Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays

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The Kungsleden Self Guided Walking Holiday


  • Discovering Europe’s last great wilderness on Sweden’s ‘King of Trails'.
  • Hiking through remote Arctic Circle landscapes of alpine forests and glacial valleys.
  • Relaxing in saunas as you enjoy the olde-worlde charm of mountain cabins.
  • Getting to know the Sami people; traditional reindeer herders.
  • A plethora of wildlife, including the elk, golden eagle and ptarmigan.

Trek the northernmost section of Sweden’s top distance trail, the 100-year old Kungsleden (King’s Trail). The vast Arctic Circle landscape in this part of Swedish Lapland is filled with contrasts. Birch forests filled with flowers, to dramatic mountain passes with lunar-like terrain, to lush grass meadows, the scenery will have you gasping at every turn!

You will hike between simple and traditional mountain cabins in spectacular settings. You will carry your own pack and a small supply of provisions. The walking is fairly easy, and the path easy to follow, whilst still giving you that true mountain experience. Dependent on when you travel, you also may experience either the midnight sun (Jun-Jul) or the northern lights (late Aug-Sept). The Kungsleden has been listed as one of the "World's Best Hikes" by National Geographic so it is one that is an essential to tick off the list!

Day 1: Arrive Abisko

Check in at Abisko Turiststation, in the heart of Swedish Lapland in the afternoon and perhaps chat to fellow walkers before meeting with an experienced local guide at 6pm. They will talk you through the trail and give you all the latest information to set you on your way. They can also answer any last minute questions and be able to give you advice about the walk. Dinner will be served later on in the restaurant.

Kiruna is the closest airport to Abisko and has flights available via Stockholm. From Kiruna, it is just a short train or bus ride to Abisko (approx 1.5hrs)

Dinner & Overnight: Abisko Mountain Station

The Abisko Mountain Station has welcomed visitors for more than 100 years in its wonderful location 200km north of the Arctic Circle. Facilities include a sauna, shop where you can stock up for your walk, and restaurant. You may like to add extra nights here to explore the area further—various activities are available to book from Abisko including painting classes, birdwatching, and midnight sun tours on the Nuolja chairlift. An upgrade to private rooms is available on request.

If you visit from the end of August onwards, Abisko is one of the best places in the world to view the aurora borealis (northern lights).

Day 2: Abisko to Lake Abiskojaure

After a hearty breakfast, begin your trek towards Kebnekaise! This first section takes you through Abisko National Park and along the Abisko River to Lake Abiskojaure. Birch forests rich in flora and fauna, framed by dramatic mountains, are your background drop today.

Walk: 15 km, 100 m ascent.

Overnight: Mountain Cabin, Lake Abiskojaure

Whilst staying in the mountains you will be in multi-bedded mixed gender cabins with shared facilities. You’ll need to bring a sleeping bag and camping set (knife, fork, spoon).

Day 3: Lake Abiskojaure to Alesjaure

The toughest day of your trek, today’s walk begins with a manageable ascent up into the next valley. Surrounded by high mountains, the cabins at Alesjaure are visible hours before you reach them! The scenery is still very lush and green, with meadows of willow, vast lakes and babbling rivers. Relax and enjoy a sauna when you arrive and stock up on food for the next couple of days at the mountain cabin shop.

Walk: 20 km, 300 m ascent

Overnight: Mountain Cabin, Alesjaure

Day 4 Alesjaure to Tjäktja

A short day today allows you to take your time and enjoy the dramatic but now more rugged mountain landscapes surrounding you. You will also need to stock up on food before setting off for the next couple of days as there is no shop at Tjäktja cabin.

Walk: 13km, 200 m ascent

Overnight: Mountain Cabin, Tjäktja

Day 5: Tjäktja to Sälka

Heading towards the highest point of the trail at Tjäktjapass (1150m), the terrain becomes almost lunar-like today. Reaching the high pass, the extraordinarily beautiful Tjäktjavagge valley opens up below you with incredible views stretching for over 40 kilometres! Once again, relax with a sauna in the evening when you reach Sälka before replenishing your food supplies in the shop for the next two days.

