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The Kungsleden

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.6 Read 5 reviews
  • 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!
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What To Expect

Swedish Lapland is often referred to as Europe’s last great wilderness and this trek is ideal if you would like to have a real mountain experience but with relatively easy walking. Whilst the ascents are not particularly tough The Kungsleden is more suited to those with previous experience as you will carry provisions for a maximum of 2 days at a time.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Hut to Hut Walking | A point to point walking trip, staying in a new location each night, usually with remote mountain huts or refuges included

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Personal Growth, Historical Journeys, National Parks & Trails

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Grade & Terrain

This walk is graded as moderate. The longest day is 21km and the highest ascent is 430m. 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.

Remoteness

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. 

Navigation

The Kungsleden is part of a national trail system and comprises of a well-worn path with painted poles/stones where the trail is difficult to follow.

We will provide you with a comprehensive guidebook and map so you should have no problem finding your way. You will also have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App enabling you to follow the route using your phone’s GPS. Using this combined with the provided map means you should have no problems finding your way.

Accommodation Information

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.

Single Rooms and Solo Walkers

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

Meals

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!

Included
  • 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
  • 1:100,000 Swedish map, guidebook and detailed information pack
  • Access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App
Excluded
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Abisko and from Nikkaluokta
  • Boat on Lake Ladtjojaure (day 8)
  • 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
Extras
  • 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) - 1200 SEK per room

When To Go

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. To experience the 'midnight sun' you should plan to visit between June and the middle of July. For sightings of the famous northern lights, visit from the end of August onwards.

Getting to the Start

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 https://www.sj.se/en/home.html.We 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 http://www.ltnbd.se/ 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 http://www.visitabisko.com/location/how-to-get-here for information and to book tickets.

Getting from the End

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.

Baggage Transfer

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).

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.

Equipment

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.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this trip that you have adequate travel insurance in place, including covering you for the activity, 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.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Abisko Day 2 Abisko to Lake Abiskojaure 9 miles / 14 km Day 3 Lake Abiskojaure to Alesjaure 13 miles / 21 km Day 4 Alesjaure to Tjäktja 9 miles / 14 km Day 5 Tjäktja to Sälka 8 miles / 13 km Day 6 Sälka to Singi 8 miles / 12 km Day 7 Singi to Kebnekaise 10 miles / 15 km Day 8 By Boat over Lake Ladtjojaure/Walk to Nikkaluokta/Onward Travel

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