Call to book1-877-929-7245
Tour Search
#Favorites

Northern Lights & Sweden's Arctic Circle

Save
Gallery
NEW

Experience the dancing colors of the northern lights in new and exciting ways when exploring the remote reaches of Swedish Lapland.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20232024
9 days From $4,302 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2023 Tour code: KT-NLSR-23

About the tour

One of the best places in the world for auroral activity, Swedish Lapland is as remote as it is scenic. Heritage and tradition are the beating heart of the region and experiencing morsels of this culture in highly scenic locations immerses you in Sweden in ways you could have only imagined previously. This expedition presents the opportunity to do just that as you explore the country from its capital city to the furthest reaches of the Arctic. Enjoy a private sightseeing tour introducing Stockholm's one-of-a-kind atmosphere, history, and stories. From the city, venture north into the arctic circle to places like Lulea, Abisko, and Kiruna, where natural beauty abounds and the aurora borealis dances overhead. Quintessential cold-weather activities, like dogsledding, meet opportunities to learn more about indigenous Scandinavians as you explore by day and night. The adventures that lie ahead as you explore Swedish Lapland are limitless.  

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Stockholm

Surrounded by the Baltic Sea and stretched across 14 islands, Stockholm is a capital city like no other and the commencement point for your journey. As you arrive at the international airport, a driver greets you to offer a private escort in a comfortable sedan to your downtown hotel. You are welcome to begin exploring Stockholm's vibrant neighborhoods and intriguing attractions independently, whetting your appetite for the great experiences to come. ABBA The Museum is a fun place to dive into music history, whereas Kungsträdgården in the center of the city is perhaps the best place to sit back, relax, and observe the daily workings of Stockholm. Cafés and restaurants surround the park, and numerous shops and galleries are within walking distance. Overnight Stockholm. 

Day 2 - Private Stockholm Sightseeing Tour

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel to fuel yourself for this morning's sightseeing expedition. An English-speaking guide is your personal escort through the city, driving your party in a private car to the city's top sites. This half-day tour introduces some of Stockholm's most captivating attractions, beginning with Stockholm City Hall. The National Romantic architecture of the impressive structure catches your eye immediately as you drive across Kungsholmen Island. Your tour takes you inside the hall, where its grand staircase and beautiful stone and brickwork continue to impress. The Blue Hall, a room where gold and colorful glass mosaics catch your eye at every angle, is a highlight of the tour.

Continuing through the city, venture to Gamla Stan, one of the best-preserved medieval Old Towns on the continent. This island was the original city center when Stockholm was founded in the mid-1200s. The colorful architecture, narrow streets, and beautiful churches throughout the district all hint at its past. You may also see Gamla Stan's centerpiece as you drive through the city, the Royal Palace. From Old Town, the tour continues to the Vasa Museum, where you can spend as much time as you please exploring Sweden's maritime past. The Vasa, a 17th-century warship, is also housed here and is incredible to see in person.

After your city concludes, you may continue sightseeing through Stockholm on your own or join an optional guided Archipelago Tour. This unique excursion takes you aboard one of two antique ships - one built in 1906 and the other in 1931 - to sail around the Stockholm Archipelago. Learn about the city's history and see its skyline from a fresh angle while you cruise. Overnight Stockholm.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - Discover Luleå

A private transfer takes you from your hotel to Stockholm's Arlanda Airport this morning. Your flight's course extends across the Gulf of Bothnia to Luleå, your gateway to Swedish Lapland. After just an hour and a half in the sky, the plane touches down, and a driver greets you at the airport. But you are not headed straight to the hotel; instead, enjoy your first look at Luleå on a two-hour guided tour. Surrounding the city is fantastic scenery composed of forests, water views, and small islands. Eventually, the car arrives at Gammelstad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site church village. This historic part of Luleå houses over 400 wooden residences, all constructed around a beautiful old church from the early 1400s. Exploring this pretty region on foot showcases the intricacies of the architecture and allows you to learn more about the concept of the typical Scandinavian church town. Overnight Luleå. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 – Train to Abisko/Aurora Sky Station Dinner

Keep your camera and sense of adventure at the ready during today's travels into the arctic circle to the village of Abisko. This far-north destination is blessed with a "blue hole," a patch of sky that remains relatively clear despite surrounding weather conditions. This microclimate, thanks to reliable western winds provided by the jet stream, gives Abisko more clear night skies to view the aurora borealis than most places in the auroral oval. To get here, board a train at Luleå's station for a six-hour journey through Sweden's most remote landscapes.

