The Hoga Kusten (High Coast) was formed when the region sank under a gigantic mass of ice during the last ice age. When the ice retreated, the land sprang back and it is still rising today. This has left a dynamic landscape of vertical cliffs and craggy outcrops, lined with tranquil sandy coves. Accessibility and flexibility are the watchwords for the exciting 127 km (80 mi) trail that takes you through this terrain. Divided into thirteen stages, it offers the hiker a wide variety of challenges, whilst each stage is handily reachable by car.
There are even organized self-guided tours where you can walk between lodgings, while your luggage is transported for you, allowing you to travel light. This striking area has been given UNESCO World Heritage Site status and the hike takes you through Sweden's highest coastal area. A rich diversity of rivers, lakes, inlets and hills makes it a good test for hikers of all levels. Each day offers varying terrain as well as beautiful views out over the dark blue seas of the Gulf of Bothnia.
Starting near central Ornskoldsvik the trail presents the hiker with compact challenges. Mountains seem more climbable when you know that old-fashioned Swedish hospitality awaits you at the end of each day. Accommodation ranges from simple huts to guesthouses, but for a genuine Swedish welcome, nothing beats staying in a traditional farmhouse, several of which open their doors to tourists in summer.
WHEN TO GO
Fully accessible from May to October
TIME IT TAKES
One to two weeks according to fitness levels
The Skuleskogen National Park.
The imposing Slatterdalsskrevan Gorge.
The suspension bridge near Harnosand.
Surstromming (fermented herring) - a local delicacy certain to greet you at the table at some point.
YOU SHOULD KNOW
It is important not to be too ambitious.
Don't be fooled by the relatively short distances between designated stops - the ruggedness of the terrain can often slow your progress.