Your guide to having fun this summer

Elle Vanes moved to Skellefteå in 2020 and, by summer 2021, had a long list of places she wanted to visit during her kids’ summer holidays. The result? This incredible bucket list of fab things to do in our part of Norrland. Enjoy! 

We finally decided to move to Skellefteå in July 2020, but it wasn’t until the following summer we could make the most of it and explore all the great attractions here. To be honest, at times, it felt like the move would never happen. Covid -19 had hit, we were in lockdown and there was also the small matter of a pending house sale. To escape reality I took to Instagram, searching for all things Skellefteå and dreaming of a life that was so close but, at the same time, felt so far away. The list of places and attractions taking my fancy quickly grew. Finally, in summer 2021, we could start ticking off the Skellefteå area ’bucket list’ of places we had read and heard so much about. It was an incredible summer. So many 

mini-adventures close by, which meant not having to travel for days and spend a fortune on accommodation. The places listed below were some of our favourite days out. I hope they inspire you and other newcomers to Skelleftea to get out there and have a great time this summer.

Burvikshällorna and Sarasand beach. (35 mins from Skellefteå)

Burvikshällorna, or as it is popularly called, Burehällorna. Photograph by Sven Burman.

The coastline of Burvik is truly beautiful. Burvikshällorna is a great place for a picnic, a swim in the shallow waters and a walk through the forest. Having said that, if you have a baby, I recommend leaving the stroller at home as the walk through the forest can be a bit bumpy. But we enjoyed the short walk, the pathway being alive with hundreds of baby frogs – my sons had a whale of a time picking them up and watching them hop about.  The large Burvikshällorna boulders looking out over the Bothnian Bay are perfect for sunbathing, and the barbecue area and sauna add to the experience, giving you a very good reason to stay longer. We went in July and the water was so warm. The kids absolutely loved swimming from the jetty to the small sand island. Don’t forget about the adjoining no-car zone when planning your visit, though. Yes, you have to walk the last bit to get to Burvikshällorna. Boats can dock for the day so, if that’s an option, arrive by sea and disembark for a great day out. If you want a larger beach, Sarasand (also on the Burvik peninsula), is equally fantastic with shallow waters ideal for young children.


Enjoying the waves at Vitberget. Photograph by Donna Richmond.

Vitberget’s proximity to the city centre makes it easily accessible, and you will be truly spoilt for choice.

The adventure pool (open during the summer months) is a firm favourite of ours and the season pass provides great value for frequent visitors.

There’s plenty of choice at the top of Vitberget – an obstacle course, an outdoor gym and a bike park.

Vitberget is easy to find; simply aim for the giant TV mast and park at the base if you come by car. The scenery takes some beating at Vitberget; follow the forest path and you will be rewarded with the most spectacular view. It’s a fantastic place to pause for fika and a great place for anyone seeking a healthy and active lifestyle.


Slide straight into the sea at Byske Havsbad. Photograph by Donna Richmond.

Family-friendly Byske Havsbad gives you that special holiday feel and is only a short drive up the E4. The holiday camp welcomes everyone, be it day-trippers or holiday-makers camping on-site or staying in the cottages. The beach has a floating jetty with a slide straight into the sea, a playground and a water park (paid entry). You can play crazy golf, eat and drink at the cafe or watch your children tackle the mini-cycle path.

If you want to see more of Byske itself, walk along Byskeälven into town. Skogsgläntans 4H gård in Byske is a petting farm popular with families who have young children.

Particularly popular are the summer open days when you can pet and feed the animals and ride the ponies.


Svedjan’s Bageri.

Marranäsvältan is a spectacular nature reserve with huge sand dunes, perfect for a picnic and body board dune surfing. There are some very nice views from the pathway around the dunes, too. A forest path takes you into Fallförs and a campsite where you can stop for an ice cream, hire a boat or fishing gear. On the way back to our house, we passed through a place called Störkågeträsk and happened to stumble upon Svedjan’s Bageri. It’s a beautifully rustic summer cafe with gorgeous views of the lake, serving home-made baked goods and cheeses. Let’s just say that it is definitely worth a stop.


