A true trip of a lifetime that ticks all the boxes for the ultimate Arctic Circle experience. Swedish Lapland in winter is astonishingly beautiful with a subtle mountain landscape interspersed with frozen rivers, lakes and snow blanketed forests. Arriving in this landscape by overnight train from Stockholm is an extraordinary experience. At Abisko National park, the low precipitation microclimate maximises your opportunity to view the Northern Lights, whilst the snow-capped peaks and lake offer the perfect backdrop for winter activities. Hike along a small stretch of the Kungsleden trail, visit a Sami camp and ascend to the Aurora Sky Station at night. Travel by train to Kiruna where two nights are spent at the Ice Hotel, the original Ice Hotel whose seasonal rooms are created by artists each year. Travel by dog sled through the winter wonderland and learn about these friendly and affectionate huskies. On the final evening, hunt for the northern lights on snowmobiles with dinner in a rustic cabin, capping off a thrilling Lapland adventure.
- journey by overnight train from Stockholm to Lapland
- snowshoe hike through a winter wonderland
- dogsled through a mountain landscape of birch forest
- stay at the ice hotel with option to upgrade to an ‘ice’ room
- search for northern lights at night by snowmobile and at the Aurora Sky Station
Day 1 Arrive Stockholm
On arrival in Stockholm, make your way to the joining hotel in central Stockholm. We recommend you purchase a Stockholm card which is a cost effective way of seeing the main sights of the city including a boat trip to the Archipelago, hop on hop off bus and boat, Vasa Museum, Skansen Open Air Museum etc.
Day 2 In Stockholm, overnight train to Abisko
Continue your exploration of this wonderful city including the old town centre, the Royal Palace and the Abba Museum (not included on the Stockholm Pass – bookings recommended). You also have the option of using one of the hotel bikes to explore the viewpoints of the city further (subject to availability). Early evening, you walk to the main train station of Stockholm for your train to Lapland. The hotel is a 7-minute walk from the station. It is worth stocking up on food for the train at the station (or at a supermarket earlier in the day), although the train does have food and drinks available to purchase. You will be accommodated for the journey in a private cabin with linen and blankets included. (B)
Day 3 Arrive Abisko, Swedish Sauna and evening guided visit to Abisko Aurora Sky Station
The train is expected to arrive late morning at the Abisko Turistation. Before that enjoy the twilight scenes around you of vast snow fields, mountains and forests. On arrival, make your way to the lodge where you will spend the next 2 nights. It is a short walk through the snow to reach the reception. The remainder of the day is free to explore the area. Take a sauna, enjoy lunch at the restaurant, walk along the Kungsleden trail to view the waterfall and gorge, or hire snowshoes to walk down to the lake. Later in the evening join a group and walk with a guide to the base of the mountain to take the chairlift to the Aurora Sky Station. At the base you are provided with an outer shell perfect to keep you warm on top of the mountain, together with snow boots. The sky station offers ideal conditions for viewing the northern lights. A guide provides commentary on the phenomena and you can have snacks and warm drinks at the bar. If the lights don’t show, lie on the snow and soak up the starry night and take in the expansive views to Abisko. In the event of poor weather, where the chairlift is not operational, an alternative activity will be offered (no refunds are available).
Day 4 Dog sledding in the morning and Sami Camp in the afternoon
After breakfast, head out on a dog sled adventure (4 hours), learning on the way about the traditional transport used for centuries, the care and treatment of the dogs and the terrain of woods and frozen lakes. Travelling behind the wagging tales is an experience not to be missed. In the afternoon visit the Sami Camp to learn how the indigenous people lived in the 1800’s. In the evening, another opportunity to search for the northern lights from the lodge, or sign up for another activity such as a photography tour. (B)
Day 5 Train to Kiruna, transfer to Ice Hotel
Morning at leisure, before you walk with your luggage to the train station for your train ride to Kiruna. On arrival you will be met and transferred to the Ice Hotel. The remainder of the day is free to explore the area around the hotel. Tours of the hotel are available for all guests free of charge. The main restaurant serves gourmet meals with local specialties such as reindeer, moose and arctic char – bookings recommended. (B)
Day 6 Self-guided snowshoe hike and evening snowmobile excursion
After breakfast, a snowshoe hike is planned (self-guided). Maps, suggested hikes and snow shoes are provided. There are many other activities available to book or you can walk 15 minutes up the road to visit Nutti Sámi Siida where you can feed reindeers and have a traditional Sami lunch. This evening, join with a guide and group on a snowmobile adventure with dinner at a countryside hut. With luck the skies will be dancing for you tonight! (B, D)
Day 7 Transfer to Kiruna airport, trip concludes
Following breakfast at the hotel, check out and perhaps a last visit to see the dogs or walk on the river, you are transferred to Kiruna airport where the trip concludes. (B)
- 5 breakfasts
- 1 dinner – 2 courses in a rustic cabin included on snowmobile excursion
- 3 nights in hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities, 2 nights at the Ice Hotel in a warm room (optional upgrade to Ice Room on one night – supplement applies), 1 night overnight train in private compartment
- emergency hotline
- transfer from Kiruna train station to the Ice Hotel on day 5 and from the Ice Hotel to Kiruna Airport on day 7
- Train Stockholm/Abisko in private compartment / sleeper and train in seat from Abisko to Kiruna
- Evening snowmobile excursion with winter outer suit provided – Snowmobiling requires a full drivers license and the minimum age for drivers is 18. One snowmobile per couple is available with an option to swap drivers mid-way through the excursion.
- Northern Lights Station excursion with winter outer suit provided
- self-guided snowshoe excursion including rental of snowshoes
- 4 hour dog sled excursion with winter outer suit provided
Images courtesy of Utracks