While Sweden’s vast swathes of forests and coastlands are populated with creatures that range from majestic elk to skittish lynx, it can be hard to spot these quick animals - so it’s important to know where to look. Travel with Best Served Scandinavia, however, and you'll enjoy a tailor-made holiday to Sweden's great outdoors with guides who know the landscape and can help you track the animals you've come to see.
Wildlife throughout Sweden
Elk, often considered Sweden's national animal, are always high on any list of Swedish wildlife to see. Indeed, they can be found the length and breadth of the country although they’re often well hidden away in forests. It’s often said, however, that you’re most likely to see them when you’re driving the backcountry lanes but to ensure sightings, head to Skinnskatteberg just outside of Stockholm, where elk-watching tours have a near 100% success rate. Sweden is also home to one of the hardest mammals to spot: the lynx. They’re the largest cat in Europe and prey on reindeer in the north and roe deer in the south. They’re most active at dawn and dusk so keep your eyes peeled whenever the sun is low.
Wolves and beavers in Central Sweden
Central Sweden is scored by lakes, tributaries and rivers making it an ideal habitat for beavers. Look out for their distinctive bite marks on trees and take to the waters themselves for the best chances of spotting them. After almost being hunted to their extinction in the late 1800s – when a secretion of its scent gland was believe to have medicinal properties – a thriving population of some 150,000 now exists in the wild. Central Sweden is also home to the majority of the country’s wolves as the reindeer herding business in the north has seen them forced south.
Northern Sweden and Swedish Lapland
The magnificent brown bear calls the chilly north and centre of Sweden home. However, thanks to a shy temperament and relatively low numbers, it’s worth looking into a professional wildlife tracker in order to get a sighting of them. An even rarer sight is the Arctic fox; tucked away in Sweden’s northwest, its numbers have dwindled to just a few hundred. Head to the mountains of Jämtland where the Arctic fox shares its grounds with reindeer, lemmings and even wolverines.
The rivers of northern Sweden also host indigenous otters as conservation efforts in the south are helping to grow numbers. Perhaps make your way to the frozen coastal inlets in winter to spot whole families playing on the ice. And in Swedish Lapland, where the Northern Lights rule the winter, there are plenty of opportunities to ride on a dog sled pulled by huskies and discover a world beyond anywhere you've explored before.