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Photo: P. Karlsson

Dog Sledding and Northern Lights in Vindelfjällen (Sweden)

A husky adventure into Europe's largest Nature Reserve

  • Guided
  • Medium
  • From £1219/person
  • Nov-Apr, 5 or 6 days
  • Adults (min age 15), Groups, Solo
  • Itinerary
  • Dates & Prices
  • Good to Know
  • Gallery & Comments
  • Description
  • Arrival
  • Following Days
  • Departure

In the western part of Lapland in the north of Sweden lies Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve, Europe's largest protected area and a starkly beautiful landscape of mountain plains and ancient forest. The Vindelfjällen region is little visited, especially in winter, but offers a spectacular environment for dog sledding and is ideal for exploring by sled.

Dog Sledding and Northern Lights in Vindelfjällen takes you into Kirjesålandet Nature Reserve, part of the larger Vindelfjällen region, with overnights in simple wilderness cabins along the route. From the husky kennels, you will head out into the Lapland wilderness for some unforgettable days' sledding in charge of your own team of Alaskan Huskies with wilderness sauna available during the tour - the perfect way to round off a day on the trail!

Doglsed tours run between November and April and are of moderate level of challenge, suitable for adults and older children (min. age 15) with a general good level of fitness and love of the outdoors.

The tours are 5 days/4 nights (arrival + departure + 3 days' sledding). Tours of 6 days/5 nights may be available during February, please contact us for more details.

As with any winter activity in Lapland, for dates up to early April, dog sledding in this region also gives you very good chances to see the spectacular Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. You will be travelling in areas far away from light pollution and habitation and may have the feeling that the lights are shining just for you!

The head guide at the kennels is a European Champion and for sled racing and two-time winner of Norway's most prestigious dogsled races. Group size is very small, max. just 4 persons plus guide, ensuring a very personal experience deep in the Swedish wilderness.

Dog Sledding and Northern Lights in Vindelfjällen is ideal for those who love remote areas and will enjoy the opportunity to discover the vast mountain plains and wide horizons of western Lapland.

Northern Lights

Photo: Lars Hoffmann

Arrival

Arrival at Vilhelmina airport in the morning (transfer meets flight from Stockholm arriving around 10.35, times may vary depending on dates) or at Slussfors bus stop (arrive any time) for transfer to cabin near the husky camp (approx. 1 hour 45 mins from Vilhelmina airport or 5 mins from Slussfors). Here you will have lunch together with your guide and discuss the dogsled tour ahead. In the afternoon, you will be given your winter clothing and equipment before meeting your team huskies and given instructions in how to handle your sled and make some preparations for the following day. Dinner will be served and you can then have a sauna and relax in the cabin for the evening.

Following Days

As with any outdoor experience, itinerary may of course be subject to change depending on factors such as weather conditions.

The information below describes the standard 5-day tour. 6-day tour itineraries include an extra day's sledding, which may be day tour from one of the overnight cabins returning to the same location or possibly moving to new overnight location.

Day 2:

After a hearty breakfast, you will harness your team to begin your tour. Your first day of sledding takes you approx. 30km towards your first wilderness cabin, located next to the river. The river has open water throughout the year. You will be sledding in Kirjesålandet Nature Reserve, part of the 5500sq.km Vindelfjällen (Vindel Mountains) reserve, Europe's largest protected area. You take care of your team before preparing a traditional Swedish evening meal together, which will typically be moose and potatoes fried on a traditional outdoor cooking pan, a "muurikka".

Day 3:

After breakfast and taking care of the dogs, you load the sleds and head into a beautiful mountain landscape, though silent pine forests shaped by the arctic environment. The tranquility and solitude of this area is inspiring. This section of Swedish Lapland is very little visited and you may feel as if you are the only persons on the planet! The afternoon brings you to the next wilderness cabin for the night, where you can enjoy a wilderness sauna - a very special experience and the ideal way to end a day's sledding!

