Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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The Kungsleden Self Guided Walking Holiday
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Highlights

  • 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: 14km, 145m ascent, 40m descent


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: 21km, 430m ascent, 150m descent


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: 14km, 375m ascent, 160m descent


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: 13km, 155m ascent, 345m 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:12km, 105m ascent, 240m 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: 15km, 210m ascent, 250m 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 (payable locally) 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: 16km (if not opting for boat add 7km), 90m ascent, 296m 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.


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!

Availability

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.


We can unfortunately no longer take bookings for 2019 as the huts are full


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 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. 


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

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.


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.


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 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 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.


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
  • 24-7 telephone support from our local partners and our UK office

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Abisko and from Nikkaluokta
  • Boat on Lake Ladtjojaure
  • 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 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).


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