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Self-guided Hiking on the King's Trail

Photo: ST Bildarkiv

Self-guided Hiking on the King's Trail (Sweden)

Hiking tour along Kungsleden from Abisko to Kebnekaise with accommodation in mountain cabins

  • Self-guided
  • Med-Hard
  • From £534/person
  • Jun-Sep, 8 or 9 days
  • Adults (min age 16), Groups
  • Itinerary
  • Dates & Prices
  • Good to Know
  • Gallery & Comments
  • Description
  • Arrival
  • Following Days
  • Departure

The King's Trail, or "Kungsleden", lies in the far north of Swedish Lapland and is Sweden's best-known hiking route, offering spectacular mountain scenery in a very remote area, yet accessible to a wide range of hikers due to the relatively easy-going terrain and network of mountain cabins along the route.

Self-guided Hiking on the King's Trail takes in the section between Abisko and Sweden's highest mountain, Kebnekaise (2106m), with an 8-day/7-night tour through a changing landscape of forest, valleys, lakes, mountains and huge sweeping views of the surrounding wilderness. As an optional extra, you can choose to extend your hike by one day to make a guided ascent of Mount Kebnekaise itself.

The mountain stations where you begin and end your tour (Abisko and Kebnekaise) are fully equipped, offering showers, sauna and restaurant faciltiies and dinner at these stations is included. Along the route, you will be staying in simple but comfortable mountain cabins, some of which have sauna facilities (included) and the opportunity to purchase provisions for self-catering. With these options to re-supply, it is necessary to carry food only for max. 2 days at a time, and your pack should not weigh more than around 10-12kg.

This self-guided hiking tour is offered from mid-June to end July and from mid-August to third week in September, and is suitable for anyone with general good level of fitness and some previous experience of extended hiking with pack.

NB: This tour is the self-guided variation of our guided Hiking on the King's Trail from Abisko to Kebnekaise experience, which is offered during the main hiking season from late June to early September. As for all our self-guided tours, min. 2 persons are required for safety reasons. For solo travellers, please see the guided version.

Arrival

Arrival at Abisko Tourist Station. Accommodation in 4-person rooms, hostel standard. There will be an information meeting with local guide at 18.00 where you will be updated on latest trail conditions, etc. You will collect your accommodation vouchers, maps and other items necessary for your tour and have an opportunity to ask any questions. Dinner is served in the station restaurant.

Following Days

NB: The below is a suggested daily itinerary. However, if you wish, it is possible to "skip" a cabin and spend two nights at one of the other cabins if you wish. Vouchers are provided for 5 nights' accommodation at the cabins along the route, which you are welcome to use as you wish. However, please note the following:

  • Accommodation nights at Abisko and Kebnekaise Mountain Stations at the start and end of the tour are fixed and cannot be changed. The total duration of the tour cannot be amended. You must plan your hike so that you reach Kebnekaise Mountain Station on Day 7 as per itinerary below - it is not possible to arrive at Kebnekaise earlier or later.
  • The five accommodation vouchers provided apply only to the cabins on Days 2-6 inclusive of the suggested itinerary below.
  • We recommend the itinerary below as the most way to plan your trip. If considering "skipping" a cabin, it is essential that you consider the extra distance to be covered carefully and ensure that you are confident that you have sufficient level of fitness, available daylight hours and appropriate provisions and that weather conditions are suitable to allow you to reach the next cabin comfortably and safely.

Day 2:

Your hike begins, taking you through Abisko National Park, along the Abisko River towards the cabins at Lake Abiskojaure, where you spend the night. There is a small shop here to purchase provisions for dinner and lunch for the following day. Use of sauna at Abiskojaure is included - an ideal way to end the day!

Distance: 15km; Height gain: +100m.

Day 3:

You begin with a climb up into the next valley towards the cabins at Alesjaure, which you will see in the distance surrounded by high mountains. At Alesjaure you should purchase provisions for the next two days from the small store. Sauna is included for this night.

Distance: 20km; Height gain: +300m

Day 4:

A short hike to the mountain cabin at Tjäktja and a chance to enjoy the stunning mountain scenery of this section. NB: There is no store at the cabins. You must have sufficient food for this day's dinner and breakfast/lunch the following day before leaving Alesjaure.

Distance: 13km; Height gain: +200m

Day 5:

Today takes you over the highest point on the King's Trail, the Tjäkjta Pass (1140m) with beautiful views down the Tjäktjavagge valley as you descend towards the cabins at Sälka. Here you should purchase provisions for the next two days and enjoy an evening sauna.

