So, you’ve got 24 hours to spend in Tavelsjö and the good fortune to be a car or bus ride away. Sitting in an area of outstanding natural beauty, and just 30 minutes outside the city, Tavelsjö spans an area surrounding the largest lake in the region and is home to a fantastic collection of outdoor activities, places to eat and drink and little crafty boutiques.
Here is our guide to what to do with one day in the village..
Explore the forests
Tavelsjö is home to a network of trails that take you up through some ancient woodland to the tops of ten of the biggest peaks in the area. Known as the ‘Ten Tops of Tavelsjö’ or Tio Toppar Tavelsjö, the hikes are gentle, require no equipment outside of the winter and most of them have magnificent views from the top. The best place to start is to take a hike up Tavelsjöberget. Parking can be found here and you then follow the small white Tio Toppar signs all the way up to the top.
Three quarters of the way up there’s a great lookout point over the lake. If you want to take in two tops in one afternoon, follow the signs for ‘väg 2’ back down from the lookout point. When you make it to a wide flat trail, look out for the tio toppar white sign which will take you up to Finkhörneberget. For a digital map to follow, click here. To read more on the different tops, click here. For some of our favourite hiking and running routes, click here.
Take a kayak on the lake
Early in the day, the lake is often flat as a pancake and glistening in the morning sun. This is the perfect time for a trip out on the water and there are various spots around the lake to look out for. The first is for those without any equipment. Tavelsjökanot are experienced operators with several locations across the region. They have over a hundred kayaks, canoes and stand up paddle boards to choose from and they can be hired for a day or just for a few hours. Click here to book.
For those with your own equipment, boats can be launched from Root and paddled out to Storön for a picnic. Alternatively, and arguably the most beautiful spot to paddle on the lake is out to the Tavelsjön ‘archipelago’ – the groups of islands and peninsular in the middle of the lake. The smallest island, ‘Lovön’ has a great sandy little beach and is perfect for a picnic. You can paddle out from Root past the bird colony on Granön or launch from Lãngviksvallen – click here.
Stroll around the boutiques
Tavelsjö has a burgeoning arts and crafts scene with various little places to explore. First up is Blåeld, a unique garden and home store overlooking the lake in the centre of the village. With a history of offering fantastic little things over the past 20 years, Blåeld has become a favourite ‘utflyks’ or daytrip destination for Umeå residents.
In the same complex as Blåeld is Tavelsjo wärdshus, a traditional Swedish inn. Inside there is a lovely little ‘gårdsbutik’ where you will find local cheeses, meats and a variety of things made or produced in the local area.
Also in the village is a beautiful little shop called KN Form. Run by the couple who originally started Blåeld, they produce a range of ceramics which are displayed inside an old wooden structure that was once the village store. During the summer they also have flea market or ‘loppis’ as the Swedes call it.
The newest little boutique in the village is called Lydia’s Kitchen and is operated by Tavelsjö gårdsmusteri, an award winning artisan soft drinks producer. Lydia’s kitchen is an honesty shop selling a various of yummy things like cakes, pastries alongside their range of soft drinks. Walking in is like harking back to a time forgotten, and is an absolutely wonderful experience.
Camp under the stars
Taking a night under the stars in Tavelsjö is an experience not to be missed. The Swedish right to roam or, ‘allemansrätten’, means the options of places to stay are endless. During the summer months, the sun only sets for a small amount of time which can make for some spectacular experiences when combined with dips in the many small lakes around the village. Outside the summer, as the skies darken and fills with a spectacular canvas of stars. During the autumn, winter and spring, there are also strong possibilities of seeing the northern lights.
Take a bike ride
Cycling is a fast growing activity in the village with options throughout the year. Our favourite starting point is a 21km around the Tavelsjönrunt. The track goes all the way around the lake and covers some gravel, some concrete and some trails. The ride is a gentle one taking in some of the best scenery in the village and plenty of spots to picnic on the route. Parking for the Tavelsjönrunt can be found here at Root and various other places around the lake. Click here for further information.
Eat and drink
There are two main spots to eat in Tavelsjö. Here at Root we offer a small range of sourdough pizzas which we change regularly and give silly names. Alongside our pizza we offer speciality coffee, brunch and sourdough bread. Click here for more information, opening hours and booking.
Tavelsjö wärdhus in the centre of the village offers a range of ‘hustmanskost’ – tradional Swedish fare. Here you can find lovingly prepared burgers, salads and charcuterie amongst other things. Their approach is to use local produce wherever possible with a focus on sustainability. They also offer a range of items to takeaway and finish off at home including after work bags, brunch and other yummy things. Click here for more and booking.
For the families
Just outside of Tavelsjö lies Mickelbo gård, a family run farm and café. On site they have a variety of both Swedish and exotic animals to interact with alongside a café and farm shop where you can enjoy traditional Swedish fika. Click here for more information and opening hours.
Places to stay
The are a variety of air b&b’s available in and around the village, click here for further details – select the accommodation drop down. Our favourite is Heleneborgs gård. Situated just outside the village, the Helenborgs has a variety of different accommodation types including cottages and a converted stable. It is quinticentially Swedish and the couple that run are marvlouss hosts. Book well in advance if you want to stay here.
How to get to Tavelsjö
Driving out from Umeå, there are two main routes to take. Take the 363 out from the centre of town via Västerslatt and then follow signs for Sorsele. You will reach Tavelsjö after around 25-30 minutes. There is an alternate / scenic route that can be taken via Flurkmark. To take this route head out on the 364 from Ersboda and follow the signs for Tavelsjö.
Taking the bus
This can be tricky, and the bus timetables can be found here. The bus to take is the number 16 and there are various stops in the village. The closest one to Root is the ‘Sundlingska Gården’ bus stop opposite or alternatively head to the ‘Sand’ stop.