Guide / HÄrjedalen
”We’ve got lots of space per person, and those square miles contain some really amazing nature”
On how a scarcely populated region with no real cities gives plenty of room for life at a slower tempo
14 Apr 2023

Who are you?

— Well, I ended up in the kitchen industry both by surprise and by coincidence, since I’m the teacher who got tired of classrooms and responded to an ad from a kitchen company seeking a salesman. I love both interior design and cooking, so it seemed like a perfect match to me. I never thought I would have any talent for sales, but it turned out great. At that time they were on an exciting journey of growth, a company with a great business idea. And soon enough they gave me responsibility for marketing, communication, and design. We’ve been working together for quite some time now!

For someone who hasn’t been to Härjedalen, how’d you describe it?

— Härjedalen represents Swedish nature at its best. There are no real cities here, and you have to say it’s pretty scarcely populated compared to other parts of the world. So, we’ve got lots of space, or square miles, per person. And those square miles contain some really amazing nature, lots of clean air, and life at a slower tempo than most other parts of our country. Härjedalen is genuine, cordial, and real.

My favourite thing that makes me proud of Härjedalen: 

— The pride of the people here. It’s as if they’re tuned to another frequency. Much calmer, and sort of breathing a certain kind of ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit.

My favourite weekend routine:

— That starts with sleeping a bit longer and offering ourselves the luxury of a big breakfast. Then we fill our backpacks with a thermos, sandwiches, fruit, and maybe something extra to carry us through a day’s worth of activities, which can be anything from skiing downhill, climbing a pike, going cross-country skiing, or fishing. When we get back home again, we fire up the sauna as we unpack, and after that, we enjoy a nice dinner before ending it up with a good movie or a series on TV. It works all seasons.

My favourite cultural spot:

— To me, that has to be our landscape. You know, the big wild. Where the kids can run free, and an excursion means that you might spot a bear. Or a musk ox, if you’re lucky.

Photography: Emeli Nilsson

My favourite place for dining out:

— Out here, you eat best in front of a fire. Or in a mountainside chalet. Right now, I would say my favourite is a cross-country ski tour to a wonderful fondue dinner right on the mountain, with a shining full moon leading our way as we ski back home. But there’s a constant fight for this top spot. The best dining experience of my life was at Fäviken Magasinet in Järpen, which, if I remember right, had two stars in the Michelin Guide. Head chef Magnus Nilsson and his team offered an unforgettable and completely unique dining experience. Unfortunately, they closed the restaurant in 2020 but in my memory, they will always remain.

My favourite place for a creative or business meeting.

— I think there’s no better place than going to Aula Capella at Fjällnäs. It’s an exciting place where nature meets design and great materials. Outside the big windows, you see all the shifting expressions of nature, and inside you find works of art and furniture designs mixing it side by side.

My favourite breakfast place.

— Out on my patio on a sunny morning as all the sounds of the day start coming back. Birds in the forest, a lonely car on the road, or someone talking in the distance. It’s so peaceful.

My favourite excursion:

— I’ll go cross-country skiing to Lake Bolagen. That’s a good six kilometres mostly uphill and quite steep, so when you arrive at the highest point, the views are just stunning. The feeling of being in the wild without seeing or hearing anything else than nature for miles on end. Then, when you return it’s mostly downhill, so you only need to coast back home. 

My favourite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote:

— I have the greatest admiration for the founders of HärjedalsKök, Mathias Abrahamsson and Tord Erik Zetterström. Two great entrepreneurs who started a factory in Härjedalen. They had both great knowledge and commitment but cared even more about their co-workers.

My favourite hotel for a staycation:

— I’d pick Eriksgården, a fantastic little mountain hotel. With cosy rooms, an exclusive spa, and a restaurant that never disappoints. For a day on the mountain, you only need to bring your thermos down to breakfast and get it filled with something warm to get you through the day.


My favourite route for a run or walk: 

— For me, the only way is up! Whether I’m walking or running, which happens very seldom by the way, I always want to go uphill. In the summer, I just love taking the road up Funäsdalsberget. There’s also a more advanced walking trail finishing right up at the top cabin with an amazing 360-degree view. 

My favourite example of tech innovation in Härjedalen:

— What immediately comes to mind is ETOUR, an amazing research centre for tourism, measuring wear and tear in nature, mapping visitors and ensuring that nature will last for the future.

Photography: Wilda Nilsson

My favourite thing at home:

— Our Sonos One in the kitchen. It’s now been a few years since we installed Google Home on it and with everything from weather, facts, stories, music, and radio, it’s becoming more and more like a family member. I really like that my children use Google against me sometimes when I want to tell old stories…