Mon, 29 Apr 2013
Driving in Iceland
Driving in foreign countries is always daunting, even for the most experienced drivers. For starters...Read more
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Sweden’s capital city is beautifully situated over 14 islands and is connected by 57 bridges. The city is full of charm and atmosphere, old and new. Gamla Stan is one of the largest and best preserved medieval city centres in Europe, and one of the foremost attractions in Stockholm. This is where Stockholm was founded in 1252. All of Gamla Stan and the adjacent islands of Riddarholmen are like a living pedestrian-friendly museum full of sights, attractions, restaurants, cafes, bars and places to shop. Gamla Stan is also popular with aficionados of handicrafts, curios and souvenirs. The narrow winding cobblestone streets, with their buildings in so many different shades of gold, give Gamla Stan its unique character. Even now cellar vaults and frescoes from the Middle Ages can be found behind the visible facades, and on snowy winter days the district feels like something from a story book!
In our opinion, no visit to Stockholm would be complete without visiting The Vasa Museum. The Vasa is the only preserved 17th Century ship in the world and a unique art treasure. More than 95% of the ship is original and is decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures. The 69-metre long warship sank on its maiden voyage in the middle of Stockholm in 1628 and was salvaged 333 years later in 1961! Today, the Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia.
The overnight train across the Arctic Circle, or ‘norrlandståget’, from Stockholm to Luleå is an alternative, and we think rather romantic, way of making the long journey northwards towards Lapland. The train leaves Stockholm during the early evening and arrives in Luleå the following morning. Accommodation on the train is in 2-berth sleeper compartments with shower and WC either in the compartment or available in the corridor. There is a buffet car on board, though meals are rather basic and we suggest you buy drinks and food in Stockholm prior to departure and make your own little picnic on board!
A really lovely winter holiday adventure for those wanting to experience lots of new things, and the best Sweden has to offer!
Arrive Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Take the airport train and a taxi to your hotel (not included).
2 nights STOCKHOLM - Clarion Hotel Sign (BB)
Almost a full day in Stockholm to explore before departing early evening by overnight train across the Arctic Circle into Swedish Lapland. 2 berth sleeper compartment reserved.
1 night ONBOARD TRAIN (RO)
Met on arrival at the train station in Luleå. Your transfer is approximately 1 hour long and an adventure in itself, beginning with a short tour of the city of Luleå after which you will pass through the World Heritage Gammelstad Church Village. Your guide will introduce you to a wide range of interesting places along the Luleå river valley and convey information about the region, its people and its history. Arrive Harads and check-in at Britta’s Pensjonat for your overnight in your tree room at the Treehotel. Dinner and breakfast are taken at Britta’s Pensjonat.
1 night HARADS - Treehotel (HB)
Lazy morning with time for a sauna in the nearby Tree Sauna before transferring to your hotel in Luleå city centre. Remainder of day free to explore Luleå.
1 night LULEÅ - Elite Stadshotellet (BB)
Departure from Luleå by rail continuing your journey northwards further into Swedish Lapland. Afternoon arrival in Kiruna. Met on arrival and transferred to Jukkasjärvi and the Icehotel. Afternoon and evening free with the opportunity to try and exciting outdoor activity before collecting your thermal sleeping bag for a night spent in the Icehotel.
1 night JUKKASJÄRVI - Icehotel (BB)
A nice hot morning sauna is followed by a hearty breakfast. Remainder of the day free for optional excursions/activities.
1 night JUKKASJÄRVI - Kaamos Hotel Room (BB)
Transfer to Kiruna Airport for your return flight to the UK.
Departure Days: Thursdays & Fridays (Saturday - Wednesday at a supplement, see price panel)
Departures Dates: December 2012 - March 2013
Duration: 7 nights
Stockholm's largest hotel is located in the heart of Stockholm city adjacent to the Central Station and Arlanda Express facing the Norra Bantorget Square. The hotel is brand new, built in 2008, and is a spectacular building dominated by granite and glass, leaning over the square reflecting the green park. The hotel has a wonderful Aquavit Grill & Raw Bar, contributed by Marcus Samuelsson of New York’s Aquavit restaurant. The eighth floor of the hotel holds Selma CitySpa+ where you can indulge yourself in the sauna, gym, spa with a spa treatment and/or in the heated outdoor pool, all with a fantastic view of Stockholm. All rooms are non-smoking and have TV, telephone, hair dryer, Internet access and some of the most comfortable beds we have ever slept in in the whole of Scandinavia! Lift to all floors.
An amazing collection of tree house rooms, all with WC and washbasin - showers in the Tree Sauna closeby!). Each one is an individual design based on ecological principles. Price based on either the Birds Nest, Cabin, Blue Cone or UFO, supplement for the Mirrorcube. Britta’s Pensjonat is close by which has a restaurant, sauna and relax area and is where breakfast is served.