Walk: 12km, 150 m ascent, 300 m descent

Overnight: Mountain Cabin, Sälka

Day 6 Sälka to Singi.

Return to lush meadows as an easy day’s walking takes you through the Tjäktjavagge Valley to Singi. The Sami culture is very much alive along the King’s Trail and you may come across one of their camps where they breed their reindeer, giving you a fascinating insight into their way of life.

Walk:12 km, 100 m descent

Overnight: Mountain Cabin, Singi

Day 7: Singi to Kebnekaise

Today’s stretch is surrounded by high peaks and glaciers from start to finish, and you can see why this majestic area has become known as Europe’s last wilderness. After arriving at Kebnekaise Mountain Station, enjoy dinner and a sauna. If you are up for a challenge, then it is possible to add on an extra day at Kebnekaise to summit Mt Kebnekaise, Sweden’s highest mountain at 2105m in the company of an experienced guide.

Walk: 14 km, 150m ascent, 150m descent

Dinner & Overnight: Kebnekaise Mountain Station

Day 8: By Boat over Lake Ladtjojaure/Walk to Nikkaluokta/Onward Travel

After enjoying breakfast, an easy walk brings you down to Lake Ladtjojaure. Travel by boat over the lake before walking through the forest to Nikkaluokta. Your walk on the ‘Kings Trail’ finishes here. It is possible to eat at the local restaurant and take a shower before departing by bus back to Kiruna.(1h)

Walk: 19 km (5km by boat), 200m descent

7 nights accommodation is included in your trip. 2 nights are in multi-bedded rooms at the Abisko and Kebnekaise mountain stations, and 5 nights will be spent in multi-bedded rooms in mountain cabins on the trek. Saunas are available at Abisko, Alesjaure and Sälka.

The mountain cabins have mixed-sex rooms with 4-10 beds. The beds are fitted with mattresses, pillows and blankets. You should bring a light sleeping bag and camping kit with knive, fork, spoon etc with you. Occasionally if the beds are all taken then you will get a space on the floor with a mattress but this is not very common and is only really a problem at the Tjaktja cabin during peak season.

The cabins are basic and have no electricity or running water. Everybody helps with domestic duties including cleaning, cooking and taking the rubbish out. Cooking is done on gas-stoves. All the huts are manned by hut custodians.

It is possible to upgrade to private rooms in Abisko and Kebnekaise but this is on a request basis and will only be confirmed on booking dependent on availability. Please select this option if you would like to do this.

The following pictures show the inside of some typical cabins

Inside a typical mountain cabin

Typical mountain cabin kitchen

Single Rooms and Solo Walkers

This trip is not available to solo walkers, and as the accommodations are are multi-bedded rooms, single rooms are not available.


2 Breakfasts and 2 Dinners are included at the Abisko and Kebnekaise Mountain Stations. The rest of the time you will need to carry provisions with you (for a maximum of 2 days worth of food at a time).

In Abisko, Alesjaure and Sälka you will find small shops where you can buy dried and canned food, drinks and snacks etc. There is no fresh food for sale. Budget approx 150SEK per person per day for food plus a beer in the sauna!


This trip is available to start on any day of the week between the middle of June and the middle of September. We do recommend booking as early as possible as the accommodation gets booked up quickly.

Time of Year

The summer season in Swedish Lapland is quite short from mid-June until mid-September.  For the midnight sun come you should plan to visit between June and the middle of July. For the northern lights, visit from the end of August onwards.

Grade & Terrain

This walk is graded as moderate. The longest day is 20km and the highest ascent is 300m. So whilst the walking is not too tough, you should have previous experience of long-distance walking and be in relatively good physical shape to get the most from this walk. There is no bag transfer available on this tour and as well as your belongings you will need to carry at least a few days' worth of food with you, adding 1-2kg on to the weight of your backpack.

