As I started off my trip to the more remote locations of Sweden I had a bit of unfortunate as my first flight from the UK got delayed. This resulted in me not making it to my connecting flight and after a night at the airport hotel I arrived the next morning to this northern destination of Sweden. It's safe to say that all the stress I've had from missing the flight the day before just ran off my shoulders as my host took me deeper and deeper into this remote location about an hour from Umeå.
In the end of the journey there was only the Umeå river, forest and a few houses along the road. It felt like this small municipality somewhere had got lost or forgotten about and a part of this is true. This remote municipality struggled to go around and as for many small places the competition from the bigger cities results in more people moving away from the countryside. The initial idea to keep the region going and to prevent schools from shutting down was to open up a museum. This museum was planned to be in honor of Jan-Erik Sjöblom who spent his life preserving birds. He found his first bird laying on the side of the road when he was a little boy, the creature had a long beautiful beak and Jan-Erik thought it was a shame that something so beautiful was dead so he wanted to bring it back to life. The bird was a snipe which in swedish translates to Beckasin. 70 years and around 30 000 birds and animals later the collection was big enough to be donated to Vindeln municipality's citizens. The idea of a museum faded away but a new bright idea was born along with this new destination.
The genuine interest to keep the local community and visitors happy as well as care for the environment shows as our host talk about how they want to keep the destination small scaled and authentic, and I truly believe him. There is around 6 birds nests high up in the treetops, a few lodges and also some hotel rooms but this does make you feel like you’re one of the few lucky people who gets do discover this hidden gem at Granö Beckasin.
My host handed me the key to my own birds nest and the excitement rose as I walked up a hill and took the steps towards higher ground. I opened up my room and gazed at the panoramic view of the forest and lakes as the sun was flooding into the bright room.
When you're up in the trees it feels like nothing can get you, it's just you and nature and that’s all it is. The windows from my room was overlooking a small lake with the reflection of the forest behind which I could just sit and stare at for hours. I grew up in the countryside on the outskirts of Gothenburg and have spent a lot of years staring right into a forest from the kitchen window but even as a Swede I was mesmerized by the pure tranquility of this place.
And even more so amazed of the passion from the people and staff who's making this destination possible to visit for us travellers. This eco friendly hotel has the heart in the right place and sustainability is key for Granö Beckasin. The Eco Hotel is only a few steps away from the reception building and restaurants and if you are looking for some cosy accommodation I also recommend the lodges which are decorated in traditional Scandinavian style. You only need to take a few step outside to find some fantastic hiking and walking paths and if you really want to get the full de-stress experience it’s possible to meet in downward facing dog as the resort offers yoga classes in the Glass House.
In the winter months there are plenty fun winter activities to join such as snowmobiling and dog sledding. I went on a walk with the host to the dog yard which was only a short walk away from Granö Beckasin. I got kitted out in some proper boots for muddy paths and a harness to wear around my hips which was connected to my own husky dog. Together we ventured out in the still nature and I kept thinking to myself that I need a dog like this for when I’m late to the bus as it gives you an excellent pull.
Back at Granö Beckasin I got served some fantastic food. There was goat cheese and aubergine for starters, reindeer and apple sauce for dinner and cloudberries and ice cream for dessert. After this delicious meal I changed into my swimming suite heading towards the sauna. The hot tub and sauna are located right next to the small lake and only a few steps from the birds nest. From the inside of the sauna there’s a small window overlooking the lake and you can jump right into it from the jetty which is connected to the sauna. Myself am a classic “badkruka” (which translated from Swedish to “water pot”) meaning I’d rather stay on land then jumping in the water. My travel companions jumped in a few times and loved it, may I also mention that there was still ice in the lake when I was there, this was May!
On the morning of my departure I was having some tea in my birds nest whilst scribbling on some notes and I very suddenly got the feeling of being watched. As I looked up from my pad I found myself having eye contact with a squirrel who was casually jumping on the branches outside the room. I was glad that I saw him as he next jumped up on my nest and ran across the roof which would have left me scratching myself in the head for hours if I did not know where the tapping of the paws came from.
If you would like to experience this fantastic and secluded destination to then you can find more information of this trip here: https://www.magneticnorthtravel.com/tour/details/winter-break-holiday-at-gran-beckasin-sweden
Don’t forget to drop us an enquiry if you too would like to be one of the few lucky visitors and we will be happy to put together a fantastic trip for you.