Northern lights and wildlife: 5-day tour in Swedish Lapland

Northern lights wildlife tour in Swedish Lapland

✓  Incredible 5-day tour
✓  Watch the northern lights
✓  Photograph wild reindeer and elk
✓  Go dog sledding across frozen lakes
✓  Stay 4 nights in a guesthouse
✓  Spend 1 night in a tented camp
✓  From 19,950 SEK per person
This awe-inspiring 5-day tour lets you experience the real Swedish Lapland. It takes place in small groups with friendly local guides, who’ll show you spectacular wilderness areas far from the main tourist sights.

During this tour you’ll get the chance to see the legendary aurora borealis, and can expect plenty of wildlife sightings – Europe’s largest elks live in this part of Sweden, and it’s not uncommon to see 20 or more in a single day. With a bit of luck and some skilled guiding, you’ll be able to photograph up close.

The indigenous Samis inhabit the region of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola peninsula of Russia. During this tour you will meet with Samis to learn about and get an understanding for their culture and traditions.

Tour program

Day 1
Arrival and a northern lights excursion

Arriving at Luleå Airport from Stockholm, you’ll meet with your guide and then enjoy a two-hour drive through beautiful scenery to your guesthouse in Jokkmokk, a small northern outpost town which acts as a base for excursions into some of the wildest parts of Lapland. The area boasts amazing natural landscapes, ranging from mountains and frozen lakes to ancient boreal forests and streaming rivers.

On arrival, you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner with your tour guide and fellow travellers. After dinner you’ll meet up with a local photographer who will teach you how to get the best possible shots of the aurora. While this crash course will focus on SLR cameras with tripods, there will also be some instructions on how you can capture the aurora with smaller pocket cameras (or even a smartphone!).

As night falls, you’ll go outside to try and spot the northern lights. Each evening of this trips holds an opportunity to witness the phenomenon, as there is virtually no light pollution at all in this area.. As long as there are no clouds the chance to see the aurora is very high.

You guide will make sure you’re well equipped to stay warm and dry during the entire tour (you can pre-book winter clothing and try it out on this first day). During the coldest period in December and January temperatures may drop as low as -30℃ or even -40℃ (it’s warmer later in the season) but your guide will make sure you are well equipped. Sleep at the guesthouse in Jokkmokk.

Day 2
Moose and reindeer watching in the wild

On the second day you’ll be driven through a nearby valley which is home to some of Europe’s largest elk (moose), but also large numbers of reindeer. This provides a great opportunity to view and photograph these majestic animals.

Later, you’ll enjoy lunch out in the snow with views of Lake Saggat. If the weather is fine you’ll spend the whole afternoon out in the snowy valley before returning to theguesthouse in Jokkmokk for a well-deserved dinner and hot drinks. Sleep at the guesthouse in Jokkmokk.

Day 3
Dog sledding – and a reindeer encounter!

Big adventure day! On this third day you’ll go dog sledding with your guide’s friends, Matti and Stina. They live here and train their dogs all year round, and will take you across the frozen landscape on their sleds for a couple of hours – along the way you’ll notice how quiet it is, hearing only the panting of the huskies. This is a true close-to-nature experience, followed by an outdoor lunch by a campfire.

In the afternoon you’ll meet up with Anna, who will prepare you a delicious evening meal in her lávvu (traditional tent). With a native perspective on this special region, Anna has a lot of stories to tell. You’ll get a rare chance to learn more about the Sami culture and life as a reindeer herder. You’ll sit on reindeer skins on the floor and try some traditional Sami dishes, prepared over a campfire.

You’ll also be able to visit the family’s reindeer – these are wild animals but if you sit still they may come close, and may even eat from your hand.

This will be a long day, but you may want to go out and watch for the northern lights. There’s a lake within walking distance from your guesthouse offering great views. Fill up your thermos and bring some snacks to stay warm and happy. Sleep at the guesthouse in Jokkmokk.

Day 4
Sami camping under the northern lights

Your guide will take you from the guesthouse in Jokkmokk and drive for a couple of hours to visit another good friend. Lennart is Sami, and will invite you to stay at his tented camp.