Distance: 12km; Height difference: +150m, -300m

Day 6:

This day is a relatively easy walk through the valley with stunning mountain views towards the cabins at Singi. Note that you must have purchased provisions for dinner this today and breakfast/lunch the following day before leaving Sälka the evening before.

Distance: 12km; Height loss: -100m

Day 7:

Surrounded by high peaks and glaciers, this day takes you to Kebnekaise Mountain Station, a fully equipped mountain station where sauna, shower and dinner in the station restaurant awaits.

Important: It is essential that you arrive at Kebnekaise in time for dinner at 17.45. There are two dinner serving times in the evening - guests on the self-guided tour are booked for the 17.45 serving.

Distance: 14km; Height difference: + 150 m, -150 m

Departure

Day 8 (standard tours):

The final day of your King's Trail tour is an easy walk to Lake Ladtjojaure, where you will catch the boat across the lake and hike through the forest to reach Nikkaluokta in the afternoon. There is a restaurant here which also offers shower facilities (additional fee payable locally). From Nikkaluokta, public bus services depart to Kiruna (normally around 16.20) for onward connections.

Distance: 19km (8.5km hiking + 5km boat + 5.5km hiking); Height loss: -200m

Important information for tours ending 24th July 2017 and later

Railworks in northern Sweden during the summer mean that the normal night train departing Kiruna at 18.25 may not be available. Public buses from Nikklauokta connecting with the earlier train leaving Kiruna 16.31 may depart too early to be reached from Kebnekaise on the departure day, so an overnight in Kiruna may be required. Please contact us to confirm best options for your chosen dates before making any travel arrangements.

Day 8 (if adding optional ascent of Mt. Kebnekaise, possible for dates between late June and early September):

Led by local guide, this optional day tour takes you to the summit of Mt. Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest mountain. The tour typically takes around 10 hours with altitude gain/loss of 1400m, distance approx. 15km. The tour includes walking on glaciers and a simple climbing section. Climbing experience is not required, but participants must not be afraid of heights. Accommodation at Kebnekaise Mountain Station as Day 7 (note that dinner is not included for this extra night but is available to purchase locally).

Distance: 15km ; Height loss/gain: 1400m

Day 9 (if adding optional ascent of Mt. Kebnekaise):

As for Day 8 (standard tours) above.

Additional information:

The midnight sun does not shine all summer long but it is daylight 24 hours a day from around mid May to the end of July. In August and September, bring a small torch or headlamp.

There are only emergency telephones in the cabins. The phone is directly connected to the police. Mobile phones generally do not work out in the mountains.

  • Dates
  • Prices
  • Included
  • Not Included

Dates 2017

Tours are possible on dates by arrangement between start 15.06.17 and end 24.09.17* (except for dates between 03.08-19.08.17 when the self-guided tour is not offered as this is peak season for hiking the trail - for tours during this period, please see the guided version of this experience, Hiking on the King's Trail from Abisko to Kebnekaise).

*End dates given are latest dates to check out from Kebnekaise Mountain Station, the accommodation at the end of the route. Latest possible start date is therefore 17th September 2017.

Prices 2017

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  
Period 1: 15.06-09.07.17 per adultGBP 534EUR 576
Period 2: 10.07-02.08.17 per adultGBP 605EUR 653
Period 3: 20.08-02.09.17 per adultGBP 605EUR 653
Period 4: 03.09-24.09.17 per adultGBP 534EUR 576

NB: When tour dates span two price periods: For Period 1 price to apply, tour must end latest 8th July. For Period 4 price to apply, at least two nights' accommodation must lie within this period.

Optional Extras (see description below)  
Kebnekaise Summit Tour with Extra Night (per adult)  
Period 1GBP 290EUR 313
Period 2GBP 313EUR 338
Period 3GBP 313EUR 338
Period 4GBP 290EUR 313
  • Kebnekaise Summit Tour with Extra Night: A guided day-tour to the summit of Kebnekaise (Sweden's highest mountain at 2106m) on Day 8 can be added (summit tours are normally possible from late June to early September - this option may not be possible if hiking at the start/end of the season). Price includes guided day ascent, equipment and additional night's accommodation at Kebnekaise Mountain Station including breakfast, packed lunch. Note that dinner for the extra night is not included but is available to purchase locally. Tour typically takes around 10 hours, distance 15km, height gain/loss 1400m. Note that this is a very challenging day, significantly more so than the other hiking during the tour. You will be walking on glaciers and the tour also includes a simple climbing section. No previous climbing experience is required and equipment is provided (including daypack), but participants should not be afraid of heights. Price excludes compulsory insurance charge of 295 SEK (about £29) required for participants in the summit tour, which is payable locally on arrival at Kebnekaise. The tour must be booked and paid for in advance as part of your booking. *In the event that a peak tour is booked but cannot start due to weather conditions, cash refund will be made locally for the summit tour component (minus 300 SEK local booking fee and not including additional night's accommodation, meals, etc; note that the 295 SEK compulsory insurance charge is also non-refundable).

