Published on 12/2/2019. Modified on 09/30/2020
We are already planning our next trip to see Northern Lights in Sweden, traveling specifically to Swedish Lapland. While in summer 2018 we spent a month visiting places in the south and center of Sweden in February 2020 we will be one week – from February 2 to 9 – above the Arctic circle enjoying lovely snowy landscapes, incredible adventures in nature and, if the weather and the sun are kind to us, seeing the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis, or norrsken in Swedish, the most wonderful light show on the planet.
(Update for readers: Make your inexpensive Northern Lights trip with a discount here)
Our Flight to Swedish Lapland
To get to Lapland we will use Norwegian’s comfortable flight from Barcelona to Luleå with free Wi-Fi on board taking us there on the same day with just one stopover in Stockholm and a total journey time of 6 hours 40 minutes. If you are reading this and will travel from another origin check here all flights to Luleå from many destinations in Europe.
The return trip from Luleå to Barcelona can also be done on the same day. With Norwegian it is even possible to return on a single day from Kiruna to Barcelona via Stockholm. However, we want to take a tour with departure and arrival in Luleå to explore the region.
Getting Around in Swedish Lapland
To get around in Swedish Lapland we have rented a car with Auto Europe, a company with over 60 years experience in car rentals showing the best offers among the existing rental companies. Will we get a Volvo like we did in the previous trip? Let’s hope because I really enjoy driving Volvo while in Sweden! We will pick up and return the car in Kallax, Luleå’s airport, which is super practical considering that these airports are very small so you don’t need to rush for the flight and can make the most of your stay without fear of losing your plane back.
Our Winter Route in Swedish Lapland
On the trip in addition to Luleå we will visit historic cities and towns such as the nearby Unesco-awarded Gammelstad Kyrkby and then continue on the E-10 road toward Överkalix, Jukkasjärvi, the famous mining city of Kiruna, and Abisko. We may even reach Riksgränsen on the Norwegian border. On our way back we will visit Gällivare, Jokkmokk, Vuollerim and Harads among others.
On our way from Luleå to Kiruna we will travel along the E-10 and for the return trip will be using the E-45 and the national road 97.
Sami Culture in Swedish Lapland
There is an special reason for choosing these dates for our trip. We wanted to be in Jokkmokk during the first week of February when two important events happen. February 6 is the day of the Sami people and in that week the famous 400-year-old Jokkmokk’s Winter Market takes place. In fact, the 2020 market is number 415 and, as always, it has a program full of activities with exhibitions, visits to the Sápmi Ájtte museum, reindeer caravans and much more. Let’s see how many we will have time to enjoy!
Winter Activities in Swedish Lapland
During this “Aurora-hunting” trip in Swedish Lapland we will also have the opportunity to participate in adventurous activities in nature such as: dog sledding, snowmobile trips, hiking in search of Northern Lights and many more.
We have already booked some winter experiences right after our arrival in Luleå. The people in Luleå Travel will take us on a journey to look for moose in the forests and walk with snowshoes among many other activities. We will also meet them on the way back just the day before flying home and they will take us in a guided visit to Gammelstad Kyrkyby, a Unesco heritage town-church, and some dog sledding.
In Jukkasjärvi we will visit the iconic ICEHOTEL with its package including visit and meal. The visit takes you on a tour of the interior and the ice suites that architects and artists build every year out of the ice harvested from Torne River.
In Kiruna, in addition to seeing the city and its moving (they are moving the city center to another location), we will focus on trying to see Northern Lights because this is a wonderful location for doing so. We have planned an snowmobile ride with Kiruna Guidetur.
Other activities that we will do in Kiruna are dog sledding with a professional musher booked with 90degreesnorth AB, a low-cost local travel agency specializing in tailored trips to the north. With them we will also take a 38-km-long snowmobile tour searching for Northern Lights and try to visit the Abisko National Park and the Aurora Sky Station, a unique location to see this natural phenomenon. Another thing I’d love to do is taking pictures of the iconic mountain pass Lapporten, the gateway to Lapland.
Accommodation in Swedish Lapland
On this trip, we will be visiting or staying at iconic hotels in the area such as the brand new Arctic Bath in Harads, the hotel-spa Clarion Sense in Luleå, the Treehotel, the ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi or a camp with the typical Swedish cottages called Aurora Camp Kurravaara about 12 km from Kiruna.
Tips for Preparing This Trip
Surely when preparing a winter trip to see Northern Lights like this there may be a lot of doubts in your mind.
- Which clothes do I need to wear not to freeze in Lapland?
- What is it like to drive around Sweden in winter with so much snow?
- What do I need to take into account to properly see Northern Lights?
- How do I photograph Northern Lights in all their splendor?
- Do I need some special equipment?
Those are the questions we want to answer with this trip. Our goal is that you realize that it is not impossible to do such a trip on your own and with the help of local companies and that you can also travel to Sweden and make your dream come true of seeing Northern Lights at least once in your life and enjoying experiences and activities in the Arctic.
We’ll tell you more about the whole Northern Light experience after our trip. Until then you can follow us on Instagram to check how it goes for us.