5 nights: 2 x ÅMOT, 1 X BEAR HIDE, 2 X ÅMOT
A short break in the Swedish countryside including a night bear watching
- Dates & Prices
- Price Includes
A perfect holiday for those seeking an escape from it all, with the opportunity view brown bears in their natural habitat.
This holiday begins at Stilleben (stee-lay-ben), a beautiful countryside boutique hotel and former village school, located in the village of Åmot. Your hosts have worked hard to achieve a delightful product which combines quality accommodation and locally sourced organic, homemade food. Right on the doorstep you will find the entrance to a vast forest with trails perfect for exploring on foot or bike using your included GPS guide – follow in the footsteps of moose, deer, bear, wolf and lynx and immerse yourself in the natural world thriving beneath the protective canopy of spruce, birch, pine, rowan and aspen. We have also included a self-guided canoe trip with packed lunch so you can explore your surroundings from the river for a completely different perspective.
One of the main highlights of this holiday will certainly be your included overnight stay in a forest bear hide. Your guide will lead you through the forest to the hide which has been especially designed with discreet viewing windows for humans and cameras. Simple sleeping accommodation is available, but who wants to sleep?! Bears like to prowl during the evening…
Day 1 | Stockholm - Åmot (124 miles)
Arrive Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Collect your hire car and drive northwards passing Uppsala to the small village of Åmot and Stilleben. Check in to your hotel room and spend the remainder of the evening relaxing and absorbing the peace and serenity of your location. A delicious and healthy organic 3-course dinner is served early evening.
2 nights ÅMOT - Stilleben Boutique Hotel (4*)
Meals included today: Dinner
Day 2 | Hike and Bike Åmot
The area around Åmot has an excellent selection of hiking trails to choose from. Those who have only ever really walked on defined tracks and trails will really enjoy venturing out into the world of 'off-tracking' with a GPS (included for one day during your stay). Whether you're an experienced hiker or a weekend stroller, your GPS will provide a selection of tracks you are sure to enjoy discovering.
Meals included today: Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 | Åmot - Sandviken and Bear Watching Hide (22 miles)
Enjoy a relaxing breakfast at Stilleben. Short drive to Sandviken to Wild Nordic Gallery where you will meet with your guide. Enjoy a savoury snack with your guide whilst going through the practicalities of your activity. They will then lead you through the woods to the bear hide where you will spend the remainder of the day and night on your own.
The hide is located on a small hill and have views in three directions. Close by there is a mossy pine forest with large rocks and boulders and here bears can pop up at any time. As bears are very shy it is important that you are as quiet as possible inside the hide - even to the point of avoiding anything that rustles, like crisp packets!
The hide has nine windows/photo openings and large bunk beds with pillows and blankets and a simple toilet. There are bean bags and swing tripods for cameras. The bears often hover around 20-30 metres from the hide therefore a 100-400 mm lens is a good one to use, however you can also take photos through the windows using smaller cameras and even mobile phones. Or perhaps you will just prefer to do nothing but watch...
1 night BEAR HIDE
Meals included today: Breakfast, Sandwich snack, Dinner
Day 4 | Sandviken - Åmot (22 miles)
In the morning you will be picked up from the hide by your guide and you will walk back to the gallery where a buffet breakfast is served. If you have been awake for much of the night the gallery has some guest rooms where you may rest before returning to Stilleben.
Following dinner at Stilleben, indulge your senses and relax tired muscles in your evening’s spa package which includes an outdoor hot-tub and lakeside sauna – exclusively yours! Why not do as the Swede’s do and take a refreshing swim in the lake after heating up in the sauna? Magical…
1 night ÅMOT - Stilleben Boutique Hotel
Meals included today: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Canoeing on Testeboån River
Enjoy a lazy breakfast at Stilleben after what we are sure will have been a very deep night's sleep! Today we have included a 4-hour self-guided canoe activity on Testeboån River complete with a packed lunch for you to enjoy onshore at your leisure. Paddle into untouched nature and explore the river's nooks and crannies in a way that is only possible from the water.
Dinner is served at Stilleben during the evening.
Meals included today: Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 | Åmot - Stockholm Airport (124 miles)
Final breakfast at Stilleben before retracing your outbound journey to Stockholm Airport for your return flight home.
Meals included today: Breakfast
Departure Day: Daily
Departure Dates: 8 May to 8 Sep 2020
Duration: 5 nights
Price from: £1495 per person, based on two people travelling together and sharing a double/twin room throughout
Deposit: £200 per person
It is important to read the Terms and Conditions which apply when making a confirmed booking with us. By asking us to confirm your booking, we are entitled to assume that you have read and understood our terms and conditions, and agree to them.
- Scheduled return flights with SAS from Heathrow to Stockholm Airport including taxes and 23 kgs of checked luggage and one piece of hand luggage per person. Pre-reserved seats are available free of charge when checking in online 22-hours prior to departure.
Alternative departure airports and airlines available – please ask for details.
- Car hire with Europcar based on a VW Golf or similar, including unlimited mileage, CDW (excess SEK 8750) and tax.
