Showing posts with label arctic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label arctic. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top 5 reasons to spend your vacation in Abisko in Wintertime

Spot the northern lights

Naturally, Abisko is the best spot in the world for northern lights observation. Watch the aurora forecast, or book a northern lights excursion, and you will probably be rewarded with one of nature’s most spectacular powers. The patch of sky over the Abisko lake remains clear despite overcast weather in surrounding areas. Excellent for observing the green, red and purple curtains dancing in the starry sky.

Try snowshoeing through the wilderness

The Abisko National Park, Lake Törneträsk, the mountains, all offer good trails for a snowshoeing experience. Snowshoeing is in fact hiking, wearing special shoes under your boots for trudging through tonnes of compact snow. Thanks to the snowshoes, you won’t sink into the deep snow, which makes walking much nicer.

Go snowmobiling through the mountains

Off the beaten track, into the wild. The Abisko mountains are the perfect surroundings for an exciting snowmobile adventure. These machines are quite easy to navigate, and don’t require the level of endurance that skiing or snowshoeing demand. A snowmobile definitely makes going uphill to a mountain top or remote cabin a lot more comfortable, and you are still being rewarded with the magnificent views. This turns snowmobiles into the perfect means of transport to enjoy the natural beauty of the Abisko area.

Catch fish from frozen lakes

If you have never gone fishing before, ice fishing will be an intense introduction! Drill a hole in  a frozen lake to catch an Arctic char, salmon, pike, perch, or whitefish.
Traditionally, once you drill a hole in the ice large enough for your bait, you make yourself comfortable on a reindeer skin. Through the hole you can see the crystal clear water, your bait and maybe an eager fish swimming by.
The enormous Lake Törneträsk doesn’t only have plenty of fish to offer, the view from the Lake is remarkable. Surrounded by mountain ranges, you feel quite small standing in the middle of the 70 kilometers long lake. And this is only the seventh largest lake from Sweden! While fishing, you can also admire the Lapporten high above Abisko.

Drive a husky sled

This is probably the most exciting activity in the Arctic North. The interaction with the animals is refreshing, and on a sled you feel very close to nature.

Many companies run dog sledding tours, from daytrips to multi-day expeditions, it’s all possible. In Abisko, the half day husky tour from the Abisko Mountain Station is a good introduction to husky sledding. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How to spend a winter's day in Swedish Lapland?

Absolutely everybody would love to see the magic of the northern lights dancing in the night skies at least once in their lives. It should be an inevitable feature on everyone’s bucket list, as it is absolutely a unique natural phenomenon. It can only be seen near the earth’s magnetic poles, above the Polar Circle at 66° north, between September and April.

In this time of year, this Nordic region is covered in snow and faces negative Celsius temperatures. Northern lights can only be seen in the evening, when the sky is dark. So, what should you do during the daytime?

Luckily, there is plenty of choice! Whether you are a sporty adventurer or comfort traveler looking for a taste of the local ambience, there is an activity to suit everyone’s taste. Here are some suggestions: 

Local culture
A day excursion to the Norwegian Fjords is an absolute highlight of the High North. For example from Abisko in Sweden you can cross the mountainous border to Norway by minivan with an experienced local guide, and admire the panoramic view over the fjords of Narvik.

Reindeer remain an important part of life of the Sámi people, the native inhabitants of Lapland. Getting to know their traditional way of life, exploring an authentic reindeer farm, and hand-feeding the reindeer is definitely an interesting trip. Besides, not only Santa drives a reindeer sled, you try it yourself!

The original ICEhotel of Jukkasjärvi, constructed out of the bluish ice of the Torne River, is probably the most famous Swedish spot in the world. A hotel that melts away every year when spring comes, and is reconstructed in autumn by ice sculptors and designers from all over the world, is something you shouldn’t miss when you are nearby! 

Active and accessible for everybody
Try husky sledding! It’s fun, it’s easy, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The dogs love running in the snow and pulling your sled through winter wonderland. Take your chance and go for a sled dog ride! 

Remember the tennis-racket shaped shoes the Eskimo’s wear in cartoons? It might look funny but it makes walking in the snow a whole lot more comfortable! Instead of winding up in the snow up to your knees, these snowshoe maintain your weight up the thick layer of snow. Go for a walk to experience it yourself, and don’t worry, the modern version of snowshoes look not bad at all!

Bet you never driven a snowmobile before? The good news, you don’t have to be a superhero to go out for a drive. An experienced instructor will provide you with all the instructions you need for a safe drive over the taiga. Conquer your fears, and you’ll see that it’s a lot easier than you though, and a lot more fun!