Included

Accommodation:

Accommodation in shared multi-person rooms at Abisko Tourist Station, Kebnekaise Mountain Station and mountain cabins along the route. All cabins have drying rooms for clothes. Abisko, Abiskojaure, Alesjaure, Sälka and Kebnekaise have sauna and also provisions stores.

Vouchers are provided for total five nights in mountain cabins between leaving Abisko and arriving at Kebnekaise. The vouchers can be used at any of the cabins, including staying two nights at one location if you wish. Please see under "Itinerary" for details. Nights at Abisko and Kebnekaise at the start/end of the tour are fixed and cannot be changed.

Mountain Cabin Accommodation

Typical mountain cabin accommodation during the tour

Cabins: The beds are fitted with mattresses, pillows and blankets. During the summer season you should bring a light sleeping bag or sleeping sheet. The cabins are comfortable but of basic standard and there is no electricity or running water. You will all need to help each other with domestic duties, cleaning, cooking, doing the dishes etc. Wooden fires or gas heats the cabins. The cooking is done on gas stoves. The cabins you will visit during this hike have 20-78 beds (rooms with 4-10 beds, male/female mixed). There are also extra mattresses and blankets in case the cabin gets full. Everyone will get shelter - in the event that all the beds are occupied you will get a space on the floor and a mattress. It is not possible to reserve beds in advance.

Meals:

Dinner (3 courses) and breakfast at Abisko Day 1, dinner (1 course, served at 17.45) and breakfast at Kebnekaise Day 7. If adding summit tour of Kebnekaise, breakfast and packed lunch are included on Day 8, dinner is available to purchase locally. Other meals are self-catering and you will need to carry provisions for max. 2 days at a time during the tour.

Transfers:

Boat on Lake Ladtjojuare.

Information/Maps:

  • Information meeting with local guide in Abisko before beginning your hike.
  • Map of the route.

Experienced and knowledgeable local guide.

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.
  • Meals apart from those specified. Provisions are available to purchase at Alesjaure and Sälka cabins along the route for self-catering as outlined under "Itinerary". There are also stores at Abisko and Kebnekaise at the start/end of the tour. NB: Guests with special dietary requirements should note that a limited range of provisions is available in the cabins along the route. Detailed information will be given in booking documentation. The restaurants at Abisko and Kebnekaise mountain stations can accommodate a wide range of dietary requirements. For provisions along the route, common requirements such as vegetarian, gluten-free or lactose free present few difficulties, but guests with more restrictive diets such as vegan or allergies are recommended to bring own provisions, as availability of suitable foods along the trail cannot be guaranteed.
  • Public bus Nikkaluokta-Kiruna.
  • Luggage transfer between Abisko and Nikkaluokta for items not needed during the tour (can be arranged for additional charge payable locally).
  • Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase at Abisko and Kebnekaise Mountain Stations).
  • Required
  • Getting There
  • Groups
  • Eco Info

Required

Health requirements/experience:

You should have some previous experience of walking with a backpack and be in good physical condition. Minimum recommended age 16 years (children aged 14-15 years with suitable hiking experience/fitness also welcome), maximum recommended age 70 years.

Min. 2 adults required for safety reasons. Max. hiking distance in one day 20km. Please see under "Itinerary" for daily height differences.

NB: Note that for tours early in the season there may still be snow cover on parts of the route.

What makes this "Medium-Hard"?

The tour takes place in a remote mountain landscape and is self-guided. Accommodation on most nights is simple. Only a medium-weight pack (10-12kg) is required as accommodation is in cabins along the route. Hikers with a good amount of previous experience may consider the tour moderate, while those with less experience may feel the tour has a higher level of challenge. Note that the optional ascent of Kebnekaise is a very challenging day and has "Hard" level of difficulty.

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.

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. Night train to Abisko Turiststation, return night train from Kiruna. You can also travel by domestic flight connection to/from Kiruna, though night train is normally the most convenient option.

Without Flying:

Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train connections to Abisko Turistation and return from Kiruna.

Groups

This experience is ideal for groups - please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Eco Info

This provider has received a prestigious Swedish Ecotourism award for its commitment to high standards to cultural and environmental sensitivity.

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