Day 4:

You should find that you are confident musher by this time and know the different personalities of your dogs well. Your final day of sledding sees you sledding through ancient spruce forest on your way back to the husky camp, where you unharness your sleds and team before a final dinner together and chance to reflect on your adventure. 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! Accommodation at the guest house.

Departure

Breakfast and departure.

For guests departing by flight, departure transfer leaves the kennels at 09.00 and meets flight from Vilhelmina to Stockholm departing around 16.30 (times may vary depending on dates). You will arrive in Vilhelmina mid-morning and have some hours to spend there during the day - suggestions for things to do and assistance with booking can be provided locally. There are a number of possible activities/places to visit, including Sami culture and handicrafts, snowmobile tour or even ice driving! Your luggage will be stored securely at the airport during the day. A pre-booked taxi (included) will take you to the airport in the afternoon for your flight. It is recommended to overnight in Stockholm after your tour before onward travel.

Guests departing by bus from Slussfors may depart at any time.

(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.)

  • Dates
  • Prices
  • Included
  • Not Included

Dates 2017/18

Weekly or twice weekly between mid-November and late April:

  • 5-Day tours: 23.11-27.11.17, 27.11-01.12.17, 01.12-05.12.17, 06.12-10.12.17, 10.12-14.12.17, 14.12-18.12.17, 18.12-22.12.17, 22.12-26.12.2017 (Christmas tour), 29.12.17-02.01.18 (New Year tour), 03.01-07.01.2018, 04.01-08.01.18, 08.01-12.01.18, 10.01-14.01.18, 12.01-16.01.18, 21.01-25.01.18, 25.01-29.01.18, 29.01-02.02.18, 02.02-06.02.18, 03.02-07.02.18, 07.02-11.02.18, 11.02-15.02.18, 15.02-19.02.18, 19.02-23.02.18 23.02-27.02.18, 28.02-04.03.18, 02.03-06.03.2018, 04.03-08.03-18, 08.03-12.03.18, 12.03-16.03.18, 14.03-18.03.2018, 16.03-20.03.18, 21.03-25.03.18, 23.03-27.03.18, 25.03-29.03.18, 29.03-02.04.18, 04.04-08.04.18 08.04-12.04.18, 12.04-16.04.18 and 18.04-22.04.18*
  • 6-Day tours: 16.02-21.02.18, 25.02-02.03.18.

*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.

Private tours are also possible on other dates by arrangement for groups of 2-4 persons. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Prices 2017/18

Prices are in British Pounds and Euros. If you wish, you are also welcome to make your payment in Swedish Kronor (SEK) - please contact us for details.

Standard Prices  
5-day tours/person (early/late season tour dates)GBP 1,219EUR 1,315
5-day tours/person (all other dates)GBP 1,355EUR 1,461
6-day tours/personGBP 1,693EUR 1,826

Early/late season tour dates are tours 10.12-14.12.17 and earlier and tours 12.04-16.04.18 and later.

Optional Extras (see description below)  
Extra night in cabin near kennels before or after tour/personGBP 68EUR 74
Transfer (only required when staying extra night(s), pay locally)SEK 1,000
  • Extra night in cabin near kennels before or after tour: Includes accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner. You are welcome to add extra night(s) in cabin before and/or after your tour (note that no activities are included for these extra days). The area surrounding the cabin is scenic for walking and the cabin lies next to a lake. Moose are commonly seen eating by the lakeside when they come down from the mountains in winter. Please do not walk outside marked areas on the ice, as the ice can be weak. Snowshoes are available to borrow free of charge from your hosts, though note that these cannot be used on the illuminated track in the area as this damages the trail. Guests staying extra nights are also welcome to visit the kennels and dogs (the cabin lies approx. 1.5km from the kennels, around 15-20 mins on foot). There is a small local store in the village for provisions.
  • Transfer (if required) when staying extra night(s): Transfer charge of 1000 SEK/one-way (about £100) for up to 4 persons payable locally on arrival. NB: Transfer to/from Vilhelmina airport is included in connection with the start/end of your tour. For guests staying additional nights and arriving/departing by air, special transfer arrangements must be made. No extra charge applies for guests arriving/departing by bus.

