Things to Do in Vasterbotten County
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A 450-kilometer-long hiking trail through northern Sweden.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

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gplusa
Boden, Sweden93 contributions
We took this trip in the first week of July. This is the start of the busy season, but the route is by no means overcrowded. Each day we met maybe 15 people in total over an 10 hour hiking period, and the huts were generally about half full.

In terms of gear, go as light as possible. There are some good climbs along the way, so you don't want to be too loaded down. The huts have good kitchens, and you can generally buy dried packet meals everywhere except for Singi. For a price. It's worth taking a light camping stove, so you have the chance for a coffee break along the way. The huts are warm, so you can carry just a sleeping sheet, rather than a sleeping bag. There are a couple of dodgy river crossings, so take spare socks. And of course bug spray is a must.

The route itself is well marked and easy to follow. But it's no stroll, so make sure you have some good base fitness before attempting this. Underfoot is a combination of forest trails, wooden boards, and open stoney ground. The stoney sections are long and take some negotiating. They really slow your pace down. Wear good strong well padded walking shoes, preferably with some ankle support. There is also snow to be negotiated at the highest point.

The trail itself is 105km long, and climbs about 850m before descending the same. Most of the climbing is over a two day period in the middle. We recommend limiting yourself to about 15km a day. To really enjoy the experience. It ties in nicely with hut locations for all days bar the second day. We had 2 days of 25km, and that was just too tiring. It's a spectacular environment, and you don't want to be too tired to enjoy it. Especially if the weather turns nasty. That's important to remember, because you are in the mountains. And also carry plenty of water.

There is a very good train service to Narvik which drops you off just a few hundred metres from the start of the track in Abisko, and a bus service from Nikkaloukta to the afternoon train in Kiruna. We made the trek in 5 days, but would really recommend that you take 7 days to really enjoy your time. Those long days are very long.
Written July 20, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Isar Gudni
Reykjavik, Iceland34 contributions
We went on a hiking tour on northest part of Kungsleden, from Abisko in North to Singi in south. There we turned east of Kungsleden and finished in Nikkaluokta, but topped Sweden on the way, by climbing the highest peak in Sweden, Kebnekaise, 2106 m.
We started 15th. August and finished 23rd of August. The weather was great, heat almost always above 20°C., with just a slight wind. It rained only part of one day. The time was fine, lot of berries just waiting to be picked and eaten. There are some flies and they can sting. Just be prepaired and the trip will be fine. We started with 17kg backpack, but we found out it is not necessary to bring all the food, you can buy almost everything on the way. Just be aware the all food has to brought to the huts by snowmobiles in the winter, so there are no fresh food. There are canned and dried food. Prices are on the Svenska Turistforeningen website and select Lapland and Kungsleden.(www.svenskaturistforeningen.se). Another thing, you do not need a sleeping bag, as there are pillows and blankets in each bed in the huts, just bring a sleeping bag liner. It weight less than a sleeping bag and takes a less space. In all huts are guards and inside each hut is everything that you need for prepairing food, a gas stowe and the usual kitchen thing. You can drink the fresh water on the way, so do not bring any water. By the huts are dry toilets. You don´t, but have to, get used to the aroma. Best regards. Isar, Iceland.
Written September 15, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SkiingCyclingDave
Stockholm, Sweden450 contributions
Jul 2014 • Couples
The Kungsleden is a world class hike in North Sweden above the arctic circle. We hiked from Abisko to Nikkaluotka which totalled 120km and took 7 days with hikes between 14 and 24 km each day with full packs. We went in the last week of June/ first week of July which is early summer season... there were almost no mosquitoes and very few hikers, but there were large snow fields to traverse (particularly above Tjaktja) and the rivers were running high so we had wet feet quite a few times. Later in the season there are more people and the terrain is easier to cross. You can also ski the trail in winter. We took full gear including tent, fuel and food, but it is possible to use the mountain huts more and travel lighter. It is alpine/mountain terrain so you need real hiking boots and waterproof and warm gear with you plus emergency food as the weather can change in an instant. The huts provide beds if needed (although we preferred our tent) and most huts have a store with food and fuel (to greater or lesser extents). If you camp, for a fee STF provides a cooking hut where they have gas stoves and some have drying rooms. The exception being Tkaktja hut in the pass that has no facilities. Abiskojaure, Alesjaure and Salka huts have pretty good provisions and saunas as well so are fantastic. The walking is excellent and the scenery amazing, with vistas of 20km and more to see, lakes, mountains and valleys. The STF has maintained the trail so there are boardwalks across marshy and rocky areas, bridges across the larger rivers and trail markers in the form of cairns and red crosses.

To plan a trip check out the STF (svenskaturistforeningen) website. You can travel north to south, by taking the train to Abikso Turiststaion from Kiruna. From Nikkaluokta take the 92 bus back to Kiruna (twice a day, once on Sundays). You can also travel south to north.

