Sledding Through Swedish Lapland Itinerary

A 8 day trip to Sweden 
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Silence. Serenity. Solitude. That’s Swedish Lapland, a white wilderness where the aurora dances and the huskies just keep on running. On a four-day dogsledding safari you explore lands that rarely see human eyes, crossing frozen lakes and ancient forests swathed in snow. You get away and discover a fairytale world, driving the dogs to wilderness cabins and landscapes from a dream. Yours are the only marks in the snow, and before long you become one with Lappish nature. Are you planning your dream vacation to Sweden? Consider browsing our Sweden vacations page to add other essential Sweden experiences and activities.

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General Information

Photos
Dog sledding in Lapland.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Stockholm, Gamla Stan, ABBA Museum, Nobel Museum, Vilhelmina, Slussfors, Swedish Lapland, Flottarkoja, Vindelfjallens Nature Reserve

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Stockholm – Sweden’s Charming Capital

Stockholm is a capital city with the atmosphere of a small town. You’re staying in Gamla Stan, the old town on an island in the heart of the city. Cobblestone streets take you on a journey past narrow townhouses, each of them painted a different hue. Almost the entire island is pedestrianized and you’re encouraged to explore without a map. Whatever it is there will be another piece of the medieval center to admire. This is Scandinavia from the middle ages, just spruced up with contemporary indulgences; lantern-lit cafes, cozy fine dining restaurants, market squares running alongside waterways. So while you came to Sweden for the wilderness you’ll find plenty of urban charm to enjoy as well.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Stockholm – Amid Waterways and Museums

A full day in Stockholm and there are different alleys to explore. Nothing is planned or scheduled. After the international flight, today gives space to overcome any jet lag or travel fatigue before you head out into the land of the huskies. Stockholm is a city of waterways and cobbles. If anywhere can make you feel relaxed after a journey it’s here, especially when coffee aromas float down the lanes. During the day you could visit the ABBA Museum or the Nobel Museum, two very different experiences synonymous with the city. You could go on a Nordic food tour, perhaps a brunch cruise on Stomma, or even an ABBA boat trip.

What’s Included: accommodation, breakfast

Day 3: Vilhelmina to Slussfors – Into the Wild Landscape of Swedish Lapland

Fly north, and you appreciate the remoteness of Swedish Lapland. From the plane window, a white landscape extends, layers of snow and ice punctuated by thick pine forests. From Vilhelmina, it’s still another two hours to the true wilderness, that stretch of land where people are merely visitors. On the drive, you start to understand just how untouched Lapland is, literally nothing breaking the journey to Slussfors and Vindelfjallens Nature Reserve. Be welcomed by a lunch of Swedish waffles and check into a lakeside guesthouse. As your feet crunch along the snow, there’s a sense of possibility, a sense that this is just the beginning of an adventure.

After lunch, you meet the dogs. Piercing blue eyes stare expectantly towards you. Long fur seems to blur into the snowy surroundings. Like all mammals, there’s a variety of behaviors and characteristics on show, the guide teaches you how different huskies are best suited to different positions within the team. Traveling through the wilderness is a team effort, and you’ll need to play your part on the expedition to come. Learn how to pack the sled and the best way to pack your own luggage in the waterproof hold-all. Get a lesson in driving the sled and learn the hand signals required to control the huskies. Then take a ride, a first real exploration of Swedish Lapland – there’s so much more to come tomorrow.

For this journey, you’re given winter boots, Arctic overalls, and mittens, essential items for combatting the cold. You’ll also have a warm four-season sleeping bag with a liner to take with you, to be used in the wilderness huts on route. A headlamp and thermos bottle also make up your kit, but you’ll need your own wooly hat. After an early dinner at the guesthouse, this evening is free. Free evenings in Lapland are all about the sauna. Soak into the steam, run out into the cold night air, then soak some more until your fingers and toes have turned to wrinkles.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Swedish Lapland – First Day of the Husky Safari

Soon the wooden huts recede into the horizon. Soon there’s nothing but you and the huskies. Endless kilometers of trails are your playground on this first day, a day of dogsledding taking you deeper into Europe’s largest nature reserve. Between forests and mountains, you ride, icy water all around and a sense of solitude that’s difficult to rival in Europe. You share the driving, spending part of the day stood up coordinating the journey, and part of it sat back on the sled. Arriving at the cabin in Flottarkoja, you have a job to do taking care of the dogs and feeding them. They are your transport and companions in this wilderness, so they take first priority.