The terrain is a mixture of rocky trails, faint grassy paths and wooden foot boards which are in place to enable covering large areas of bog. The boards are generally well-maintained, but care should be taken in wet conditions as they can become slippery. Some easy river crossings are also involved. As there are very few trees here, the route is particularly exposed to the elements, particularly wet or windy weather can slow you down a bit.


It is important to note that the terrain covered on the Kungsleden is wild and remote. There is no mobile phone coverage for the duration of the hike. At times you could be as far away as 50-60km from a road. There are frequently placed manned cabins along the way which have rescue phones and the trail is popular so you are unlikely to be alone on the trail, however, you should keep in mind that you will be hiking in a true wilderness. 

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers 

This trip is not available to solo walkers, and as the accommodations are are multi-bedded rooms, single rooms are not available.

Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

As this is a self-guided trek you will be responsible for navigation, decision making and safety during your trip.  We will provide you with a map at a scale of 1:100 000 as well as a comprehensive guidebook, so you shouldn't have any problems finding your way.

The National Trail system in Sweden is also extremly comprehensive and is maintained by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. 

Whilst The Kungsleden is a marked trail, we do recommend carrying a map and compass and knowing how to use them in the event of bad weather.


Our pre-departure information pack (and the supplied guidebook) have detailed advice and a kit list on what to take on The Kungsleden. This includes warm and waterproof gear, hats and gloves, good walking boots, a sleeping bag liner/sleeping sheet and lots of other useful bits and bobs.

Baggage Transfers 

Baggage transfers are not available due to the remote location of the mountain cabins. You can send things not needed for your hike by bus to Nikkaluokta. Arrangements for this can be made at Abisko Mountain Station. (payable locally).

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

General Information:

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, (for example, proper rain gear jacket and pants, sun hat, sunscreen). Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to Abisko

By Air: Kiruna Airport is the closest airport to Abisko at the start of your walk. Flights are available via Stockholm (1h30).

By Rail: You can take the train or bus from Kiruna directly to Abisko Railway Station. The journey takes approx 1.5 hrs. See recommend you check the timetables and book your tickets in advance, as depending on the time of your flight into Stockholm, you may not always find a connecting train and will have to arrange a transfer from Kiruna Airport.

By Bus: An airport bus runs between Kiruna and Abisko. See Again we recommend you check the timetables and book your tickets in advance.

Private Transfer: Private transfers can be arranged with VisitAbisko from Kiruna to Abisko. See for information and to book tickets.

Getting from Nikkaluokta

By Air: Kiruna is also the closest airport to Nikkaluokta. From Nikkaluokta there is a daily bus which departs late afternoon back to Kiruna which takes approx 1 hour. This will get you back to Kiruna for about 6pm so depending on the time of your flight you may require to stay overnight in Kiruna. If that is the case we can also help you arrange an extra night in Kiruna. The other option is to take the overnight train from Kiruna to Arlanda International Airport (Stockholm) for onward flight connections.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this trip that you have adequate travel insurance in place, including for emergency medical evacuation and/or curtailment of your trip. Please ensure that you check your policy as it should include cover for trekking at altitude.


  • 2 Nights in mountain stations in multi-bedded rooms
  • 5 Nights in mountain cabins in multi-bedded rooms
  • 2 Breakfasts and 2 Dinners at Abisko and Kebnekaise mountain stations
  • Sauna in Abiskojaure, Alesjaure and in Sälka
  • Boat on Lake Ladtjojaure
  • 1:100, 000 Swedish map, guidebook and detailed information pack
  • 24-7 telephone support from our local partners and our UK office


  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Abisko and from Nikkaluokta
  • Meals other than dinner on Day 1 and Day 7 and breakfast on Day 2 and Day 8
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Mountain rescue/emergency assistance
  • Luggage Transfers


  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk
  • Extra night in Kebnekaise to summit of Mt Kebnekaise (includes services of a local guide)
  • Upgrade to twin/double room in Abisko or Kebnekaise available on request on arrival - 1200 SEK per room

How far in advance do I need to book?

The Kungsleden Trek is very popular and spaces are limited, so we recommend early booking to make sure you are not disappointed.

What equipment do I need?

