Abisko, Sweden: Best Activities for a Holiday in the Swedish Lapland

Marina ParraOctober 14, 2019

Lying in the north of Sweden, very close to the Norwegian border, Abisko is one of the best travel destinations for exploring the remote and untamed landscapes of the Swedish Lapland. Hailed as the last wilderness in Northern Europe, this unique Arctic land of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, fjords and lakes, offers many different activities for adventurous travelers all year round. 

Besides its striking landscapes and the fact that it’s one of the few places on Earth where you can see the Northern Lights, traveling to the Swedish Lappland is also an immersion into the fascinating culture of the Sami people, the indigenous inhabitants of the vast region of Lapland that spans across the north of Sweden,  Finland, Norway and the Kola Peninsula in Russia.

When it comes to outdoor activities, some of the highlights around Abisko include ski touring, ice climbing and hiking during the warmer months. In fact, the Swedish village is the starting point for one of the world’s most famous hiking trails: the King’s Trail or Kungsleden.

 

Abisko National Park during the summer months. Photo courtesy of Wild Hikes Finland.

Deciding on the best time to travel to the Swedish Lapland will depend on the activities that you’d like to enjoy there, and therefore, on the weather conditions on each time of the year. An interesting fact about Lapland is that it’s known as the “land of eight seasons”, boasting combinations such as spring-winter, summer-autumn or autumn-winter.

To help you plan your next adventure holiday in the Swedish Lapland, we’ve listed the top outdoor adventures you can enjoy in each time of the year. Let’s go down to it!

March to May: Ski Touring & Heliskiing

 

Photo courtesy of Dick Johansson.

As the winter starts to fade away, the days slowly start to get longer and the temperatures become more pleasant. It’s time for the local’s favorite season: spring, which is actually split into winter-spring (March to April) and true spring or ‘gidá’ (from April to May). This is the best time to practice winter activities, such as ski touring and heliskiing.  

Exploring the backcountry around Abisko is an incredible experience that combines  skiing in pristine untracked snow, enjoying stunning views of the sea from up the mountains, and spotting some of this region’s typical wildlife: reindeers, grouses and elks.

Intermediate ski tourers can set off on a guided ski touring weekend in Abisko, and enjoy two days of skiing in spots like Laktatjakka, Rombakstotta, Spanstind, and Vassitjakka. 

 

Photo courtesy of Josef Simunek.

Those who are up for a challenging nordic adventure can opt to ski the famous Kungsleden, an amazing ski traverse that joins Abisko and Nikkaloukta in eight days. 

Finally, the most intrepid adrenaline-seekers can join a 3-day heliskiing trip in the Swedish Lapland, enjoy long and steep runs in spots like Riksgränsen, the Abisko Alps, and Kåtotjåkka. The Swedish Lapland comprises 5,000 square-kilometers of skiable terrain and a heliski expedition is one of the best ways of reaching the best unspoilt areas!

June to October: Hiking & Camping 

 

Photo courtesy of Wild Hikes Finland.

June brings the warmth of the summertime to the Swedish Lapland, with temperatures ranging between 18° and 21°. The forests explode in green colours and the sun shines all day long, a phenomenon known as Midnight Sun that only occurs inside the Arctic Circle and takes place between April and August.

September and October are the autumn months. As the days start getting darker, the time for seeing the spectacular Northern Lights begin. (Actually, the best time to view the Aurora is between September and April).

The summer & autumn months are the best season for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and kayaking. Abisko National Park is a great destination for a 1-week hiking & camping adventure, exploring mountains, lakes and valleys. 

And if you want to take on a classic, you can hike the Kungsleden (King’s Trail), the most iconic trek in Sweden that traverses 450 kilometers across boreal forests and tundra. For a shorter version of this trek you can join this 8-day hiking tour that takes you on an 80-kilometer trek through the Kungsleden trail, and offers you the chance of spotting the elusive Northern Lights.

November to December: Ice Climbing

 

Photo courtesy of Josef Simunek.

This season known as ‘autumn-winter’ is synonyms with snow and dark nights. It’s also the time of the year where you’ll find the best conditions for ice climbing. You can head to Abisko National Park for a guided ice climbing day in spots like Kaisepakte and Hidden Valley. All levels are welcome: for those with no previous experience to those who want to hone their skills and try some challenging routes. 

How to Get to Abisko?

 

  • By plane: you can fly from London Heathrow to Kiruna (100 km away from Abisko); or fly to Kiruna vía Stockholm.
  • By train: from Stockholm Central Station to Abisko Ostra or Abisko Turistation Station. Also, you can travel by train from Narvik (Norway). 

 

The Swedish Lapland offers a myriad of activities to enjoy throughout the year. If you are looking for an off-the-beaten path destination to enjoy unspoilt nature and unique experiences in the outdoors, this is the place to go. Check out all the guided trips available in this Sweden wilderness and start planning your next adventure holiday! 

 

 

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