From Skellefteå it’s 70km north along the E4 highway to the superb sandy beaches and swimming complex of Pite Havsbad, northern Sweden’s main beach resort. Renowned for its long hours of summer sunshine, relatively warm water temperatures and sweeping strands of golden sand, it’s a great place to unwind. There’s even an official nudist beach: turn left along the beach and look out for a large rock marked “Naturist Bad”.
In the swimming complex, you’ll find open-air pools with water slides, and the indoor Äventyrsbadet, with fun pool, jacuzzis, saunas, steam room and yet more water slides.
In winter don’t miss the fabulous icebreaker tours onboard the Arctic Explorer, which was built in Finland in 1963. After retiring from official service, the boat now sails from Piteå out into the frozen expanses of the Gulf of Bothnia. There’s also the unmissable opportunity to don a survival suit and float off the stern of the ship amid the ice blocks the ship has just broken.