Company & History
Holiday Resort i Sandsjö AB manages the holiday resort Sandsjögården. The company was founded in February 2013. It is specialised in accommodation, food & beverage, tailormade adventures and acting as small scale travel agent for holiday guests and tourists.
The company’s credo is to offer each guest/tourist a tailormade and personal stay, while operating as information and organisation platform.The personal support usually begins prior to the guest’s stay and ends with the feedback after departure.
>> Caro und Daniel Schafer are the company's driving spirit. The Swiss expats, together with their nordic sleddogs, relocated to Swedish Lapland in October 2011. They had a dream of managing their own charming and cozy holiday resort in Europe's last wilderness, while living a life with more quality time for themselves and their dogs. The couple's dream came true at beautiful lake Sandsjön.
The couple’s relocation with their dogs including typical start up and newbie challenges was portrayed by the Swiss national television and broadcast through their popular documentary series “Auf und Davon”.
The six episodes of “Auf und Davon” including the season one year later and 5 years later with each one episode can be watched in the archive of SRF on Youtube.
In 2014 the Swedish television SVT produced a documentary about the Vindelfjäll region and the people living in this part of the world. The production’s hero was Roger Pontare, a famous Swedish singer, who has his roots and a.o. his Sami roots in the municipality of Sorsele. Caro and Daniel Schafer provided a sleddog team of Greenland dogs for this production. While filming in the mountains of Ammarnäs and at beautiful lake Sandsjön, the producer decided at short notice to incorporate Caro and Daniel into the documentary. They were filmed as a further story explaining the many reasons why people, in the recent years also increasingly from other countries, decide to move their center of life to the sub arctic region of Europe’s last wilderness.
>> go to Documentary - Our story begins at minute 12'44"
In 2016 Caro and Daniel’s journey of life took a new, unexpected turn. Many years ago, back in Switzerland, they had given up on their dream to start a family. In Swedish Lapland, surprisingly, their wish came true. In June 2016 Joshua was born and it seemed that the decision to relocate to Swedish Lapland was a good one in any aspect of their lives.
Excerpt Media Archive
Caro & Daniel Schafer
23.12.2020 - Blick - So feiern die Schweizer TV-Auswanderer dieses Jahr Weihnachten
19.06.2020 - Radio Central - "Frühkartoffeln gibts trotz Corona zu Midsommar"
16.04.2020 - Blick - Schweizer TV Auswanderer erzählen von ihrem Corona-Alltag in Schweden
01.05.2018 - Sveriges Radio P1 - Gastgespräch zum Thema Heimatblindheit - unser Beitrag läuft ab 54'14''
19.05.2017 - Jungfrauzeitung - Ein Besuch in Schweden bei den Hunden vom Eigergletscher
19.05.2017 - Blick am Abend - Baby-Wunder bei TV Auswanderern
19.05.2017 - SRF - Auf und Davon Spezial
01.2017 - Radio Central "-40 Grad in Schwedisch Lappland"
16.05.2016 - SVT - Lilla Schweizele
2014 - Sången från Vindelfjällen - Unser Beitrag ist ab Minute 12'44" zu sehen!
27.07.2013 - Alttoggenburger - Begegnung mit Auswanderern in Lappland
14.03.2013 - Glückspost Nr. 11 - Lappland - Ein magisches Naturerlebnis
05.02.2013 - Radio Tell - Interview auf Heimatland
08.01.2013 - Jungfrauzeitung - Früher Eigergletscher, jetzt Lappland
27.12.2012 - Berner Oberländer - Vom Eigergletscher 3'000 Km in den Norden gereist
22.12.2012 - Tele Tipp "Auf und Davon"
22.12.2012 - Weitweg von Daheim (Tele Magazin)
Sandsjögården's real estate dates back to the stone age, i.e approx. 6,000 years ago people lived, hunted and cooked at exactly this site of today's holiday resort. The huts back then were geniously constructed. The ground or floor construction was dug into the earth to efficiently use geothermal heat and natural insulation. Stones were heated in the fire hearth and used to heat up the hut and to cook. A remainder of that period is still visible at our location and even remainders of stone age hunting pits can be found nearby. Ask at the reception for more information and how to find the points of cultural interest.