We will supply you with a detailed equipment list as part of your pre-departure information pack. You will need normal walking and travelling gear as well as a sleeping bag and warm clothes.

You will need to carry a light sleeping bag with you as well as a camping kit, and provisions of food for a maximum 2 days at a time. 

How fit do I need to be?

This walk is graded as moderate. The longest day is 20km and the highest ascent is 300m. So whilst the walking is not too tough, you should have previous experience of long-distance walking and be in relatively good physical shape to get the most from this walk. You will also need to carry food and a sleeping bag with you, adding 1-2kg on to the weight of your backpack.

When is the best time of year?

The summer season is quite short in Swedish Lapland so this walk is only available between mid-June and mid-September. If you would like to experience the midnight sun, visit between mid June and mid July. And if you would like the chance to see the northern lights then visit from the end of August onwards. In June the birdlife is at its best, and it is light around the clock. In July the flowers are out and it is at its warmest but bear in mind that the mosquitoes are at their worst at this time of year. During August, the evenings begin to get dark. September is when you have the best chance to see wonderful colours in the forest and big game wildlife like Elk but the birdlife is more scant. So there are different advantages to each month!

What happens with my bags? 

Baggage transfers are not available due to the remote location of the mountain cabins. You can send things not needed for your hike by bus to Nikkaluokta. Arrangements for this can be made at Abisko Mountain Station. (payable locally).

Fantastic exprerience. Loved it.


We loved this trip. It was just the right amount of challenge but without being too much for us. We met some amazing people on the way and the scenery was beautiful. You need to be prepared for all weather conditions as most days it rained, the sun shone and temperatures ranged from 18 degrees to 2 degrees. take as little as you can - pack light. You don't need a sleeping bag as guys have bedding - most people just bring a silk sheet and use their douvets. You can wash at most huts and drying rooms are available. If you want to climb to the peak and have a real challenge book another night at the last place. The route is clearly marked but be careful as you leave the second to last hut - this is where you leave the Kungsland and so no longer have the red marks. We met a few people who went wrong here.

C & M



Spectacular Trip


We were looking for an adventurous way to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary when we came across this. This was perfect, the right mix of world travel, adventure, being outdoors. It satisfied my husband who is an avid backpacker and hiker while not overwhelming our 15 year old son or myself. The trail was well marked and the scenery was awe inspiring. We were lucky enough to see a group of Sami herding their reindeer. The only downside was a heart stopping moment at the very beginning when the mountain station couldn't find our reservations. Once we figured out the reservations were listed under "Kungsleden Self Guided" and not our own names the rest of the trip went smoothly.


Indiana, USA


Kungsleden experience


This was well organised by Macs Adventure. All we had to do was turn up on time at the right starting point and everything else slotted into place. It was a self guided walk and quite strenuous but very enjoyable. We carried all our own gear and food which we have done before and it really makes you think about what you actually need and what you can do without! Our second trip with Macs - we have another booked next month, so can obviously recommend the company. The Kungsleden trail had basic huts but these were clean and comfortable. No modern distractions (ie mobiles, electricity etc). No water on tap but plenty in the streams of course! A great 'get away from it all' adventure!

KB and DW



Great trip!


My husband and I have hiked many places around the world, including places like Patagonia, Mont Blanc, New Zealand and the Sierras - so when we saw this trip to backpack in Sweden above the Arctic Circle, we were excited. The trip did not disappoint. We choose early fall because I had read on blogs and on Macs site that the mosquitos and the crowds would be gone. Well, we had mosquitos almost every day. They were probably less than in July, but definitely still needed the DEET. Also, the huts were full every night. Since you are guaranteed a spot, we never really worried. But one night we were on mattresses on the floor in the shared kitchen area. Apparently per the locals, the Kungsleden has become very popular in the fall, so just expect people. However, even with the full huts, the hike still has a very isolated and remote feeling. You encounter very few people during the day. It was much more beautiful than we were expecting, with fresh snow capped mountains, water every where and spectacular views of glacial valleys. We passed through reindeer herds and were pleased to still see many wildflowers. The trail is very rocky and wet, so we were happy we had our walking sticks. The distances were very manageable and we took our time during the day. Elevation changes very small. In the 7 days on the trail we had rain, wind and sun. The temperatures were cool, with water in the buckets being frozen over night. Our one clear night we did see the Northern Lights, which was amazing! The huts were crowded, but nicer than expected. Most of the beds were comfortable with a good pillow and comforter provided. There was a good selection of pots, pans, utensils, etc... to use. The stores had very little for breakfast and we were glad we brought things to eat for breakfast from home. Also, limited trail snack supplies. However, there were dinner items and beer/sodas in all the stores. It was wonderful fun to meet people from around the world. Great trip!

