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Located deep in the forests of Hälsingland, beside, this small and rustic wilderness lodge offers great photographic opportunities, particularly when the adjoining Lake Stora Öjungen freezes over completely in winter.

Vargas Wilderness Lodge is owned and run by Håkan and Eva Vargas Sundberg, who over more than two decades have developed the facilities here from modest beginnings to the level of comfort that exists today. Håkan is talented nature photographer and filmmaker who has contributed to radio and TV productions about bears and golden eagles. In the way the lodge is run and the set-up at the hide, he has taken into consideration all the requirements for successful photography, and his attention to detail in this regard has been meticulous.

The lodge is centred on a large and welcoming central lounge and dining area with a cosy log fire, and a verandah that offers views across the lake. The small and basic, but comfortable rooms are in adjacent cabins, heated by wood-burning stoves, but without running water. A separate shower and sauna cabin overlooks the lake, and there is a stand-alone toilet building. All meals are home-cooked by Eva, and the vast majority of the produce used is locally supplied.
The photographic hide stands on one side of a forest clearing around 45 minutes uphill walk from the lodge (or – depending on the season – a short transfer by either a snowmobile towing a sled, or a four-wheel-drive vehicle), and is equipped with individual observation windows, camera ports, comfortable chairs, heating and four two-tier bunk beds complete with bedding. You make up your own meals from an ample buffet that is laid out back at the lodge, and hot drinks are provided. A composting eco-toilet and washing facilities completes the set-up. Although basic, the hide is quite comfortable and very well-equipped, and ideal for photography.

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Key info

Wildlife trips

This accommodation is featured in the following itinerary:

Golden Eagles in Winter

Arguably Europe’s most impressive and majestic bird, the golden eagle epitomises wilderness areas and the freedom of vast open skies This long weekend in Sweden provides fantastic opportunities to photograph golden eagles from hides in the coniferous forest deep in the winter snow.

  • When to go: Jan-Feb
  • Duration inc. flights: 4 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £1,295 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
This accommodation is located in:


This historic province of central Sweden lies three hours drive north of Stockholm. The rocky, mountainous terrain slopes gently from a maximum altitude of 600 metres down to the Baltic coastline, and is covered largely with dense forest – a perfect habitat for brown bears!

  • Where: Central Sweden
  • Ideal for viewing: brown bear, wolf, moose, roe deer, golden eagle