Wild Eco Lodge: Sweden’s Primitive Kolarbyn

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Set in a wild forest near the Skärsjön Lake, 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.

wild eco lodge, Sweden, ecotourism

Kolarbyn Ecolodge is an unusual hotel that consists of twelve traditional forest huts located in the forest by the beautiful clear water lake Skärsjön. Photo By Skogens Konung.

Sweden from a Hole in the Ground

A refuge for silence, wilderness and adventure, only a couple of hours away from the capital Stockholm. STF Kolarbyn/Eco-lodge is owned by the community and part of the proceeds of your stay will go toward protecting area wildlife.

The History of Kolarbyn

The story goes that Kolarbyn has been used as a site for charcoal burning by locals for over 400 years. Here, forest workers constructed small rustic huts to sleep in during their winter work with logging and burning charcoal for iron production. Several generations of huts have existed here, with these particular ones only 20 years or so old, they are still constructed in the same traditional style as their ancestors once built them.

The birth of an eco-lodge

Kolarbyn was reestablished in the Winter of 1996 as enthusiastic villagers from Skinnskatteberg decided to build a collection of traditional forest huts by the shore of lake Skärsjön. The idea was to create conditions for people interested in charcoal burning to practice their techniques in the way it had been practiced in the region for centuries.

Wild Sweden

Charcoal Burning Yesterday, Cutting Wood Today

Charcoal burning is a traditional method for producing charcoal which was used in the former Swedish iron industry, once a foundation of the Swedish economy. The genuine Kolarbyn charcoal site would enable practical knowledge as well as it´s belonging cultural traditions and folklore to be passed on to future generations.

The area offers good opportunities for a wide range of free outdoor activities with excellent fishing opportunities and forest trails to explore.

Kolarbyn Eco Lodge, Sweden, ecotourism

Local workers at an annual charcoaling event near Skinnskatteberg, Sweden. Photo By Claudia Deglau.

The idea in Kolarbyn is self-catering, which means one will lend a hand with wood cutting, water fetching, picking berries, recycling of waste and helping out to make Kolarbyn a nicer place to be. There is a storage building where you can pick up food items for breakfast, lunch and evening meals for preparation over an open fire, just like a charcoal burner would have…sort of.

Kolrabyn Eco Lodge from Wild Sweden

H-T Lost at E-Minor

STF Kolarbyn/Eco-lodge, Skinnskatteberg, Sweden 

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Jack Eidt

About Jack Eidt

Writer, urban theorist, and environmental advocate, Jack Eidt careens down human-nature's all consuming one-way highway to its inevitable conclusion - Wilder Utopia. He co-founded Wild Heritage Planners, based out of Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at jack (dot) eidt (at) wilderutopia (dot) com.