Adventurous tours for sporty explorers
Looking for something more? Go for a full day snowmobile tour in the Abisko mountains. At lunchtime, an on-the-road campfire is lit for the outdoor lunch. Drive up to an icy mountain lake to go ice fishing, and if you’re lucky, prepare your fish for dinner!

Waiting for the northern lights to appear in the evening can become very interesting when spicing up your days in the High North with unique activities during the day. If you consider a trip to Sweden, combining the northern lights with all these exciting activities, the incoming tour operator Abisko Aurora is a good choice for a tailor-made program catering to all your wishes.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The best ICEhotel experiences

1.      The original ICEbar

A drink in the ICEbar is a highlight of everyone’s stay at the ICEhotel. Drinking colorful vodka cocktails out of ice glasses at a bar made of ice, whilst surrounded by ice from floor to ceiling. The temperature is -5° Celsius, both the bar and the glasses, no ice cubes needed!

The very first ICEbar was created in the ICEhotel in 1994. Since then the bar is re-created each year to a new theme. The cocktails served in the bar, all based on the Swedish Absolut Vodka, are inspired by the surroundings and heritage of Swedish Lapland. Try the Rain of Memories, created to celebrate the northern lights, made from Absolut Mango, cucumber syrup, sparkling wine, lime juice and Blue Curaçao. An innovative cocktail in a unique setting!

icebar jukkasjarvi

2.      Sleeping on a bed of ice

It’s not only sleeping in a temperature of -5° Celsius, it’s also sleeping inside a piece of art. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And even though it’s -5° inside, it’s better than being outside where it is -30°! You are kept warm in your ice bed by a mattress of isolating reindeer skin, and a specially designed thermal sleeping bag that keeps you warmer than your bed at home.

art suite icehotel jukkasjarvi

3.      Meeting the indigenous Sámi people

Usually they are pretty hidden in Lapland, living on remote locations, herding their reindeer. Luckily, there is a reindeer farm in the forests surrounding the ICEhotel. It’s fascinating to see the original inhabitants of Lapland in their local habitat, in authentic colorful clothing, and reindeer skin shoes. You can learn all about reindeer, how to catch them with a Lappish lasso, and take a ride in a reindeer sled, just like Santa!

sami reindeer icehotel

4.      Go for a husky safari

When entering the husky kennel near the Torne River, you’re struck by how energetic and noisy the dogs are. As soon as they take off, the serenity sets in. These dogs are clearly happiest when they are running. There is a stop on the road in the-middle-of-nowhere for coffee and cake by an open fire. The huskies on the other hand cuddle up next to each other to keep warm. So friendly and warm these animals are! They are definitely the highlight of the trip.

5.      Watch the northern lights

You should see this miracle of nature at least once in your life. The magic of the green lights dancing in the night skies is unforgettable, not to mention standing in the unique setting of snow-covered pine trees and fairytale-like frozen lakes. The northern lights can be seen in the entire north of Scandinavia, take a look at for the best northern lights holidays in the Abisko area and the ICEhotel. You don’t want to miss out on this!

aurora icehotel

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

When and where to go for northern lights

Everybody wants to see the magical northern lights, yet everybody wonders: what is the best time and place to see the northern lights?

Abisko aurora borealisA basic rule:  always keep in mind that the northern lights are a natural phenomenon and can never be guaranteed. However, that’s what makes aurora hunting so magical, you never know when and where exactly they will appear, but finding them gives you all the more joy.

There is northern lights activity between October and April. Basically, this entire period offers great chances for spotting the aurora. It depends on the intensity of the solar wind bouncing off the earth’s magnetic field, to determine whether or not you’ll observe the lights on a certain night. Generally, it is said that the lights are seen best when there is low lunar light. For example when there is no moon. From

experience we know that it should not be the overriding reason determining the timing of your visit. A northern lights show by full moon is incredibly fascinating. Being in the right spot, is proven to be even more important, the one with the highest chances of a clear night. This spot being Abisko, high above the polar circle in the north of Sweden. 

Abisko northern lights

In Abisko the percentage of nights between October and April when the lights are viewed register highest. The spectacle of seeing them from up the mountains in the Aurora Sky Station is unimaginable. You should see it for yourself.  The highest chances of actually viewing the northern lights in combination with the stunning mountain setting of Abisko, in the middle of a National Park, makes this destination your logical choice for a northern lights trip.

It’s easy to conclude that spotting the northern lights just comes down to ‘location location location’.