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Scandinavia Only - a Specialist product from Taber Holidays

A specialist product from Taber Holidays

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Northern Lights, Sami tent, dog sledding

This part of Swedish Lapland is wild and true – a snow-clad expansive landscape ranging from mountains and frozen lakes to ancient boreal forests and gushing rivers. We head to Jokkmokk, a small outpost town just north of the Arctic circle with deep Sámi roots.

The allure of the Aurora Borealis is what brings many of us this far north. As long as the weather is clear, we venture out each evening gazing at the dark night sky hoping to marvel at this glorious dance of the heavens.

Dog sledding is an ancient way of moving across snow and ice. We spend a magical morning traversing the frozen landscape with our impressive and beautiful husky companions.

The surrounding valleys are home to some fascinating wild animals such as Europe’s largest moose and herds of reindeer, and this is a fantastic opportunity to get close to and photograph these in their natural habitat.

For two nights, we leave our little town behind and aim further north for something truly special. Our good friend Lennart in the Unna Tjerusj Sámi community welcomes us as guests at his tented camp, remotely located in the Laponia UNESCO World Heritage region. We get the chance to explore the surrounding forests and the frozen lake on skis or snow shoes or simply relax and enjoy the tranquil beauty of winter in the Arctic Circle.

Day 1 | Arrive Luleå, Swedish Lapland

Arrive at Luleå Airport by air from the UK via Stockholm. We recommend taking the airport bus or a taxi to your centrally located hotel in Luleå.

Luleå is a lovely town located overlooking the Gulf of Bothnia and a vast archipelago of islands, winter-connected by a sea of frozen ice and snow.

Your hotel has a small but nice spa with saunas and swirl pools where you can easily relax for a couple of hours. And during the evening you can go for dinner at any of the town’s many restaurants.

Your guide will meet with you in the morning.

Overnight LULEÅ - Best Western Plus Hotell Savoy
Meals included today:  None


Day 2 | Jokkmokk and Northern Lights Excursion

Meet and greet with your guide and the other participants after breakfast.

After a brief welcome we pack our bags into the van to take off and leave Luleå behind. Our first stop is Storforsen, part of the Pite river and Europe’s largest unbound rapids. The rapids thunder with a mighty power - partly frozen with white water shaping natural sculptures of ice and snow.

We then continue our Northbound journey across the Arctic Circle and into remote Swedish Lapland. Here we reach Jokkmokk, a small northern outpost town which will act as a base for our excursions. It's right in the heart of the Sami's ancestral lands surrounded by mountains, tundra, forests and lakes. Jokkmokk is home to a large Sámi community and we absolutely love this place! As we arrive to our guesthouse we sit down together for a proper introduction over coffee.

We enjoy dinner with local specialities, and then, if the skies are clear we will definitively fill our thermoses with hot drinks and head out to watch for the Northern Lights.

Overnight JOKKMOKK - Jokkmokk Guesthouse
Meals included today:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 3 | Moose Watching and Reindeer Meeting

We plan to rise early to drive through a nearby valley known to host some of Europe’s largest moose, but also herds of reindeer. During the cold Winter season these two deer species gather in the valleys in search for food. This gives us an excellent opportunity to observe and photograph these magnificent animals at close range.

We stop for an outdoor lunch somewhere along the shore of a lake, by a campfire, we love campfires! If the weather is fair we spend most of this day in the snowy valley, before returning to Jokkmokk.

In the afternoon we meet up with our good friend Anna, just outside of Jokkmokk. Anna and her family are Sámi reindeer herders. She has invited us for an evening meal in her lávvu (traditional tent). With a native perspective Anna has a lot to share. We sit on skins on the floor and try traditional Sámi dishes that she prepares for us over the open fire. It's a great introduction to your cultural experiences over the next few days.

Later we have another chance to watch for northern lights, and hopefully the skies are clear.

Overnight JOKKMOKK - Jokkmokk Guesthouse
Meals included today:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 4 | Dog Sledding and Jokkmokk Time

Today we are going dog sledding with our good friends Matti and Stina. They live in a small cabin by a lake with more than 50 huskies in their snowy garden. There will be a few moments to greet and cuddle the dogs, or help prepare the sledges, before we are ready to take off.

