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Gothenburg, West Sweden, six times awarded the world’s most sustainable destination and in 2021 named the world’s Best Sustainable City Stay. Now, West Sweden Tourist Board is introducing “Climate-Smart Holidays“, a concept to offer sustainable and experience-rich holidays with minimal CO2 emissions.

Climate Smart Holidays, Back to nature in an 18th-century house and a hermitage - Photo Credits: Agnes Maltesdotter/westsweden.com
Back to nature in an 18th-century house and a hermitage – Photo Credits: Agnes Maltesdotter/westsweden.com

Gothenburg: Best sustainable city-stay

Specifically, in 2021, Lonely Planet named Sweden’s second city, the world’s Best sustainable city stay. The city and West Sweden region continue to invest in developing the destination in a sustainable manner.

Furthermore, on June 19, 2023, West Sweden Tourist Board launched its new initiative “Climate-Smart Holidays” to offer sustainable and experience-rich holidays with minimal CO2 emissions. Together with five hospitality companies across west Sweden, the Tourist Board wants to show that it is possible to travel locally, live comfortably and at the same time be climate smart.

With our new concept “Climate-smart holiday”, we want to show that it is possible to travel locally, live luxuriously and at the same time be climate-smart. We want to offer a sustainable and memorable holiday, full of experiences that visitors can enjoy with a clear conscience.

Marie Linde, Vice President of the West Sweden Tourist Board
Climate Smart Holidays, Erikson Cottage- Class Cabin
Photo Credits: Jonas Ingman/westsweden.com
Erikson Cottage, Class Cabin – Photo Credits: Jonas Ingman/westsweden.com

Climate Smart Holidays: Participating Accommodations

The five accommodations in West Sweden participating in the concept are Erikson CottageLugnåsberget EkohotellSwedish Country LivingInforest, and Dalslands Aktiviteter. All are small-scale family businesses where everything is sustainable: from accommodation, food and activities to transport.

The carbon dioxide emissions of each guest have been calculated using the climate calculator on www.travelandclimate.org .  All five participating properties’ emissions per guest night are between 0.2 and 1.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents – compared to 6.8 kilograms for an average Swedish hotel. It is recommended that visitors arrive by train and will then be picked up at the train station for transfer by electric car for the last leg.

The climate-friendly properties that form a part of the five packages use solar panels and green electricity, recycled building materials and timber from their own forest, use water from their own wells, compost waste, sort and recycle waste and use environmentally friendly cleaning products. furthermore, locally grown organic vegetables and meat from nearby farms are also used.

Read also: why the Maldives is one of the best destinations for vegans

Visitors can do themselves and the environment a favour by tapping into their own resources occasionally whilst on holiday. Combined with eco-friendly accommodation, Sweden’s natural environment makes it an ideal place for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking – and with so much open space and Sweden´s famous ´Allemansrätten´ the Right of Public Access, visitors can enjoy the activities while in close harmony with nature, creating lasting memories.

The five packages of Climate Smart Holidays are:

1. Swedish Country Living

Climate Smart Holidays, Swedish Country Living - Photo Credits: Jonas Ingman/westsweden.com
Swedish Country Living – Photo Credits: Jonas Ingman/westsweden.com

Surrounded by forest, overlooking the water, and situated on ancient farmland, the architecturally designed hermit cottages of Swedish Country Living provide an extraordinary close-to-nature experience. They were even awarded “Sweden’s most sustainable experience” in 2022.

Package details:
Accommodation for 2 nights in one of the hermit cabins with 2 breakfasts, 1 packed lunch and 2 dinners, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and charging facility at the recycling centre. Log burner in the cottage and garden furniture and barbecue in front of the cottage. Tea, coffee and drinking water in the cottage. Access to a canoe or kayak with a life jacket. Transfer from the train station in Mellerud by electric car or facilities to charge your own electric car.

Available April-September. Price for 2 adults is 5000 SEK (approx. £370) per person.

2. Erikson Cottage

Climate Smart Holidays, Erikson Cottage- Class Cabin - Photo Credits: Jonas Ingman/westsweden.com
Erikson Cottage- Class Cabin – Photo Credits: Jonas Ingman/westsweden.com

Spend the night in a secluded glass cabin in the forest. Erikson Cottage has its own farm bakery as well as access to hiking trails and canoeing.

Package details:
Accommodation for 2 nights in a tiny architect-designed glass cabin. Coffee on arrival, breakfast and dinner. Access to kayak and SUP.

Available May 1st to October 15th. Price for 2 people. 
Cabins ´Skogen´ or ´Sjöblicken´ SEK 7300 (approx. £540), Cabin ´Sjön´ SEK 10 500 (approx. £774), accommodation in Cabin Sjön includes a private wood-fired sauna. There is a surcharge of SEK 500 (approx. £37) for transfer from the train station.

3. Inforest

At Inforest, stay in small houses in the forest where only peace, quiet and privacy are the only neighbours.

Package details:
Accommodation for 2 nights, including bed linen, towels, firewood and final cleaning. Transfer to and from Hjo bus station.

Available April-October. Price for 2 adults from 4980 SEK (approx. £370) per person.

