visiting nature reserves in the county of Halland, just south of Gothenburg and Mölndal

In the otherwise flat breadbasket region of Skåne you can visit the nature reserve Kullaberg. The landscape is wild, beautiful, amazing with breathtaking slopes and expansive views over Öresund and Kattegatt. 

The old-growth forest

Some of National and Natural parks in Sweden are hosting  an old-growth forest( other names are primary forest, virgin forest, primeval forest, late seral forest, or forest primeval). These are forest of great age without significant disturbance. Therefore, they exhibits unique ecological features.

What to look for in a primeval forest

These more or less untouched forest are not exposed to modern forestry and are able to regain its natural life cycle. Therefore, in an old forest there are trees of different kinds and of all ages. There are dead wood, in the form dead tree trunks, that still stand up. The fallen tree trunks slowly decompose on the ground. There are lots of fungi, herbs, insects, birds and other animals. Above all, these forest are important habitat for many of Sweden’s endangered species and it is vital for biodiversity.

The areas of old forest decreased sharply in Sweden during the 20th century. For instance, today a few percent of the Swedish forest is  unprotected old forest.

Old forests and urskog in Southern Sweden

In southern Sweden, the percentage of unprotected old forest approaches zero percent. Nevertheless, in many National and Natural parks in Sweden you can still find old forest.  Åsenen national park, in south of Sweden,  hosts old valuable forest. For example you can book a guided visit, Lysinge Urskog, in the county of Östergötland. For information on Hovaledens urskog in the county of Jönköping, choose English under “Other Languages”.