So many visitors to northern Sweden go straight to the Ice Hotel in Kiruna - point proved by the fact that Abisko is not even in this websites drop down menu!! [Noone has tipped about it yet - ed] I recommend keep going north on the train to Abisko, about an hour further into the Arctic Circle. There is a fantastic, huge, youth hostel in the middle of the Abisko National Park, more like a hotel. If you are visiting between October and May you can sign up to spend a night in the cafe on top of the Kungsleden mountain. It sounds bonkers (its not posh, you literally sleep on the floor of a cafe in sleeping bags) but you get to spend the whole night watching for the Northern Lights followed by the sun rising over the Lapporten, the famous Lapp Gateway. This mountain view is seeped in Sami traditions, legends and stories. I also recommend following your evening on the mountain up with a trip on a skidoo across the bright blue frozen lake with a local guide. NB: make sure you book the Abisko Mountain STATION (the youth hostel) not the Abikso Mountain Lodge (the posh hotel)
We did this for our honeymoon and even though we spent the whole trip in separate beds (or sleeping bags!) it was truly amazing. The closest thing to magic I have witnessed.
We went to Kiruna in northern Sweden in late January. Kiruna is an interesting little mining town and was under about 10 foot of snow which made for a wonderful wintry experience. Actually seeing the Northern Lights is somewhat of hit and miss process. Don't believe the places that 'guarantee' you will see them - as they are as dependent on the rest of the weather and there actually being sufficient solar activity that night to see the Lights. You have to get a little out of Kiruna (just get a taxi to the other side of the ski slope hill at night) to see the Lights, as Kiruna has a surprising amount of light pollution.
Just an hour and a half's drive from Kiruna is the Abisko Mountain Station considered as the best place on earth to view the Northern Lights.
With its fresh clean air and its practically cloud-free skies the conditions for seeing the lights are optimal. Aurora occurs, more or less, every night but to detect it the skies have to be dark. The period from September to March is best time of year.
The world-famous Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi is just outside Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost town, which itself is worth a visit. The world’s largest underground iron ore mine, a magnificent view of the mountains, plenty of fresh air – it’s nearly always windy – and a population who are completely obsessed with being outdoors. The further north you go, the more chance you have to see the midnight sun in summer and northern lights in winter.
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