On arrival, check in to your hotel, then prepare for a night shrouded in shades of red, violet, and green under the northern lights. Head to the Aurora Sky Station this evening for an exclusive dinner in one of the world's best places to see the aurora. There is only one way up: a chairlift up Mt. Nuolja. The ride is over a mile and takes you through the endless snowscapes to the summit. A warm fire in the hearth greets you, and a thoughtfully composed menu of regional favorites introduces you to Nordic cuisine. Courses are paired with drinks that complement the flavor profile and create a memorable dining experience with views you will never forget. Overnight Abisko.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Abisko at Leisure

Spend your day surrounded by natural beauty, exploring however you see fit. Today is yours to relax at your hotel or to venture out into the landscape. Nearby, Abisko National Park is breathtaking, with its frozen waterfalls and endless outback views. There are plenty of places to enjoy cold-weather activities, such as snowmobiling and ice fishing, as well. Do not forget to look up to the sky as the sun goes down, as tonight is another chance to enjoy the aurora's hues.

For a more structured day, consider joining a guided snowshoe hike through Abisko National Park. Your tour lead takes you to scenic points throughout the park on foot, looking for hints that the park's animals may be nearby as you snowshoe. After all, the park is home to moose, lynx, and caribou. Overnight Abisko.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Kiruna Dog Sled Aurora Hunt

After breakfast at your hotel this morning, transfer to Abisko's rail station to join your train to Kiruna. The historic municipality is about an hour south of Abisko and is Sweden's northernmost town. Kiruna is known for its long ties to the mining industry, yet it is also a wonderful place to experience the strongholds of the arctic culture in the north. On arrival, enjoy a shared transfer from the train station to your hotel with the afternoon free to settle into your new location.

This evening, experience the aurora borealis in a new and exciting way while dog sledding. The kennels are set just outside Kiruna yet are far enough from the town's light pollution that the sky has ample opportunity to shine in its full glory. Board a large sled headed by a team of Alaskan huskies and begin your adventure into boreal forests and alongside the frozen Torne River. Dark skies loom overhead, inviting the northern lights to come out and play whenever the conditions are right. Approximately halfway through the route, enjoy the opportunity to warm your bones in a lavvu, a traditional tipi used by the Sami people. Sip warming drinks and snack on apple cake fireside or take your treats out under the stars to watch the overhead performance. The excitable huskies whisk you back through the wintry expanses to the journey's beginning point. You are welcome to continue your evening as you please, perhaps in one of Kiruna's numerous restaurants. Overnight Kiruna.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Sami Survival Experience

Swedish Lapland's hearty indigenous Sami people survive the arctic's frigid and sometimes inhospitable conditions year-round. Because of this, they are an invaluable resource for learning the ins and outs of survival. Today's adventure allows you to tap into their knowledge and learn to survive like the Sami. This wilderness excursion teaches you how to dress for any season or weather conditions in Swedish Lapland and to make fire for warmth. Enjoy lessons on tracking animals by their tracks in the snow and how to move about safely and without scaring away potential food sources.

This afternoon, you are free to explore Kiruna at leisure. Its Gothic Revival church is beautiful and starkly contrasts the modern Swedish architecture of the Town Hall and county art museum, the Konstmuseet i Norr. If you are interested in the mining culture surrounding Kiruna, you can visit the Kiirunavaara mine.

Tonight, an optional excursion takes you in search of the northern lights once more, this time in a manner fit for St. Nick himself: behind a reindeer-drawn sled. Reindeer have long provided transportation for the Sami people, and this experience connects you with their culture even further. Trek through the silent wilderness, with only the sounds of snow crunching under hooves and open skies overhead. Out here, the lack of light pollution leads to incredible views of the aurora, should the conditions be right. Enjoy the warmth of a fire at a lavvu and the opportunity to pet and feed the reindeer after your ride, then join the tour group in a delicious dinner made of caribou (reindeer) meat. Overnight Kiruna.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Flight to Stockholm

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Stockholm. On arrival, a sedan awaits in Stockholm for a private escort to your hotel after your flight lands. You have the entire day to revisit favorite sights from earlier in your trip or to explore anew. Overnight Stockholm. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 9 – Return Home

With memories of immense arctic landscapes and colorful night skies, conclude your wintertime journey through Sweden's impressive Lapland over breakfast this morning. A private sedan greets you at your downtown hotel to take you to Stockholm's airport for your return flight home. 

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Global Rail Adventures Brochure

Global Rail Adventures Brochure

The definitive guide to our 2023 Global Rail Adventures

Download brochure