Seated on wooden sledges we travel across the frozen landscape, hearing only the breathing of the huskies and feeling the crisp winter air on our faces. We stop somewhere for coffee and light a warming camp fire, while the dogs get some well-deserved rest and cool down in the snow. We are typically out for two to three hours including a break.

In the afternoon you will have some time to explore Jokkmokk town. You may wish to visit the interesting Ájtte museum, which tells the story of the Samis and life in the landscape they've inhabited for thousands of years. There are also a few local handicraft shops worth visiting. Sami handicraft, made from traditional, natural materials is exquisite and unique and makes a wonderful present. Knives, wooden cups, woven tin wire bracelets and baskets woven from birch roots.

In the evening we have another chance to marvel at the Northern lights. Fill up your thermos and bring some snacks to stay warm and content.

Overnight JOKKMOKK - Jokkmokk Guesthouse
Meals included today:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 5 | Bird Watching and Night in Tents at Sámi Camp

After breakfast we go for a walk to a nearby forest and a bird feeding station, where some nature loving locals help birds survive the long Winters. Here we have the chance to watch a variety of species such as Willow tit, Crested tit, Siberian tit and Siberian Jay as well as Red Squirrel at close. Some of the birds may even eat out of your hand, a beautiful experience.

After lunch we leave Jokkmokk behind and travel further north to visit our good friend Lennart in Unna Tjerusj Sami community. It makes us very happy that he welcomes us stay at his tented camp.

You will sleep comfortably in one of the tents. There are proper beds and a heater, so it's almost like staying at a hotel. You will be surprised how comfortable a tent can be. Toilet? Don't worry, Lennart has set up some heated toilet booths near the tents. We have five tents to share so there is be plenty of room for all of us.

During the evening we enjoy an evening meal by the fire place in a small wooden cabin. We take turns to go outside and watch for the Aurora, hopefully dancing in the sky above the camp. In either case, the illuminated tents provide an ideal foreground for night sky photography.

Here we recommend you to put your phone away and let nature be your connection to the world. We're in the wild, so no electricity is available to charge your phone. Although Lennart wouldn't call it wilderness, for him this is his 'backyard'. The Sámis have lived in harmony with these lands for thousands of years. Following the reindeer, harvesting berries, herbs and firewood and drinking the water from the streams and lakes.

Overnight WILDERNESS CAMP - Sámi tent
Meals included today:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 6 | Ski or Snowshoe

Wake up in your tent and join the others for breakfast in the warm cabin. Take this day to relax. You deserve it. Read a book, talk to your fellow travelers, go for a walk by the lake.

You can also explore the surrounding forests and the frozen lake on wooden Nordic skis or snowshoes. Experience different types of snow and search for animal tracks of grouse, moose, reindeer, fox and weasels. These activities are optional. You can also go by foot, or just lay in your bed all day.

Lennart is feeding birds at the camp so there are always some birds around. And there is plenty of Willow ptarmigan in the surrounding forests. Lunch and dinner at the camp. No schedule, no stress.

In the evening we heat up the wood heated sauna by the lake. Heat up, then if you dare, roll yourself in the snow! Buckets of warm water will be your only shower.

Overnight WILDERNESS CAMP - Sámi tent
Meals included today:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 7 | Wake up in the Wild - Return to Luleå

We enjoy another slow breakfast in the cabin. This morning you will have another chance with the skis or snowshoe before saying our goodbyes to Lennart and begin our journey back to the modern world. Time has come to leave Sápmi, although we're quite sure you will return some day. We stop for lunch at a local restaurant in Jokkmokk and then continue our return journey to Luleå and the coast.

We have booked a room for you at the same hotel where we met on the first day. Our guide will drop you off during the late afternoon. After two nights in tents you may want to soak up at the spa.

Dinner on your own at one of the excellent restaurants in Luleå.

