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Ice skating on the clear ice of a frozen lake is a unique way to enjoy the beauty of a Swedish winter. In the wintertime, Sweden's extensive network of lakes make up a labyrinth of ice just waiting to be explored.
Ice Skating on Natural Ice is a 4-day trip-skating adventure under the expert guidance of local skating guides, who know the area intimately and will ensure that you find the locations with the best possible ice conditions for your tour. Ice-skating is an ideal way to experience the majesty and tranquility of the Swedish winter landscape. The sensation of gliding over clear lake ice is as wonderful as it sounds.
Ice conditions change regularly - your guide will know where the ice is best on a particular day. From your base at local hostel accommodation, you will head out each day to the most suitable area for your trip skating tour.
At minimum some previous skating experience is required, but if you have never skated on long-distance skates before, don't worry - you will be surprised how quickly you can learn to trip-skate calmly and safely. Both "Novice" and "Experienced" tour dates are offered. "Novice" tours are suitable for those with limited skating ability, but participants must have some previous experience of rink skating or roller blading, etc, and be able to stand up/move on skates without support.
"Experienced" tours are suitable for those with more extensive skating experience who are comfortable with travelling longer distances.
The speed and distance covered will be adapted as far as possible to the needs and wishes of the participants - you should find that it is relatively straightforward to cover distances of 25km a day or more. At the end of the day, you can soothe tired muscles with a sauna and reflect on your day's skating adventures. There may even be the chance for a moonlight skating tour beneath the stars!
Your guide will be skating ahead of you at all times, keeping close watch to ensure the ice conditions are suitable. Skates, shoes, pack and full safety equipment are included as standard.
Trip skating gives you a very special perspective on a Swedish winter - see you soon out on the ice!
Trip skating goes by many different names: tour skating, long distance ice skating, Nordic skating or wild skating. Popular throughout the Nordic countries, trip skating is particularly popular in Sweden, where the thousands of lakes create an ideal skating environment. More recently, it has been combined with kiting to create a new hybrid sport known as kite skating or kite blading.
The skates used for tour skating are rather different from standard skates, with longer blades around 50cm in length. Tour skates consist of a circa 50cm long blade, attached with binding to special skating boots similar to those used for cross-country skiing.
Day 1 - Arrival
There will be pick-ups from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) airport at 12.00 and 17.00. Skating on this day is not a standard part of the tour, but provided conditions are suitable for skating within a reasonable distance of the airport, guests arriving at 12.00 will have the opportunity for some skating in the afternoon. After the later pick-up at 17.00, the group will be transferred to the overnight accommodation.
The location of the best ice skating conditions and therefore the location of accommodation during the tours will vary throughout the winter season - your guide knows the area intimately and will ensure that you are skating in a region with the best ice conditions at the time of your visit. You will check in at your accommodation and (if this has not taken place earlier in the day) have a safety and instruction briefing with your guide, when you will also be given your equipment for the tour. You can then relax to prepare and enjoy your first evening dinner together.
It is also possible to fly to Stockholm Skavsta (NYO) airport, but in this case it is necessary to overnight at the airport both before and after the tour. Pick-up from Stockholm Skavsta will be at 09.30.
During breakfast you will prepare lunch packages for your days out on the ice. Based on the latest weather and ice forecast information, you will head out to the best possible skating area for the day. Once at the lake, you will begin by examining the ice before readying your equipment. You will skate in a line, led by your guide, who will be checking the ice and ensure that you avoid any potential weak spots. The speed and distance covered during the day will be tailored to the level of the group and ice conditions.
Skating on natural ice is a unique experience, and you will have regular opportunities to take breaks to admire the beauty of the winter landscape, chat about your technique or just relax and soak up the atmosphere. At the end of your day's skating, you will return to the minibus for transfer back to your accommodation.
A sauna before dinner is a wonderful way to soothe tired muscles and the perfect environment in which to reflect on the day's adventures with your fellow skaters. If conditions allow, there may even be the chance for a moonlight skating trip later in the evening!
