I was lucky enough to be travelling to Swedish Lapland to embark on an 8-day journey through Europe’s last great wilderness. Trekking through remote landscapes above the vast Arctic Circle and staying in simple, traditional mountain huts in spectacular settings. The Kungsleden was listed as ‘one of the World’s Best Hikes’ and I don’t struggle to understand why!
The real unique aspect of this trail is the remoteness, being disconnected from the world… from stress, media and traffic. The air is fresh, the only noise you’ll hear is the sound of the wind blowing through the valley and the fast-flowing streams. Above all, you get to know your travel companions on a deeper level. You experience a sense of freedom, which for me, made this journey so incredible.
This self-guided walking holiday is graded moderate overall, with a moderate to strenuous second day (Abiskojaure to Alesjaure). Depending on the weight of your rucksack, the weather conditions, and your personal fitness, this trail can be experienced as more or less challenging.
My personal highlights of this trek are the ever-changing mountain, spotting reindeer, sleeping in unique settings and last but not least, being fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights!
For this trip, the statement ‘less is more’ couldn’t be truer. Amongst my most used items were a head torch, baby wipes and a moisturizer with SPF. Some of the items I should have considered leaving at home were my sleeping bag (sheets are sufficient), an extra towel, and mosquito repellent (by September the mosquitos typically decrease in number). Try to pack as light as possible as you’ll be needing some space for food.
The trail can be walked between July and September. Peak season is July and the start of August. In July the flowers are very pretty, and temperatures can be warm. During August the evenings begin to dark, rivers and streams are at a lower level and by the end of the month, the mosquitos have reduced in number. Go in September and you’ll experience the autumn colours and landscapes with snowy mountaintops.
Let’s admit it, food is important. During the trek, you rely on dried and canned food as fresh food is sparse. I was pleasantly surprised, we had some really tasty meals! My personal favourite was a garlicky ‘mountain risotto’ with vegetables, olives and parmesan cheese. Other examples are porridge/cooked muesli for breakfast, noodles, powdered soups, rye bread, instant mashed potato, rice and pasta dishes.
– Pack both sunglasses, and a hat and gloves as the weather in the mountains can change rapidly.
– Take walking poles for stability and for stream crossings.
– Test your thermos at home and make sure it keeps water hot for a long time. This makes your lunchtime soup taste just that bit nicer!
– You don’t need a large sized water bottle, 1l will be plenty as you pass plenty of streams where you can fill up a cup and drink fresh water as you go.
I would recommend this amazing wilderness hike to anyone, it really is a way to get back in touch with the natural world and its extreme beauty. For more information you can contact one of our destination specialists who will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have about the Kungsleden.