Sweden: Dog Sledding to the Icehotel
Above the Arctic Circle, Sweden’s Lapland region unfolds with snowcapped mountains, deep forests and vast stretches of untamed wilderness. After exploring vibrant Stockholm, fly north to Kiruna and embark on an authentic dog sledding expedition that takes you across frozen rivers and valleys blanketed in untouched snow. Feel the thrill of driving your own team of huskies from one wilderness lodge to the next, and unwind at the end of each day with wood-heated saunas and hearty meals. Along the way, discover the traditions of Lapland’s indigenous people, the Sami, and learn about their ancient reindeer-herding culture. Then cap off your adventure by experiencing one of the world’s architectural marvels: the Icehotel of Jukkasjärvi, exquisitely constructed from ice and snow every year.
Drive your own team of Alaskan huskies on a sledding expedition through the Lapland wilderness.
Relax in cabins ideally situated for viewing one of nature’s most dazzling displays: the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights.
Spend time with Sami herders and try your hand at driving a traditional reindeer sled.
Stay at the famed Icehotel with the option of sleeping in one of its sculpted ice rooms.
Activity Level: Moderate and Strenuous
While on the dog sledding expedition, we will be mushing for 4 to 6 hours per day (15 to 18 miles) on moderate to steep grades. No previous experience is necessary, although you should have good balance and the stamina to endure full days in the snow, and be willing to participate in the feeding and harnessing of the dogs. A snowmobile will support the group (from a distance) while dog sledding to aid in case of an emergency.
Itinerary - 9 Days
Day 1 — Stockholm
Arrive in Stockholm and transfer to our hotel located on the charming waterfront. Enjoy a free afternoon to relax or explore the city, then meet up for an orientation and a welcome dinner.
First Hotel Reisen (D)
Day 2 — Stockholm
Today, we’ll be joined by a representative from National Geographic’s Global Exploration Fund-Northern Europe who will tell us about the groundbreaking projects this program supports and share insights as we explore Stockholm. At the Vasa Museum, examine a 17th-century royal warship that was much celebrated until it sank in front of crowds of onlookers on its maiden voyage in 1662. Stroll along narrow streets where regal architecture mixes with a vibrant contemporary culture. First Hotel Reisen (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Kiruna
Fly to Sweden’s northernmost city, Kiruna, located 90 miles above the Arctic Circle. Explore this mining outpost in the heart of the Lapland region — a vast wilderness of alpine peaks, ancient forests, and pristine lakes and rivers. Lapland is home to the Sami people who have inhabited the northern parts of Scandinavia for thousands of years. Get outfitted for our sledding adventure before heading to the village of Övre Soppero where we’ll settle into our accommodations at a local homestead. Meet our Sami hosts and experience their way of life firsthand.
Övre Soppero Homestead (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Övre Soppero/Lake Väkkärä
Today we’ll discover the cornerstone of Sami culture: reindeer herding. Try your hand at the art of lassoing reindeer before setting off on an exhilarating sled ride. Follow our reindeer teams through snow-covered fields to a nearby lavvu, or traditional Sami tepee, and enjoy lunch by a fire. Later, transfer to Väkkärä Wilderness Lodge, where we’ll settle into our private log cabins and relax in a wood-heated sauna. Our remote location is ideal for viewing the aurora borealis, which provides dazzling entertainment on clear nights. (6 miles reindeer sledding, 2–3 hours)
Väkkärä Wilderness Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Lake Väkkärä to Sevuvuoma
Rise early to prepare for our dog sledding adventure. Meet your team of Alaskan huskies, and learn the basics of harnesses, lines and mushing. Then set off by sled into the heart of the Lapland wilderness. Experience the thrill of driving your own team on a trail through snow-clad forests and across frozen lakes and rivers. Keep an eye out for moose, reindeer, lynx and other wildlife. Our destination is Sevuvuoma Lodge, a wilderness retreat situated beneath the peak of Vittangivaara. Following our first day of mushing, unwind in the lodge’s sauna and enjoy a hearty dinner. (18 miles dog sledding, 5-6 hours) Sevuvuoma Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Sevuvuoma to Lake Väkkärä
After breakfast, we feed and harness our huskies, then head off on a trail where few travelers have set foot. Our journey takes us through a quiet, snow-covered landscape. This afternoon, arrive back at the Väkkärä Wilderness Lodge. Meet a renowned reindeer herder who will prepare a traditional Sami meal and share images and stories from his 40 years of working with reindeer. (18 miles dog sledding, 5–6 hours) Väkkärä Wilderness Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Lake Väkkärä/Jukkasjärvi
Enjoy a final morning of mushing before we say goodbye to our husky teams. After lunch, transfer to nearby Jukkasjärvi and check into the Icehotel, the world’s largest hotel made solely of snow and ice. Explore this ephemeral creation of snow walls, crystal domes and whimsical ice sculptures. Celebrate our adventure with a farewell dinner and a drink in the famous Icebar. Tonight, sleep in a heated room, or opt for one of the hotel’s famous ice or snow rooms, where you will be snugly outfitted in a thermal sleeping bag. (15 miles dog sledding, 4–5 hours)
Day 8 — Jukkasjärvi/Stockholm
Return to Kiruna this morning and fly back to Stockholm. Take advantage of an unscheduled afternoon to explore Stockholm and enjoy dinner on your own. First Hotel Reisen (B,L)
Day 9 — Stockholm/U.S.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)
Pricing starts at $8,700 per person, double occupancy. For a single room (available only in Stockholm and at the Icehotel), add $950. International airfare to/from Stockholm and airfare within Sweden are not included in the adventure cost. The group flight within Sweden is approximately $800 (subject to change). Upgrade to an Ice Suite at the Icehotel for $400 per person (double occupancy) and $500 per person (single occupancy). Subject to change.
Group Size: 8–15
Accommodations (hotels, tents and cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. If you prefer single accommodations, and if such are available, you can pay a single supplement fee. If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we can assign a roommate of the same gender. If there is no one with whom you can share, a single supplement fee will apply.
See special terms and conditions for this adventure.