In Sweden, the natural world is never far away! We invite you to come and enjoy our 30 national parks and more than 5 000 nature reserves!
The national parks represent the most outstanding examples of Sweden’s natural landscapes. In 1909, Abisko, Sarek, Stora Sjöfallet, Sånfjället, Pieljekaise, Garphyddan, Hamra, Ängsö and Gotska Sandön were the first national parks to be established in Europe. Today, one hundred years later, there are 30 national parks in Sweden. The most recently founded national park is Åsnen National Park in Kronoberg County (est. 2018). In addition, there are more than 5 000 nature reserves covering a vast variety of Swedish nature types. Sweden’s nature reserves account for about 85 percent of all protected lands in total, supported by the Environmental Code. UNESCO has listed 15 Swedish sites as being essential to mankind, world heritages. Three of them are very rich in natural assets.
Sweden’s national parks comprise a magnificent mosaic of different landscape types – from the leafy beech forests of Söderåsen to Sarek’s grandiose alpine world. From the teeming coral reef of Kosterhavet to the undulating sand dunes of Gotska Sandön and Tiveden’s bewitching forests. More than 81 per cent of the total area of national parks in Sweden, is situated within the alpine region in Norrbotten County or sub-alpine region in the same county. 15 per cent of Sweden’s area (including inland waters) is permanently protected as nature conservation areas.
Deep green and glittering blue
Forests cover about half of Sweden and there are lots of lakes and streams. Nature plays an important role in our culture and the Right of Public Access is a unique institution that gives us all the freedom to roam freely in the Swedish countryside. But it also states that we must take care of nature and wildlife, and show consideration for landowners and other people enjoying the countryside. Thus, the principal rule is “Don’t disturb – don’t destroy”.
Inspiration and information
If you are curious to know more about Swedish nature, there are 32 naturum (visitor centres) where you can enjoy exhibitions, take guided tours or simply find brochures and maps of the area. Allow yourself to become inspired to explore the wildlife, forest, land and waters of Sweden!
Swedish nature protection
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency bears the main responsibility for nature protection in Sweden. The 21 County Administrative Boards are normally responsible for the administration and management of the national parks and nature reserves. However, some national parks are administrated by special trusts.
For more information, please visit the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency website.