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Hiking on the King's Trail from Abisko to Kebnekaise

Photo: Anette Andersson

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

A cabin-cabin tour through spectacular mountain scenery on the King's Trail to Sweden's highest mountain

  • Guided
  • Medium
  • From £760/person
  • Jun-Sep, 8 days/7 nights
  • Adults, Groups, Solo
  • Itinerary
  • Dates & Prices
  • Good to Know
  • Gallery & Comments
  • Description
  • Arrival
  • Following Days
  • Departure

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. You will carry provisions for at most two days at a time, as there are resupply points along the route (all food is included).

Each part of the hiking season has its own special attraction. Choose between the following (see under "Itinerary" for variations in itinerary between the different tours):

  • Midsummer and Midnight Sun tours: Being in the far north during the Midnight Sun period in June and July is a unique experience, when time takes on a different meaning.
  • Age 18-35 tour: A special tour date open only to participants aged 18-35. An ideal opportunity to hike in the company of others in your age group. This tour includes the ascent of Kebnekaise (normally offered as an optional extra) as standard.
  • High Summer tours: Hiking when temperatures are typically at their warmest and still with long hours of daylight.
  • Age 55+ tour: A special tour date open only to participants aged 55+.
  • Autumn tours: Experience the beauty and peace of autumn in the mountains, when the memory of summer begins to makes its transition towards the colder winter period ahead

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.

Arrival

You will meet your guide and the rest of the group at Abisko Tourist Station at 17.00 after the last connection arrives from Kiruna. You have dinner together in the station restaurant and an information meeting about the coming tour.

Following Days

Itinerary given below applies to all tour dates except where variations for particular tour types are specified. Please note that itinerary may vary due to factors such as weather conditions.

Day 2:

Your hike on Kungsleden begins! The first leg of the tour follows the Abisko river to lake Abiskojaure and your cabin for the night. Distance: 15km. Height difference: +100m.

Day 3:

Today you begin climbing up into the high mountains to the cabins at lake Alesjaure. Here awaits an evening sauna - perfect to soothe tired muscles after a day on the hills! Distance: 20km. Height difference: +300m.

Age 18-35 Tour: You follow a slightly different route, leaving the King's Trail for a while for a small detour before rejoin the trail in the afternoon. Distance: 22km. Height difference: +450m, -150m.

Day 4:

One of the hardest days of the hike as you cross the highest point on the tour, the Tjäkta Pass at 1140m, with spectacular views dropping down into the Tjäktjavagge valley beyond. Sauna at cabins at Sälka in the evening, a wonderful way to relax after the day's walking. Distance: 25km. Height difference: +450m, -300m.

Midsummer, Age 55+and Autumn Tours: A shorter day's hiking, leaving the Pass crossing to the following day - hike to the mountain cabin at Tjäktja as you ascend towards the Tjäktja Pass, with time to enjoy the surrounding mountains in the evening. Distance: 13km. Height difference: +200m

Day 5:

Today's hike is an easy walk, following the valley to the cabins at Singi, surrounded by spectacular hills. Distance: 12km. Height difference: -100m.

Age 18-35 Tour: This day has a day-tour in the area around Sälka. There are various possibilities for hikes and peaks to visit depending on weather conditions.

Midsummer, Age 55+ and Autumn Tours: Cross over the Tjäkta Pass at 1140m before descending through the valley to the cabins at Sälka, where sauna awaits. Distance: 12km. Height difference: +150m, -300m.

Day 6:

More stunning views of the surrounding mountain peaks and glaciers as you hike towards Kebnekaise Mountain Station, your goal for the night, where sauna and dinner in the fully-equipped mountain station awaits. Distance: 14km. Height difference: +150m, -150m.

Age 18-35 Tour: A longer hike to reach Kebnekaise with views of high peaks and glaciers throughout the day. Distance: 23km. Height difference: -50m, +250m, -300m.

Midsummer, Age 55+ and Autumn Tours: This day features an easy day's walk through the Tjäktja valley to the cabins at Singi for overnight, with dramatic mountain views all day. Distance: 12km. Height difference: -100m.

Day 7:

Possibility to participate in guided day-tour from Kebnekaise Mountain Station to the summit of Mt. Kebnekaise (approx 10 hours in total), Sweden's highest mountain at 2105m (weather conditions permitting). Note that if you wish to participate in the summit tour, this must be advised at time of booking. For participants who choose not to do the summit tour, the guide will lead a less challenging day hike in the area.

Age 18-35 Tour: The summit tour to Kebnekaise is part of the standard tour itinerary and is included in the price. An alternative day's programme will be provided for any participants not wishing to join the peak tour.

