With some of the largest remaining areas of true wilderness in Europe, Scandinavia offers many adventurous opportunities that are a lot cheaper than you might expect, one of which is free camping. The old tradition of “allemansrätten” (every man’s right) means that you can wild camp and roam nearly anywhere (without fear of reprimand) as long as you do not disturb or destroy the environment.
So here are six beautiful spots in Scandinavia to pitch up for the night.
Bunes Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Bunes Beach, located on the Lofoten Islands, is one of the most spectacular beaches in Norway. The white sand and azure waters of Bunes Beach are situated over 100 kilometers north of the Article Circle, but on a sunny summer day, one would believe to be in the Caribbean. Its surrounding geography – with rarely seen granite peaks near the beach – is astounding. This coast in the north of the Lofoten Islands is prime for the midnight sun, so those who camp on Bunes Beach (you have to carry in all supplies) can witness one of the greatest natural phenomena in unbeatable surroundings.
Bornholm is a slow-paced Danish island in the Baltic Sea, lying off the coasts of Sweden.
Once a simple beach escape, Bornholm has reinvented itself as an eco-friendly, foodie destination – for the island’s many smokehouses – boasting 150 miles of cycling routes.
Bornholm presents the Danish landscape in a nutshell; it is hilly and fertile with fields and extensive forests. It’s the only place in Denmark where you can walk along a granite coastline.
Directly out to the beautiful cliffs of Bornholm you’ll find pure white beaches which are perfect to set up your tent for a night, offering front-row sea views and beautiful panoramas of the sunrise rise in the morning and watching it set at night.
Lake Siljan, Dalarna, Sweden
It will only take a few hours by train from Stockholm to reach the Dalarna region in Central Sweden. Dalarna is dominated in the south by fields, lakes and verdant, rolling hillsides. The northern part is home to the Scandinavian mountains which attract lots of visitors with its adventurous hiking trails.
Lake Siljan – the seventh largest lake in Sweden- lies peacefully ingrained in the middle of Dalarna and is an ideal spot to pitch up your tent. A compass, some pots and pans, food, a good knife, a tent and a sleeping bag is all you need to stay for a couple of days of wild adventures at this beautiful lake.
Go 375km into the Arctic Circle to Kvaløya, the largest island in Norway, famous for the massive granite walls and impressive peaks that decorate the whole coastline.
These beautiful Kvaløya mountains are the most fantastic playground any outdoor enthusiast can imagine. It doesn’t matter where you’ll be climbing, alpine trekking, or mountain biking on Kvaløya, you will be surrounded by one of the most beautiful places imaginable – the mountains, the fjords and the valleys all come together and make it one epic landscape.
So what isn’t better than to pitch up your tent here, and stargaze in peace in the polar night because you have good chances to see an Aurora Borealis. At -10°C, you’ll need a warm sleeping bag, but the view will be totally worth it.
Vålådalen Nature Reserve, Sweden
In the region of Jämtland, near the Swedish-Norwegian border, lies the nature reserve of Vålådalen, a large, protected area with ancient virgin forests, rich marshland, impressive mountains and unique waterways such as the River Vålån with its crystal clear waters.
In the middle of the Vålådalen nature reserve you find the almost mythical Swedish Lake Blanktjärn that shyly reveals itself through the gaps in the forest. This lake is renowned for its spectacular emerald green color.
So tighten your hiking shoes, explore the forest and head out to the shores of Lake Blanktjärn, enjoy a picnic before you put up your tent and enjoy the sun going down behind the surrounding mountains.
Besseggen ridge, Jotunheimen, Norway
Hiking the Besseggen ridge is one of the most popular trails in Norway. Some 30,000 people make the trek between Gjendesheim and Memurubu each year. Located in Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park, the trail roughly follows a ridge on the north side of Lake Gjende and provides fantastic views of the whole length of the picturesque lake that is surrounded by glaciated mountain peaks.
Wild camping is possible everywhere, the only restrictions being the immediate area around the huts. Water is plentiful and tasty. On the other hand, finding a flat spot to pitch a tent can take some time, but is worth the effort to sleep with some incredible vistas out the tent door.