Want to travel sustainably and keep your emissions low while traveling? Then Zero Island in Sweden should be your next destination!
This article is part of a paid partnership with NESTE and Zero Island. As usual, all opnions and photos are my own.
Earlier this summer, me and Christine were invited to stay in the so-called Zero Cabin (Nolla), which is a cabin on Zero Island which has been designed to be as sustainable as possible with minimal effects on the environment.
It’s an exciting concept where you get to come closer to nature and get a unique experience. In addition to the accommodation, they have also put together a tasting menu with locally produced food and biodynamic wines.
What is Zero Island?
Zero Island is a sustainability project by Finnish Energy company Neste, which is ranked as one of the most sustainable companies in the world. They offer the concept of Zero Vacation where you can stay in the award-winning cabin “Nolla” as well as try the tasting menu – Zero Menu.
Zero Island is located on Lidö, which is an island in the Stockholm Archipelago, outside Norrtälje. Here, you can wander through the woods and walk along the beautiful trails and coast. You can also experience the heritage of Lidö Värdshus, and enjoy their facilities.
The project Zero Island has a goal of finding solutions and contribute to Sweden’s goal of becoming climate-neutral from fossil fuel before 2045. Olle and Hugo, which are the owners of Lidö värdshus are doing this project together with Neste, and they have the goal of transforming Lidö into Zero Island and become fully fossil-free within one year.
Zero Cabin (Nolla)
The Zero Cabin, also known as “Nolla” is the award-winning cabin with a focus on the environment and sustainability. Right now there is only one Zero Cabin, but there are plans of building more of these in the future.
The cabin is quite rustic with a minimalistic but functional interior. The cabin has a large window in the front where you can see everything outside from your bed. You’ll definitely feel close to nature from here, but at the same time, you can enjoy a comfortable bed as well as having access to a hob and heat.
You could label this as a kind of glamping, which is a more luxurious alternative to camping. In the cabin, you can stay two persons, either as a couple or friends with shared or separate beds.
We chose to put the beds together and make a double bed, but you could also have them as single beds. If you want to stay in the Nolla Cabin, you can book your stay via their website.
Zero Cabin is located next to the guesthouse with rooms belonging to Lidö Värdshus. It’s also in the guesthouse where you have access to toilet and running water. And despite the close location to the guesthouse and other rooms, it feels very private in the cabin.
It’s very cozy and peaceful in the Zero Cabin. A word of notice though as it will get very bright when you’re going to sleep or wake up in the morning. The sun will not set until 11 in the summer and it will rise again in the early hours of 4-5 o clock in the morning.
It’s recommended to bring a blindfold since there are no curtains or any way to block the light from coming into the cabin at night. However, this is of course, also a part of the charm of staying in the Nolla Cabin, and you’ll get an amazing view of the nature on Lidö.
It almost feels like you’re sleeping outside in a bed, and it’s definitely something special to wake up with this view.
Book a night in the Nolla Cabin
The price per night is 3290 SEK if you want to stay in the Nolla Cabin, and you can easily book it directly via their website (link below).
The Zero Menu consists of three courses which have all been developed to have minimal effect on the environment and as low emissions as possible. In addition to being locally produced and sustainable, the ingredients are also prepared in an energy-efficient way with zero food waste.
The first course on the menu is an appetizer which consists of ramson with pickled gherkin as well as fresh potatoes. It’s 100% vegan and the recommended wine is called Lindenlaub, which is biodynamic.
As the main course, you’ll be served a specific type of cabbage with “hjälmaregös” (pike-perch) and fennel, dill and fried Jerusalem artichoke.
The recommended wine to the main course is another biodynamic wine called Domaine du Facteur.
Last but not least, a dessert which is called “fake almond cake” with rhubarb and punch cream.
The chief behind this interesting Zero Menu is the award-winning chef Jonas Svensson. I was pleasantly surprised by all the dishes and they were absolutely delicious and prepared to perfection.
The portions were also very good, and you received the perfect amount of food to make you satisfied. The recommended wines were also really good and enhanced the food experience.
Lidö Värdshus is a historical inn on the island of Lidö with a history dating back a few hundred years. It’s possible to stay here as well if you prefer that, and then you can choose between the guesthouse, cabins and various types of rooms.
It’s also inside the inn where you’ll have breakfast in the morning. You can also sit outside if the weather allows, otherwise you can sit in the so-called China room.
You can also rent your own traditional cabin if you’re a larger family coming to Lidö and want to experience Zero Island.
More about Lidö
The history of Lidö dates back to medieval times and it has been inhabited since then at least. Around 1634 a baroque castle was built by Bengt Oxenstierna, who owned the island by that time period. The island was later invaded by the Russians in the beginning of the 1700s, and the castle was unfortunately destroyed.
Matts Person-Holmers bought the island in 1764. He was a captain of the Swedish East India Company and he built the current mansion. The China room has a few historical pieces from his travels and the exotic wallpapers tell tales from his adventurous life.
In the 1920’s Lidö had the largest Mink farm in Sweden, but it was closed down after the Stockholm City acquired the island and turned it into a summer home for housewives. You can read more about this in the old house where the housewives stayed.
Today, the island of Lidö is owned by Skärgårdsstiftelsen, and the tourism business and Lidö Värdshus is owned by Hugo Olofsson and Olle Tejle.
In addition to history, Lidö also has lots of untouched nature and several bathing places. The island is home to many animals as well, such as deer, moose, badger, and smaller animals. It’s a peaceful island where you can let your stress sift away and just enjoy the beauty of Swedish nature.
Activities on Zero Island
There are lots of things to do on Island and as a guest, you can also book the Sauna and the hot tub. Around the island, you can also find several spots where you can go for a swim or sunbathe if the weather allows.
You can also rent a kayak and paddle around Zero Island. Or why not wander through the woods and follow the marked trails? Along the way, you will meet cows, beautiful scenery, old houses, and idyllic red cabins.
And even if it’s not very likely that you will meet a deer or moose while roaming the forest of Lidö, it’s still peaceful and will definitely give you a feeling of freedom and serenity.
It’s so nice to come here from the hustle and bustle from big cities and just enjoy the island.
How to get to and from Lidö
To get to Lidö, you’ll have to go by boat, either from central Stockholm (4-hour boat ride) or from Räfsnäs Brygga. It’s possible to take a bus to Norrtälje and change to a bus that will take you to Räfsnäs brygga.
The boat from there takes only about 20 minutes. And if you have access to your own boat, you can also anchor in the guest harbor. There are many people just coming here for the day to walk around, and eat the delicious food at Lidö Värdshus.
More about Neste and Zero Island
Neste is ranked as the third most sustainable company in the world, and of all the energy companies, it’s ranked number one in the world. They are a front runner in the run for a sustainable future without fossil fuels, and this project is one of their efforts to reach that goal.
Zero Island was new for 2019, and will continue next year as well. Both the Nolla Cabin and the Zero Menu have gained lots of media attention, both in Sweden and abroad. Furthermore, some celebrities have been invited to stay here as well, which has further increased the reach as well as the interest to come here.
Neste is a Finnish company with headquarters in Espoo. It was founded in 1948 and has more than 5000 employees today. Nowadays, Neste is the largest producer of renewable diesel, and the biggest production is located in Singapore. The Finnish government owns 50.1% of the company and it’s listed on the Nasdaq OMX Helsinki Stock Exchange.
Zero Island is a part of Neste’s project called Journey to Zero.
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