New Years special - Northern Lights & wildlife
- Duration: 6 Days
- Location: Luleå
Celebrate New Years under the Northern Lights with us! This is the ultimate winter adventure in Swedish Lapland. Watch for moose, reindeer and the fantastic Aurora borealis. Go dog sledding and hang out with cool locals.
This trip is for travelers who are seeking for a fun and rewarding adventure in the Winter wonderland that is Lapland. Be prepared to make new freinds with the guides as well as with the locals. On this trip you won't be taking photos of sights and attractions, but you will be part of the whole experience and the Sami lifestyle and bring home memories for life.
Why are we doing this trip?
We just have to do this! What better place to spend New Years Eve than at our good friend Lennart's tented camp far out in wilderness?
The idea with this tour is that we want you to experience a more real side of Lapland, in small groups with local guides, away from any crowds.
There will be no tourist attractions such as icehotels or Santa theme parks. Busloads of tourists end up going there already.
We simply love being outdoors in pure wilderness, in remote areas away from everyday life. To enjoy nature at a slow pace.
And we can't wait to venture out with hot chocolate onto a frozen lake and watch the Northern Lights dance in the sky above.
- Celebrate New Years Eve at a tented Sámi camp far out in wilderness
- Photograph wild Reindeer and Moose in a snowy landscape
- Go dog sledding across frozen lakes and through snowy forests
- Enjoy good meals with Sámi specialities like Arctic Char, Gáhkku and Souvas
- Travel with likeminded people in small groups and local guides for more genuine experiences
Will we see the Northern Lights? Each evening holds an opportunity to watch for Northern lights. If the sky is clear, we will all be out to watch. Of course, since the Northern lights are a natural phenomenon, we are never guaranteed to see them, but this place has some of the most frequent and intense auroral activity on the planet...meaning our odds are very good.
This part of Lapland is home to the largest Moose in Europe. During winter, Moose and their much smaller cousins Reindeer gather in the valleys in search for food. On this trip you have the chance to get close to and photograph some of these majestic animals in the wild.
Known as Lapland, the native name of this area is actually Sápmi. 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 interesting culture and traditions.
Stay warm in a cold climate. We will make sure you are well equipped so that you will stay warm during the entire week. We provide high quality winter clothing that we pick up and try out on the first day. During the coldest period in December and January temperatures are usually between -10 to -20 but may occationallt drop as low as -30℃, but you will be well equipped so no need to worry. Since we provide good equipment, cold temperatures has not been a problem for our guests.
Day 1 - Arrive in Jokkmokk & Northern Lights excursion
Meet and greet with your guide in Luleå for a welcome lunch with your fellow travelers.
We then have a two hours drive that will take us across the Arctic circle and into the heart of Swedish Lapland. Here we reach Jokkmokk, our favorite town. Jokkmokk is a small northern outpost town which will act as a base for our excursions. It's surrounding area boasts amazing landscapes, ranging from mountains and frozen lakes to ancient boreal forests and streaming rivers. Jokkmokk is also home to a large Sámi community.
As we arrive at our hotel we sit down for a proper introduction over a coffee in the restaurant.
Take some time to arrive at your own pace. In the afternoon you will have the chance to visit the Ájtte museum, to give you a good introduction to the Sámi culture as well as to the Arctic nature. Or explore Jokkmokk and some of the local handicraft shops on your own.
Dinner at the hotel, and then, if the skies are clear we will definitively fill our thermoses with hot drinks and venture to watch for Northern Lights.
Night at Hotel Akerlund in Jokkmokk.
Day 2 - Dog sledding & reindeer meeting
On this day we are going dog sledding with our good friends Matti and Stina. They live in a small cabin by a lake with more than 50 huskies in their snowy garden. We greet with the dogs and all help out to prepare a bit before we are ready to take off.
Seated on wooden sledges we travel across the frozen landscape hearing only the breathing of the huskies. We stop somewhere for lunch and light a warming camp fire while the dogs get some well deserved rest and cool down in the snow. This sled trip takes about three hours including the lunch.
In the afternoon we will meet up with our good friend Anna just outside Jokkmokk. Anna and her family are Sámi and reindeer herders. She has invited us for an evening meal in her lávvu (traditional tent). With a native perspective Anna has a lot to tell us. In this way we get the chance to learn more about the Sami culture and the life as a reindeer herder at first hand. We sit on skins on the floor and try some traditional Sami dishes that are prepared over the camp fire.
Northern Lights watching in the late evening if the skies are clear.
Night at Hotel Akerlund in Jokkmokk.
Day 3 - Moose & reindeer watching in the wild
On this day we are planning to drive through a nearby valley which is known to host some of Europe´s largest moose, but also big amounts of reindeer. This provides a great opportunity to view and photograph these majestic animals with the snowy landscape as a backdrop.
We stop for an outdoor lunch somewhere along the shore of lake Saggat.
If the weather is fine we spend the whole afternoon out in the snowy valley before we return to Jokkmokk for a well deserved dinner and hot drinks.
