30 national parks in Sweden

Kosterhavet National Park

Following the American example, Sweden introduced the concept of national parks as the first European country. In 1909 Sweden founded nine such national parks in one swoop. Now there are 30 national parks in Sweden, and four or five new ones are in planning stage. With a total of 732,000 hectares (or 7,320 square kilometers), they account for around 1.5 percent of Sweden’s surface.

The youngest national park is located near Växjö in Småland: the Lake Åsnen National Park. It was founded in 2018 and has proven to be a great success.

2.4 million visitors

The parks are very popular. In 2014 they were visited by 2.4 million people. Kosterhavet and Stenshuvud had 500,000 visitors each. Other parks that have high numbers of visitors are Tyresta, Söderåsen, Tiveden, Dalby Söderskog, Abisko, and Store Mosse.

Why national parks?

The purpose of a national park is to preserve “a large contiguous area of a certain landscape type in its natural state or essentially unchanged” (Swedish Environmental Code). The state owns all the land of a national park.

The protected landscape types include:

  • Mountains
  • Wetlands
  • Coast and Sea
  • Coniferous forests
  • Deciduous forests
  • Lakes and rivers

Hiking trails, visitor centres, and accommodation

Most national parks have hiking trails. In some, there are information centres and staffed visitor centres, often called “Naturum”. Some national parks also offer overnight accommodation.

All 30 parks

These are all the National Parks in Sweden, sorted alphabetically:

  1. Abisko, Norrbotten county, 7,700 hectares, founded 1909
  2. Ängsö, Stockholm county,195 hectares, founded 1909
  3. Björnlandet, Västerbotten county, 1,100 hectares, founded 1991
  4. Blå Jungfrun, Kalmar county, 198 hectares, founded 1926
  5. Dalby Söderskog, Skåne county, 36 hectares, founded 1918
  6. Djurö, Västra Götaland county, 2,400 hectares, founded 1991
  7. Fulufjället, Dalarna county, 38,500 hectares, founded 2002
  8. Färnebofjärden, on the border of Västmanland, Dalarna and Gävleborg county, 10,100 hectares, founded 1998
  9. Garphyttan, Örebro county, 111 hectares, founded 1909
  10. Gotska Sandön, Gotland county, 4,490 hectares, founded 1909
  11. Hamra, Gävleborg county, 28 hectares, founded 1909
  12. Haparanda archipelago, Norrbotten county, 6,000 hectares, founded 1995
  13. Kosterhavet, Västra Götalands county, 38,878 hectares, founded 2009 (This national park is also Sweden’s only marine national park.)
  14. Lake Åsnen, Kronoberg county, Småland, founded 2018
  15. Muddus/Muttus, Norrbotten county, 49,340 hectares, founded 1942
  16. Norra Kvill, Kalmar county, 14 hectares, founded 1927
  17. Padjelanta/Badjelánnda, Norrbotten county, 198,400 hectares, founded 1962
  18. Pieljekaise, Norrbotten county, 15,340 hectares, founded 1909
  19. Sarek, Norrbotten county, 197,000 hectares, founded 1909
  20. Skuleskogen, Västernorrland county, 2,360 hectares, founded 1984
  21. Sonfjället, Jämtland county, 10,300 hectares, founded 1909
  22. Stenshuvud, Skåne county, 390 hectares, founded 1986
  23. Stora Sjöfallet/Stuor Muorkke, Norrbotten county, 127,800 hectares, founded 1909
  24. Store Mosse, Jönköping county, 7,850 hectares, founded 1982
  25. Söderåsen, Skåne county, 1,625 hectares, founded 2001
  26. Tiveden, Örebro county and Västra Götaland county, 1,350 hectares, founded 1983
  27. Tresticklan, Västra Götalands county, 2,387 hectares, founded 1996
  28. Tyresta, Stockholm county, 1,964 hectares, founded 1993
  29. Töfsingdalen, Dalarna county, 1,615 hectares, founded 1930
  30. Vadvetjåkka, Norrbotten county, 2,630 hectares, founded 1920

Candidates: New national parks

In May 2015 the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency suggested to establish several new national parks during a six-year period:

  • Reivo forests in the municipality of Arvidsjaur, Norrbotten county
  • Nämdö archipelago in the municipality of Värmdö (which belongs to Stockholm and Sörmland)
  • Bästeträsk on the island of Gotland
  • Vålådalen-Sylarna-Helags, Jämtland county

More info

Hiking in Skåne: The Söderåsen ridge

Söderåsen National Park

Store Mosse National Park

Store Mosse National Park

Stenshuvud National Park

Stenshuvud National Park

Tiveden National Park

Tiveden National Park

Lake Åsnen - soon a National Park?

In the Lake Åsnen National Park

Source for list of parks: Naturvårdsverket (the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency). Photo on the top of this page: Lars-Ove Loo, Kosterhavets Nationalpark.