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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Our Big Swedish Winter Wonderland Guide

the already existing natural experiences and cultural heritage became the primary attractions. But today the destination is as well regarded as it is peculiar, complete with accommodation options ranging from an old camping site to a super-modern eco-hotel and six tree houses, referred to as birds’ nests. The nests are of high-quality eco-hotel standard – also referred to as hotel rooms in pine trees – with magical views across the Ume River, the mountains and the village. “People arrive here by transfer from Umeå late at night, their eyes wandering, and as they cross the little wooden bridge and spot the birds’ nests high up in the pine trees on the boulder ridge they’re just amazed,” says Rydman. “Slowly but surely, the working day washes off them, they start to relax and the women start wearing less make-up. You can stay in bed staring through the skylight out onto the northern lights; it’s perfectly quiet, you can see the stars –

and we’re renowned for our food, including organic elk, reindeer and lamb from the farmer down the road and local beer.”

Endorphins over adrenaline While some winter destinations are all about adrenaline and extreme sports, Granö Beckasin opts instead for endorphins and real nature experiences. Locals offer activities ranging from dog sledding and cross-country skiing to guided tours where you learn to make a fire and experience Sami life along with storytelling and ice fishing. “We’ve got experiences for all seasons, but in the winter you really do get that winter wonderland. People who haven’t experienced it before are stunned; it’s like someone’s covered the trees with cotton wool,” Rydman enthuses. “In the summer you can go on an elk safari, where you’ll always spot the king of the forest at least once, or build your own timber raft and go on an adventure on the river. With the Photo: Thea Holmqvist

Photo: Patrick Trägårdh

midnight sun, it’s bright day and night during the summer, something guests from further south tend to find immensely fascinating! You don’t need to go bungee jumping to get your kicks – people really do enjoy themselves here.” Come for a small conference with the most amazing of views, take a romantic weekend with a difference, or bring the whole family for a back-to-nature adventure. Just a one-hour flight from Arlanda and a further hour from Umeå, this village does not just boast untouched nature and local traditions; it has people willing to fight for its future. “It’s about finding greatness in the little things,” says Rydman. “Like Jan-Erik’s attitude to birds and other animals – we take a lot of inspiration from him.” For more information, please visit: www.granobeckasin.com

Photo: Thea Holmqvist

Photo: Granö Beckasin

Issue 95  |  December 2016  |  39


Scan Magazine, Issue 95, December 2016