I think it’s safe to say that these three days were probably my favourite days of our entire Sweden road trip. The scenery was on point and just blew me away. The weather was nice and freedom was all around us. 🙂 Long story short: The drive from Ristafallet to Storforsen was exactly why I wanted to go to Sweden in the first place.

For an overview of our entire road trip (incl. a map with our exact route) head over here. And if you are interested in more details of our drive from Arlanda to Ristafallet then make sure to check out part 1 of this Swedish mini-series first.

Day 5

Route: Ristafallet – Gäddede

Highlights: 

  • When I think about day 5, what comes to mind are “pretty flowers”. On our drive along E45 to Strömsund, flowers were everywhere. I am a massive fan of wildflowers so this was definitely one of my highlights of the day.
  • We had lunch in Strömsund at the shore of Ströms Vattudal. The sky was blue and so was the lake. We sat on a park bench for what seems like hours and just watched the fountain, the people and the boats. Isn’t that what holidays are made of?
  • Now. If you only have time to drive down one road in Sweden, I suggest you choose Vildmarksvägen (Wildernessroad). I am honestly at loss for words to describe this drive. So let the pictures do the talking.
  • The Wildernessroad leads you past many lakes. One of them is FlĂĄsjön. We stopped once and got out of the car to walk down to the lake. And all you could hear down there were the wind, the waves and the occasional car. There was not one boat on this huge lake. Why is that? Do the Swedes have too many lakes? Because there were rarely any boats on the ones we saw. 🙂
  • The campground we stayed at was directly at the shores of Kvarnbergsvattnet. All evening long, it was pretty windy. But when we came back from brushing our teeth, the wind had disappeared and we were left with a beautiful sunset that went on for hours.

Campground: Gäddede Camping och Stugby

The campground as such wasn’t all that special. The facilities were a bit run down and you had to pay for the showers with old crones. Not all that bad as you could buy them at reception and return the unused ones once you left. But the view and the location of the campground made up for all of that. We might have had to hold onto our tent with all our might when setting it up – the wind was that strong – but in the evening after dinner we witnessed the most beautiful sunset which lasted for hours. To sum it all up: if you are looking for a nicely groomed campground with lots of activities (there was a pool, but…) and modern facilities then Gädded Camping och Stugby might not be for you. But! If you aren’t that complicated and just want to watch a nice sunset then definitely come here!

Day 6

Route: Gäddede – Vilhelmina

Highlights: 

  • If the Wildernessroad was beautiful and impressive before it was spectacular between Gäddede and Vilhelmina! We first drove along many lakes steadily “uphill” and passed a few tiny little villages. How do people up there make a living? This is what we asked ourself on more than one occasion. Life must be hard up there. But I can see why the landscape would draw people into the wilderness.
  • The biggest highlight of the day was definitely Stekenjokk. It is just a few miles from the Norwegian border and looks like it is untouched by men. If you blend out the cars and people taking pictures (tourists, huh? :)), what you are left with are miles upon miles of wilderness. There are no trees up there, just grass, a bit of snow and lots of good fresh air. If you are into hiking, there are also many trails that lead you even further into the wilderness.
  • On our way down to Vilhelmina, we passed Trappstegsforsen. It seems like wherever you go in Sweden there is a waterfall. 🙂 In general, I’m not all that big of a fan of waterfalls, but Trappstegsforsen was pretty impressive. It literally looked like the water was “walking” down a very broad staircase. There is also a little cafe that sells ice cream. So Trappstegsforsen is the perfect place to take a break, sit down at one of the picnic tables and have a little snack.

Campground: Kolgarden

If I had to rate this campground, I’d give it 10 out of 10 stars. It was that perfect. We had a spot right at the lake which made it perfect to watch the sun go down. The campground has a sauna on a little pier with a splendid view. There were little boats that you could use to row out on the lake and do some fishing and if you fancied a nice dinner, you just had to walk about two minutes to get to the restaurant. The facilities were perfect. You basically had your own private bathroom which could have easily fitted two horses. 🙂 Everything was clean and nicely groomed. Very well done!

Day 7

Route: Vilhelmina – Storforsen

Highlights: 

  • The decision to stay in Sweden and not drive over to Norway was a hard one for me. But the reindeers that we saw made up for it. I felt like a little kid when we spotted the first one in the middle of the road.
  • Driving away from Vilhelmina, we definitely noticed a change of landscape which meant that we had officially arrived in Lapland. There were less trees and more bushes and just endless wilderness. I could have stayed there forever.
  • We set up tent right below Storforsen and then took a hike up to the waterfall. It’s only up North that you decide to go hiking at 9pm. The sun won’t go down for a while, will it? 🙂 Storforsen really impressed me as it showed the power of water. Walking down, we climbed over rocks and walked over little bridges. There were many water pools that must be perfect for bathing when the weather is warm. I could easily imagine spending a family day there and just enjoying nature’s wonders.

Campground: Storforsen Hotel

Since we spontaneously decided not to drive to Norway, all my researched campgrounds were useless. We didn’t have wifi, so we just had to trust our guts. And apart from the facilities (I just don’t like showering with 10 other people…) our guts were right. Because the view was amazing. Had we stayed there longer, I imagine that we would have hiked up to the waterfall again to grill some sausages and just enjoy ourselves. The hotel is close by so you could even have dinner at the restaurant there.

 

And that’s that. Storforsen was our last stop before we drove to the coast and said hello to the sea. But more on that next Monday. 🙂

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