Salos Bärodling. Photograph by Monika Grabkowska/Unsplash.

Just west of the city is a quiet little village called Skråmträsk. Actually, it is not so quiet in summer.

First of all there is Salos Bärodling, where you can pay to pick strawberries and other fruit.

You can swim in the big lake or cook something tasty in the barbecue area while your kids are busy in the playground. Multi-event and activity venue Skråmträsk Saloon has announced a big summer programme, including a live music festival, see for more info. If you’re hungry and long for something out of the ordinary, book a table at White Guide-listed Skråmträsk Kvarn. Kvarn is the Swedish word for mill, and the site operated as such from 1946-2003 before becoming a summer cafe in 2009. Last but not least, Skråmträsk Kvarn holds the highest KRAV certification possible, meaning the food meets very high and demanding standards in terms of sustainability.


The beach at Långnäset with Burträsk church just visible the other side of the water. Photograph by Donna Richmond.

You won’t have a problem finding something to do in and around the village of Burträsk in the summer.

Edelviks Folkhögskola runs a popular summer cafe and Burträsk Camping is the place to be for boat hire and fishing permits. A small suspension bridge leads you to the island in the Burträsket lake. On the opposite side of the lake you can find the longest lake beach in Vasterbotten – Långnäsbadet.


Piteå Ronnskär’s prominent lighthouse. Photograph by Elle Vanes.

The Piteå archipelago consists of, as expected, many islands. One of the closest to Skellefteå is Piteå Ronnskär Island, served by taxi boat from Kinnbacks Harbour (just north of Byske off the E4) and a short ride gets you to the island and its prominent lighthouse. My boys enjoyed playing on the pebble beach, eating waffles and wandering around the island, which feels like you’ve stepped back in time.


A suspension bridge takes you over the river rapids at Mårdseleforsen in Åmsele. Photograph by Elle Vanes.

Straying slightly further afield, but still possible as a day-trip, I’d happily suggest Mårdseleforsen in Åmsele (one hour and 45 minutes from Skellefteå). This is a nature reserve boasting a selection of suspension bridges taking you on a loop around the river rapids, with plenty of boulders to scramble across.

To cap it off, there is a restaurant near the car park with stunning views of the river rapids. Storforsen in Vidsel (two hours away from Skellefteå). Storforsen is incredible and the signposted walk is definitely worth doing but can be challenging for children.



There are plenty of animals to meet at Mickelbo Gård.

If your children are anything like mine, a day spent   around animals will always be a hit. I know of three very good places, albeit a somewhat further away from the city. At Mickelbo Gård ( in Tavelsjö (below), approximately one hour and 30 minutes from Skellefteå, you can meet a range of petting animals, with a cafe and farm shop to boot. Further afield is Lycksele Djurpark (, featuring Swedish animals such as bears and wolves. Both places are great, but our favourite animal park is Älgens Hus in 

Bjurholm ( True, this is much further afield (two hours and 40 minutes from Skellefteå) so you may want to consider an overnight stay. You can touch and interact with the moose there. My son, who loves moose, got to feed and pet them. They’re magnificent creatures and it was so great to see them close up, rather than at a distance.


Hire a canoe or kayak and see Skellefteå from the river. Photograph by Elle Vanes.

You don’t have to leave town to have a fun day in the summer. Why not use Skellefteälven as your route for a day out? Get yourself to Mobacken Kyrka and walk west along the path towards Lejonströmbrön, the path being very child friendly. At Landskyrkan, walk behind it until you come across a bridge to the summer cafe. You could always stop for an ice cream or a snack and carry on with a walk through Bonnstan and Nordanå, maybe stopping at Exploratoriet Science Museum. The water fountains on the river edge are always a hit with my kids. Just remember to take a change of clothes, and the kids can spend hours running through the water on a warm day. If you want to explore more of Skellefteälven, there’s nothing stopping you from hiring a canoe or kayak from Swenature ( to see the city from the water (below). It was quite a sight for the kids to see salmon jumping alongside the boat. If the whole family becomes rather peckish after all this intense activity, a lunch of huge quality is available at Nordanågarden (, a Swedish-Mediterranean restaurant.


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