Day 4 - Skating and Departure
After breakfast you will head out for another day on the ice, skating as long as possible depending on scheduled departure times for the participants. On your way back to the airport, you will have time to stop for a shower and change of clothes and perhaps something to eat, before your guide transfers you to the airport for departure.
Transfers will meet flights departing Stockholm Arlanda airport from 17.00 onwards (you will be at the airport around 16.00). Guests wishing to depart from Stockholm Skavsta must plan to overnight at Skavsta airport - transfer will reach Skavsta around 20.00.
- Not Included
- Optional Extras
2016 Winter Season
- 04.02-07.02.16 (Experienced), 11.02-14.02.16 (Novice), 18.02-21.02.16 (Novice), 25.02-28.02.16 (two groups, Novice and Experienced), 03.03-06.03.16 (Experienced)
NB: It may also be possible to join tours on other weekend dates between mid-January and mid-March - please let us know your preferred dates and we will be happy to check possibilities for you.
- Start/end times and pick-up/drop-off location are by arrangement.
- For groups of 2-8 persons, private tours on other dates between just before Christmas and late March are possible by arrangement (standard prices based on 8 persons, smaller groups possible for supplement). Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
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.
- Tours 11.02-14.02.16, 18.02-21.02.16 and 25.02-28.02.16: £533/person (based on two persons sharing - single supplement £35/person).
- Tour 04.02-07.02.16: £729/person (based on two persons sharing - single supplement £120/person). Unlike other tour dates where accommodation is in youth hostel standard and with all meals included, this tour will have accommodation in hotel standard. Breakfast and lunch are included, but dinner is eaten together at local restaurant and is not included.
For private tours, please contact us to discuss your requirements.
NB: Note that the tour 4th-7th February 2016 has separate arrangements as described above under "Price".
- Scheduled tours: Shared 2-person (or family) rooms in hostel accommodation. Please bring own sleeping bag liner/sleeping sheet, pillow case and towel (these items are also available to hire as optional extras if required). Please note that end cleaning is not included.
- Private tours: Hotel standard accommodation is available as an alternative. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
NB: Accommodation used depends on the location of the best ice skating conditions at the time of your tour. Where possible, accommodation with sauna facilities will be chosen, though note that this cannot always be guaranteed.
- Scheduled tours: All meals from dinner on Day 1 to lunch on Day 4. Meals are prepared together as a group at the hostel - everyone assists with food preparation, washing up, etc. Please let us know in advance if you have any particular dietary requirements.
- Private tours: Choice of accommodation standard and board options are available.
- Trip skates
- Skating boots (please advise shoe sizes in advance)
- All necessary safety equipment
Experienced and knowledgeable local guide.
- Local minibus transfers to/from Stockholm Skavsta or Stockholm Arlanda airport and your accommodation.
- Local minibus transfers between accommodation and daily skating areas.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- Bed linen and towels (guests are normally requested to bring own, but also available as optional extra).
- End cleaning of hostel accommodation (if you do not wish to do end cleaning of your room yourself, this can normally be arranged on site, price typically 150-200 SEK, about £15-£20, per room).
Bed linen and towels: Guests are requested to bring own sleeping bag liner/sleeping sheet and towel for use at the overnight accommodation. However, if required this can also be hired as optional extra. Price £21/person.
- Getting There
- Eco Info
You should have a general good level of health and fitness, be able to swim and enjoy the outdoors.
For "Novice" tours, some previous skating experience (e.g. rink skating or rollerblades) is required and you must be able to stand up/move on skates without needing to hold onto something for support.
For "Experienced" tours, you should have more extensive skating experience and be comfortable travelling longer distances.
For private groups, the tour can be adapted to accommodate different requirements/abilities.
Recommended minimum age 16 for scheduled tours. Younger children may be possible by arrangement - please contact us to discuss your requirements.
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.
No minimum - tours are guaranteed to run from the first booking.
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.
Fly to Stockholm Skavsta (NYO)or Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) airport, where you will be met by your guide.
Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train connections to Nyköping, from where transfer can also be arranged.
Max. 8 participants per guide.
This experience is ideal for groups of 4-8 or more persons. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
This provider has received prestigious Swedish Ecotourism certification for its commitment to high standards to cultural and environmental sensitivity.