John and Kathy



What an Adventure!


Ours was an early season trip and our experience inevitably differed to the other reviewers. The bus is the best option to get to Abisko from Kiruna. It departs outside the airport and is far cheaper than the train. You can't book it and you don't need to. If the bus is full, they just lay on another one. They much prefer you pay by debit card as do the huts as they don't like handling cash. Abisko and the Abiskojakke gorge (200 yards from the hotel) were gorgeous in the sunshine. The accommodation was good (a shared 6 person room) and the food was superb (3 course dinner). There were 4 other Macs Adventurers (Canadian family) on the trip and it took us a while after dinner to find somebody to brief us and give us our accommodation vouchers etc. It was simply because the trail advisor was new and it was early season, but once she finally realised who we were, she got us what we needed. She also told us to expect a lot of snow (there certainly was) as it had fallen heavily in early June, but we wouldn't have to wade across any rivers (ha ha - wrong!) Once on the trail, we were only bothered by mosquitoes on day one and our insect repellent did the job. Predictably, as the altitude and snow increased, the little monsters disappeared. The huts were surprisingly comfortable and cooking equipment etc. are all provided. They all sell food bar the two smallest ones, so you don't really need to take much with you beyond trail food. We had to cross many deep snow patches and the meltwater meant we had to wade across a lot of rivers so I would recommend taking croc type footwear on the trip to prevent waterlogged boots (there are drying rooms in the huts). We had decent weather (it only rained one afternoon and night) and the scenery was awesome. We saw reindeer every day as well as Arctic Skua and ptarmigan. Our fellow hikers were mostly friendly Swedes. We only met one other Brit on the trail but I hope our shared experience means we made a good friend. Do it!

Marky Mark



Our Kungsleden Adventure


Let's start with the one downside of the Kungsleden as we experienced it. There are two train stops in Abisko. Do not make our mistake and get off the train at the Abisko Oster stop. This results in a 2km walk to the other side of Abisko to get to the Abisko Tourist Station, the first night's accommodation. Made for a nervous moment but all was well after all. Overall, the Kungsleden was an experience of a lifetime for us. We have hiked in many different countries/climates/terrain but this was truly unique in our experience. As always, the Macs team was super helpful with arrangements and kept us informed of changes and details as the time for our walk approached. The materials provided were adequate and supplemented with today's web resources we were well prepared. We went at the end of the season, basically the last week the huts were open for the summer season in September. This was perfect for us as we enjoy the solitude and the "summer pests" have packed it in for the season. Sunny days, cloudy days, raining days, windy days, we had it all in the week long hike. Never got uncomfortable and the knowledge that a snug hut awaited at the end of each day made for relaxing days of hiking. The hut wardens (hosts) were all very welcoming and were more than ready to provide advice and guidance for enjoying all things Swedish. You must try the saunas! We found the hut atmosphere very cozy and everyone we met were very friendly and ready to share there experiences. The afternoons/evenings in the huts were a fine complement to the remoteness of the trail. Met some lovely folks from all over the world. From practical point of view, do not worry about having enough food. The hut stores were well stocked even to this last week of the season. Only take your favorite trail snacks as there are dry/canned/dehydrated foods that you can make into your meals. It will save you pack weight if nothing else. Do bring good water proof layers! Have fun, we did.

