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  • Writer's pictureGreen Traveller

Lugnåsberget Ekohotell, West Sweden

As part of our feature on Climate Smart Holidays in West Sweden, Sarah Baxter took the train from the UK to West Sweden in September to visits five low carbon places to stay. Here is the third place she visited: Lugnåsberget Ekohotell

outside of yellow building surronded by trees
The old yellow farmhouse on the small holding at the homely Lugnåsberget Eco Hotel. Photo: Richard Hammond

In a nutshell:

A simple, homely, wholesome family-owned eco hotel on a small holding (hens in the garden and sheep in the field) that provides mostly home-made food from the owner's small holding

Rooms: Single, twin and family rooms (six rooms in the annex plus an apartment in an old farmhouse)

Price: 2-night package from 1,975 Swedish Krona for two people, includes two breakfasts and dinner plus use of the sauna and maps of the local area

Meals: Organic breakfast (don't miss the home-baked bread with homemade jams and conserve), lunch basket, dinner basket with bean salad and smoked lamb/feta cheese. Food is either from the owner's farm or is from nearby suppliers and is organic and fairtrade.

Open: March–June and September–October.

Carbon count: One night at Lugnåsberget Ekohotell creates around 0.2kg CO2-equivalent per person (the carbon emissions at an average hotel in Sweden is approximately 6.8kg CO2-equivalent per person per night)

Our stay at Lugnåsberget Ekohotell, including staying in the main house, relaxing in the barrel-top sauna, and visiting the fascinating Lugnåsberget millstone mines. Photos: Richard Hammond

Sarah Baxter's insight:

When Pia Åkesson and Jesper Persson first met, both clutching copies of John Seymour’s seminal Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency, they knew they were made for each other. Now, decades on, they run Lugnåsberget Ekohotell, a simple guesthouse within the Vänerskärgården & Kinnekulle UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that has the lightest of carbon footprints. Indeed, a wall meter displays how much energy the ecohotel generates via its solar panels – which is far more than it uses. For this couple, sustainability isn’t a buzzword, it’s a way of life.

“We long dreamed of having a hostel – we like to meet people, and wanted to show there are different ways of living,” Jesper told me as we sat in the garden, eating homebaked cinnamon buns. This seemed appropriate. The original 19th-century farm is called Sofielund, after one of three sisters who once lived here, baking kanelbullar for the workers of Lugnåsberget’s millstone mines; one of those mines, Minnesfjället, is now an excellent museum.

There are six rooms in the Ekohotell’s red-timber annex plus an apartment in the old yellow farmhouse. I stayed in the latter; my homey room had a balcony overlooking the grazing sheep. Truly minimal food miles: dinner that evening included smoked lamb from Pia and Jesper’s flock, as well as fruit and veg from their smallholding and local producers.

The Ekohotell is a great base. You can pick up hiking and cycling trails from the doorstep, swim and canoe at Lake Vristulven, explore the Biosphere; there’s a train station just 4km away. But be sure to do as I did and return to hit the west-facing wood-fired sauna for the hottest sunset views.

Things to do

  • Hiking: The Biosphere Trail passes right outside the hotel - it's a wonderful 140km hiking trail that hugs the southern shore of Lake Vänern, passing through through beautiful, varied landscapes with viewpoints, islands, town centres, and forests, between Läckö and Mariestad. In just five miles, Sarah walked the flanks of Mount Kinnekulle, explored two nature reserves, browsed the gardens, gallery and flea market of Hellekis Manor, "and ate the best cinnamon bun I’ve ever tasted on a rock ledge overlooking Vänern’s endless waters".

  • Guided tour of Qvarnstensgruvan museum: There are guided tours of the fabulous Millstone Quarry and museum at Qvarnstensgruvan. For more about this, read Sarah's article West Sweden, the humble hero

  • Cycling: Stage 4 of the Vänerleden cycle trail (the bit between Mariestad and Lidköping) passes 7km from the hotel

  • Canoeing: Take the hotel's canoes down to the nearby Lake Vristulven (they can be driven down there by electric car and trailer)

  • Wild Swimming: There's a lovely natural swimming area in Lake Vristulven, 5 km from the hotel.

  • Sauna: The hotel has it's own onsite sauna.

How to get to Lugnåsberget Eco Hotel

By train: About 2.5 hours by train from Gothenburg, 3.5 hours from Stockholm. Get off at Lugnås station, from where you can either walk to the eco-hotel (around 3 km) or arrange to be picked up by the owner's electric car.

By electric car: There are three EV chargers on site from the hotel's own solar array.

On foot: Stages 7 and 8 of the Biosphere Trail pass right outside the house.

By Bike: Stage 4 of the Vänerleden Trail between Mariestad and Lidköping can be accessed around 7 km from Ekohotellet.

More information: Book at stay at the Lugnåsberget Eco Hotel:

electronic solar electricity power display
The use of the solar-powered electricity on display outside the annex for guests to see. Photo Richard Hammond


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