Midsummer, Age 55+ and Autumn Tours: This day takes you to Kebnekaise Mountain station, surrounded by high peaks and glaciers throughout the day. Sauna, showers and dinner in the restaurant. Distance: 14km. Height difference: +150m, -150m.

Departure

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 lunch at the local restaurant there and the chance to take a shower. Bus to Kiruna departs in the afternoon (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). Distance: 19km (8.5km hiking + 5km boat + 5.5km hiking). Height difference: -200m.

Additional information:

You are hiking far above the Arctic Circle, where the Midnight Sun shines from around mid-May to end of July. At this time there is 24-hour daylight. In August and September, bring a small torch or headlamp.

The cabins have telephones directly connected to emergency services and your guide will carry emergency communication equipment. This area has limited or no mobile phone coverage.

  • Dates
  • Prices
  • Included
  • Not Included

Dates 2017

Regular dates between June and September 2017. With the exception of special tours for participants aged 18-35 and 55+ only, all tours are open to adult participants of all ages (recommended age range 16-70, for Midsummer tour children 14-15 are also welcome). Midsummer, Age 18-35, 55+ and Autumn tours have slightly different itineraries - see under "Itinerary" for details.

  • Midsummer Tour: 21.06-28.06.17
  • Midnight Sun Tours: 27.06-04.07.17, 02.07-09.07.17, 08.07-15.07.17
  • Age 18-35 Tour: 17.07-24.07.17
  • High Summer Tours: 21.07-28.07.17, 28.07-04.08.17, 19.08-26.08.17
  • Age 55+ Tour: 20.08-27.08.17
  • Autumn Tours: 26.08-02.09.17, 02.09-09.09.17, 09.09-16.09.17

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  
Midsummer Tours*  
Per adult 21.06-28.06.17GBP 801EUR 918
Per child (aged 14-15) 21.06-28.06.17GBP 539EUR 618
   
Midnight Sun Tours  
Per adult 27.06-04.07.17GBP 853EUR 977
Per adult 02.07-09.07.17GBP 882EUR 1,011
Per adult 08.07-15.07.17GBP 907EUR 1,039
   
Age 18-35 Tour**  
Per adult 17.07-24.07.17GBP 1,035EUR 1,187
   
High Summer Tours  
Per adult 21.07-28.07.17GBP 921EUR 1,056
Per adult 28.07-04.08.17GBP 921EUR 1,056
Per adult 19.08-26.08.17GBP 912EUR 1,045
   
Age 55+ Tour***  
Per adult 20.08-27.08.17GBP 816EUR 935
   
Autumn Tours  
Per adult 26.08-02.09.17GBP 822EUR 942
Per adult 02.09-09.09.17GBP 798EUR 914
Per adult 09.09-16.09.17GBP 760EUR 871

Tours marked with asterisk(s) have a slightly different itinerary to standard tours. See under "Itinerary" for variations between the different tour types.

*Midsummer tour, note that the Midnight Sun also shines at this time; **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.

Optional Extras (see description below)  
Kebnekaise Summit Day TourGBP 155EUR 177
  • Kebnekaise Summit Day Tour: For standard itinerary tours (that is, all dates except the Midsummer, 55+ or Autumn tours), a guided day-tour to the summit of Kebnekaise on Day 7 can be added. This must be booked and paid for in advance as part of your booking (note that for 18-35 tour, the Summit tour is included as standard apart from the insurance charge as outlined below). Tour typically takes around 10 hours, distance 15km, height gain/loss 1400m. Note that this is a challenging day. 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: Backpacks are available to hire for the tour, size 60L. Backpacks must be booked in advance. Please contact us for details and prices.

Included

Accommodation:

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

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:

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. Transfer of luggage not needed during the tour (one bag/person) from Abisko to the end point at Nikkaluokta.

Guides:

Experienced and knowledgeable local guide.

Not Included

Alcoholic drinks.

  • 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 age 16 years (children aged 14-15 with suitable level of fitness accompanied by an adult are also welcome on Midsummer and Autumn tours).

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 for daily height differences.

NB: As a participant, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have a suitable level of fitness and experience and bring clothing and equipment appropriate for the tour. Participants judged by the guide to have an insufficient level of fitness/unsuitable equipment which hinders the operation of the tour may be excluded. In this case, or if a participant chooses to leave the tour of their own volition, no refund can be offered and any additional costs incurred by leaving the tour are the responsibility of the participant. If you have any questions regarding your suitability for the tour, please don't hesitate to ask and we will be happy to advise.

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.

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

Minimum number:

Minimum total 6 persons required for tours to be confirmed to run. You are of course welcome to book as a solo traveller.

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.

Map of Sweden »

Map of Sweden

Groups

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.

Eco Info

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

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.

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