Steve Vickers: freelance journalist and travel writer UK Sweden

Travel writing by freelance journalist Steve Vickers Investigative journalist Books written by travel journalist Steve Vickers Biography for freelance journalist Steve Vickers

Contact Steve Vickers, a freelance writer and journalist

I'm a freelance journalist, travel writer and guidebook author based between the UK (cold) and Sweden (colder).

I've worked for The Independent, The Washington Post, The Observer, BBC Radio 4, Which? and Rough Guides, among many others, and grabbed front-page headlines with my investigative research. I also built this website. You won't find any adverts, sponsored blog posts or phoney travel recommendations here; just some of my work, plus stories from out on the road.

November 7, 2014

A new travel guide to Sweden

Filed under: Sweden — stevenjvickers @ 9:32 am

Routes North travel guide to Sweden

For the past few months I’ve been working on a new kind of travel guide to Sweden. The aim is to help people travel around Sweden independently without needing to spend loads of money on travel agents. You can see the website, which has loads of tips and reviews of the best places to stay, over here.

August 18, 2014

The relics making waves in Goa

Filed under: India — stevenjvickers @ 9:55 am

Old Goa travel article by Steve Vickers

You could call it a kind of pilgrimage: a journey through the misty coconut groves at sunrise, just as the holy cows start looking for pastures new.

Each morning, buses and auto-rickshaws heave tourists away from the sugar-soft beaches of India’s Goa state and inland toward Old Goa — the city that was once the seat of Portugal’s eastern empire and that’s still home to more than a dozen Catholic churches, chapels and convents. They’re so close to one another that you could see the lot in one day.

Many people do.

But the true pilgrims visiting Old Goa, in India’s tropical west, have only one church in their sights. And that’s why the Basílica do Bom Jesus, completed in 1605 and gnarled by the baking sun ever since, is often filled to bursting.

Read the rest of the article on the Washington Post website.

May 2, 2014

Exploring more of Laos

Filed under: Laos — stevenjvickers @ 3:37 pm

It was New Year’s Day, and I didn’t have a hangover.

Phonsavan had been so cold and quiet the night before that we’d gone to bed early. We were asleep long before the local kids, who kept themselves warm beside a dead American bomb, which had found new life as a fire pit.

Lao girl by fire

This was the height of the tourist season, near one of the biggest attractions in Laos, and the place felt like a ghost town. Where were all of the backpackers?

In Burma, locals told us. Or perhaps on some beach in Thailand.

Quiet street, Phonsavan

My girlfriend and I spent a couple of months travelling around Laos (updating this guidebook for Rough Guides) and would often go for days at a time without seeing another tourist. Vang Vieng felt pretty busy, all things considered. And as usual, Luang Prabang was packed.

But elsewhere, there was barely another tourist in sight.

Market in northeast Laos

And that got me thinking. Why aren’t more people venturing beyond the well-trodden tourist areas? Yes, the roads are bumpy. The mosquitoes can be greedy. And you might end up sharing your seat with a noisy dickhead rooster.

But rural Laos is welcoming and, for the most part, very safe. And the rewards – as you can see below – make even the worst journeys worthwhile.

Along the river in Laos

Sam Nuea Laos

Tad Lo Laos

Sayaboury elephants

Nam Laos

Waterfall in Laos

Sawngthaew ride in Laos

January 18, 2014

Sweden’s underwater sauna

Filed under: Sweden — stevenjvickers @ 1:46 am

Sweden's underwater sauna

A sweet, smoky heat floods the bastu, thawing our frozen bones. It doesn’t take long for the sweating to begin. Eyes shining in the orange glow of smouldering birch logs, Daniel Carlsson tells me how he designed the sauna – and then built it underwater.

“The biggest problem,” he says, pushing a moist lump of tobacco under his top lip, “was finding the right kind of glass.”

On our side of the sauna’s thick windows, the dry air has reached ninety degrees Celsius. The beer feels warmer with every sip. Beyond the glass, where fish swim opened mouthed through the reeds, as though shocked by the sight of half-naked humans, the water is close to freezing.

The full version of this article was published in The Times (paywall).

All content © 2013–2015 Steve Vickers