10 Reasons To Visit Swedish Lapland

It’s tempting to think of Swedish Lapland as a small compact area full of all things magical and Christmassy: little elves working in Santa’s workshop, reindeer frolicking around snow-covered paddocks, sitting on Santa’s knee and reading him your list. But a lot of people (including myself at first) don’t usually know where in the world Lapland is. To prove this, I asked my friends to see what they thought. These are the answers I got:

  • Santa’s grotto
  • Where Santa lives
  • Snow
  • Cold
  • Finland? No. Iceland
  • I thought Arctic but I don’t even know if it’s in the Arctic?
  • North Pole? No?

As you can see there is a lot of confusion in this area. To put it simply, Lapland is a vast region that stretches north of the Article circle, through areas of Sweden, Norway, Finland and even parts of Russia. See map below for help…

Lapland Image Map

 

If you are after the ultimate winter wonderland experience, this part of the world can definitely deliver. From the unique places to stay to the unusual delicacies, Swedish Lapland is full of surprises! Here are ten reasons why it should definitely be on your list.

1. THE SNOWY SCENERY

Jump in the car and drive out into the countryside, and you will be transported into a different world. Tall snow-covered pine trees sit quietly beneath a pastel pink sky, and absolutely everything is covered in thick, thick layers of crisp white snow.

Snowy Scenery Winter Wonderland Pink Sky Swedish Lapland

 

2. THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

The Aurora Borealis frequently flickers to life across central and northern Sweden, and the show is even more spectacular once you have crossed the Arctic Circle.

Northern Lights Aurora Borealis Swedish Lapland

 

3. THE SKY

The incredible colours that are cast across the sky each day are breath-taking! In the depth of winter, the sun peeks above the horizon to give around 4 hours of daylight a day, meaning magical colours appear.

Sky Colours Magical Pink Purple Yellow Swedish Lapland

4. THE CUISINE

Swedish Lapland is home to some of the finest (and most unusual) cuisine. Restaurants serve reindeer, moose Carpaccio and elk. If you are not too keen on these, then go for the Arctic char –  a fish similar to salmon that is often served with creamy mash.

5.THE TREEHOTEL

An hour north of Luleå lies the sleepy Swedish town of Harads. Just outside this little town you will find The Treehotel where you can sleep suspended from the trees in a giant UFO (don’t forget to press the button on the tree to bring down the set of stairs!). The UFO’s next door neighbour is the Bird’s Nest, and the other side of that, The Mirror Cube.

Treehotel The Mirror Cube Harads Swedish Lapland

 

6. THE ICEHOTEL

If you are thinking of travelling to Swedish Lapland it would be criminal not to at least visit The Icehotel, in Jukkasjärvi. The 50 Art Suites are designed and sculpted by different architects from around the world. The Icehotel is rebuilt every winter from snow and ice blocks that are taken from the Torne River a few hundred metres away, before melting back into the river sometime in April.

Icehotel Jukkasjärvi Torne River Kiruna Swedish Lapland

 

7. THE REINDEER

Reindeer are both herded and wild in Sweden, and you will often come across a pair of reindeer gingerly crossing the road. Travel up to Rensjön and visit a traditional Sami family, where they introduce you to a few of their 500 reindeer, give you a detailed history on how they herd them, and then serve up reindeer soup for lunch (!).

Reindeer Rensjon Sami People Swedish Lapland

 

8. SNOWMOBILING

If you’re partial to a jet-ski get yourself on one of these. I can confirm they are incredibly fun!

Snowmobiling Swedish Lapland Snow Cold

 

9. SNOWSHOEING

Put on your warmest gear and go snowshoeing – the traditional Arctic mode of transport! These paddle-like slats are attached to the bottom of your boots and enable you to walk through deep snow. Watch out for the moose tracks!

Snowshoes

 

10. THE MOOSE

Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive wild moose!

Moose in the Snow Winter Swedish Lapland

 

 

TIPS FOR VISITING SWEDISH LAPLAND:

  • Take the right clothing. This includes thermals, ski jacket, salopettes, ski gloves, thick socks, hat, scarf and warm snow boots – the temperatures can plummet to – 40 degrees so these are essential!
  • To view the northern lights, get as far away as light pollution as possible and wait for your eyes to get used to the darkness. If it is a clear night, there will be thousands of stars in the sky and (hopefully) wisps of green light dancing around. Take a tripod with you to capture this on camera
  • If you are planning on snowmobiling, take your driving license with you as you wont be able to drive without it
  • Camera and phone batteries die really quickly in these temperatures, so take spares and don’t rely on using your iPhone for very long (it will turn itself off after around 2 minutes)
  • Make sure you try the Arctic char
  • If you are staying at the Icehotel, make sure you are staying in an Art Suite. These are a little more expensive than the Snow Rooms but are way more impressive and will make your experience much more special
  • Eat in the Icehotel restaurant and your meals will be served on blocks of ice
  • Take a backpack with you as you are only able to take an overnight bag up into the treehouses at the Treehotel

 

HOW TO GET THERE:

  • We flew into Luleå and out of Kiruna as we wanted to go to both the Icehotel and the Treehotel. The flights are indirect and go from London Gatwick via Stockholm on Scandinavian Airlines
  • If you are planning on visiting both towns, there is a scenic train that runs between the two that takes you right through the snowy wonderland

 

WHERE TO STAY:

 

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4 Comments

  1. 29th May 2016 / 08:03

    This is an amazing post!! Very few people have been to Lapland let alone Swedish Lapland (in my experience, most people go to Finnish Lapland). We married in the Ice Hotel, so as you can imagine, whenever I read a blog about this magical place, it brings back the most amazing memories. We did a snowmobile to view the Northern Lights (which we were lucky to see!), a husky sleigh ride to a traditional Sami camp to see reindeer’s and snow shoeing so we packed in a bit! Your photos are stunning – but that is Lapland all over really isn’t it – stunning! Thank you for a trip down memory lane 🙂

  2. 30th May 2016 / 17:54

    Hi Angie! Swedish Lapland is such an undiscovered destination, and in my opinion more people need to visit! It sounds like you had such a magical wedding, you definitely chose a great location. 🙂 I also went snowshoeing, snowmobiling and on a husky safari – all three were so fun. And you are right, Swedish Lapland is just stunning! 🙂

  3. 18th September 2016 / 06:40

    Swedish Lapland look so amazing. I just love the nature and all of the animals. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Tryntje Bassett
    2nd September 2017 / 01:13

    At the age of 75, and 67 we did all this wonderful safaris,
    It was mine 4th time,
    My husband loved the dogs best, but as a slightly wild old lady,I loved the idea of racing through the snow on a snow mobile.
    Would love to do it again at the end of the year,but no body wants to come with me.( mob of sooks)
    So now I have to settle for a river cruise.
    Hopefully it won’t be to bloody boring.

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