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Five of the best spots in Sweden for a naked swim

As temperatures soar in Sweden this week, even the thought of wearing a swimsuit might seem a bit much. If you feel the need to expose a little more skin to the elements, here are some of Sweden's best nude beaches.

Five of the best spots in Sweden for a naked swim
The sign at Ågesta naturist beach in Stockholm Photo: Pontus Lundahl /TT

From vast, sandy shores to coastlines dotted with caves and inlets, Sweden’s as many as 90 nudist beaches span the range of what the country’s beaches have to offer.

According to Malin ArlinderEkberg, chair of the Swedish Naturist Federation, interest in naked swimming and bathing grew significantly in Sweden during the pandemic. 

“Those [nudist] associations which have camp sited had more visitors than they usually do, a whole lot of people who wanted to try something new when everyone was having holidays at home,” she told TT in an interview last summer. 

But she said that while Swedes aren’t particularly shy about getting their clothes off, they were reluctant to tell friends that they visited nudist beaches. 

“On hot days, the nudist beaches are rammed, but I promise you that 90 percent of those there won’t dare tell friends and relatives that they go there. The first step is to talk about it and not make such a big deal out of it. Everyone at my job knows I’m a naturist. I do the same things that you and everyone else does, just without clothes.

But you don’t have to join the federation, or even visit a nudist beach, to enjoy a naked swim in Sweden. 

Almost any spot by the sea or on a lake can be your own nude swim spot, so long as you remain respectful of other visitors who prefer to keep their bikinis and swimming trunks on, and choose a moment when there’s no one nearby to strip off and leap in.  The rule is not to flaunt your nakedness.  

READ ALSO: How to find Sweden’s cleanest and best beaches in the summer of 2022 

Sandhammaren

The Sandhammaren beach in Ystad is among Skåne’s most popular, and it’s easy to see why it’s often considered one of Sweden’s best beaches. Its white sandy dunes and long coastline in the southern tip of Sweden make it a popular spot for swimmers and sunbathers, while the pine forest inland is perfect for walks year-round (clothes not optional when traipsing through the forest).

Watch out for strong currents when venturing out for a swim. Historically, pirates took advantage of the strong currents at Sweden’s southernmost tip to run unwitting ships aground before swooping in to plunder the ships.

When you tire of sun and sea, you can visit a lighthouse that dates back to the 1860s, or head back toward Ystad, which The Local ranked among Sweden’s cutest hidden gems in 2015.

Ribersborg
Another one of the many beaches Skåne has to offer, Ribersborg – or Ribban, as the locals say – is close to Malmö’s city centre.

The nude section at this beach is designated at brygga, or bridge, 10, where you’ll also find a public restroom and outdoor shower. If you fancy getting back into your clothes after a few hours in the sun, there’s an outdoor gym you can use, or you can take your dog to the large, dog-friendly area.

Malin Arlinder-Ekberg, chair of the Swedish Naturist Federation, at Ågesta nudist beach. Pontus Lundahl/TT

Ågesta

Ågesta is Stockholm’s only official nudist beach, although you will find naked visitors at other breaches, such as Brunnsviken, Lövnäsbadet, and Kärsön.

At Ågesta, by Lake Magelungen, you’ll find a sandy beach where you can bring the whole family. There are play areas, picnic tables, and even a barbecue area.

Venture inland from the rocky shore and you’ll find yourself walking through the forest that surrounds the beach. And if you tire of the sand, there’s a large grass-covered area where you can spread your towel and settle in for a day of sunbathing – without any tan lines getting in the way.

Amundön

Gothenburg’s Amundön is more rocky than sandy, but don’t let that deter you. Here, you’ll find a hilly 4.5km trail in a protected part of Gothenburg’s archipelago. On your way to the nudist beach, you’ll pass through various hilly and grassy landscapes on your way to the large rocks and cliffs that make up the coast.

On a warm summer evening, the cliffs are ideal for watching the sunset. Bring your own refreshments, because the amenities here are limited to a public restroom. In between dips in the water, you can sunbathe on the rocks or explore the archipelago.

Gustavsberg

Another official beach, Gustavsberg, by the Nora lake in Dalarna, boasts a sand beach with shallow waters that make it safe for even the youngest swimmers. Between the playground, picnic area, grassy sunbathing area, and large barbecue area, it’s easy to spend long Swedish summer days at Gustavsberg. 

There’s a camping space here too, if you can’t tear yourself away from this idyllic space. Rates are available here.

If the shore and camping area get too crowded, rent a boat – you can also buy a fishing
license – and paddle out into the lake for some solitude. 

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DISCOVER SWEDEN

How to find Sweden’s cleanest and best beaches in the summer of 2022

Although most Swedes are back at work by now, that doesn't mean summer's over. Here's how to find the country's cleanest and best beaches to visit on your next day off.

How to find Sweden's cleanest and best beaches in the summer of 2022

The number of beaches in Sweden which are checked and graded is growing every year, making it easy to make sure that where you are swimming is clean and safe. 

The number of ‘EU bathing spots’, which are monitored as part of the union’s clean bathing water scheme, increased to 457 this year from the 445 registered last summer, according to a press release issued in June by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management.

At the same time, 14 harbours and seven beaches in Sweden qualified this year for the international Blue Flag scheme, which is awarded to beaches and small ports with a high level of environmental friendliness, water quality and safety. 

For a bathing spot to qualify for the EU scheme, more than 200 people must swim there a day on average during the bathing season. The local municipality is then responsible for checking the water quality and posting the results up on a sign at the beach. 

This year, 356 of the Swedish bathing spots, or about 78% qualified as having “excellent quality”, the highest possible classification, whereas 89 percent had “good quality”. 

The bad news this year is that the number of bathing spots which have received the worst “poor quality” classification has risen to 15, up from only one back in 2019, something Emma Glad, the agency’s beach investigator, said could be connected to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bathing spots get a “poor quality” rating if levels of bacteria from human and animal faeces are too high, leading to a risk that swimmers get infected with  E. coli or other bacteria. 

Because so many people holidayed at home in Sweden in 2020 and 2021, she said, there were more visits to beaches. The number of dogs in Sweden also rose during the pandemic, increasing the risk that dog poo gets into the water.

Finally, heavy rain may have led sewage to spill into the sea at some spots. 

You can find the quality classification, algae levels, and even the water temperature of swimming spots near you on the agency’s interactive map, which you can find here

Source: Screenshot/Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management.

Blue flag beaches 

Here is a list of the beaches and harbours in Sweden which have received the blue flag certification. 

Harbours: 

Båstad Hamn

Båtfjordens hamn 

Burgsviks hamn

Fyruddens hamn, Gryt

Gästhamnen Stavsnäs 

Gävle Gästhamn

Getterön Marina, Varberg

Hälleviks Hamn, Sölvesborg

Heleneborgs Båtklubb, Stockholm

Torekovs hamn,Torekov

Pampas Marina, Solna

Trosa Gästhamn

Uvmarö Hamn

Varbergs innerhamn

Beaches

Falsterbo strandbad

Kämpinge strandbad, Höllviken

Lagunen Camping, Strömstad

Långa Bryggan, Bjärred

Rydebäcksstranden, Rydebäck

Skanörs havsbad, Skanör

Trosa Havsbad

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