Why Sweden comes alive during the winter months
Although we're big fans of Sweden in the summertime, especially those balmy nights under the Midnight Sun, its winter has a magical quality. From the many cold-weather activities – think snowmobiling and husky-sledding – to its iconic properties, including the world's first ice hotel, Sweden has much to offer the adventurous traveller. Here are our top five reasons to visit in winter.
1. You can see the Northern Lights
Northern Lights above Luleå
One of the ultimate Scandinavian experiences is chasing the Northern Lights. The phenomenon of the aurora borealis appears in Sweden's far north as early as September, but by the time winter is in full swing, the lights can be spotted all across Swedish Lapland when conditions are right. In Luleå, on the Baltic coast, a city stay pairs perfectly with a Northern Lights excursion, among a winter wonderland of river valleys and snow-clad forests. With an expert guide on hand, you'll be able to capture the perfect image of the ethereal light ballet. Or, retreat to a cosy lodge or the unique Aurora Safari Camp for a chance to see the lights in traditional Sami style.
2. You can stay in the world-famous ICEHOTEL
Since its first iteration in 1989, the ICEHOTEL has been rebuilt with a new design each and every year, using blocks of snow and ice harvested from the River Torne at Jukkasjärvi. The spectacular ICEHOTEL 365, powered by solar energy, is now available year-round, but it's the original ICEHOTEL, crafted by artists and architects, that remains the most iconic. Winter escapes here are quintessentially Arctic; after sleeping on a bed of ice and reindeer skins you'll head out into the frozen wilderness for everything from Northern Lights excursions – by snowmobile no less – to Nordic skiing, ice fishing and husky sledding. Top it all off with a cocktail in the ICEBAR, served in a glass made entirely of ice.
3. There are lots of amazing and unique hotels
Arctic Bath, Sweden
In addition to the ICEHOTEL, Sweden is home to some spectacular accommodation options. Just south of the Arctic Circle, set high among a beautiful pine forest, you'll find the seven unique treehouses of Treehotel, including the mirror cube and the incredible architecture of the 7th Room. This is a hotel unlike any other, mixing sleek design with the magical experience of sleeping amongst the treetops. Or, in the remote wilds of Swedish Lapland, Loggers Lodge is a cosy cabin with an outdoor hot tub and dining area where you can enjoy exquisite Swedish Lappish meals from a private chef. Head here for the most romantic of Swedish winter escapes. But, perhaps most exciting is the new Arctic Bath, dramatically suspended in ice in the middle of Sweden’s Lule River. Apart from the inspired design, it's the spa that forms the focal point, with treatment rooms and a wellness restaurant circling a central cold bath perfect for an invigorating dip.
4. Cold-weather activities abound
Huskies in Sweden
During summer, Sweden is all about tranquil lake paddles and hiking through bright forests. Come winter, Sweden becomes a frozen playground, with plenty of activities for both kids and adults to enjoy. Test out your wilderness skills with snowshoe walks and lunch in a traditional tipi, or head out on an overnight dogsledding adventure, mushing huskies across the frozen tundra with the company of an expert guide. Or, after an adrenaline-filled day of snowmobiling in the wilds, you can enjoy a traditional Swedish dinner served on ice at the ICEHOTEL restaurant. There's also an Arctic Circle train between Sweden and Norway, a great way to join the two countries together in style.
5. There are lots of ways to stay warm too
Jacuzzi, Loggers Lodge
Although it is colder and darker in winter, there are plenty of opportunities to keep warm while on holiday in Sweden. After fun-filled days in the chilly outdoors, almost all hotels have a combination of outdoor hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms to help you recover. At Arctic Retreat, a fire pit and outdoor jacuzzi offer a chance to stargaze in style, best followed by a rejuvenating session in the wood-fired sauna. At Loggers Lodge, the lounge area and central fireplace provide the ideal spot for curling up with a glass of wine, while Camp Ripan in Kiruna features a heated indoor pool for relaxing swims.
If you're feeling inspired to plan your next winter getaway to Sweden, our travel experts are here to help you design your perfect holiday. Order a brochure or call to speak to us today. Your tailor-made adventure awaits!