As much as I love Gothenburg, I’m a country girl at heart and I’ve been desperate to get out of the city for a little break. But there were essays to write, art to make, exhibitions to do and exams to take! So, with my last exam of the year DONE last week, I finally had some time to go out and explore the beautiful Swedish nature – the perfect way to relax after a stressful semester.
It took just one hour on the tram and the bus to get from my apartment to Jonsered. When we got off the bus as our destination, we followed the road through the old factory buildings at Jonsered Fabriker.
Then, we headed past some remnants of the area’s industrial past to reach the shores of Lake Aspen.
The trail around the lake was flat and easy going. I spotted a swimming area and diving board from afar, and as I’d never seen a high diving platform like this on a Swedish lake before, I wanted to take a closer look.
Despite being June it was a bit too chilly to think about jumping into those deep, dark, cold-looking waters, so I decided to give it a miss this time (Also, once I got up there, it seemed REALLY HIGH). If there is a summer heatwave, I may come back and try it!
The diving platform turned out to be a very nice place for a coffee break. The sun started blazing, the temperature felt like it went from 7 degrees to 25, and the five layers I was wearing suddenly felt like, um, a bit much! However, seconds after taking three of them off, the sun went in, the wind was blowing, and I was cold again, even though it’s June and technically summer – that’s Swedish weather for you.
After coffee, we headed up into the forest and immediately got lost. This was not because the trail was not clearly marked – it was! The hiking trails in Sweden are generally very clear in my experience. No, it was because we are silly and decided to just, y’know, leave the path. Smart!
We fought our way through the undergrowth for what felt like HOURS, but in reality was probably only about 15 minutes, max. But just before we were about give up hope and accept our new lives as forest-dwellers, we stumbled back onto the path and continued on our journey.
The trail became a bit more steep and rocky at this point, but it wasn’t difficult to hike at all. With summer still in its early stages, the green leaves and plants were just starting to come alive. The fresh greenery along with the ancient moss-covered rocks and tree trunks made the forest look magical.
We headed down to the shores of another lake, Stora Ramsjön, and decided to stop for lunch. We were further into the wild now and there were hardly any people about. It felt so peaceful, eating our picnic while the fish jumped out of the water every so often to catch some lunch of their own.
After eating and chilling out for a while, we packed up and started back on our hike around the lake. There are a lot of trails in the area around these lakes, which is also a nature reserve, and without any particular plan we wandered along at our own pace. The beauty of hiking at this time of year in Sweden is it doesn’t start to get dark until around 9.30pm, so you don’t feel as if you have to rush around when you’re out in nature. As mentioned recently in Emma’s awesome blogpost, the Swedish light really is amazing.
We probably spent about 5 or 6 hours out in the forest before heading back to civilization well before the light started to fade. It was the perfect way to unwind after the busy school year, and I’m excited to explore more of Sweden this summer, before the start of the new semester in September!
How to get there
Take the 519 or Gul Express bus from Svingeln, near the centre of Gothenburg, to Jons väg in Jonsered. The journey from Svingeln takes about 30 minutes on the Gul Express and 40 minutes on the 519. There’s usually at least 2 buses every hour – public transport in and around Gothenburg is brilliant!
You could also take the train to Jonsered but I think the bus is probably cheaper.
Going for a hike is a great thing for students on a budget to do as it doesn’t need to cost much at all.
Travel: One-way bus ticket lasting 90 minutes costs SEK 28. So, travel there and back cost 56 SEK per person. Not bad at all! If you have a monthly or 3-monthly Västtrafik pass, you can use it to travel on the bus to Jonsered without paying anything extra.
Food: I brought my own with me, as I always do when I’m going out for a hike as you usually won’t find any shops in the wilderness, I’m not an expert forager (yet), and being stuck in the woods without something to eat is my nightmare! Sandwiches, coffee and snacks probably came to about 40 SEK per person.
- Wear comfortable shoes so you can hike all day
- Wear layers in preparation for the unpredictable Swedish weather
- Bring insect repellent. We were lucky and only encountered friendly insects, but depending on the time of year you could end up fighting off mosquitoes!
- Take a photo of the nature reserve map. There are usually boards with maps posted up at the start of the trail in nature reserves in Sweden. Take a photo of it with your phone, as not all the trails and landmarks show up on Google maps. It’s handy to have an alternative reference.
- Bring snacks and water, but not too much! It’s good to travel light, so you don’t get too tired carrying a heavy bag around.
- Please don’t leave any litter behind! Let’s keep the forests, lakes, and meadows beautiful.
- Allow plenty of time to explore. We set off early in the day as we were not sure of the exact route. It didn’t matter that we got a bit lost as we had loads of time to get back on track, lots of time to explore, chill, and stop and stare at all the strange and interesting insects and flowers we saw!
Don’t study in Gothenburg but still want to get out in Swedish nature? Don’t worry! There are many trails and nature reserves all over Sweden. You can read more about exploring Sweden’s natural beauty on our blog. See the Related posts below for more info.