- 4 nights in total at 4* Stilleben (boutique hotel) based on a standard double/twin room including daily buffet breakfast and 3-course organic, homemade dinner.
- 2 x packed lunches from Stilleben.
- GPS Hiking rental for one day from Stilleben.
- Bear watching activity as detailed including; afternoon snack on arrival at the gallery in Sandviken, transport to and from the starting point for the walk into the forest, guided walk to the bear hide including full instructions, one night in the bear hide, breakfast buffet at the gallery in Sandviken with optional rest in the guest rooms, packed dinner for the bear hide, binoculars in the bear hide, warm slippers for the bear hide.
- Private spa package at Stilleben including outdoor hot-tub and lakeside Swedish sauna for two hours.
- 4-hour self-guided canoeing trip including packed lunch from Stilleben and life vest.
- Scandinavia Only Travel Document Wallet & Luggage Labels.
- 24-hour emergency telephone assistance.
- Financial Protection.
Stilleben (4*) – Åmot
First of all we believe it is important to let you know how Stilleben is pronounced and what it actually means. Pronounced Stee-lay-ben, the name is taken from the German word for a ‘still life’ art concept, where inanimate, mainly everyday objects are handpicked to feature within a painting or photograph in a more personal, meaningful way.
This concept sits perfectly at Stilleben, where simplicity and comfort come together to provide a very high quality, personal experience. Stilleben was once the village school, a very important building, and as such sits proudly on the hillside, overlooking the village of Åmot. Surrounded by hills and forests the hotel has just six bedrooms, all featuring parquet floors, comfy twin beds and contemporary bathrooms. You won’t find TVs in the rooms, but take it from us, you won’t miss them; Stilleben is a place for relaxation, peace, and tranquillity. There is an abundance of ‘entertainment’ right on the doorstep with endless nature trails to explore, where it is not unusual to see moose and deer and perhaps the tracks of bear, wolf and lynx (don’t worry, these animals are naturally timid, and you are extremely unlikely to bump into them!).
The restaurant at Stilleben provides organic meals based on the permaculture (permanent agriculture) philosophy, that is, an ecological, sustainable approach to providing sufficient food for our needs. The result is delicious, healthy, locally sourced home-made food which cares for us, cares for the Earth and is part of a natural process. Please note that Stilleben’s restaurant is not licensed therefore alcoholic drinks are not available in the restaurant. Expect instead healthy, delicious juices and smoothies and a variety of herbal teas. You are permitted to take your own alcohol into your room.
All guests at Stilleben are asked to remove their shoes when entering the hotel and either leave them on the shoe rack provided at Reception or in their room. Slippers are available but walking around in socks is the customary Swedish way and adds to the homely atmosphere. And don’t forget your swimming costume – we include a 2-hour lake-side hot-tub and sauna experience for all our customers…why wouldn’t we?!
Your hosts, Robin and Marieke, look forward to welcoming you.
This holiday is aimed at adults and older children (we would recommend 10+) who appreciate nature and being outdoors. Bear watching requires lots of patience and the ability to stay awake during the night as this is when you are most likely to see them. It also requires that you are very, very quiet with little chatting or rustling - bears have good ears and will avoid areas where they can hear anything 'unnatural' to their habitat.
Yes, there are bunks with pillows and blankets provided. However bears are at their most active during the night and if they come out to play bed will be the last thing on your mind! If you have an eventful night you can grab a few hours sleep the following morning in guests rooms at the gallery, after breakfast.
You will be given a packed dinner consisting of such things as a pasta salad, sandwich, fruit, tea/coffee and lemonade. Your dinner will be packed in special lunch boxes and not wrapped in anything that rustles. This is to reduce any noise which the bears may pick up on and avoid.
Each overnight bear watching trip is private to your party. This means that you will only share the bear hide with other members of your family/group. This also means that you can take shifts between watching out for bears and grabbing some sleep - knowing that others will wake you when the bears turn up. This means it is also good for those who have children with them, for obvious reasons.
We cannot guarantee this - if only we could! Sightings are very good, and you certainly have one of the best locations and circumstances, however we cannot make such assurances. This is nature and wild animals - their unpredictability is legendary.
Absolutely not! We love Stilleben because they have a very strong environmental and ethical ethos, and we think this IMPROVES the quality of their accommodation and food! The hotel provides first class accommodation with a level of comfort that you would find in many four star hotels, however they do not include extras such as a TV or mini-bar or 24 hour room service - they are unnecessary and would detract from, rather than add to, the overall experience. Meals are delicious, filling, organic and healthy - what more can you ask for? The owners, Robin and Marieke, are passionate about their hotel, and the experience they provide, and this level of care and service are priceless.
Within reason, yes. Vegetarian and vegan diets are not a problem, nor are gluten-free or diabetic diets. However the owners are unable to accommodate food allergies such as nuts.
The GPS hiking and canoeing activities are what we call self-guided, this means that you are equipped with everything you need, shown how to use them and given advice on where to go, and then you spend the trip on your own.
The bear-watching is guided up until you are settled in the bear hide and given full instructions. Your guide will then leave you for the night and return the following morning to collect you.