From Stockholm to the Arctic Circle and beyond, enjoy seminal activities in Sweden. Seek out the Northern Lights by snowmobile; meet a team of huskies and go dog sledding; explore the wilderness by mountain bike under the midnight sun; and enjoy island-hopping in the Baltic Sea with a private skipper.
ENJOY A NORTHERN LIGHTS ADVENTURE
Watch the night sky become transformed as veils of light in greens, pinks, purples and more dance across the heavens. The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are breathtaking wherever you see them, but Swedish Lapland offers superlative viewing. Set across the Arctic Circle and close to the magnetic north pole, the region is in a prime location for marvelling at this spectacular interaction between solar particles and the Earth’s magnetic fields. Aurora happen all year but you need dark, clear conditions to see them: December to March are the optimum times in Sweden. With an experienced guide, head out on snowmobiles on a quest to find the Northern Lights, enjoying a venture that will take you well away from any light pollution. If you are staying in a remote lodge, you may also be able to admire the Aurora Borealis from there: at serene Loggers Lodge you might even see them as you relax in the outdoor hot tub.
BACK TO TOP
GO NORDIC SKIING
Explore Swedish Lapland’s winter wonderland on skis. The region is one of the world’s best locations for Nordic (or cross-country) skiing and, for novices, it is also an ideal place to learn the sport. With an experienced guide to show you the way and teach you manoeuvres, follow trails along crisp snow and glide through forests and across frozen lakes. You’ll spot animal tracks (those of reindeer, fox and moose perhaps) and stop for a break, known as fika in Sweden, with a cup of coffee or warm blueberry juice and a cinnamon bun. One of the great boons of Nordic skiing is that it is an inclusive activity and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
BACK TO TOP
EXPLORE THE LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN
In the endless days of Swedish Lapland’s summer, enjoy a hauntingly beautiful venture under the midnight sun, following walking trails or riding an electric ‘fat’ bike – one with super-size tyres that have impressive grip and traction, so that off-road you almost float over difficult terrain. With a local guide to lead you and tell you about the landscape, you’ll explore this wild country in a very peaceful and eco-friendly way. You’ll walk or ride until late into the night, taking in a paradise of forests and hills and gazing over epic views bathed in magical golden light from a summer sun that never sets. North of the Arctic Circle, Swedish Lapland enjoys the midnight sun for about 100 days from the end of May.
BACK TO TOP
MEET A SAMI FAMILY AND THEIR REINDEER
The indigenous Sami people of Lapland have their own language, flag and national day. They are deeply in tune with the natural world, dividing the year into eight seasons, which are closely linked to the migration and grazing patterns of reindeer. For a unique insight into Sami culture and how it continues to revolve around reindeer, spend a morning with the Sami Eriksson family at the village of Flakaberg in the Råneå river valley of Swedish Lapland. In particular, you’ll meet Lars, who has devoted his life to reindeer herding. He’ll share stories about the Sami lifestyle, introduce you to the reindeer on the farm, and maybe sing you a traditional joik, or folk song, as you drink pot-boiled coffee around a fire. You can pay a visit, too, to the nearby Arctic Circle crossing point.
BACK TO TOP
UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVITY IN AN ICE SCULPTING CLASS
Every year Swedish Lapland’s Icehotel is built near the village of Jukkasjāarvi, 125 miles above the Arctic Circle, on the banks of the Torne river. Wonderfully constructed of ice, it is also filled with incredible ice sculptures by artists from across the world ‒ a gigantic lizard, a toy box and an ice bar installation are among recent creations. You, too, can try your hand at this, releasing your inner artist and learning how to turn a block of ice into an artwork. Two-hour classes take place at the hotel where you’ll be taught by a master craftsman, using pristine ice harvested from the Torne river. Wearing thermal clothing and taking inspiration from the ice sculptures on display, you’ll discover how to chisel, shape and scrape the crystalline material into intricate shapes. Sessions are absorbing and, most of all, fun.
BACK TO TOP
GO ISLAND HOPPING IN THE STOCKHOLM ARCHIPELAGO
Serenely stretching out from Stockholm into the almost tideless Baltic Sea is a 25,000-island archipelago that radiates charm. In summer this is a much-loved retreat for Stockholmers, who sail out to little havens filled with wildflowers and breeze-ruffled grasses bathed in amber light. Step aboard a privately chartered boat, complete with a skipper, to explore some of the most captivating of these islands at your own pace. You can devise a route with your knowledgeable captain. Fjäderholmarna, about 20 minutes from Stockholm, makes an ideal first stop, humming with cafés, a hip art scene and even a chocolate factory. Don’t miss vibrant Vaxholm with its pretty streets, restaurants and historic quarters. Finnhamn is altogether quieter, with secluded rocky bays perfect for swimming and picnics ‒ buy provisions at the organic farm shop here. Further north, Arholma offers a nature reserve and a great choice of outdoor action, from zipline courses to mountain biking trails.
BACK TO TOP
EXPERIENCE LAPLAND BY DOG SLED
Dashing through the winter landscape by dog sled is the quintessential way to appreciate the Arctic wilderness. Before you embark on your two-hour adventure, you’ll be introduced to your team of friendly Alaskan huskies, who love the attention of guests, and you’ll learn about their synergy and how each dog has its place and job within the group. You can choose to be driven, with a skilled musher at the helm working with eight to 12 dogs. Or you can take a self-drive option with a partner, learning the art of mushing with a small team of dogs and taking turns to drive through a wonderworld of snow-clad forests and frozen lakes.
BACK TO TOP
GO ICE FISHING
Tune into the amazing quiet of the frozen world on an ice fishing venture in Swedish Lapland. In winter, beneath the ice on lakes, sizeable fish tend to head towards the surface, and species you may catch on an expedition here area range from Arctic char to pike and perch. An expert fishing guide will take you to a private lake and show you the spots where such fish are likely to be. You’ll be instructed as to how different types of fish are likely to behave and you’ll learn the best ice fishing techniques and which lures to use. Warm up after your endeavours ‒ beside the lake is a Sami grilling hut with a welcoming fire, hot drinks and grilled sandwiches.
BACK TO TOP
ENJOY A SAUNA AFTER WILD SWIMMING
Tap into the Swedish affinity for water. In a country of crystal-clear lakes and rivers, wild swimming is a joyful, national pastime in summer. During winter, an invigorating ice dip not only boosts circulation but is said to be mood-enhancing, too. In Sweden’s Arctic region, bathing is the best way to wind down after a day of exploring, particularly if you then mellow out in a sauna. With a guide, you can head to a sauna on a lake, which floats in the warmer months and is set on ice in the cold season. In summer. you’ll be taken wild swimming, enjoying the water under the midnight sun; in winter your guide will show you how to cut a hole in the ice and take a dip ‒ you may even see the Northern Lights dancing in the skies above. Suitably exercised you’ll then make for the sauna and the ultimate in relaxation.