If you like hiking and camping this is a must... as there are few places in the world that you can go above the arctic circle safely. When we were there the ages on the trail ranged from young teens with parents, couples of all ages and a couple of grandparents. If you are less fit or have older or younger ones in tow, instead you can stay at Abisko Touriststation or Kebnekaise Mountain stations and do day walks. The former is reachable by car or train and the latter after a 19km hike (or by helicopter).
Written July 14, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SleepingInTheCar
Providence, Rhode Island2 contributions
I hiked this trail recently and enjoyed it immensely. The scenery was beautiful, stark and dramatic. The hut system is well equipped with food and sleeping accommodations. The staff are generally friendly and the occasional saunas are a wonderful treat.

Make sure to enjoy the gourmet food at Saltoluokta Tourist Station. And be sure to pack light but with all of the emergency essentials. You can get away without cooking equipment and tents. The Huts have everything you need for those necessities.
Written September 13, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ynskefr
Lincoln37 contributions
Jul 2013 • Friends
Hiking in Lapland? Excellent! We flew to Narvik, then took the train to Abisko. Hiked with a 45L rucksack, you DON'T need to take cutlery or cooking equipment if staying in the STF huts (get a youth hostel card to get a discount!) but you do need a sheet sleeping bag. Packing minimal is crucial; pack, remove half your stuff then actually pack was the advice I got....and I still could have reduced my kit! Many of the huts have food stores, check STF website for their current price lists for food, nightly rates and facilities (including saunas- a must!). The trail is relatively good, can be with boulders and muddy if rainy. The longest day 22km, was fine, even though it drizzled quite a bit, but there are often huts along the way, as indicated on the fjall maps available. Huts were never full, even in the high hiking season of July. It took us 7 days, with an additional trip up Kebnekaise. We did take the boat for 6km on our last day hiking to Nikkaluokta. Don't forget your camera - we saw golden eagle, ptarmigan, reindeer, and lots of amazing views!
Written July 29, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TravelUnicorn
London, UK16 contributions
This week I walked the kungsleden from Abisko to Vakkatovarre. I walked solo but met many great people along the way. I stayed in the huts which are simple but very well looked after and it means that you don't have to carry the weight of a tent and cooker. You can also buy all your food along the way but this may be difficult of you are on a budget.

It was much hotter than I expected (>30 degrees!) and along most of it there is no shade so be prepared with hat and sunscreen. I think it can also get cold and wet so take a mix of clothes.

The path can sometimes be very rocky and some areas are a bit wet and boggy - it is worth mKing sure you have good waterproof hiking boots and take some flip flops for the camps and maybe an extra pair of old trainers for crossing rivers.

Overall a wonderful experience - heading over the pass is magical.

Written July 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Darren D
Texas752 contributions
Jul 2019
BASIC DETAILS

My sons (ages 22 and 19) hiked the trail July 2019. I am 51 years old.

Day before the hike: Our airplane arrived in Kiruna at 11:00 am. We then took the bus to the central bus station, and walked to Stejk Street Food. We had the reindeer subs, which were wonderful. After eating, we went back to the bus station and got on the bus to Abisko (this bus is only available twice per day, so make sure that you know the schedule). We stayed at the Abisko Touristation, which is at the start of the Kungsleden. I highly recommend staying there. The cleanliness, accommodations, and convenience makes it the best place to stay before starting the trail.

Day 1: We started from Abisko in the morning between 5:00 and 6:00 am, and we reached Abiskojaure around 10:30 am. The trail between Abisko and Abiskojaure (15 kilometers, 9.5 miles) is quite easy, so we felt very good. After a break, we decided to continue to Alesjaure (21 kilometers, 13 miles). We had done a lot of research, but we did not imagine the trail being covered with so many rocks. Our progress was slower because of the rocks and the times we had to remove our shoes to ford across shallow rivers. The first portion is easy, walking through birch-tree filled valleys. With various explorative detours, our distance on Day 1 was 40 kilometers, 25 miles).

Day 2: We departed from Alesjaure near 7:30 am, and we witnessed one of our favorite portions of the trail from Alesjaure to Tjaktja (12 kilometers, 7.5 miles). We will never forget our mid-morning snack as we sat on boulders surrounded by mountains, valleys, rivers, etc. Beautiful! We had a late lunch at Tjakta, and then walked to Salka (12 kilometers, 7.5 miles). This part of the trail had the most rocks of any other portion. It was during this part of the trail that we often said, "How is this considered a trail?" But, like all the other parts of the trail, it was filled with breathtaking views. We actually hiked through snow for about 200 meters. Because of all the zig-zaging between rocks/boulders, my pedometer registered at 34 kilometers, 21 miles for the day. We pitched our tent next to a river and had a great night of sleep.

