The winter delights of northern Sweden
are well known to many: the chance to sleep in the IceHotel, snowmobile or dog sled adventures, and perhaps the best place in the world to get a glimpse of the magical Northern Lights. But the region has plenty to offer in the summer months too, when the 24-hour daylight provides an endless opportunity to make the most of the many outdoor attractions.
Here are just a few things that can be enjoyed on a summer holiday in northern Sweden.
Experience the Midnight Sun
For those of us used to having the sun drop below the horizon every night, the idea of the sun staying visible (clouds permitting) from May to July is a striking novelty. The Panorama Cafe in Abisko National Park
, a prime winter spot for aurora spotting, is also one of the best places from which to watch the midnight sun. From its vantage point atop Mount Nuoja you can watch in relative comfort as the sun lingers just above the horizon on a summer’s night.
Take a Hike There are thousands of kilometres of marked walking trails across the region and with the constant daylight there’s no need to worry about getting lost in the dark. One popular trail runs from the Sámi village of Nikkaluokta to the Kebnekaise mountain station, 19 km away. There’s a summer restaurant and some cabins at the mountain station. You can choose a shorter 14km option if you take a boat trip over Lake Ladjojaure.
Sleep in a Lavuu A lavvu is a tent traditional used by the Sámi people as a temporary shelter. It’s similar to a tipee, but flatter in design to withstand the strong winds that northern Scandinavia can face. There are opportunities to sleep in lavvus in all seasons and while lavvus are traditionally spartan by nature, modern-day versions may have TVs and even Jacuzzis.
Explore the Bothnian Coast Visits to the islands of the archipelago in the northern Bothnian Sea are very popular in the summer months. Using Lulea as a base it’s possible to take day trips to the islands, most of which are small enough to cover extensively in a few hours’ walking. The bird life on the islands is impressive, while the summer wild flowers provide a carpet of colour.
Go Underground If the urge to experience a few minutes of darkness gets too strong, you can visit the world’s largest iron-ore mine in Kiruna, a town that was moved to allow the region’s mining activity to progress. There’s a visitors’ centre on site and a full guided tour programme explaining the history of the mine and how it has impacted the lives of Kiruna residents. As a bonus, coffee and cookies are served in the cafe.