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Discover Dog Sledding in Lapland

Photo: Kathi Otreba

Discover Dog Sledding in Lapland (Sweden)

A shorter husky holiday in Lapland for both families and adults

  • Guided
  • Medium
  • From £711/adult, £356/child
  • Nov-Apr, 4 days/3 nights
  • Adults, Families (min age 16), Groups, Solo

Planning ahead? Book now for winter 2016-17

Bookings are now open for Discover Dog Sledding in Lapland for the 2016-17 winter season.

  • Itinerary
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  • Need to Know
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  • Description
  • Arrival
  • Following Days
  • Departure

Dog sledding is a wonderful winter holiday experience for adults and children alike. Discover Dog Sledding in Lapland is an enjoyable and flexible husky sledding tour suitable for a very wide range of participants, whether you are a solo adult traveller, couple, group of friends or family with children.

Discover Dog Sledding in Lapland is based in the far north of Sweden, 200km inside the Arctic Circle, and offers a real taste of the wilderness and of the excitement of an extended dog sledding tour - with the added bonus of good chances to see a display of the spectacular Northern Lights during your tour.

You will be dog sledding through a magical winter landscape of snow-clad forests and frozen lakes. Accommodation each evening is in simple but comfortable cabins, and you will be able to relax with a traditional Swedish sauna on some evenings - if you dare, you may even brave a roll in the snow afterwards!

The cabins are warm and cosy and offer simple, traditional accommodation - you will be eating dinner by candlelight and fetching water from holes cut into the lake ice! Your guide will give you full instruction in handling your sled and caring for your husky team, and you should find that your mushing skills improve quickly.

Adults will enjoy the challenge and adventure of driving their own dogsled with their own team of 3-4 Siberian Huskies. Depending on age, size and strength, children will either drive their own sled shared one per two persons or travel on a parent's sled. Adults who are unable or do not wish to drive their own sled may also choose to share a sled or travel with the guide.

Winter in Lapland arrives early and stays late. The season for Discover Dog Sledding in Lapland extends from mid-November to late April, with tours offered weekly Sunday-Wednesday and Thursday-Sunday, including Christmas and New Year. With snow cover for more than five months of the year, there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy the beauty of a Lapland winter in the company of your team of Siberian Huskies. Dog sledding is a captivating and seductive adventure - after catching the husky sledding bug on a Discover Dog Sledding tour you may well be back for an extended trip next year!

The kennels are located just 15 minutes from the world-famous Ice Hotel, making it a convenient option to visit the Ice Hotel on your arrival or departure day if you wish. Transfer from the Ice Hotel on arrival day or to the Ice Hotel on departure day can be offered as an alternative to transfers from/to Kiruna.

If you would like additional nights in the area and/or extra activities on your arrival or departure days, our nearby Wilderness Cabin at the Reindeer Lodge and/or any of its optional winter activities (reindeer sledding, snowmobiling, Northern Lights) makes an ideal combination.

Day 1

Arrival at Kiruna airport or Kiruna station. Arrival time is flexible - participants will arrive at various times throughout the day depending on travel plans. Kiruna lies in the far north of Sweden in Swedish Lapland, 150km inside the Arctic Circle and an excellent area for the Northern Lights. Transfer to your accommodation in cabin at base camp. Dinner in the evening and a chance to relax after your journey for the experience ahead. Over the coming days of sledding you will be driving your own dogsled, covering between 20km and 40km per day depending on terrain and trail conditions.

During the tour you will have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Swedish sauna - the ideal way to relax after a day on the trail!

There are no specific activities for this day, but cross-country ski equipment and snowshoes are available to borrow free of charge from your local host for self-guided activities in the surrounding forest. Please ask your local hosts on arrival if you would like to borrow equipment for activities on this day.

Day 2

Your first meeting with the dogs and guide and outfitting with winter clothing for the tour. The dogs used are Siberian Huskies, ideally suited to dog sledding in this Arctic environment. You will meet your guide and be given full instruction in how to harness your dogs and handle the sled. Each participant will drive their own dogsled with team of 3-4 dogs. The dogs are very friendly and affectionate, and you will soon find you form a close bond with your team.

