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Active Arctic and the Northern Lights

Trip type: 
Active
Exertion level: 
Moderate
Max group size: 
16
Sweden | 5 days
Trip code: 
EXSN
Trip Highlights: 
Dancing Northern Lights
Drive across the winter landscape on a snowmobile
Visit the Aurora Sky Station
Lecture for our astronomy expert
see full itinerary >>
What's included: 

Astronomy - Talks and Northern Lights viewing with one of our astronomy experts.

Transport - Minibus, dog-sled, and snowmobile

Accommodation - Hotels (4nts)

Meals -  4 breakfasts and 2 lunches

Trip Overview: 

Travel into Europe's northern reaches and explore the winter landscapes of Lapland. This is an active trip with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the snow-covered forests and discover the Northern Lights. By day you will travel by sledge or by snow mobile and by night witness the Northern Lights with one of our astronomy experts and visit the famous Aurora Sky Station. 

Itinerary: 
Day
1

Arrive in Kiruna

Fly to Stockholm where you will catch a connecting flight to Kiruna.  On arrival you are met by your group leader and transferred to your hotel in Kiruna, the northernmost city in Sweden with free time for sightseeing.  Highlights include the church which is built in the shape of a Sami tent and was voted Sweden’s most beautiful building back in 2001. 

That evening, your astronomy expert will give you a talk on the Northern lights. After dinner you will head out in to the dark for some Northern Light hunting.

Hotel Ripen - 1 night (B)

Day
2
Dog sledging

Dog sledging

This morning, you will start by meeting the huskies and learning the basics of dog sledding, before heading out across the winter landscape through snowy forests and across icy lakes towards the wilderness lodge. Each sled is driven by a musher and pulled by a team of 4-6 huskies.  The dogs always get excited as soon as they see the sleds coming out, and it’s often a struggle to hold them back, so the sleds have a snow anchor for that purpose.  It takes a while to get everything ready but eventually you’ll head off in crocodile file, with the dogs tugging hard at their harnesses before they break into a smooth rhythm.  The dogs are well trained and extremely friendly and most of all they love to pull sleds.  All you can hear are the runners of the sled fizzing over the frozen snow and the odd bark or yelp from the dogs. Lunch will be provided at the wildness lodge before turning back to the kennels.

This evening you will have a presentation from our astronomy expert and a night of northern light viewing. 

Hotel Ripen - 1 night (B,L)

Day
3

Free Day

Today you will have a free day or take part in some optional activities which include a visit to the Sami people, cross country skiing or snow shoeing. 

This evening you will travel to the Aurora Sky station with our astronomy expert. The night starts with a chair lift ride to the station where you will be able to enjoy the quiet national park in the dark. At the Sky Station there is a cafe and from the lookout tower you will hopefully see the dancing lights. 

Hotel Ripen - 1 night (B)

Day
4
Snowmobile Tour and Aurora Sky Station

Snowmobile Tour and Aurora Sky Station

After breakfast you will take a short journey to the start point of your snowmobile tour and journey through Swedish Lapland’s last wilderness.  A snowmobile is a bit like a jet-ski that runs on snow rather than water, powered by a petrol engine that drives a single caterpillar track.  Like a motorbike, it is steered by handlebars and there is a single forward gear.  The driver and a pillion passenger sit on a motorbike-style seat.  Snowmobiles are simple and straightforward to drive, but it is important to take care until you are accustomed to the way they handle.  You will be given a comprehensive safety briefing before setting off, taking it in turns to drive so everyone has a chance to take the wheel (or handlebars!).  The tracks go through the beautiful and untouched fell and forest area. Lunch will be provided at the guest house after your tour. 

At the guesthouse you will have a presentation about the Northern lights from Chad Blakely professional photographer and guide for the northern light tours at the Aurora Skystation. He will be on hand to answer your questions. 

You will spend the night in warm accommodation at the Icehotel (B, L).

Day
5

Trip ends; fly home

Unfortunately your Lapland adventure ends today.  After breakfast you will head to the airport for a connecting flight from Kiruna to Stockholm, then fly home.  (B)

Winter Activities

The quiet winter landscape of northern Sweden is best explored using the traditional methods of dog-sledding and snowmobiling. Driving a team of enthusiastic dogs is an exhilarating experience – make sure you hold on tight as the dogs won’t stop! – and the trees give way to wide expanses of snow as you travel pass many frozen lakes. Travelling by snowmobiles allows you to get off the tracks and onto the fresh snow.

Aurora Sky Station

The Aurora Sky Station is located Abisko National Park, observations are made from here with the help of the help of radio receivers and cameras. There is also an aurora exhibition emphasizes observing and understanding the northern lights. 

Astronomy Experts

This tour will be accompanied by our astronomy expert who will give talks to explain the Northern Lights and their connection with the Sun.