UrNature retreat   sustainable holidays in sweden UrNature retreat   sustainable holidays in sweden
jan 06, 2010

UrNature retreat sustainable holidays in sweden

experience sweden with all your senses in the wood hermitage!

UrNatur, which basically translates to ‘essence of nature’, is a swedish forest getaway, where visitors can stay in cabins and spend time reconnecting with nature. the unique hand-crafted cottages and tree-houses are located in the swedish holaved forest, and work in harmony with the surrounding environment.

UrNatur opened the doors to the wood hermitage in 2007. 6-15 guests can fit in the hermitage and can occupy six cabins. only the conference hall and the tin castle, has access to electricity. it is well suited for day-long workshops, seminaries, lectures and other activities.

UrNatur is a family business

forester håkan strotz and biologist and designer ulrika krynitz, bought the small farm sjögetorp in 1993. håkan worked as a teacher at omberg’s nature school, while ulrika founded a textile design company ‘qualle’ in 1999. during many summers they organized a handcraft festival called ‘ragnarök’. with strong shared interests in design and crafts, but also nature, ethno-biology, self-sustainability and cooking, the UrNatur project slowly took form. the owners wanted to be able to offer a fantastic experience – similar to those of our parent’s generation – for city people who spend too much time far from nature. in 2003 they felled the first tree of what was to become the main cabin. then, the storms gudrun (2005) and per (2006) affected the plan. all other houses are built from the storm-felled trees and are designed and built from scratch by håkan.

are you perhaps suffering from designer’s or writer’s block? according to the owners – by living without electricity you can really enjoy the luxury of simplicity. people cook on an open fire and a single 12 volt lamp is powered by solar cells on top of the bath house roof… it is a place for relaxation and reflection, but also a meeting place where friends can gather, revisiting memories and giving birth to new thoughts and ideas. a typical day in the wood hermitage includes local or home grown vegetables that are combined with wild herbs, berries, mushrooms or birch sap gathered in the immediate vicinity; learning how to make a fire using nothing but sticks…

all houses are built in a wild combination of old and new techniques and swedish and japanese traditions

the bath house is the largest of all houses. it contains a wood-fired sauna, which in turn heats two generous wash rooms. the bath house is built from standing timber like the old wooden stave churches, but with a tin roof and solar cells that operates a water pump and a solar shower. the wooden bathtub is located outside, under the open sky. similar to japanese bath houses, the washing rooms include a chair, washcloth and buckets with warm water.

a cabin with a copper roof

this cabin has a timbered frame and a moss roof which vanishes into the surroundings of the moss-clad forest. during summer time the moss roof is covered with wild strawberries.

the cabins feature a mixture of swedish and japanese cultures

the tree house fits 1 person only

despite its un-insulated plank walls and tar paper roof, a lot of people are charmed by its character. it offers a nice view of a small dale where you can spot both tawny owl and moose. the tree hut is the brightest and smallest house of all. be prepared that the house may sway and croak when the wind grabs hold of the tree crowns.

to wrap up your stay, you can shop in their store – lanterns and kerosene lamps, or scrubbing gloves for the sauna, sheep skins, interior textiles, carpets or other products of UrNatur’s own design.

cradle-basket with moss blanket, design by ulrika krynitz

‘drak guld’ moss mat design by ulrika krynitz

‘drak guld’ moss mats made of tufts of 100 % wool in 3 different organic shapes, 3 different sizes and thickness and in 3 different shades of green (27 possible combinations)

have you ever felt the the forest’s velvety, shimmering ‘moss cushions’?

UrNatur is a member of the swedish ecotourism society and certified by ‘naturens bästa‘. the wood hermitage lies 7 km outside of ödeshög. three hours by car from stockholm and malmö. two hours from göteborg. the closest train station is mjölby and tranås (roughly 3 miles). swebus stops at östgötaporten in ödeshög. it opens on april 1st and closes on october 15th. few people outside of scandinavia know about this off-the-grid forest hermitage, but its luxury-is-simplicity message is catching on fast. doubles from 5, including meals.

urNature exhibits at the upcoming stockholm furniture fair, february 09 -13, 2010

  • one day, I’d like to visit.
    thanks for the article.

    yasu says:
  • so touching, so serene, wonderful. too bad I will probably never get there:( or maybe…

    anna says:

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