If you are looking for refuge, silence, wilderness and adventure, the STF Kolarbyn/Eco-lodge might just be your cup of tea.
Set in a wild forest near the Skärsjön Lake just a couple hours away from the capital Stockholm, the Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge is Sweden’s most primitive hotel, offering twelve electricity-free “nature huts” allowing communion with the Swedish landscape without actually camping.
Each tiny hut provides two berths with sheep skin rugs to cushion your slumber. You are kept warm by a wood heater, with your first task to gather and chop adequate wood for your cooking and heating needs. The huts have no electricity nor running water, dark evenings simply are lit by candles or traditional oil lamps.
A nearby spring is used to fetch water, and several fire pits are available for outdoor cooking (that is, after the firewood has been chopped.) An organic self-serve breakfast made from all local, all organic fare is offered during the fall, spring, and summer seasons. Other activities on the site include a floating sauna, biking, hiking, and wolf-howling.
In 2004 Kolarbyn started a project to preserve Sweden’s 400-year-old tradition of charcoaling, a process of extracting iron by producing charcoal in kilns. Around the Kolarbyn sites are hundreds of remnants of charcoal kilns, and since 2004 many new kilns have been put to use. Guests are invited to watch the process or to work with the kiln, and a portion of their money goes to the upkeep of this practice.
Billed as a hostel, the Kolarbyn is a great example of budget accommodation. For business’s to survive they have to offer something unique that shines through the corporate mass-produced nonsense, something personal and something that gives us a memory for our hard earnt cash.
Plus, if you've always dreamed of living inside the trunk of an actual tree, these eco-lodges are not quite that experience, but they're about as close as most are likely to get.
Staying in the Eco Lodge means that you’ll have to live in the woods without electricity or running water, (which means no Twitter, FB) but it’s definitely an adventure you won’t forget.