Hiking on the King's Trail from Abisko to Kebnekaise

Hiking on the King's Trail from Abisko to Kebnekaise

Photos: 1,3,7:Joanna Sliwowska; 2,5:ST Bildarkiv; 4,6:Joao Trabuco

Hiking on the King's Trail from Abisko to Kebnekaise (Sweden)

Discover some of the world's most spectacular mountain scenery along Sweden's best-known hiking path

Trekking holidays in Sweden: Kungsleden

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Overview

  • Required: You should have previous experience of walking with a backpack and be in good physical condition. Minimum age 16 years for standard tours (14 for Midsummer tour).
  • Duration: 8 days/7 nights.
  • Accommodation: Two nights in mountain stations, 5 nights in mountain cabins along the route.
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The northern section of the King's Trail ("Kungsleden" in Swedish) in Lapland is probably the most famous part of this historic 440km long-distance walking path. From its start point at the tourist station in Abisko, the trail leads south towards Kebnekaise which, at 2105m, is Sweden's highest mountain.

Along the way, the landscape is constantly changing but always spectacular, as you travel through a natural valley surrounded by mountains. The Abisko-Kebnekaise route is one of the "classic" hiking tours for walkers seeking an inspiring and uplifting mountain hiking experience without the need to be exceptionally fit. The tour is accessible to anyone in general good physical condition, though in order to enjoy the experience to its full you should be a moderately experienced hiker.

Your accommodation along the Kungsleden route will be in mountain huts. Swedish mountain huts are comfortable and welcoming places to come to after a day's walking and blend in well with the natural surroundings. In the huts there is a spirit of teamwork and you will cook your meals together with your fellow hikers and share washing up duties, etc.

Daily distances covered on this section of the King's Trail will be 12-23km, with maximum height difference on a single leg around 300m (day-tour to Kebnekaise summit 1400m). As you will be staying in cabins, there is no need for a particularly heavy backpack, and the weight of your pack should not exceed 10-12kg. In addition to the standard tours, there are also special dates for participants aged 18-35 and over 55 as well as special Midsummer and Autumn tours.

The King's Trail is Sweden's best-known long-distance hiking path, and the majesty of scenery and the beauty of this wild and open landscape provides for a unique hiking adventure.

NB: Outside the main hiking season, we also offer a self-guided version of this tour, Self-guided Hiking on the King's Trail, which is available from mid-June to first week in July and from late August to third week in September.

Itinerary

Day 1

Gather at Abisko Tourist Station at 17.00 after the last connection arrives from Kiruna. Dinner in the station restaurant and information about the hike.

Day 2

The start of your journey on Kungsleden. You follow the Abisko river to lake Abiskojaure. Distance: 15km. Height difference: +100m.

Day 3

This day takes you up into the high mountains to the cabins at lake Alesjaure, with the chance for an evening sauna to soothe your muscles! Distance: 20km. Height difference: +300m.

For the age 18-35 tour (see below) you will follow a slightly different route, leaving the King's Trail for a while to see a "little extra". You will rejoin the trail again in the afternoon. Distance: 22km. Height difference: +450m, -150m.

Day 4

Hiking to the mountain cabin at Tjäktja. Distance: 13km. Height difference: +200m

For the age 18-35 tour (see below) this day features a day-tour in the area around Lake Alesjaure. Depending on conditions, this may include summit tour to Kåtoktjåkka-massivet or visit to Alesjaure Sami settlement.

Day 5

Crossing the Tjäkta Pass at 1140m, the way opens up into the Tjäktjavagge valley. Sauna in the evening. Distance: 12km. Height difference: +150m, -300m.

For the age 18-35 tour (see below) this day has a longer route to reach the cabins. Distance: 25km. Height difference: +450m, -300m.

Day 6

Stunning views over mountain peaks and glaciers as you head for Kebnekaise Mountain Station. Distance: 23km. Height difference: -50m, +250/300m.

For the Midsummer, age 55+ and Autumn tours (see below) this day features an easy day's walk through the Tjäktja valley to the cabins at Singi, with dramatic mountain views all day. Distance: 12 km. Height difference: -100m.

Day 7

Possibility to participate in guided day-tour from Kebnekaise Mountain Station to the summit of Mt. Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest mountain at 2105m (weather conditions permitting). This should be booked in advance through us. Payment to be made locally on arrival (see Optional Extras). For participants who choose not to do the summit tour, the guide will lead a less challenging day hike in the area.

For the age 18-35 tour (see below), summit tour to Kebnekaise is part of the standard tour itinerary and is included in the price.

For the Midsummer, age 55+ and Autumn tours (see below), this day takes you to Kebnekaise Mountain station, surrounded by high peaks and glaciers from morning to evening. Sauna, showers and dinner in the restaurant. Distance: 14km. Height difference: +150m, -150m.

