My first visit to Swedish Lapland during the Midsummer far exceeded any, if not all of my expectations. I had been told by a few colleagues how beautiful Sweden is and they were right. Travelling from Lulea to Kiruna via Harads, Haparanda, Tornedalen and Jukkasjarvi, I witnessed spectacular landscapes - the tallest trees, crystal clear rivers and lakes, lush green vegetation, jagged mountains and quiet roads.  

 

Swedish Lapland Swedish Lapland

I ticked a few things off my bucket list in just five days; one of which was a night’s stay in a cabin at The Treehotel. The Cabin, a 5-10-minute walk through woodland, has a huge panoramic window overlooking the woods and in the distance the River Lule and surrounding forest. It also boasts a rooftop terrace, ideal for sitting out in the Midnight Sun. I would describe this accommodation as a unique and tranquil place, perfect for a couple.  

There are a further six cabins, all different but equally spectacular. I spent a night in The Blue Cone, which is actually red, enjoying the view from the big window. You can sit in one of the chairs or lie in bed to relax, gazing out at the amazing views.

Blue Cone, Treehotel, Swedish Lapland Blue Cone, Treehotel, Swedish Lapland
View from the 7th room cabin, Treehotel, Swedish Lapland View from the 7th room cabin, Treehotel, Swedish Lapland

The dinner which was eaten in the guesthouse was outstanding: Perch to start, followed by Reindeer and homemade ice cream for dessert. The buffet breakfast had everything you need to start the day. Bacon, eggs, pancakes, cereals, fruit, juices and of course tea and coffee. There was so much choice, no chance of anyone going hungry.

On the path back to the cabin after dinner, there is a sign for a lookout which is just 400m away. It doesn’t take long to walk and the views from there were incredible. All I could hear was the wildlife and nature which surrounded me.

 

Reindeer, The Treehotel, Swedish Lapland Reindeer, The Treehotel, Swedish Lapland
Home made ice cream, The Treehotel, Swedish Lapland Home made ice cream, The Treehotel, Swedish Lapland

The Treehotel would take a lot to trump, but I suspected there was a good chance considering that I would be spending two nights at the renowned ICEHOTEL. One night in a warm room and the next in an ice room. I had only ever seen photos of The ICEHOTEL in the winter where everything is covered in snow, so to see it in the summer was very different. I checked in and was shown to my Kaamos room which was very spacious with a twin bed and large bathroom with shower. I ate dinner at the hotel restaurant and had the ‘Classic Ice Menu’ which consists of five courses, four of which are served on a small slab of ice. My favourite course was the fillet of reindeer with Jagermeister sauce, in fact it was the best reindeer out of the seven ways I had eaten it throughout my trip. 

 

Dinner at the ICEHOTEL Dinner at the ICEHOTEL
Dessert at the ICEHOTEL Dessert at the ICEHOTEL

The next morning was another superb buffet breakfast followed by white water rafting. What an exhilarating experience that was, I can't wait to do it again! The activity was seven hours, starting a boat transfer to the rafting boats on the Torne River, then travelling downstream through calm waters and rapids. Lunch was on an island where the tour leaders cooked freshly caught whitefish on an open fire and served it with salad and bread. This was followed by coffee and fika (cake). We then travelled further downstream through more rapids, sometimes with water coming right over us in the boat, to our final destination where we did a quick change and then went back to the hotel in a minibus.

 

Rafting Rafting
Wilderness dinner Wilderness dinner

That evening I checked into the deluxe art suite in the ICEHOTEL 365; a structure that houses the Icebar, art rooms and suites which are available all year round. I stayed in a suite called ‘Lost and Found’. The bed was made from ice and topped with a mattress which is covered in reindeer skins. I was given a subzero sleeping bag and was looking forward to spending the night in it. There was also a warm bathroom with a huge round bath, separate shower, sauna and two armchairs, as well as tea and coffee making facilities. I had a quick look in some of the other ice rooms, all are different, but all are beautiful.

 

Art Suite, ICEHOTEL 365 Art Suite, ICEHOTEL 365

After dinner at The Homestead, one of oldest building in Jukkasjarvi, dating back to 1768, a drink in the Icebar was called for. A cocktail is served in an ice glass, even the table and chairs are made of ice, all from the Torne River. Before you enter the Icebar you grab a cloak from the lobby and a pair of special mittens. Once the drinks were finished, we went outside and threw the ice glass back into the Torne River - a different way to recycle!

 

Tracy getting ready for the Ice Bar Tracy getting ready for the Ice Bar
Tracy and colleagues in the Ice Bar Tracy and colleagues in the Ice Bar

It was now time for bed. Yes, it is cold in the rooms but once dressed in thermals and you climb into the subzero sleeping bag on the bed, it takes only a few minutes to be warm again. The beds are very comfy and as you lie down and look at the ceiling, it's like there are thousands of tiny crystals twinkling in the light. That's another two things ticked off my bucket list in just one day: rafting and sleeping on a bed of ice.

I'd spent an amazing five days in this breathtaking country, all I need to do now is experience Swedish Lapland in the snow.

Written by Tracy Read

The Sunvil Family

By The Sunvil Family

13th September 2019



The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

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