This is often the highlight of the trip. Lennart’s camp was recently featured in National Geographic’s list of 21 places to stay if you care about the planet.

During the day you can enjoy a forest hike through a snow-clad Arctic forest. You’ll have the chance to try either snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

You’ll enjoy a dinner by the fire in a small wooden cabin, and then go out to watch the northern lights, which will hopefully be dancing in the sky above. The illuminated tents will provide an ideal foreground for night-sky photography.

On this fourth night, you’ll sleep under canvas. The tents  have proper beds and a heater, so you’ll be surprised how comfortable it is. Toilet? Don’t worry, Lennart has toilet booths nearby.

Day 5

Unesco World Heritage Gammelstad, then departure

Waking up in your tent, you’ll head to the cabin for a long breakfast before driving a couple of hours back to Luleå. If you have an early flight you’ll be taken straight to Luleå airport.

If your flight is later in the day your guide will take you into Luleå for you to explore on your own. We can highly recommend you to see the Unesco World Heritage Gammelstads Kyrkstad.

This is the world’s most extensive and best-preserved ‘church town’, with more than 400 pretty cottages gathered around a medieval stone church. It’s a great place to look for handicraft items and local souvenirs to bring home. When it’s time to go home, catch a taxi to the airport or to the train station in time for your departure.

FAQs

Will I see the Aurora Borealis?

It can never be guaranteed, but there’s a very good chance you will see the northern lights. Swedish Lapland offers relatively stable weather conditions, allowing for clearer nights than in many other popular winter destinations. Imagine yourself standing in deep snow under a green explosion of light!

Can I stay longer?

You can always extend the tour with one or two nights in Luleå, at your own expense, but your guides will be happy to help you out.

What’s included?

  • Tour leader
  • All activities
  • 4 nights’ accommodation
  • Full board with all meals included
  • Round-trip transportation from Luleå airport or train station

Add-ons

  • Winter clothing can be rented at 1200 SEK for the entire trip
  • There’s a single room supplement of 995 SEK. If you travel alone you may have to share tent with another person of the same gender
  • Alcoholic beverages are not included

Arrival and departure

Meet your guide at Luleå airport at 5.30pm or at Luleå train station at 4.30pm. If you arrive earlier, take a taxi to Luleå and your guide will meet you there. On departure day you can take a flight or train at any time after 2pm. More information in the ‘how to get here’ section below.

Travelling by air, fly from Stockholm to Luleå Airport (LLA). There are two different night trains departing from Stockholm each day, both arriving in Luleå the next day. The 13-hour journey might sound like a slog, but it is a great trip and part of the adventure. If you prefer, you can go by train in one direction and fly back in the other direction. Timetables and tickets for these trains are released three months ahead of schedule. Tickets are available at sj.se.

What accommodation is included?

The trip includes three nights in a double or twin room at Jokkmokk Guesthouse. The rooms are basic but comfortable and clean, all with shared bathroom in the corridor. Guides have chosen this accommodation to help keep the total costs down.

The tour also includes one night at a tented camp near Gällivare. Each tent has two beds (two extra beds can be fitted if you’re travel as a family).

Who can take the tour?

The recommended minimum age is eight years. Participants should be able to walk in uneven terrain without difficulties. The walking level is easy/medium. To give the best experience, there is a maximum of 7 guests per guide. With two guides we may take up to 14 participants.

 

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Bookings and cancellations

Our booking procedure is simple. Just pick a date, fill in the form and off you go. You pay 10% now and the rest 45 days before you arrive.

We will manually review your booking to make sure that we still have availability. If everything is okay we will send you a confirmation by email within 24 hours. Until your booking is confirmed no payment or charges will be applied. Credit card details are held for security purposes only.

You may cancel your tour at no cost up to 7 days from the time of booking. We will provide a 100% refund.

Cancellations between eight days from the time of booking and 46 days before arrival will be charged at 25% of the booking’s total amount. Cancellations between 45 days and 15 days before arrival will be charged at 75% of the booking’s total amount. Cancellations within 14 days of arrival will be charged at 100% of the booking’s total amount.

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