Scenic Adventure in the North
Two incredible destinations in a single winter (or summer) trip, both above the Arctic Circle and with once-in-a-lifetime views and adventures. You can explore the Northern Lights in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, 200 kilometers (125 miles) above the Arctic Circle and in the northernmost municipality of Sweden. Stay in the famed ICEHOTEL and experience sleeping in a bed made of ice. Then it’s off via the Arctic Circle Train which travels through the splendid arctic wilderness to the Lofoten Islands, one of our truly ‘coolest’ destinations, to try island skiing (ski runs that end where the mountains meet the ocean) and a range of other breathtaking outdoor adventures. We love taking people on this trip!
After flying into Kiruna, Sweden, you drive to Jukkasjärvi, located next to the wild Tome River, one of Europe’s last unspoiled rivers. At 520 kilometers (322 miles), it is the largest of Sweden’s four rivers, running from the ancient mountains in the west of Sweden down the coast where it flows out into the Bay of Bothnia. The remarkable ICEHOTEL provides for both traditional warm rooms and rooms of ice that are reborn in a new guise every winter. Ice sculptors amazingly re-envision the hotel each year with new sculptures and intricate ice decorations. And wherever you plan to sleep, don’t forget to stop in for a sparkling glass of champagne at the spacious ice bar.
Jukkasjärvi is the place to experience the midnight sun, polar night and the fantastical Northern Lights as they illuminate the skies with cascades of purple, green and other magical colors. It is also the place to learn how to ice sculpt or go ice fishing. Not to mention trying dog sledding, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing through forests and alongside lakes.
From Jukkasjärvi, you will take a scenic two-hour train ride from Kiruna to Narvik, Norway via the historical railroad. A short transfer to the Lofoten Islands offers another winter (and summer) paradise. Lofoten has its own microclimate created by the Gulf Stream, with warmer temperatures than most surrounding areas. The islands themselves are known for a distinctive scenery with dramatic mountains and peaks, open sea and sheltered inlets, wonderful beaches and untouched lands. Skiers can actually finish their runs where the mountain meets the ocean, one of the only places in the world where the ski mountains truly end at sea level!
Another good viewing spot for the Northern Lights, the islands also offer great fishing, beachgoing, surfing and some of the best hiking one will ever experience. The small, picturesque villages are all about fishing, and the hearty meals reflect what they catch.
Summer or winter, this is a once in a lifetime trip. Truly.