Included

Accommodation:

Two nights' accommodation in comfortable cabin near the husky kennels, two nights' accommodation in wilderness cabins along the route. Accommodation during the tour is simple but cosy and comfortable, with no electricity or running water in the wilderness cabins. Everyone assists with tasks such as fetching water, chopping wood, preparing meals, etc.

Accommodation at the husky camp is in 2-person twin rooms. Sleeping accommodation on nights along the route is shared. Cabins have bunk beds/sleeping lofts.

Guests have access to sauna and shower for nights at the guest house and sauna is also available at one of the wilderness cabins normally used during the tour.

Guest cabin

Guest cabin for start/end of tours and optional extra nights

Accommodation

Example wilderness cabins 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. Each participant drives their own sled with 4-5 Alaskan Huskies.
  • Warm winter clothing for all activities: snowscooter overalls, winter boots (normally Macboots) and gloves (normally Hestra Army Leather Expedition Mittens). Warm hat is available to borrow locally if required.
  • Working gloves for working with the dogs.
  • Warm winter sleeping bag with liner.
  • Headtorch.
  • Thermos.
  • Waterproof, hardwearing holdall for carrying your personal packing on the sled during the tour.
  • Towel is provided for use during nights at guest house. Please bring own pack towel for use during the tour.
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 Vilhelmina airport (at fixed times as per Itinerary information) or Slussfors bus stop and the kennels.
  • Local transfers for activities during the experience.

Not Included

  • Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey. See under "Good to Know > Getting There" for general travel information.
  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Required
  • Getting There
  • Groups
  • Eco Info

Required

Health requirements/experience:

You should have a general good level of fitness and enjoy outdoor life in winter conditions. You should also be comfortable living in close proximity with others. Min. age 15 years.

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. Tasks around the cabins (fetching water, chopping wood, etc) can also be physically demanding.

What makes this "Medium"?

As a 5-day (3 days' sledding), the tour will normally be less demanding than a longer tour in similar terrain. However, as a mountain tour, level of challenge may be higher than for a lowland dogsled tour - you will normally need to assist the sled when going uphill more often, for example.

NB: Perception of difficulty is very subjective. What is hard to one person may be easy for another and vice versa, depending on factors including level of fitness, age and previous experience. Weather conditions/temperatures can also dramatically affect the actual level of challenge encountered.

Equipment/clothes needed:

For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "Dates and Prices > Included".

A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.

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:

This experience has no minimum. Scheduled tours are guaranteed to run from the first booking.

Getting There

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 Vilhelmina by domestic flight or night train + bus connection to Slussfors. Transfer from Vilhelmina airport (approx. 2 hours) or Slussfors bus stop is included.

Without Flying:

Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train + bus connections to Slussfors.

Groups

Maximum group size 4 persons.

Eco Info

Food served during the tour is mostly homemade and with a strong focus on ingredients harvested from the local area. Your local host has a small-scale farm in a remote village community.

This provider has a written environmental policy.

Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve:

Vindelfjällen is one of largest protected areas in Europe. It contains almost all types of regions that can be found in the Swedish mountains, from primeval forests with spruces and pines, to the moors, marshes and the alpine bare mountain regions. The area has many lakes, loved by a wide variety of birds. In the reserve there is extensive reindeer herding. The main river in the reserve is Vindelälven, with many rapids and waterfalls.

Wild, striking rapids rush through Vindelfjällen. The River Vindelälv is a National River, protected from being regulated for hydro-electric power.

Will I see the Northern Lights?

This experience is located in the 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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