Overnight LULEÅ - Best Western Plus Hotell Savoy
Meals included today:  Breakfast, Lunch


Day 8 | Homeward bound

Enjoy another buffet breakfast at your hotel before taking the airport bus or taxi to Luleå Airport for your return flight to the UK via Stockholm

Meals included today:  Breakfast

Departure Day:  See set departure dates in price panel
Duration:  7 nights

Departure DatesPrice per person
14 December 2020
10 January 2021
24 January 2021
7 February 2021
14 February 2021
28 February 2021



£3495
27 December 2021
New Year departure

£3785
Deposit Payment£600
Prices are based on two people travelling together and sharing a twin room at the guesthouse and a Sámi tent for two

This holiday includes an awful lot in order to ensure a complete, immersive experience. This is a small-group tour with a maximum of 7 participants plus your expert guide.

Price includes:

  • Scheduled flights with SAS from London Heathrow Airport or Manchester Airport to Luleå (both flights via Stockholm). Flights include 23kgs of checked luggage and one piece of hand-luggage per person. Pre-reserved seating available free of charge when checking in online 22 hours prior to departure. Taxes included.
  • Expert tour leader from day 2 – 7.
  • 5 nights guesthouse accommodation based on two people sharing a twin room.
  • 2 nights Sami tent accommodation each with 2-3 beds in each. Please note that as a single traveller you may have to share a tent with another person.
  • Full-board throughout except for dinner on the first and last nights. NB. Beverages are no included but may be purchased locally.
  • Round-trip transportation from Luleå.
  • Rental of thermal winter clothing by Fjällräven (hat, salopettes,  jacket), boots by Lundhag and mittens by Hestra.
  • 24-hour emergency telephone assistance.
  • Financial Protection.

 

Two nights (first and last) are spent at 3 star Best Western Plus Hotell Savoy in Luleå. This hotel is located in the town centre near the train station and is very well located for walking around the town. Choose between single or double/twin rooms. The hotel has a nice restaurant and a café and  you will have free entrance to the spa.

Three nights are spent at Jokkmokk Guesthouse. Here you also choose between single or double/twin rooms. The rooms are basic but comfortable and clean with bathrooms in the corridor. These bathrooms can be used by all guests, but you can lock the door from the inside when you use it. There is also a shared sauna. This homely guesthouse was built nearly 100 years ago and is as authentic as it comes!

Two nights are spent in Sámi tents at a camp far out in the wild. The tents are more like hotel rooms with proper beds and a heater. There are five tents with 2-3 beds in each. If you travel as a single you may have to share a tent with another person. The toilets are shared in a heated booth outside the tents. There is no electricity.

This holiday is recommended for anyone who has a keen interest in seeing the Northern Lights and enjoys being outdoors for lengthy periods of time amongst the nature. Participants should be able to walk in uneven terrain without difficulty. Walking level is easy/medium. You don't have to be able to ski or snowshoes, this is just an optional activity for one of the days. The minimum age for this tour is 12 years.

This tour is kept small for a more genuine and personal experience. The maximum number of participants is seven plus the guide, making it eight.

Winters in Swedish Lapland are long with a cold and dry climate. During normal winters we have a proper snow cover from the end of November until the beginning of May. However, with the climate change we have seen that temperatures are rising and that the weather has become more unpredictable.

During the coldest period in December and January we expect temperatures between -10C to -20°C (14°F to -4°F) but it may well drop to -30°C (-22°F). We will make sure that you are well equipped and stay warm during the entire trip. This guide describes how you can dress for such temperatures.

During December and January daylight is limited to just a few hours during the middle of the day. However, the light reflecting off the snow can make the days seem brighter. The short daylight hours also create ideal conditions to view the Northern Lights, which can be seen whenever it is dark, which basically means at night time from mid September until March.

This holiday includes rental of top of the range winter thermal gear by Fjällrävan, plus boots from Lundhags and gloves from Hestra - absolute experts in their field! You are still going to need your own thermal base layers and more detailed information regarding this can be found under the Packing List which is available to download under the Downloads tab.

Northern Lights & Wildlife in Swedish Lapland – Packing ListWe have created a list of all you need to take on this tour to keep you warm and well equipped.

Travel Accreditations - Norway Travel Awards Winner, IATA, ABTA

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