Airbnb plays host to some pretty spectacular rentals: castles, treehouses, castle houses in the trees, boats, planes, a giant beagle… you get the picture. But recently, for the first time ever, a whole country has listed itself on Airbnb, and the thought behind it is pretty wanderlust-worthy.
It’s partially a stunt from Visit Sweden, but it’s also very real. You see, there’s this Swedish concept known as Allemansrätten, which roughly translates as “freedom to roam” (seriously, I love how the Nords have all of these beautiful and abstract concepts like hygge). Allemansrätten is more than just a way of thinking to the Swedes, though; it’s a “principle protected by Swedish law that gives all people the right to be free in Swedish nature”. It means that, to the Swedish people, the land itself is a home that belongs to you. The lakes, the lingonberry bushes, the trails… it’s all free to explore and take full advantage of because it’s a place that everyone shares. Pretty cool, right? Of course, there are a few rules: respect the land, and avoid private property.
The listings, which are for areas that they’ve identified as picture-perfect places to set up camp, are utterly enchanting. They describe bent, moss-covered trees as antique chairs, lakes as swimming pools, oceanside cliffs as sunny front porches, fishing spots as kitchens, flower-studded woodland clearings as master bedrooms… and the pictures on the listings are positively divine. Beaches, riverbanks, glens in dense and ancient forests, and islands are all available “for rent”. The listings play up each spot’s special features, whether it’s wild berries and mushrooms, swimming spots, fishing, oysters, or the like.
Of course, the “Book” button is replaced by a link to Visit Sweden’s website… but seriously, if nothing else, it’s a brilliant ploy to get you daydreaming about a trip to the breathtaking Swedish countryside.