4. Ecohotel Lugnåsberget

Climate Smart Holidays, Lugnåsberget Ekohotell  - Climate Smart Holidays Sweden
Lugnåsberget Ekohotell – Photo Credits: André Nordblom/westweden.com

At the family-run eco-hotel Lugnåsberget, hike to historical sites, go canoeing or simply relax in front of the fireplace. There are chickens on the farm, and in the summer pick berries and pet the sheep grazing in the garden.

Package details:
Accommodation for 2 nights in a single or twin room, including bed linen and final cleaning. Organic breakfast, lunch basket and dinner basket with bean salad and smoked lamb/feta cheese. Access to the sauna and maps of the area.

Prices from, 2 adults 1895 SEK (approx. £140) per person, and single room 2695 SEK (approx. £199).  Extra night 800 SEK (approx. £60) for a single room and 1000 SEK (approx. £74) for a twin room. Family packages are also available.

5. Dalslands Aktiviteter

Climate Smart Holidays

At Dalslands Aktiviteter guests live in architect-designed glass houses in the middle of Dalsland’s nature. On-site, there are facilities to, among other things, go fishing, pet moose and cook outdoors.

Package details:
Accommodation for 3 nights in a glass house by the lake. Welcome coffee on arrival, breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition, they offer access to a rowing boat, fishing rods, swimming area, barbecue area and torch. Access to toilets and shower are also available at the adventure centre, 800 meters away.

Available from April to October. Price for 2 adults from 5645 SEK
(approx. £420) per person.

More tips for a climate-friendly holiday:

  1. It is preferable to use public transport locally – bus, train or tram – rather than taxi.
  2. Firstly, consider travelling in the off-season. By avoiding peak season, congestion and environmental impact can be reduced. In addition, it is possible to benefit from lower prices and experience the destination in a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere.
  3. Avoid single-use plastic and bring reusable water bottles, cloth bags, and food containers.  Don’t forget a water bottle!  After all, in Sweden, you can drink tap water everywhere without any hesitation.
  4. Support the local economy by choosing sustainable accommodation, eating at local restaurants, buy local products and souvenirs such as the work of local artists and typical local handicrafts.
  5. Choose environmentally friendly activities during your holiday, such as hiking, cycling, kayaking, forest bathing or bird watching.  Avoid activities that pollute the natural environment, such as jet skiing or off-road driving.
  6. And finally: encourage fellow travellers to make climate-friendly decisions too.

For more information on the initiative go to: westsweden.com/climate-smart-holidays

More reasons to travel to West Sweden and Gothenburg can be found online here: https://visitsweden.com/where-to-go/southern-sweden/vastsverige/gothenburg-and-west-sweden/

How to make your whole trip to Sweden more sustainable:

Climate Smart Holidays, Outdoor Cooking at Swedish Country Living, Climate Smart Holidays
Outdoor Cooking at Swedish Country Living – Photo Credits: Badass Food Stories/westsweden.com

Reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of your flight

Passengers can reduce the carbon footprint of their flight and at the same time contribute to the transition to net zero aviation by purchasing biofuel for the entire journey or just part of it, directly from the airline or through Swedavia partner Fly Green Fund.  Regardless of the amount, it will be an important contribution to help tackle climate change since the renewable fuel used will replace the equivalent amount of fossil fuel.

Moreover, by purchasing renewable jet fuel for the flight, passengers can reduce the impact of the flight on the climate by up to 80 percent. Consequently, this also drives demand for bio jet fuel, which in turn supports large-scale climate change adaptation.

Choose leading sustainable airports

Gothenburg Landvetter and Stockholm Arlanda are among the world’s most sustainable airports. As the first airport group in the world, since 2020, Swedish airport operator Swedavia has been fossil-free in their own operations at all their airports. More information about this can be found here – Swedavia’s sustainability work.

Climate Smart Holidays, Erikson Cottage- Class Cabin
Photo Credits: Jonas Ingman/westsweden.com
Erikson Cottage- Class Cabin
Photo Credits: Jonas Ingman/westsweden.com

Take the train

Since September 1, 2022, SJ has been using night trains to and from Hamburg and Stockholm with the extension of the route to Berlin in the summer months available from March 31st, 2023. Furthermore, from May 25th, the European Sleeper, a new sleeper route between London St Pancras and Berlin opened as well. As a result, it is now possible to take two sleeper trains from London to Stockholm, and veering off for Gothenburg and West Sweden is possible in Malmö.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), trains are on average 12 times more energy efficient than air travel per passenger, and according to two transport and environment studies published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) rail travel is the best and most sensible mode of travel, apart from walking or cycling. Overall, 2023 has seen the sustainable and mindful travel trend at the forefront of travellers’ decision-making, and holidaymakers to Sweden enjoy this slower and environmentally friendly choice of travel.

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Author

Eleanna is the founder of A Curious Compass and has been blogging since 2013. Her mixed ethnic background has made her curious about the world from a young age. Since her first solo trip at 18, she has visited and lived in many places, like London, Sao Paulo, Paris, and Toronto. Her mission is to inspire people to travel the world in style and get to know the soul of each destination.

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