IN PICTURES: 8 of Sweden’s wondrous national parks

It’s National Parks Day in Sweden. Who knew? A perfect opportunity surely to take a closer look at some of the country’s most amazing natural wonders…

IN PICTURES: 8 of Sweden’s wondrous national parks
Vadvetjåkka is Sweden's northernmost national park. Photo: Peter Rosén/Rosénmedia

Sweden’s national parks are an eye-catching blend of unspoiled mountains, glistening lakes, and ancient forests. 

They first got special status in 1909, when the Riksdag pinpointed nine areas it thought merited special protection. Since then a further 20 parks have joined the fray, and there are more on the way. 

Here we take a closer look at the best of what Sweden has to offer in terms of natural beauty. Enjoy!

Abisko, in the far north, is the starting point of Sweden's most famous hiking trail, the Kungsleden, and is one of the sunniest places in the country. 

Photo: Torbjörn Lilja /IBL Bildbyrå

Blå Jungfrun (the blue virgin) is a magnificent island in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Kalmar. Just look at it! 

Photo: Björn-Eyvind Swahn/IBL Bildbyrå

Dalby Söderskog is a flower-strewn deciduous forest in southern Sweden. Some say it's at its best at this time of the year. 

Photo: Sven Persson/IBL Bildbyrå

Gotska Sandön is the most isolated island in the Baltic Sea – and it's utterly glorious. 

Photo: Klas-Rune Johansson/IBL Bildbyrå

Kosterhavet is Sweden's first marine national park and home to some 12,000 underwater species. The human population explodes during the summer because it's just a stunning place to visit. 

Photo: Kjell Holmnér/Light vision

Sarek is a glacial landscape that boasts six of Sweden's highest mountains. Sweden's indigenous Sami have lived here since time immemorial. If it doesn't take your breath away you should go see a doctor.

Photo: Peter Lilja/BL Bildbyrå

Skuleskogen, an ancient forest on Sweden's High Coast, is one of the world's prime examples of land uplift. It's still rising at a rate of nearly one centimetre per year, and it's extraordinarily easy on the eye. 

Photo: Michael Engman/Engmanbild

Tyresta has some of the finest unspoiled woodland south of the vast mountainous regions of the north. What's more, it's an easy day trip from Stockholm. 

Photo: Claes Grundsten

And honestly, the others are just as impressive. Time to start planning a visit! 

DON'T MISS our 2009 retrospective – Sweden's national parks celebrate 100 years