Nature for real
Image © Per Pixel
Why visit Åsnen
Welcome to waters and tranquillity. Åsnen is a unique and untouched lake archipelago with more than 1000 islands and 700 km of wild shoreline. Discover Sweden’s newest national park, located right here, with valuable and unique natural environments for your green Åsnen holiday. Experience Åsnen with all your senses through different activities – on land and on water. Åsnen is located in northern Europe, easily accessible in many sustainable ways. Welcome to Nature for real!
Visit the destination’s official website here.
A wilderness of forests and waters where you can go hiking, biking or kayaking - or why not experience a combination of all three! Åsnen is a paradise for calm outdoor activities on nature's own terms.
Bjurkärr is part of Åsnen National Park. An atmospheric broadleaf forest and a diverse bird environment with rare lichens and insects. In this video nature guide Emil Persson describes some of the things growing on a beech tree in Bjurkärr.
Åsnen is a nature destination where locals and visitors can make active contributions to the preservation of the diversity of the environment. Åsnen does this by acting with care, caution and respect towards the fauna and the environment, and also through supporting the local economy. The nature guide book “ÅSNEN Nature, National Park and Wildlife in South Sweden” is a nice tool for nature & wildlife tips and sustainable places to visit on your Åsnen green holiday.
Health and Safety
Nature destinations such as Åsnen are not crowded. It is easy to keep a safe distance with others as most experiences take place outdoors. You will probably be alone when kayaking or canoeing on Lake Åsnen. Hiking and biking paths are wide and long, you easily can avoid other people. The government also advises to stay at home if you feel sick, to stay at least 2 m away from each other, to wash your hands often, and not to gather in groups larger than 50 people.
Culture & Local Life
The area is teeming with cultural heritage and has a rich landscape. Apple meadow orchards are of national interest, they are carefully preserved with cattle. The landscape is open and lively; stone walls and a tradition of telling stories, are part of this.
Locals are careful and keen to preserve the local traditions and cultural heritage. Authentic experiences and traditional events like Midsummer celebrations, Walpurgis bonfires, haymaking, farmer’s markets, etc. are popular. They are famous among both locals and visitors.
Photo © Alexander Hall
The Åsnen area is located in south Sweden. Travelling by train is both fast and convenient. You can reach the Åsnen area by train from Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Copenhagen in about 2-4 hours. Alvesta is a hub for railway traffic and is located about 15 km from the Åsnen area. Rent a bike that you pick up in central Alvesta, e.g. via RentBike.se, and cycle to Åsnen along a car-free cycling trail. Bus travel is also an option, of course.
Cycling is one of the best ways to experience the area during your Åsnen green holiday. On a bike, you meet colours, smells and tastes that always will stay with you when you think back on your stay in Åsnen. Several cycling routes lead through the destination – many of which are marked with signs and are completely car-free. Be aware that some roads are shared with motor traffic, though. Find bike route suggestions on the website visitasnen.se
Nature and Wildlife
Åsnen is a place where you can enjoy silence and calmness without crowding. Several of Åsnen’s 1000 islands haven’t had any human impact for years. They are inhabited by rare birds that are sensitive to disruption, such as the white-tailed eagle and osprey. The wildlife also is rich and you may even glimpse a lynx, otter or a moose in the forest. One of Europe’s most valuable broadleaf forests is located here, and during early summer the tall-trunked beech forest forms a glittering roof. The combination of broadleaves and wood slowly decomposing and becoming new life, explains much of the local biodiversity.
Photo © Alexander Hall
Åsnen green holiday tips from our editors
Map of the Åsnen area
When going out on the lake, don’t forget to bring the Map of the Åsnen area. It is available for purchase at many locations near the lake as well as at the tourist information centres. The map is a guide to approx. 1000 islands of the archipelago, containing current information on everything from bird protection areas, access bans, campsites, and rest stops.
A multitude of possibilities
A nice way to experience the islands and inland lake archipelago is by canoeing. But it is also possible to bike around the entire lake. Hiking can be done year-round and any tour around the lake will be sure to take in plenty of local culture as well. Many visitors are attracted by the exciting fishing opportunities for pike and pike-perch.
Stay the night
The Åsnen area offers several kinds of accommodation. Enjoy a comfortable stay at a small-scale, local B&B, or spend the night at a campsite in a cabin, cottage or a tent. You will always be close to the peaceful nature and the lake and its islands. Note that it is not allowed to pitch a tent in the nature reserves of the area or in Åsnen National Park.
Åsnen was selected to both the 2020 and 2021 Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories.
Åsnen also received the Green Destinations Gold Award in 2019.
Congratulations to Åsnen for the Green Destinations Platinum Award 2022.
What does it mean?
- They have shown at least 60% compliance with the Green Destinations Core Criteria.
- They have submitted a story that was selected to the list for its innovative, effective and / or transferable good management practice.
Åsnen Good Practice Story
Åsnen submitted a Good Practice Story. It was about redesigned to accommodate the rising tourism interest while protecting the natural habitat. Read the full story here.