Day 3: We departed from Salka early in the morning, arriving at Singi for a late lunch break (12 kilometers, 7.5 miles). The first part of that leg of the trail was easy and majestic. Then, rocks again :-). From Singi to Kebnakaise (14 kilometers, 9 miles) began with a lot of rocks and elevation. Then it involves a lot of up and down hills on the rock-covered trail. The end of that part of the trail includes a beautiful valley, more beautiful rapids, bridges, and trees (for the first time in days). Tenting is free near the Kebnakaise touristation, as long as you stay outside of the immediate location of the buildings. We found a beautiful campsite surounded by birch trees. Once again, due to all the zig-zagging through rocks and boulders, my pedometer registered more than the actual distance (36 kilometers, 22.5 miles).

Day 4: After three grueling days, we were looking forward to our shortest walk. From Kebnekaise to Nikkaluokta is 19 kilometers, 12 miles, and it is a beautiful trek. We observed that a lot of people simply hike from Nikkaluokta to Kebnekaise and back. Because Kebnekaise has a restaurant and other accommodations, this seems like a nice shorter hike (or one can take the helicopter between them for a high price). The walk was scenic and easy. We were amused that the two ends of the Abisko-Nikkaluokta are the easiest parts of the trail, giving some hikers a false sense of what is to come :-).

When we arrived in Nikkaluokta, crossing the finish line was a wonderful experience. We ate, rested, and waited about 4 hours for the next bus to Kiruna. Having cell phone coverage was nice, because I was able to reserve a room in a hotel in Kiruna. By the way, the Scandic is a great hotel in Kiruna, and it has a wonderful breakfast buffet.

OTHER PRACTICAL DETAILS

The mosquitoes are overwhelming, so bring a lot of repellent. We used deet wipes, which worked well, but we had to wipe a number of times each day. We even had to wipe on our shirts and hats, because the mosquitoes would bite through them. The worst portion of the trail for mosquitoes was between Abiskojaure and Alesjaure.

The huts can be expensive if you have multiple hikers, but they seem to be a popular option for many people.

The best equipment I had with me was trekking poles. Between all the rocks, thin boards, etc. it was a miracle that I didn't fall at all.

I'm not sure if I'd recommend hiking the trail in 3.5 days, but it is an experience that my sons and I will cherish for the rest or our lives.
Written August 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Otherwise_12
Vancouver, Canada15 contributions
Jul 2013
I agree with the previous review about packing, if staying in the huts go light! Though I'll admit I was jealous of the beautiful places the tent campers had picked, outside of the park (near Abisko) you can set up your tent wherever you like.
There were plenty of solo hikers (male and female) and the trail was busy enough without being overcrowded.
I highly recommend summiting Kebnekaise on a tour from the mountain station.
Written August 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

VonRotbart
Khalkis, Greece138 contributions
Jul 2015 • Friends
For my first serious hiking excursion I decided to go to the advertised as a well prepared hiking trail, in the far north of Sweden. I prepared for the trip, like every a bit over entry level amateur - internet + multiple visits in outdoor stores. I re read several times what people say about the trail, and what the organization taking care of it (STF) has to say about it. I had semi good equipment, not too heavy, food, and a cheap tent.
What I was almost completely unprepared for was the several bridgeless stream crossings that occur throughout the 105 km hike. In many places the bridges were either gone or covered with water (granted, it was a rainy time when we got there). Just by luck I had in camp shoes that were originaly ment to be used for rocky beaches so I had neoprane light weight shoes with a decent grip - and those saved me countless times from dropping into the water. However still the unbelievable pain of ice cold water on my feet haunts me till today :P. So one advise - TAKE WATER CROSSING SHOES! Either some flipflops with a decent grip, or some really high end water tight hiking shoes (but seriously water tight, some streams are deep).
Despite that the trail is fantastic, with several huts of various sizes and services. Quite a few have saunas. And if you don't feel like tenting then you can sleep in the provided rooms, or on the kitchen floor (if all beds are occupied). If tenting make sure you have a decent quality tent. The wind gusts can be a pain, we lost a tent due to excessive wind. Quality quality and again quality. It's better to spend a bit more than to suffer in the middle of nowhere.
Great fauna and flora, is quite common that you will see lemmings and lot's of birds. A bit more rare to see reindeer, but also happens :).
Keep safe, and I guarantee you that you will enjoy it and be mind blown!
Written August 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Diane B
Paris, France55 contributions
Jul 2013 • Friends
We did the part from Kvikkjokk until Nikkaluokta, and the landscapes were amazing. We've seen some people, which I find reassuring, but not too much, allowing us to enjoy the perfect silence of thoses places. Everyone in the chalets is very helpfull, and we meet some pretty nice guys. Slepping on tent is much more easier and cheaper, but in case of a really bad weather, it's interesting to have the possibility to stay inside. Every three days, you can find a shop, and therefore there is no need for taking too much food at once.
All those commodities make the Kungsleden the perfect place for beginners like myself. Do not hesitate
Written September 3, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Kungsleden (Vasterbotten County) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go