Sunshine Kids

California, USA


Really glad we did the Kungsleden


This was a great experience. The walking was reasonable and never really steep. There are no precipitous paths. Shared bedrooms at the huts was expected and quickly didn't seem odd. Toilets are really really basic. The views were simply huge and awesome.

Totnes Boy



I'd go again to do the remaining 300km...


We knew nothing about the Kungsleden until a email came from Macs announcing a new trip. 110 km in the Arctic. In the Arctic? Too good to miss, but once we'd booked it we thought we were mad: our normal activity is gentle strolling in the Cotswolds. But we were committed and didn't regret it: it was simply 5*, a good combination of moderately strenuous walking, simple accommodation (no need to dress for dinner) and extraordinary scenery. Everything worked - even the weather. Despite misgivings that we hadn't received much documentation, the STF Abisko mountain centre was ready for us; a cheerful young guide gave us our map, vouchers for the huts and useful advice such as (correctly) that the rivers were low and we wouldn't have to do any "technical wading" (above the knees, apparently) and (incorrectly) that it had been too cold for mosquitoes to be a problem. The rest was up to us. The huts were clean, cosy and quiet; sawing and splitting logs, lighting the stoves and cooking by candle light only added to the fun. As it was the end of the season, there wasn't much choice in the shops in the huts, so the only decisions were as to which combination of meatballs, instant mash and instant pasta to have that night -- much less stressful than choosing a restaurant. The saunas every other day were welcome, necessary and very very hot. Even a 20 minute massage was available at the Singi hut at the bargain price of 15O SEK (I didn't). The dormitories in the original STF building at Kebenekaise are interestingly quirky; people were shorter when it was built 100 years ago and a six-footer would find the bunks quite a bit on the short side. Five days out of seven were above the tree line. The terrain varied from birch forests (with bouldery tracks), bogs (with boardwalks), through tundra (with boulders) and boulder fields (with more boulders) to alpine at the highest point. There's no shelter except for the occasional large rock and one or two shelter huts. We didn't have to do any technical wading but there was a number of wide, shallow rivers that we had to hop across from rock to rock. The fifteen or so suspension bridges en route weren't as scary as one of us had feared. They were safe enough but very very bouncy. But bouncy or not, there was no choice but to go over, limited to one person at a time on one of them. The vast landscape of lakes and mountains was breathtaking. It felt (and is) remote: there are no easy ways out or short cuts. The view from the Tjaktja pass was to die for (we didn't). Although it was September, spring had only just arrived up there and miniature alpines were flowering between the rocks; the autumn colours elsewhere were magnificient and a photographer's delight. One thing we'd hoped, but not expected, to see was the Northern Lights. However, we weren't disappointed -- they performed spectactulary for us four nights in a row. The 65 mile walk was worth it just for that alone. Disappointingly we didn't see any big animals except a few reindeer, but we didn't really expect to - you have to be very lucky or have local knowledge and be prepared to wait - though we did find a few moose 'nuggets' in the woods. One chap we met showed us a video of an Arctic fox that had visited his campsite. There were only a few other people around, either staying in the huts or camping. We enjoyed talking to them in the huts and saunas but most of the time the landscape was empty except for us. Curiously, the people we did meet were all in their twenties or late sixties (and fit!); we were closer to the latter age bracket. The trip was graded as 'moderate' (3^) which is about right, not because of the ascents and descents (the most up is 1000 feet) but because the terrain is rough going (boulders - even the guide book complains about them!) and there are a lot of streams to cross, some with, some without plank bridges. Transport connections more or less forced us to spend a night in Kiruna on the way home. There's not a lot there except for the world's largest iron mine (they do tours in summer) into which the town is sinking, and the very unusual church which is well worth a visit before heading for the airport. All that said, it was a great trip and more than surpassed our expectations. It might not have been so earlier in the year when the rivers would be higher and there would be many more people and mosquitoes, or in bad weather (but where is?). But we were lucky and really enjoyed it. The only problem now is how to beat it next year! One of us would like to do the remaining 300km or so of the Kungsleden one day and/or do it again on skis in winter.




The Kungsleden

4.8 8


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