Lake swimming in the south of Sweden. June 2023

Lake in Växjö, south of Sweden
Lakes in the south of Sweden

If Denmark is about flat fields then Southern Sweden is definitely about lakes. Whether it's Vänern, the largest lake in the EU, or a tiny Södra Kypesjön in the town of Borås, there's always a body of freshwater somewhere near you! Surprisingly, they do not swim naked in Sweden (not even topless), it is much more conservative than Germany in this regard. That is despite Sweden topping the charts as one of the most secular and liberal countries in the world.

Lake in Växjö, south of Sweden
Södra Kypesjön in Borås, south of Sweden

Almost always we had to cover ourselves in those wet clothes called "bathing suits". Even on Södra Kypesjön where red-faced red-skinned ladies and gentlemen jumped naked from the sauna into the chilly water, I had to swim in those sticky rags. But other than that annoying nuisance, lake dipping in Sweden had been a wonderful experience throughout our whole journey. The water was usually warm enough to enjoy a long relaxing swim and the surrounding nature was enchanting. And, of course, we found a fair bit of secluded spots for skinny dipping where no one was watching us.

Södra Kypesjön in Borås, south of Sweden

Once in Eskilstuna we hiked 20 km along the Sörmlandsleden picking up wild strawberries and taking in the smells and sounds of the forest. The trail brought us to the shore of the pristine lake Lilla Bälgviksjön with not a single soul around. What an exciting moment it was to throw off our sweaty clothes and jump stark naked into the gentle caressing water! And, mind you, one day I did the same on the vast boundless Vänern, where pine trees and ragged rocks hid me from prying eyes.

Sörmlandsleden in Eskilstuna
Lilla Bälgviksjön lake in Eskilstuna

But even with the rags on, it was memorable to swim in Växjö after the downpour watching the sun slowly set. Or sit on a sandy bottom in the shallow part of the Vänern lake letting the waves clean off the dust of hitchhiking. Or bathe in the river in Eskilstuna with our host at her lunch break having the current wash away the sweat. What an unbelievable luxury!

Vänern lake in Lidköping