Day 8

After breakfast you will walk the 9km to lake Ladtjojaure, take a boat across the lake and then walk the final 5km stretch to Nikkaluokta for a meal at a local restaurant and the chance to take a shower. Bus to Kiruna departs around 15.00 (time TBC). This bus will always allow you to connect with the latest available night train from Kiruna to Stockholm (exact timing for your tour will be given in your tour documentation). Earlier buses from Nikkaluokta may also be available - please check with us for timetable information. Distance: 14km hiking (19km including boat). Height difference: -200m.

Please note that the programme is subject to change depending on weather conditions.

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

Dates

  • 18.06-25.06.14*
  • 25.06-02.07.14
  • 02.07-09.07.14
  • 12.07-19.07.14
  • 24.07-31.07.14**
  • 30.07-06.08.14
  • 23.08-30.08.14***
  • 06.09-13.09.14****

*special Midsummer tour; ** special tour for participants aged 18-35; ***special tour for participants aged over 55; ****special autumn tour

The Price

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.

  • 18.06-25.06.14*: £737/adult, £516/child aged 14-15
  • 25.06-02.07.14: £787/person
  • 02.07-09.07.14: £800/person
  • 12.07-19.07.14: £807/person
  • 24.07-31.07.14**: £900/person
  • 30.07-06.08.14: £812/person
  • 23.08-30.08.14***: £744/person
  • 06.09-13.09.14****: £725/person

*special Midsummer tour; ** special tour for participants aged 18-35 (price includes guided day tour to summit of Mt Kebnekaise but excludes compulsory insurance charge of 295 SEK (about £29), payable locally on arrival at Abisko at the start of your tour); ***special tour for participants aged over 55; ****special autumn tour

What The Price Includes

Accommodation

Accommodation at Abisko Tourist Station, Kebnekaise Mountain Station and beds in mountain cabins along the route.

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

Full board accommodation at Abisko Tourist Station and Kebnekaise Mountain Station. Meals along the route and final meal in Nikkaluokta.

Food for sale: If you would like any additional snacks, etc, in Alesjaure and Sälka there are small shops where you can buy dried and canned food, drinks, snacks, etc. There is no fresh food for sale in the mountain cabins. There is also a small shop at Abiskojaure, but the range more limited than in Sälka and Alesjaure.

Transfers

Boat on Lake Ladtjojuare. Bus transfer Nikkaluokta-Kiruna Centrum.

Guides

Experienced and knowledgeable local guide.

What The Price Does Not Include

Alcoholic drinks.

Optional Extras

  • For standard tours*, a guided day-tour to the summit of Kebnekaise on Day 7 can be added at a cost of £119. This must be booked and paid for in advance as part of your booking. Tour typically takes around 10 hours, distance 15km, height gain/loss 1400m. 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. Please note that for participants in the summit tour there is also a compulsory insurance charge of 295 SEK (about £29) payable locally on arrival at Abisko at the start of your tour.
  • Backpacks are available to hire for the tour, sizes 50L, 55L or 65L, price £69. Backpacks must be booked in advance.

This option is not available on the Midsummer, 55+ or Autumn tours.

Practical Info

Health requirements/experience

You should have some previous experience of walking with a backpack and be in good physical condition. Minimum age 16 years (children aged 14-15 with suitable level of fitness accompanied by an adult are also welcome on Midsummer tour).

Maximum recommended age limit 70 years, typical age range of participants is around 20-55 years.

Distances between the mountain cabins vary from 12 to 23 km. Please see itinerary above for daily height differences.

Equipment/clothes needed

A detailed recommended equipment 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.

Groups

Minimum 6 and maximum 10-14 participants depending on tour date. This experience is open to travellers from all over the world. Groups may be made up of participants from a number of countries, around 60% of whom are likely to be from Scandinavia.

Private groups can book this experience on other dates by arrangement - please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Kungsleden - The King's Trail

Created by the Swedish Tourist Association at the end of the 19th century, the King's Trail was made to introduce hikers to the beauty and majesty of the Lapland scenery.

The trail runs 440km from Abisko in the north to Hemavan in the south, passing through some of the world's most spectacular mountain landscapes. Taking day-tours from the main route allows for an ascent of Sweden's highest mountain, Kebnekaise, or excursions into the pathless wilderness of the mighty Sarek National Park.

Despite the remote hiking possibilities afforded by the trail, altitude differences are relatively small, which makes the King's Trail an ideal long-distance walking path accessible to anyone in general good health.

Additional Notes

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

Location

Detailed information on travel options will be sent with your booking documentation. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.

The experience begins at Abisko Turiststation and ends in Nikkaluokta for bus transfer to Kiruna.

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 from Harwich to Esbjerg (Denmark) for onward train connections to Abisko Turistation and return from Kiruna.

Map of Sweden

Map of Sweden

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