This will be a long day, but there is always a chance to go out and watch for Northern lights. Fill up your thermos and bring some snacks to stay warm and happy.
Night at Hotel Akerlund in Jokkmokk.
Day 4 - New Years Eve with night in tents
We leave Jokkmokk behind and travel further North to visit our good friend Lennart. Lennart is Sami and we are very happy that he lets us celebrate New Years eve at his tented camp!
Imagine yourself standing in deep snow under the Northen Lights and then go to bed in a tent. I am aware that this may increase the expectations but I just have to mention that his camp was recently featured by National Geographic's list 21 places to stay if you care about the planet. You will see why for yourself.
We enjoy a festive New Year's dinner by the fire place in a small wooden cabin. We take turns to go outside and watch for the Northern lights that will hopefully be dancing in the sky above the camp. In either case, the illuminated tents will provide an ideal foreground for night sky photography.
There will be no fireworks at all. Instead we end this year the adventurous way, with hot drinks at the fire place by at the frozen lake.
You will then sleep comfortably in one of the tents. The tents have proper beds and a heater, so it will be almost like staying at a hotel. You will be surprised how comfortable a tent can be. Toilet? Don't worry, Lennart has set up some heated toilet booths near the tents. All in all we will have five tents to share so there will be plenty of room for all of us.
Day 5 - Skiing or hiking in Laponia Unesco World Heritage
Wake up in your tent and enjoy a late breakfast in the warm cabin.
On this day you will have the chance to explore the surrounding forests and the frozen lake on wooden cross country skis or snowshoes, as you prefer. Find animal tracks and experience different types of snow. You will also have the chance to try ice fishing. You just drill a hole in the ice.
These activities are optional. You can also walk on foot, or just hang out at the camp. You don't have to go anywhere, but if you choose to go for an excursion there will be a lot to see and amazing landscapes to photograph.
The camp is located in Laponia, a Unesco World Heritage. For visitors, this area is often perceived as a huge wilderness landscape. But to the Sámis this is a cultural landscape where their ancestors have herded reindeer and formed life throughout the centuries. You will see that this is Sápmi – the land of the Sámi people.
Lunch and dinner at the camp.
Day 6 - Wake up in the wild, then departure
We enjoy another slow breakfast in the cabin before we say our good bye's to Lennart and begin our journey back to modern civilisation.
Time has come to leave Sápmi and Lapland for this time. We will take you to Luleå for your afternoon train or flight.
Wanna stay some extra days? You can always book a few extra nights in Luleå. We can recommend a good place. Or we can drop you at the famous Tree Hotel in Harads which is along the way to Luleå.
- Tour leader
- All activities
- 5 nights accommodation
- Full board with all meals included
- Round-trip transportation from Luleå airport or train station
- Single room supplement 1200 SEK for the three nights at the hotel. Note that you may still have to share tent with another person.
- Winter clothing can be rented at 1800 SEK for the entire trip.
- Beverages are paid at each restaurant.
- Three nights at Hotel Akerlund in Jokkmokk. There are single, double and twin rooms, all with ensuite bathrooms. Free tea & coffee. Free wifi in all rooms. Free mixed and shared sauna.
- Two nights at a tented camp. The tents are more like hotel rooms with proper beds and a heater. There are five tents with 2-3 beds each. If you travel as a single you may have to share tent with another person. Bathrooms are shared and outside in heated booths.
Recommended minimum age is 10 years. Participants should be able to walk in uneven terrain without difficulties. Walking level is easy/medium. You don't have to ski or snowshoe, that is just an optional activity on one of the days.
Small groups for a more genuine experience
Maximum 7 participants with one guide. With two guides we may take up to 14 participants.
Location & how to get here
Meet us at Hotel Arctic near Luleå train station at 11 am. On the last day you can take a flight or train at any time after 14h, since we will in Luleå at 13h at the latest.
BY AIR: Fly from Stockholm to Luleå Airport (LLA), take a bus or taxi into Luleå town. Since the tour begins at 11 am in Luleå you need to fly to Luleå one day earlier.
TRAIN: Take the Arctic Circle train from Stockholm or Arlanda airport to Luleå. When you arrive in Luleå you just walk 200 meters to Hotel Arctic which is where we meet up. If you arrive in the morning you can have breakfast at the hotel free of charge, before we meet up for the tour. The train ride is about 13 hours and you can choose to travel in daytime or overnight. This may sound like a long way to travel, but it is a great trip and a good start of your adventure. Train travel is also much better for the environment. The train has a restaurant with basic meals, snacks and drinks. If you are unsure you can travel by train in one direction and fly in the other direction. Purchase your train tickets at www.sj.se, everything is done online. The cost of the train ticket depends on which comfort you choose. For example, the rate for a bunk bed in a shared 6-bed room is about 2500 SEK for a return ticket. 3-bed rooms or private rooms are also available. Let me know if you need any advise. Note that the tickets for these trains are released about 3 months prior to departure.
Bookings and cancellations
Our booking procedure is simple. Just pick a date, fill in the form and off you go. You pay 20% at the time of booking and the rest 45 days before you arrive.
We 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, and 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 8 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.