Depending on the exact route followed, which will depend on factors such as weather, snow and trail conditions, the landscape varies greatly. Sometimes your dogsled team will be drawing you over a frozen river, at others through dense forests, over hills or across frozen lakes. Along the way you will stop at a suitable spot for outdoor lunch. At the end of your first day's dog sledding through the Lapland forest wilderness, you will reach your cabin accommodation for the night. Everyone participates in the care of the dogs, preparing them for the night and assisting with feeding, etc, before retiring for the evening, and with general tasks around camp such as chopping wood, fetching water, etc.

Day 3

The day begins by taking care of the dogs followed by breakfast. It is then time to load the sleds and set off once more for a day's mushing through the silence and majesty of the Lapland winter. Accommodation in the evening at cabin and a chance to reflect on your experience - you will have become much more confident in handling your sled and made some new four-footed friends, and should be justly proud of your mushing skills by the end of your tour!

You will normally sled to a new cabin for this day. In some cases, depending on factors such as weather and snow conditions, you may return to the same cabin as for the previous night, giving the chance to run with lighter sleds during the day.

Day 4

You will make an early start with a short dogsled back to the kennels, arriving around 09.00. Here you will take care of the sleds and equipment, say goodbye to your dogs and return your winter clothing. It is also possible to take a shower at the kennel if you wish - please ask the local staff. You will then be transferred to Kiruna airport or train station for departure. Depending on timing of onward travel, there may be time to visit the world-famous Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi (see under "Transfers" below) or to spend some time in Kiruna.

(Please note that the above is a preliminary itinerary and may vary due to factors such as weather conditions, access to trails and seasonal changes and local reindeer herding activities. In the event of very bad weather, a reserve day itinerary is also possible including sight-seeing in Kiruna and a visit to the Ice Hotel.)

  • Dates
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2016/2017 winter season

Twice weekly Thursday-Sunday and Sunday-Wednesday between mid-November and late April*, including Christmas and New Year, with the exception of special dates around Christmas as follows:

  • 23rd-26th December (Monday-Thursday, replaces tour 22nd-25th December)
  • 26th-29th December (Monday-Thursday, replaces tour 25th-28th December)

*The Northern Lights are visible from around September to early/mid April. The deep midwinter period of November-January offers the longest hours of darkness, which is of course required for the Northern Lights to be visible, while the "spring winter" of March and April offers longer hours of daylight and typically milder temperatures. The Northern Lights can be visible at any time during this period, including during March to mid-April. While March and April have shorter nights, on the other hand these months can also have a greater incidence of clear skies.

Groups of minimum 5-6 can also book private tours on other dates. Max. group size for standard tours is 6 persons, but for private tours larger groups can be accommodated. Please contact us to discuss your requirements. Private tours can also be extended with additional days.

Prices are in British Pounds. If you wish, you are also welcome to make your payment by bank transfer in Euros or Swedish Kronor. If this would be of interest, please let us know and we will be happy to provide prices.

  • £711/adult, £356/child under 16

Dog sledding for families

This experience is suitable for both adults and families. As standard, adult participants drive their own sled with 3-4 Siberian Huskies. However, participants who are unable or do not wish to drive their own sled for all or part of the tour may opt to share a sled or travel on guide's sled.

In general, children aged 12-15 will normally share a sled one per two persons (for example with parent or older sibling) and, depending on factors such as size and strength, will normally be able to take turns driving at times. Younger children will travel on a parent's sleds or on guide's sled depending on conditions and the ratio of parents/children in the group. Children aged 7-12 are often able to try driving for certain parts of the route where the terrain is level and easy-going and the guide is able to easily supervise the group. While age is a helpful guideline, a number of other factors such as physical strength and weather/trail conditions will also influence the suitability for children to drive a sled. Safety is of the highest priority and possibilities for children to drive will be at your guide's discretion.

Accommodation

Accommodation in cabin at base camp and simple cabins along the route. You will have access to sauna on some nights.

Accommodation for the arrival night is normally in simple one-room cabins at the kennels, which have four bunk beds and electricity/electric radiator. There is a communal hut for meals/socialising. Dry outside toilets.

Cabins at kennel for dog sledding

Example cabin accommodation at the kennels normally used for arrival night

The cabins along the route are located in remote areas, where standard of accommodation is simple (no running water or electricity) but cosy and comfortable. The cabins are heated by wood-burning stoves and lit by candles, and water is drawn from nearby rivers and lakes. Everyone assists with camp duties such as chopping wood, fetching water and washing/tidying up.