New-age colonization of lake Sandsjön
In the more recent history, starting around 1755, the colonization around lake Sandsjön is described. The first person to settle is said to be a Pehr Thomasson from Norsjö. Unfortunately, the information to where at lake Sandsjön he built his house, was lost. Nearly at the same time he also built a house in Sandsele (5 km north of lake Sandsjön), where he finally settled.
In the following 170 years one can read a lot about an increasing population and a flourishing village life at lake Sandsjön. In 1920 the railroad for todays “Inlandsbanan” was built. Back then the passage-way was known as the “supply road”. The village around lake Sandsjön mostly lived of wood industry and was well known for its beautiful and straight spruce. During the snow melting period the wood would be floated from lake Sandsjön to the Vindelälven river.
At lake Sandsjön the following family names dominated:
Family Sandberg, who settled, the name has it all incorporated, on the hill of lake Sandsjön,
Family Linder, who settled at Sandsjönäs (the nose-like edge of lake Sandsjön),
Family Gradin, who settled alongside the railroad and ran the post and telegraph station,
And finally the families Persson, Karlsson, Sandquist and Johansson, who settled at the far end oft he lake, today known as Östra Sandsjön.
To the day all family names are still present at beautiful lake Sandsjön!
At the end of the 18th century, it was decided to build a school for the growing number of children at lake Sandsjön. The first school was supposed to be built on the Sandsjönäs. The plan, however, was never realized and one can read that during that time a teacher already had been sent. The school lessons in the area between Sandsjönäs and Sandberget were held at bakehouses and farm kitchens in rotation.
In the time around 1930 the school system of Sorsele’s municipality was extremely developed. Many new schools were constructed. So, it came to pass that Karl Gradin decided to gift a property to the school system, namely the one of today’s holiday resort.
In summer 1931 the school including an appartment for the teacher was constructed. In the history books one can read that Sandsjögården was hailed as a very well-tended, contemporary school. In January 1932 the school was opened. The construction costs for this type of school including side buildings, flagpole and fence was calculated with SEK 10,000.- at that time.
In the 50ties of the 20th century the number of schoolchildren decreased noticeable. At the same time the availability of school busses increased continuously. Thus, the municipality began to centralize the school system. This included the closure of lake Sandsjön’s school.
In the following years Sandsjögården was mainly used as advanced training site and seminar location for the forestry.
At the end of the 70ies the real-estate was sold to a private person and for the first time used for tourism purpose.
Mid/End of the 80ties a family Andersson from the southern parts of Sweden moved to the municipality of Sorsele and took over the property. It was this family Andersson, who in the following 2 decades built and developed Sandsögården’s Wärdshus & Stugby.
In their ownership Sandsögården became a well-established jewel, which had a strong reputation from the Norwegian mountains all the way to the botnian coast. Especially the restaurant, that was run by the family’s son and gastrobotnia chef, Bengt, was known and respected far about.
When Bengt’s parents reached the pension age, the family decided to sell Sandsjögården. One of the reasons was that Bengt’s focus was solely on the restaurant. He didn’t have the resources to manage the entire facility all by himself.
A young couple purchased Sandsögården. Their plan was to develop and enhance the offering for hunting and fishing tourists from Finland. This era only last for a couple of years. Family issues and economic problems finally forced the couple to sell.
Holiday Resort i Sandsjö AB took a step back and re-instated the traditions of the former family Andersson. These were then enhanced with their Swiss roots. Besides a sustainable development the company also maintains a special focus on the rich history of the holiday resort. The main building for instance is still the original school building from 1932. Today it houses the reception and dining room. The gastronomy kitchen operates out of the former school kitchen. In the past 10 years the restaurant was visited every now and then by elderly locals, who went to school at Sandsjögården in the 30ies and 40ies. We are grateful to have had the privilege to hear their personal stories or look at their photo albums from back in the days. This is a cultural heritage of invaluable worth, that brightens our hearts and lets us feel even deeper connected to this beautiful location.