Like a wild African lodge in the Garden of Scandinavia
TEXT: MALIN NORMAN | PHOTOS © ERIKSBERG HOTEL & NATURE RESERVE
At Eriksberg Hotel & Nature Reserve, in the beautiful Scandinavian archipelago, you can combine a visit in the wilderness with luxury accommodation and fantastic gastronomy. This is an ideal spot for a relaxing detox in our fast-paced times.
With around 925 hectares and some 1,500 wild animals, Eriksberg is the largest safari park in Scandinavia. The estate offers a unique experience with a focus on beautiful nature, great accommodation and fantastic gastronomy. It has been described by the White Guide as “a wild African lodge in the middle of Blekinge”, which seems a suitable take on it. “Our visitors appreciate the peace and quiet here. This is when being away from home is at its best,” confirms Per-Arne Olsson, CEO.
A stay at Eriksberg certainly is something out of the ordinary. Buildings from five centuries ago have been renovated and extended over the years, each with its own unique character. A particular gem is Lily Croft, a 750-square-metre safari villa with high ceilings, large windows and a lovely veranda with views of the bay. Located in a secluded part of the estate, it is ideal for hideaway meetings or relaxation. New this year is the so-called ‘glamping’ and a luxury chalet, where hotel guests will be able to get even closer to the animals.
“Today, many of us feel stressed. But in this peaceful environment close to nature, it’s possible to recharge our batteries,” says Olsson. “Some guests tell us that as soon as they enter through the gates, they start to relax. It’s a bit like a digital detox, with plenty of rest and good food, and activities for those who want to take part.”
The two restaurants serve up a gastronomic experience for all the senses, with local produce as the basis for everything on the menu, a pleasant atmosphere and an appreciated personal touch. “We serve great traditional Swedish food according to the seasons,” says Olsson. “Of course, we use game and fish from the estate, plus we have some fantastic vegetarian alternatives too.”
Both restaurants are included in the White Guide. Havsörnen Restaurant offers classic, understated elegance with a five-course dinner menu as well as afternoon tea. Visenten Restaurant, meanwhile, is considered one of the best in the area, with an excellentà la carte menu, today’s lunch and customised menus for special events.
Best of all, however, is that the beautiful nature and animals are everywhere. At nine square kilometres, Eriksberg is one of northern Europe’s largest protected areas for wildlife. Guests can join one of the safaris to see the wild animals in their right environment. Red deer, fallow deer, Père David’s deer, European bison, wild boar and mouflon roam around freely. There is also a rich variety of birds here, as well as one of the world’s largest stocks of the protected red water lily. In addition to wildlife-related activities, guests can take part in, for instance, hiking, wine tasting and cooking courses.