When thinking about Sweden, most people probably think of the lakes with its red cabins, wide landscapes and… well… reindeers. While we did see lots of lakes and even more red cabins on our road trip in southern Sweden, we somehow missed the northern wilderness and its special fauna.
This is why, we decided to go North and experience another Sweden, a much more lonely Sweden with unpaved roads, an uninhabited landscape as far as the eye can see and, of course, reindeers, these beautiful animals from the North.
As we did not have enough time to go all the way to Lapland, we decided to take a four days road trip from Stockholm to Sweden’s mountain area in order to get a glimpse of what northern Sweden is really like.
Day 1 – Leaving Stockholm
Falun Copper Mine
After some great days in Stockholm and its Archipelago, we left the capital do go North. Our first stop, Falun, was a 2-3 hours drive away, so we left early.
We directly went to the Falun Copper Mine (Falu Gruva), a Copper mine that run from the 10th century to the 1990s and was designated UNESCO World Heritage in 2001.
We decided to take the Underground tour for 240 SEK (around 24€) each and we do recommend it.
At 12.45 sharp, the English speaking tour started. After a short introduction with some very interesting facts and figures about the history of the place, you get a helmet and a cape and go down the 5 °C mine.
Every here and then you get interesting information about the life as a miner or stories about how the mine was discovered or how one day a miner was lost in the mine. The storytelling skills of our guide together with some mystic light effects really put us in the situation and we were quite sad when the tour ended after one hour.
After this amazing guided tour, the small museum, which is also included in the ticket, was not that interesting anymore. However, the walk around the mine where you can visit the old buildings and see the “highest bridge in Sweden” is definitely worth the detour.
A 45 minutes drive from Falun away is Lake Siljan, a famous holiday destination for locals. After visiting Tallberg, which is (according to our guide book) the nicest village on the lake, we decided to try to find a nice spot at the lake and to enjoy the rest of the afternoon camping. We found this great spot on Park4Night and had an amazing evening watching the sunset over the lake.
Day 2 – lakelife in Sveg
What would be a trip to Sweden without enjoying its lakes ? This is why, we decided to take it smooth and to discover some lake spots on this second day of our road trip. In the morning, we had to take care of some minor reparations in Mora (this is also part of the life in a camper) and then headed towards Sveg, around 2-2.5 hours away. We stopped half way to enjoy a long lunch break at another beautiful lake and pic nic spot. The sun had came out and we did not want to miss that rare opportunity to relax in the sun.
In Sveg, we did some grocery shopping to prepare for the next days and then left the main road for the road 84 towards Sandviken. However, we did not want to go much further and decided to enjoy another amazing lake spot for the night.
It was the first day of our travel that the weather was great and we even took a (very quick) bath in the lake. Being alone in the nature, watching the sunset over the lake from our Camper is definitely what we will remember when thinking back to our Sweden trip.
Day 3 – From Sveg to Flatruet – First reindeers
In the morning, we continued the road 84 until Sandviken and then, 5 kilometres after the village turned right to the road 315. After 10 kilometers, in Vemdalen, we reached a small but beautiful and somehow untypical church from the 18th century. The church building was constructed of wood and covered with wood shingles. In front, there is a very interesting bell tower which gives the place a lot of its charm.
Even though, the place is quite empty, don’t be afraid of taking the huge key that hangs on the right of the door to enter the church. The inside looks a lot like any other Swedish church but just after the entrance, on the left side, you can chose your language by clicking on a button and listen to further explanations on the construction and the history of the place.
Hede Open Air Museum
After this small stop, we were back on the road 84, until we arrived in Hede. This is where you can stop at a small free open air museum. Just stop at the big parking space and have a tour in the park with its old local houses that were placed here. There are short explanations in English on what the building was used to before being transferred to the museum. Unfortunately, the doors were closed and it was only possible to visit the outside. Still, it is a nice and interesting stop on the road.
We then stayed on the road 84 and had the next stop a few kilometers after Tännäs, where another parking area indicates the « Krater Meteriorit». This is where a meterioit fell more than 2000 years ago and left behind a huge whole. Today, a small walk leads from the parking area to a 44m large and 5m deep whole. Nothing special but just imagine how big the meterioit must have been if leaving such a whole after more than 2000 years.
After Funäsdalen, we took the road to the right, direction Ljungdalen and then, 3 kilometers later, turned right again. After a while, this is where the more adventourous part of the road trip begins as the road stopps being paved. This is also where the first reindeers appeared. Out of the nowhere, we suddenly saw a reindeer right next to the road. The moment passed by too quickly and we had to turn around a bit later to watch three other reindeers walk along the road. It was such an amazing feeling to observe these animals with its amazing antlers in real nature and it was difficult to continue the road after this very special moment.
A bit further, we took the right to Messlingen until the sign Ruvallen appeared. You can either park there, or fill in a form, put 40 SEK in an envelope next to the barrier to pay the toll and go 2 km further to anoher parking area. We did not have any swedish cash, so we parked at the first place and walked to the next parking. There are not many cars on the road, so the walk is quite nice and we even saw some more reindeers in the fields. Once we arrived at the parking area, we turned to the left and followed the path to a canyon, around 1.5 kilometers away.
As it was getting late when we arrived back at the camper, we decided to just spend the night there, however, even though we had a quiet night, we did regret this choice later because we would rather recommend this spot for the night.
Day 4 – Reindeer watching on the highest road of Sweden
Early in the morning, we continued our road towards Flatruet. The road to get there is the highest street in Sweden and the beautiful mountain panorama, the unpaved ground as well as the possibility to see reindeers make this place the highlight of our road trip, and, to be honest, of our Sweden trip as a whole.
We stopped at the parking area mentioned above for a morning hike. We did follow the hiking path straight towards the lakes and up the small hill. From there, we enjoyed the view on the lakes while breathing the fresh mountain air. It took us a bit more than 2 hours and even though we did not see any reindeers, walking in this quiet and rough nature was an impressive experience.
But the best was yet to come, only five minutes after hitting the road again, we were able to observe a group of reindeers that were really close to our Camper. It seems like the road belongs to them when they cross the road and stop in front of the cars. This is exactly what we came here for and it was a truly magic moment.
We stopped the Camper and took our time to observe the deers until they continued their road and we could not see them anymore. This was definitely the highlight of our trip.
With these images in our head, we continued the road to Ljungdalen and then turned to the right until we reached the big parking of Kläppen around 6 kilometers away. What is a ski resort during winter time, is now the starting point for several hikes. As we had already walked quite a bit that day, we were happy with a small walk to the waterfalls before going back to the main road and end this amazing road trip experience in the Swedish wilderness.
We took the main road to Asarna and then, after a night on the road, went South again, direction Bohuslan Coast.