This is why everybody should try camping
Do you know why campsites in Bohuslän are so beautifully located? You’ll find the answer here, as well as why you should choose a campsite on the west coast as this year's holiday location.
These days, many campsites are more like resorts, almost comparable with miniature towns. You’ll find everything there, from shops and restaurants to aqua parks and sometimes even entire amusement parks.
Leave your iPad at home.
There are some big differences between a campsite and a normal town, however. Instead of high-rise buildings that block out the sun, campsites have comfortable cabins with open terraces. Instead of concrete under your feet you have grass or sand. Instead of an iPad as their constant companion, your children will quickly find new friends. And instead of an awkward silence in a hotel elevator, you smile and say hi when your neighbour lights the BBQ in the evening.
We must look in the past to fully understand the interest in camping. As a form of holiday, camping developed in Sweden during the first half of the 1900s when tents were the only option at first. The interest in outdoor pursuits grew with time, and more and more people wanted to enjoy the natural calm of the countryside.
Photographer: Per Pixel Petersson
"What a lovely farm - could we stay here, please?"
There was a trend in the 1950s and 60s to find new, scenic places to go camping, often near a lake or preferably by the sea. Curious holiday makers would knock on farmhouse doors in Bohuslän to ask the owners if they could camp on their land. Of course, these visitors chose the most scenic places and farmers soon realised the value of organised camping facilities with shared areas for toilets, showers and cooking.
So it is not surprising that the campsites in Bohuslän are so beautifully located - they have been chosen by campers! Many of the most popular campsites are still family-owned and run, which adds to the good-natured feeling you often find on a campsite. It is exactly that atmosphere that attracts so many people to the camping life. There is space for everybody: the sport teams that want to bond for the next season, the family that can’t decide whether to play Yatzy or poker in the evening, the group of friends who want to go kayaking together and the girls’ party that wants to take small boats along the coast.
Photographer: Roger Borgelid
In time the number of campsites grew all over Sweden, and not least along the exceptional west coast. West Sweden, and in particular Bohuslän, is now by far the most popular camping area in Sweden (with around 3 million visitor-nights at campsites every year).
Choose the off season if you are looking for calm
The trend is toward a longer tourist period, and although summer will always be the most popular camping season more and more people are discovering the pleasures of staying in the great outdoors in spring and autumn too. Many people feel the coast is at its most beautiful then, the footpaths meandering over undisturbed coastal landscapes and the sea breeze. If peace and quiet is your thing, a visit off-season is highly recommended. Spring and autumn are the best times to discover the natural environment, whether you are walking, canoeing, diving or enjoying a wonderful seafood buffet.
Photographer: Jonas Ingman @ Bruksbild
Do campers still wear matching tracksuits?
There have been many myths and jokes about the happy camping life over the years. Swedish comedians in the mid-1980s described a camping family in matching Adidas tracksuits at a petrol station, singing about the charms of having a caravan. However quaint it may be to show a dog dressed up in a matching tracksuit, it is far from the truth. Camping is not all about Crocs, matching tracksuits and tent-worshipping young scouts, so it’s time to put these myths to rest. Leave your tracksuit at home and discover the fun of modern camping life.
Is camping for me?
Camping is for people who want to breathe in the fresh sea breeze and enjoy some delicious seafood. People who search for hidden coves among the rocks. Those who want to escape, get a complete change of scene and discover new gems. Above all, camping is for people who like spending time with friends and family.
Bohuslän brings you its world-famous archipelago, boat trips, cycle paths, seaside swimming, a lively evening scene, freshly caught shellfish, good fishing, deep forests, lovely restaurants and great footpaths. Whether you come in the spring, in the high season or when the fishing villages have calmed down in late summer, there are always exciting things to experience.
So go ahead and spoil yourself and your family - stay at a campsite in Bohuslän!