Sleeping accommodation on all nights during the tour is shared. Cabins along the route will typically have one or two sleeping rooms, each with bunk beds. There are a number of cabins which may be used during a tour - which are used for a particular tour will depend on factors such as weather conditions, movement of reindeer herds and other activities in the area.

Wilderness cabins for dog sledding

Example of typical cabin accommodation used during the tour

Meals

All meals from lunch on arrival day to breakfast on departure day (breakfast, lunch, dinner + coffee/snacks, etc). Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements.

Equipment and Clothing

  • All necessary equipment during dog sledding tour including sleds with own dogsled team. As standard, each adult participant drives their own sled with 3-4 Siberian Huskies. However, children or adults who are unable or do not wish to drive their own sled for all or part of the tour may opt to share a sled or travel on guide's sled.
  • Warm winter clothing for all activities: snowscooter overalls, winter boots, hat, gloves, inner and outer socks.
  • Sleeping bag, sleeping sheet and pillow case.
  • Towel.
  • Thermos for hot water (there is no need to bring a separate water bottle).
  • Bag for personal items and clothing.

(additional items such as long-johns may be available on request - please ask if there is a particular item of clothing or equipment you require)

Winter clothing for dog sledding in Lapland

Guide

  • Instruction in harnessing and sled handling.
  • Services of local guide.

Transfers

  • Return transfer between Kiruna airport or Kiruna station and the cabins. For guests, wishing to visit the Ice Hotel (entry charge payable locally) on arrival or departure day, pick-up from the Ice Hotel on arrival day or drop-off on departure can be offered as an alternative (guests will then travel independently between Kiruna and the Ice Hotel).

Alcoholic drinks.

"Keep Warm" winter clothing package including base layer, micro-fleece, balaclava and woollen socks: £86/person (note that this clothing is purchased, not hired, and is yours to keep). NB: Please provide height, weight and shoe size information when booking this option. Details »

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Health requirements/experience

You should have a normal level of fitness and enjoy outdoor life in winter conditions. You should also be comfortable living in close proximity with others. This experience is suitable for both adults and families. There is no minimum age, but the tour will typically be suitable for children aged 6+.

No previous dog sledding experience is required. Dog sledding can be physically demanding and to drive your own sled you must be able to brake the sled when going downhill and also assist the dogs during uphill sections by stepping off and running behind the sled for short distances (note, however, that this tour runs in a landscape of frozen lakes, rivers and forest so will be less demanding than sledding in mountain terrain). Tasks around the cabins (fetching water, chopping wood, etc) can also be physically demanding.

Equipment/clothes needed

A detailed recommended packing list will be sent with your booking confirmation.

NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.

Minimum number

A total of minimum 2 persons is required for scheduled tours to run. You are of course welcome to book as a solo traveller.

Detailed information on travel options to this experience will be provided in response to your enquiry. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.

Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.

By Air

Fly to Stockholm then onward to Kiruna by night train or domestic flight connection. Transfer from Kiruna airport or train station is included.

Without Flying

Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train connections to Kiruna.

Map of Sweden »

Map of Sweden

Maximum group size 6 persons.

There may also be other persons staying at the overnight accommodation used during the tour.

This experience is also available as a private experience for groups. For private tours, larger groups can be accommodated. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

This provider has a detailed environmental policy and has received Swedish Tour Quality certification.

The sleds are made in a local workshop just 100m from the kennels, while many of the dogs' harnesses are sewn by a local family.

Lapland

Lapland (or Lappland in Swedish) is the northernmost province of Sweden, occupying an area of 109,000 square kilometres, around 25% of Sweden's total land area, yet with just 100,000 inhabitants. This is just over 1% of Sweden's total population, currently around 9 million.

Lapland borders Jämtland to the south, Norway to the west and Finland to the north-east. This huge area contains 8 of Sweden's National Parks: Abisko, Björnlandet, Muddus, Padjelanta, Sarek, Stora Sjöfallet and Vadvetjåkka,

Will I see the Northern Lights?

This experience is located in the far north of Sweden, one of the world's best locations for seeing the Northern Lights, and offers good chances to see a display during your tour. Wonderful displays are regularly seen on the tours. However, it is important to bear in mind that the Aurora is a natural phenomenon and sightings can never be guaranteed in any location - it is not possible to search for a display. The skies may be cloudy, there may be no activity, or you may be fast asleep after a day of adventure on the trail!

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