5 reasons to visit Swedish Lapland this winter

With a new direct flight from London Heathrow to Lulea launching this December, there’s every reason to make your winter trip a visit to Swedish Lapland…

Rhodri Andrews
01 July 2022
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Experience Authentic Travel With Sunvil

1. Discover culture in Lulea

Founded in 1621 by royal charter, Lulea has been built on 400 years of Sámi heritage. It had humble beginnings, but the development of the Malmbanan iron ore railway meant Lulea swelled to become Swedish Lapland’s largest city. However, it’s a city in name only and its small-town feel means its longstanding Sámi culture still burns bright today. The Norbottens Museum offers a granular glimpse into not only Lulea’s past but the heritage of its reindeer herding way of life that’s still very much evident today. Sámi traditions are even starting to be modernised by locals through its avant-garde cuisine, where contemporary dishes reflect the region’s bounty of winter berries and seafood. To see where it all began for Lulea, nudge north to UNESCO-listed Gammelstad, the city’s original medieval core (which remains Sweden’s largest church town) that feels frozen in time with its 420 wooden scarlet-hued cottages and 15th-century stone Nedurlulea Church.

2. Seek out wildlife

The Sámi may be synonymous with Swedish Lapland but so is its wildlife. Many regard it as Europe’s last wilderness and its vast untamed tapestry of glaciers, mountains, old-growth forests and icy rivers are naturally landscaped by nomadic reindeer, whose love for lichen, mosses and other plants mean their grazing habits take them wherever food is most plentiful. Swedish Lapland’s remoteness serves as a wild playground for lynx and wolverines where you may spot their footprints on a snowmobile safari, while Boden’s thick boreal forests are ideal for spotting moose, beavers and Arctic hares. Hole up in one of Boden’s hides and you might catch a glimpse of a brown bear plodding through the woodland. Scan the skies and you’ll also discover Swedish Lapland boasts a rich and unsung array of birdlife such as golden eagles, Lapland bunting, rough-legged buzzards and more.

3. Enjoy winter adventures

Swedish Lapland isn’t just a happy hunting ground for its wildlife, it’s a playground for you as well. This is especially the case during winter when Lapland is looking its most quintessential: think sunshine rays bouncing off the frozen tundra and forests wigged with snow like icing sugar. It’s a white landscape you want to be in the thick of and there’s no end to the adrenalin-fuelled adventures you can have here. Snowshoeing allows you to navigate deep snowfall that would be inaccessible any other way, snowmobiling is always an exhilarating whizz through pristine boreal forest and husky sledding offers a traditional pinch of Sámi transport that has been used for centuries. You can also swap the snow for pack ice with hovercraft trips offering close-up encounters of Lulea’s frozen archipelago, while pack ice boat trips glide through the icy Gulf of Bothnia on experiences departing from Kalix and Pitea, close to Lulea.

4. See the northern lights

The aurora borealis needs no introduction but Swedish Lapland is arguably one of the finest destinations to witness the northern lights, offering myriad ways and places to experience them. Eclectic hotel stays ensure you need not even leave your room to witness the aurora’s majesty, whether that’s inching closer to the sky in a treehouse, sleeping in a Lapland cone room or under canvas. As well as craning your neck and simply gasping in awe, expert-led photography tours ensure you can permanently capture the northern lights’ splendour while evening snowmobile tours speed you away from the artificial city lights and towards nature’s jade-hued jamboree.

5. Enjoy incredible accommodation

Arctic Bath (Daniel Holmgren)

An otherworldly location like Swedish Lapland needs unique sleeps to match and it delivers, with its accommodation ranging from traditional alpine lodges to mind-bending architecture. Wherever you choose to stay, hotels ensure they blend in with the real star of the show: the wilderness around you. Brandon Lodge is a classic example, its charming log cabins clustered along the frozen shores of Bothnian Bay in the Lulea archipelago, each one the perfect base for the retreat’s handsome roster of summer and winter activities. Loggers Lodge in Harads is another classic bolthole, a (as the name suggests) former logger’s lodge turned into a luxury cosy-chic escape surrounded by nothing but a gentle river and sweeping unblemished boreal forest. For something completely off-script, the Treehotel in Harads offers you the chance to be suspended among thick boreal forest and creep closer to the northern lights in one of its eight futuristic capsules, including a UFO, a mirrored cube and a bird’s nest.

Make it happen

How to get there

From 9 December 2022-13 March 2023, new twice-weekly direct flights from London Heathrow to Lulea in Sweden will be the first direct option from the UK to Swedish Lapland. There’s also the option to fly direct and return via Stockholm if you fancied a few days in the Swedish capital.

 Go with the experts

In somewhere so remote and off-the-map as Swedish Lapland, employing the help of the experts is key to help you explore this enigmatic region. With nearly 15 years’ experience in Scandinavia, you couldn’t be in better hands than with Sunvil Holidays. It’s safe to say they know their tundra from their taiga and whatever they can’t answer, they have long-standing relationships with local guides who can. Swedish Lapland is as unique a destination as they come and your holiday should be just as bespoke – Sunvil are here to craft your Lapland adventure, your way.

Tel: 020 8758 4722 | Email: discovery@sunvil.co.uk | Live chat: https://direct.lc.chat/12504846/2

 

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Tel: 020 8758 4722 | Email: discovery@sunvil.co.uk | Live chat: https://direct.lc.chat/12504846/2 

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