If you have never been in Northern Scandinavia during the midsummer period, the light is perhaps the most fascinating and obvious phenomena. The sun doesn’t go down at all. There is a good view of the surroundings from the city mountain, Luossavaara, about four km outside Kiruna. The midnight sun can be experienced between 27 May and 14 July in Kiruna.
The world-famous Ice Hotel is located in Jukkasjärvi, 17 km from Kiruna. The world’s largest hotel, made out of thousands of tonnes of snow and ice, is rebuilt every winter. You’ll be nice and cool as you sleep after a drink in the Absolut Icebar, beautifully chiselled out of pure blue ice from the River Torne. Open from mid-December to the end of April. In the summer you can experience ice art in the hotel’s Art Centre.
From Nikkaluokta, 66 km west of Kiruna, there are first-rate skiing and trekking trails to, among other places, the top of Sweden’s highest mountain – Kebnekaise (2103 m). Walk the first 19 km to Kebnekaise mountain station where you register for the next day’s guide-led route to the top. The trip takes about 8-10 hours and requires a good level of fitness. Minimum age is 16.
Sweden’s most well-known long-distance footpath offers spectacular experiences of the natural world. It is 500 km long and starts in Abisko, 93 km west of Kiruna. The Kebnekaise-Saltoluokta section is suitable as a shorter route with 5 days trekking. For information on suggested routes and accommodation, visit Svenska Turistföreningen’s (the Swedish Tourist Organisation) website.
Experience the world’s largest underground iron ore mine—from the inside. Visit the mine—the café, the machinery, the theater and museum - located 540 meters underground. Daily trips from Kiruna Lappland Tourist Office. A minimum of ten persons during the winter season. Book well in advance! Tours depart from the tourist office.
The third best descent in Sweden at 538 metres. The longest of the pistes is over three km. The Svarta Björn (Black Bear) area offers exciting off-piste skiing. Good skiing with short queues for the lifts and has been called Sweden’s most underrated skiing resort by the magazine Åka Skidor (”Skiing”).
Serves specialities from the cuisine of Lappland. What about breast of grouse marinated in calvados with cranberry jelly or a cake made of frozen cloudberries with ”coffee-cheese” marinated in Kahlua, for example? Open all year round, but perhaps best in the summer with an area for open-air dining, midnight sun, mosquitoes and minigolf.
The Ice Hotel’s restaurant that serves food from Lappland in a tavern environment. Try fillet of reindeer or goat cheese, for example. Some food is served on ice plates. The Icehotel Restaurant has been awarded the Werner Vögeli Statuette, and written about in gourmet magazines throughout the world. (Price: from 180 Kr)
After climbing Kebnekaise having a good meal in the company of friends doesn’t go amiss. Skáidi in Nikkaluokta serves renkok as well as game fish from the mountain lakes. If you want to try all the Lappland specialities order a tasting menu. Mountain view from the restaurant. Book a table in good time.
Kiruna airport is located nine kilometres from the city centre and the journey time is about 15 minutes. Airport buses are only available at certain times of the year, mainly in the summer period. For detailed information, phone: +46 980 15690. Taxis cost around 250 kronor for up to four persons (around 300 kr nights and weekends). Airport taxis cost around 125 kr per person. Taxi to Jukkasjärvi costs around 250 kr, taxi to Björkliden costs around 1200 kr and taxi to Riksgränsen costs around 1200 kr. Many hotels have prebooked buses waiting at the airport.
Within Kiruna city centre most places are walking distance. Communications in the county are well developed, a necessity in a region where there are mile after mile of deep forests, rushing rivers and wilderness separating towns and villages from each other. Länstrafiken i Norrbotten AB is the principal provider of all public bus transport in Norrbotten and its routes run between the villages.