Once the dogs are sorted you make a fire and help slow cook a traditional Lappish meal, this first day likely to be moose and potatoes cooked on an outdoor muurikka, a skillet-style pan you place over an open fire. While it may seem unusual to partake in preparing food or even looking after the dogs, this is an expedition-style experience and the idea is that you’re fully immersed in what that entails. Almost everyone finds that getting involved in this way is a highlight, a chance to connect further with the journey and the wonderful husky dogs. Relax after dinner, hopefully, the northern lights dancing across the night sky.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5: Swedish Lapland – Dogsledding Through the Wilderness

Dawn colors stretch for two hours, pinks and oranges reflecting back off the snow. The sun rises at its own pace and you depart with it. Harness the huskies, pack the sled, then drive through magical mountain landscapes. Pine trees resemble giant snow sculptures, spruce forests have an eery silence, and frozen lakes lie bellow with a haunting inner sound. This is a part of the world rarely seen by humans, and you create new paths in the virgin snow, the dogs running and running through this almost fictional realm. Dogsledding is wonderfully silent and gives you so much time for clear thoughts, making this a getaway as effective as any remote island. It’s so pristine you get to hear the beauty of silence and sense how the wilderness changes.

Arrive at your cozy wooden cabin in the afternoon. This is a comfortable base in the middle of a nature reserve. The cabin is well equipped and has everything you need for a warm night in the wild. What you lack in luxuries is more than compensated with the setting. The aurora borealis dances overhead, the huskies stand like sentinels, and nature creates a humbling silence. You might be hundreds of miles from civilization, but there’s still a sauna for the evening – what else would you expect in Lapland?

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6: Slussfors – Traversing Frozen Lakes and Ancient Spruce Forests

By now you know the dogs and their personalities. Those that come to greet you in the morning, those who are natural leaders, those with histories the guide has shared. Meet the team and harness them up. Then off you go, slicing through ancient forests, up and down and up and down as natural snow sculptures fill the panorama. At first glance, this landscape can seem monotonous, but after four days of dogsledding, you realize this is a true adventure. There’s always another perspective, always something new to pass in the realm that is Lapland. You’re fully settled into the dogsledding rhythm now and it’s four days since hearing any artificial sounds.

As Slussfors draws near the dogs run faster and faster, sensing their home is on the horizon. Like other evenings you eat heart-warming traditional food and have a chance to dip in the sauna before looking for the aurora. From late November to late April the northern lights can be seen roughly every other night. Being in a place with so little light pollution means the show is bright and baffling, often two colors swirling in unison through the sky.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7: Vilhelmina to Stockholm – Snowmobile Safari and Sami History

There’s a different way to explore today. Travel to Vilhelmina and store your luggage at a trusted hotel. Snowmobiles aren’t as charming as huskies but they can cover large distances and are always fun to handle. They have also become part of local culture, a functional means of transportation that helps Sami people live their lives in the 21st century. You head out on snowmobiles with a guide, riding into land you haven’t explored before. Go to meet a small Sami community and discuss the subtleties of their heritage and future, from reindeer to snowmobiles to crafting a living from the snow and ice. These people are warm and welcoming, and the experience is very different from what you might expect. Return to Vilhelmina, before the early evening flight back to Stockholm and a final night in Sweden.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Stockholm – Departure

The wilderness may be behind you, but memories of the wild live on. You may already be missing Lapland, but the land will still be part of you; multi-day dogsledding is an experience that can have a profound effect on your psyche, the connection with nature helping so much more make sense. After a free day in Stockholm, you’re transferred to the airport for your outbound flight.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast