This shortbreak of three days includes an overnight stay at the world famous ICEHOTEL in Sweden and an evening visit to one of Sweden's oldest national parks, Abisko, one of the best locations in the world to see the northern lights. Last season, Abisko enjoyed northern lights sightings on 86% of evenings between September and March. The tour features a dog sledding excursion directly from the airport to ICEHOTEL, and a snowmobile lunch safari. It is the perfect shortbreak for a group of friends or family looking to experience northern Scandinavia's untamed wilderness and most spectacular sights.
Arrival at Kiruna airport. Your private guide is waiting to greet you and welcome you to Kiruna, the small mining town 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. The guide will take care of you for the whole stay. As your luggage is directly transported to the hotel, your guide will take you for a dog sledding safari directly from the airport to ICEHOTEL!
As the sled starts moving, the only sound you can hear is the paws against the snow, and the dog sled driver's commands to the huskies. You stop for lunch in a wilderness camp, a wooden lap hut, with a fireplace at the center of the room. The dogs drop you off on the frozen river, just next to ICEHOTEL, check-in is followed by a guided tour of the hotel.
The winter season 2015/2016 sees the 26 incarnation of ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi. Every year it is reborn in a new guise as some 40 artists and designers from all over the world gather in the tiny village of Jukkasjärvi. A four-course Lappish dinner is served on ice in the ICEHOTEL restaurant. At ICEHOTEL the many delicacies offered by nature’s pantry are served both as traditional dishes and as part of an exciting cross-over cuisine inspired by global culture.
After a day of adventure, nightfall approaches quickly. The outdoor temperature drops and when you step inside ICEHOTEL, you feel a rush of warm air. Inside, the temperature is never colder than -5 °C to -8 °C, regardless of how cold it may be outside. Tonight, you will spend the night in an art suite, individually designed and hand carved by one of the artists. You will sleep in a cosy sleeping bag on a special bed of snow and ice, on reindeer skins.
In the morning, the hotel staff wakes you up with a cup of hot lingonberry juice. Get the circulation going with a re-invigorating morning sauna and a wonderful buffet breakfast.
Time for a snowmobile safari in the Arctic taiga forrest. You will experience the river valley surroundings and travel across frozen mires, lakes and snow-clad hills. Hopefully you will catch a glimpse of some wild life, like moose, reindeer, ptarmigan, lynx or wolverine. Your guide gives you an introduction about how to drive a snowmobile and security. En-route, you stop for an outdoor lunch in a wilderness camp.
In the afternoon, transfer to Björkliden along Sweden’s most beautiful highway. Edged by mountains, lakes, forrests and creeks, the scenic Nordkalottvägen follows the railway from Kiruna heading east, towards the Norwegian coast. As we approach the Swedish border, the mountains grow increasingly high. The small ski resort and village Björkliden nestles on the hillside facing the 70 km long lake Torneträsk.
Stay in Solhyllan's lush log cabins, offering top quality and highest level of comfort and spectacular views, the cabin has a genuince mountain feel, traditionally timbered in a natural style, with lovely ceiling heights of five meters in the kitchen and living room. The cabin boasts a heating stove, four bedrooms (three of which have Carpe Diem double beds), sauna and a large terrace with a Jacuzzi and mesmerizing views. The log cabin also has TV, Wi-Fi, Blu-Ray player, and iPad/iPhone dock.
A short transfer to Aurora Sky station in Abisko National Park for a northern lights adventure. The northern lights is a phenomena that can only be experienced in the far northern reaches of the globe. Occuring from particles clashing with the atmosphere, the northern ligths - or Aurora Borealis as it is also known - appear as cascades of greens, reds and even purple dance across the sky. The Aurora has a stronghold in local folklore and there are many tales and legends about their believed powers and meanings.
The evening starts with a beautiful ride with the chair-lift up on the mountain Nuolja. Enjoy the silent Abisko National Park in darkness. Though there is never a guarantee that you will experience the Aurora, your chances will never be better than here!
Thanks to a unique location and surroundings, Abisko enjoys a micro-climate which offers exceptionally good prerequisites for the northern lights. With next to permanently cloud-free skies and virtually no disturbing articifical lights in the vincinity, last Aurora season (Septmerb to March) saw northern lights on 86% of evenings in Abisko. Scientifically, experts have named it the top location in the world for Aurora Borealis.
Aurora Sky Station is perched on a mountain top in the national park and from its panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows, you can take-in the mounatin valleys, creeks and great lake Torneträsk spreading out beneath you. Looking up, there is only the star-lit winter sky, and hopefully the Aurora fluttering across the sky. You will have a guided tour and learn more about the Northern lights and how to find it. Hopefully you are lucky and will experience them first-hand, maybe even catch them on camera!
A 4-course dinner influenced by the Nordic Cuisine will be served. After taking the chair lift down to the valley again, you travel the short distance back to your cabin for the night.
After breakfast in restaurant Lapporten, it is time to check out and transfer to the airport in Kiruna for your departure.