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Northern Lights Dog Sledding in Lapland

Photo: Sofia Carter Nature Travels

Northern Lights Dog Sledding in Lapland (Sweden)

An extended dog sledding expedition inside the Arctic Circle with your own team of Siberian Huskies

  • Guided
  • Medium
  • From £1436/person
  • Dec-Apr, 8 days/7 nights
  • Adults, Groups, Solo

Planning ahead? Book now for winter 2016-17!

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

  • Itinerary
  • Dates & Prices
  • Need to Know
  • Gallery & Comments
  • Description
  • Arrival
  • Following Days
  • Departure

Swedish Lapland is a unique wilderness region, occupying 25% of Sweden's land area but with just 1% of its inhabitants. Northern Lights Dog Sledding in Lapland is a challenging but accessible dog sledding tour taking you through silent ancient forests, across frozen lakes and river beds, in command of your own team of Siberian Huskies.

This experience is a 8-day dog sledding tour (arrival + departure + 6 days' sledding) in the wilds of Swedish Lapland, travelling between different cabin overnight locations and typically sledding between 25km and 50km per day. Tours will normally combine point-to-point itinerary moving to new overnight cabins with one or two day sledding tours, giving the chance to run with faster, lighter sleds. Along the route you will stay in simple but comfortable wilderness cabins, some with sauna facilities to soothe your muscles after a long day's mushing on the trail.

Swedish Lapland is also an ideal location to see the Northern Lights. The long, dark Arctic night provides good chances to see this spectacular natural phenomenon during your tour. Northern Lights Dog Sledding in Lapland runs between December and mid-April and the area in which the tour takes places offers very good conditions for viewing the Northern Lights far away from light pollution. Each part of the winter season offers its own special atmosphere - the period between December and February has the longest hours of darkness, a very special "midwinter" atmosphere with a lovely quality to the light, and generally lower temperatures, while the "spring winter" of March and April has longer daylight hours, a spring feeling in the air and typically milder temperatures. The Northern Lights can be seen until around early April.

The excitement and adventure of working closely together with your dogsled team of Siberian Huskies as you journey through the Lapland winter landscape makes Northern Lights Dog Sledding in Lapland an ideal tour both for novice mushers and those who have already discovered the joys of dog sledding. The tour is suitable for adults with general good health and level of fitness and all specialist winter clothing is supplied as standard.

Your arrival or departure days are a convenient opportunity to plan a visit to the world-famous Ice Hotel (entrance charge payable locally), located just 15 minutes from the kennels. 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.

The Lapland wilderness is waiting and the dogs are eager to be off!

Northern Lights in Lapland

Lapland is an excellent location to see the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights are spectacular curtains of colour in the night sky caused by the interaction of solar particles with the Earth's atmosphere. Dark winter nights with clear skies and a New Moon offer the best conditions for the most spectacular Northern Lights displays, though many Aurora watchers also feel that the seeing the Northern Lights together with a Full Moon is a very special sight.

Northern Lights in Lapland

Photo: Jo Lester

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. Transfer to your cabin accommodation for the night and outfitting with winter clothing for the tour. Dinner and a chance to discuss the tour ahead. Arrangements and timings for dinner and issue of equipment this day may vary according to guests' arrival times. There are no specific activities for this arrival day, but snowshoes are available to borrow for self-guided tours in the surrounding forests.

Days 2-6

After breakfast you will meet your dog team and receive basic instruction in how to harness your team and handle the sleds. You will then load the sleds with the items you will need for your extended tour. In addition to personal packing, you will be taking sleeping bags, food (for humans and dogs!) and materials for the sleds and dog teams. After a final check it's time to head off to begin your dogsled tour, following your guide, who will lead the group.

Each participant will drive their own dogsled with own dog team of four Siberian Huskies. The dogs used are Siberian Huskies, ideally suited to dog sledding in this Arctic environment. Along the way you will stop at a suitable spot for lunch. At the cabins, everyone assists with tending to the dogs, chopping wood and fetching water. The day ends with dinner and a chance to reflect on your day on the trail mushing in the Lapland wilderness.

