- Sweden's most famous hiking trail
- Midnight Sun in summer or Northern Lights in autumn
- Option to climb Sweden's highest mountain
- Stay at Abisko and Kebnekaise mountain stations
- Sleep in simple mountain cabins en route
- All food included
A classic hiking tour in Sweden's most spectacular mountain terrain
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 main 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 (for a hiking experience in Swedish Lapland with a more accessible level of challenge, see also Hiking in the National Parks of Lapland).
Increase the level of challenge with a summit tour of Sweden's highest mountain
The adventurous can add a summit tour of Kebnekaise, a challenging day hike above the snow line rewarding you with a real sense of achievement.
The option to summit Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest mountain, is a challenging but spectacular addition to the tour. Photo: ST Bildarkiv.
Stay in fully-featured mountain stations at the start and end with atmospheric mountain cabins along the trail
The tour begins and ends with nights in the mountain stations of Abisko and Kebnekaise, which offer full facilities including electricity, restaurant, bar and sauna.
Accommodation along the Kungsleden route is in simpler mountain cabins,with no electricity or running water. Swedish mountain cabins 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 of the main route around 300m (height gain on 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).
For tours in September, the Northern Lights are visible as the nights become darker. Photo: Cody Duncan.
From the endless days of summer to the Northern Lights of autumn
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):
- 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. From the end of August onwards, as the skies darken, displays of the Northern Lights become visible in the night sky.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the hardest days of the hike as you cross the highest point on the tour, the Tjäktja 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.
- Age 55+ Tour: 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
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.
- Age 55+ Tour: 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.
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.
- Age 55+ Tour: 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.
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.
- Age 55+ Tour: 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.
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. Public bus to Kiruna departs in the afternoon (time TBC). This bus will always allow you to connect with the early evening night train from Kiruna to Stockholm (normally departing Kiruna 18.29). Distance: 19km (8.5km hiking + 5km boat + 5.5km hiking). Height difference: -200m.
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.
Regular dates between June and September. 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).
Age 18-35 and Age 55+ tours have slightly different itineraries - see under "Itinerary" for details. The 55+ tour also takes place during the Autumn, when the Northern Lights can be seen.
- Midnight Sun Tours: 17.06-24.06.20, 22.06-29.06.20, 05.07-12.07.20
- Summer Tours: 31.07-07.08.20, 23.08-30.08.20
- Autumn/Northern Lights Tours: 29.08-05.09.20, 07.09-14.09.20
- Age 18-35 Tour: 15.07-22.07.20
- Age 55+ Tours: 27.08-03.09.20, 04.09-11.09.20
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.
|Midnight Sun, Summer and Autumn/Northern Lights Tours|
|Per adult 17.06-24.06.20, 22.06-06.20, 05.07-12.07.20, 31.07-07.08.20, 23.08-30.08.20, 29.08-05.09.20, 07.09-14.09.20||GBP 948||EUR 1,128|
|Age 18-35 Tour^|
|Per adult 15.07-22.07.20||GBP 1,035||EUR 1,231|
|Age 55+ Tours^^|
|Per adult 27.08-03.09.20, 04.09-11.09.20||GBP 862||EUR 1,026|
Important: Prices for this tour are based on membership of Hostelling International (or an affiliated organisation) and you should bring proof of membership with you on your tour. If you are not already an HI member, please join before travel or membership can also be purchased on arrival (295 SEK/person, about £28).
^Age 18-35 and Age 55+ tours have slightly different itineraries - see under "Itinerary" for details. The Age 18-35 tour includes guided day tour to summit of Mt Kebnekaise as standard and is open only to participants within this age range. The 55+ tour is open only to participants aged 55 and over and takes place in the autumn, when the Northern Lights can also be seen.
|Optional Extras (see description below)|
|Kebnekaise Summit Day Tour||GBP 129||EUR 154|
- Kebnekaise Summit Day Tour: For Midnight Sun, Summer and Autumn tours (that is, all dates except the 18-35 tour, when the summit tour is included as standard, and the 55+ tour, when this option is not available), 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. 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. Please note that for participants in the summit tour, as for the main tour, participants must be members of Hostelling International or an affiliated organisation. Please show or purchase membership on arrival. *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).
- Backpacks: Backpacks are available to hire for the tour, size 60L. Backpacks must be booked in advance. Please contact us for details and prices.
What's Included »
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.
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.
Full board accommodation for nights at Abisko Tourist Station and Kebnekaise Mountain Station. Meals along the route and final meal in Nikkaluokta. Between Abisko and Kebnekaise, the group will carry provisions to prepare together in the self-catering facilities at the mountain cabins along the route.
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.
- Boat on Lake Ladtjojuare.
Experienced and knowledgeable local guide.
- 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 "Getting There" for general travel information.
- Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase at Abisko and Kebnekaise Mountain Stations).
- Luggage transfer between Abisko and Nikkaluokta for items not needed during the tour (can be arranged for additional charge payable locally).
- Bus from Nikkaluokta to Kiruna at end of tour (purchase locally or in advance).
Good To Know »
You should have some previous experience of walking with a backpack and be in good physical condition. Minimum age 16 years.
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.
What makes this "Medium-Hard"?
The tour takes place in a remote mountain landscape. 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.
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.
For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "What's 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.
Preparing for your trip:
For further reading, we also have a number of general information articles to get you ready for your trip, covering a wide variety of topics from what to do on a city break before/after your tour, advice on packing, eyewear for winter and considerations for female travellers.
NB: Note that for tours early in the season there may still be snow cover on parts of the route.
Minimum total 6 persons required for tours to be confirmed to run. You are of course welcome to book as a solo traveller.
Maximum 10 participants. 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.
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.
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.
Fly to Stockholm. For outward journey, night train to Abisko Turiststation or domestic flight to Kiruna plus train to Abisko Turiststation. The tour ends in Nikkaluokta for bus transfer to Kiruna (not included in the price). Return from Kiruna to Stockholm by night train or domestic flight connection. Tours are timed to meet night train connections and we recommend this as the best option.
Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train connections to Abisko Turistation and return from Kiruna.
Gallery & Reviews »
"Hiking in the Swedish countryside, sleeping in huts and experiencing Swedish culture was a wonderful experience." Laura, August 2019
"Thanks for organising my trip to Sweden, the logistics all ran very smoothly. Finally, got round to sorting out the photos, and attach a few, showing me climbing up and sliding down Kebnekaise. It's good to show that someone just past their sixtieth birthday can also make it to the top, as well as the bright young things illustrated on your website. Indeed, I was not the oldest in our group to make it to the top (honour goes to a 68 year old Swede), whilst two of the younger members of our King's Trail party in their twenties did not tackle the big one, proving you are never too old!" Godfrey, July 2019
"The group was fantastic and the guide was great. He told us a lot of interesting things about the mountains and told funny stories." Sarah, July 2019Read more reviews »