The days during your husky tour begin by taking care of the dogs followed by breakfast - but here the similarity ends, as each day is characterised by the route taken. You will be travelling through the wide expanses of Swedish Lapland, often called "Europe's Last Wilderness", with very good chances to see the Northern Lights during the long polar night, glittering white snow during the day, pure air and a unique silence.

There are a number of possible locations for overnight accommodation along the route - the choice of cabins used and route followed will vary depending on factors such as weather conditions and movement of reindeer herds in the area. The tour will normally feature a combination of dog sledding from cabin to cabin with possibly two consecutive nights at the same cabin to run fast and light with your team without packing for a day. The majority of the cabins are located in remote wilderness areas. 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. Toilet facilities are dry outside toilet houses.

Some of the overnight locations have sauna facilities and you will have the possibility to have sauna on at least one night of your tour. Weather and snow conditions will influence the level of challenge. The trail may be hard-packed and icy, or heavy and soft following freshly-fallen snow. Typical distance covered is between 25km-50km per day. After feeding and harnessing your dogs in the morning and making preparations to leave the cabins, you will typically be on the trail by around 10.30-11.00, reaching your destination sometime in the afternoon.

Day 7

Your final day of dog sledding in the Lapland wilderness. A shorter day's sledding brings you to the kennels in the afternoon, where you will unload the sleds, say farewell to your dogsled team and return your equipment before spending your final night together in cabin accommodation to reflect on the week's husky sledding adventure.

Day 8

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kiruna train station or airport for departure. Transfers are timed according to your onward travel arrangements. If you are departing later in the day, you may wish to take some hours to explore 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. During periods of extreme cold weather, for comfort and safety sledding duration each day can be shortened.

  • Dates
  • Prices
  • Included
  • Not Included
  • Optional Extras

With the exception of Christmas and New Year tours, the majority of tour dates run Tuesday-Tuesday and/or Wednesday-Wednesday

2016/17 winter season

  • 06.12-13.12.16, 07.12-14.12.16, 19.12-26.12.16 (Christmas tour), 20.12-27.12.16 (Christmas tour), 27.12.16-03.01.17 (New Year tour), 03.01-10.01.17, 05.01-12.01.17, 10.01-17.01.17, 11.01-18.01.17, 17.01-24.01.17, 18.01-25.01.17, 24.01-31.01.17, 25.01-01.02.17, 31.01-07.02.17, 01.02-08.02.17, 07.02-14.02.17, 08.02-15.02.17, 14.02-21.02.17, 21.02-28.02.17, 28.02-07.03.17, 07.03-14.03.17, 14.03-21.03.17, 21.03-28.03.17, 28.03-04.04.17, 04.04-11.04.17*, 11.04-18.04.17*

*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 6 can also book private tours on other dates at standard prices. Max. group size for standard tours is 6 persons, but for private tours larger groups can be accommodated.

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.

2016/17 winter season

  • 06.12-13.12.16, 07.12-14.12.16: £1436/person
  • 19.12-26.12.16 (Christmas tour), 20.12-27.12.16 (Christmas tour): £1551/person
  • 27.12.16-03.01.17 (New Year tour): £1575/person
  • 21.02-28.02.17, 28.02-07.03.17: £1477/person
  • All other dates: £1459/person

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 first and last 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 first/last 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 dinner 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. Each participant drives their own sled with four Siberian Huskies.
  • 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

Clothing provided as standard

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 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 »

  • Required
  • Getting There
  • Groups
  • Eco Info

Health requirements/experience

You should have a general good level of fitness and enjoy the outdoors. You should also be comfortable living in close proximity with others. Minimum age 18.

No previous dog sledding experience is required. Dog sledding can be physically demanding. 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 two 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 for scheduled tours.

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.

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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