The Elite Stadshotellet Luleå is a modern hotel of a very high standard, where style and 100-year old craftsmanship have been tastefully combined with today’s demands for comfort and service. Elite Stadshotellet Luleå is located in central Luleå overlooking the city park and the north harbour.
The Ice Hotel at Jukkasjärvi was the first hotel of its kind and is therefore perhaps the most extensive of all ice hotel projects. The hotel is built of ice and snow with designs inspired by the local nature i.e. Jukkasjärvi, the River Torne, the cold Arctic climate and The Northern Lights. The Ice Hotel has several different 'room' categories; a snow room which is simple but spacious accommodation where you sleep in thermal sleeping bags on reindeer skins on a bed built of snow and ice or an Ice Room With additional furniture made from ice and unique artwork decorating the room. Those not on a buget may also choose to stay in an Art Suite with ice art in the shape of fantastic design and wonderful sculptures. Standard, of course, is the Ice Bar and lounge where you can mingle with other guests sipping colourful cocktails from glasses made of ice, however you may also choose the warmer option i.e. to sit in the warm building connected to the Ice Hotel around a crackling fire until it is time for bed. A hot drink, breakfast and sauna are included the following morning.
Warm accommodation is provided in Kaamos Hotel Room where the double rooms are spacious and bright with a contemporary Scandinavian design. The double bed in some rooms can be converted into twin beds (please advise at time of booking). All rooms have TV, phone and kettle.
Description: Learn to master the vehicle that gives you a sense of freedom out of the ordinary on a 40 kms long snowmobile safari in Lapland’s virgin forests.
Operates: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 1530 -1730
Price: £90 per person (2 per snowmobile).
N. B. Driving licence required
Description: An extra long snowmobile tour that will take you into the wilderness and to one of our wilderness camps. Traditional wilderness lunch is included.
Operates: Daily, 1115-1445.
Price: £155 per person (2 per snowmobile).
N. B. Driving licence required.
Description: In co-operation with the Swedish Institute of Space Physics is a snowmobile excursion in search of the magic Northern Lights. Trained guides will tell you about the mythical celestial phenomenon. 3-course dinner with local ingredients served in a wilderness camp.
Operates: Daily, 1900-2300, until 28 March, 2000-0000 between 29 March and 20 April.
Price: £175 per person (2 per snowmobile).
N. B. Driving licence required.
Description: In collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the ICEMoose project this safari takes you through magnificent mountain scenery with a local guide. Learn about the animals living in the Lappish mountain world, how to trace their tracks and about the climate prevailing at the foot of Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekaise. Transfer and lunch with local ingredients included.
Operates: Daily, 0900-1500.
Price: £299 per person (2 per snowmobile).
N. B. Driving licence required.
Description: An exclusive excursion where you get an insight into a musher’s everyday life by helping your guide who will take you to an isolated wilderness camp. Transfer and a traditional wilderness lunch served in a wilderness camp included.
Operates: Daily, 1100 - 1500.
Price: £295 per person.
Description: At the foot of Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekaise, you ride Icelandic horses out into the moose’ winter grazing land in search of the king of the Lappish forest - the moose. Transfers and lunch included. Minimum age 12 years, max weight 90kg.
Operates: Daily: 0900-1500.
Price: £159 per person.
Description: Together with Icelandic horses you ride out into the winter night and hopefully see the Northern Lights and moose. Transfer and traditional Sami wilderness meal served in a Sami lavvu included. Minimum age 12 years, max weight 90kg.
Operates: Daily, 1530-2030 until 28 Feb, 1700-2200 between 1 and 31 Mar.
Price: £159 per person.
Description: Join Sami guides to reindeer camp, take part in Sami everyday life, its rich culture and the excitement of driving your own reindeer sled. Transfer, coffee and sandwich served in a traditional Sami tent are included. This tour is certified with the Swedish Ecotourism Society's label, Nature's Best.
Operates: Daily, 1400 - 1700.
Price: £140 per person, children 3-12 £75.
Description: An activity that is part of the project ICEMoose which takes you on a guided tour by minibus through the moose’ winter grazing land. Transfer, coffee and cake is included.
Operates: Daily, 0830-1230.
Price: £88 per person, 10% of which goes to the project.
Description: Let yourself be guided into the magical world of ice sculpting with sharp tools and professional guidance from artists. Age limit 12 years.
Operates: Daily, 1430, about 2-3 hours.
Price: £65 per person.
Description: Experience Jukkasjärvi’s snowy forests on snowshoes or skis. Coffee and cake served in the wilderness camp included.
Operates: Daily, 0845-1045.
Price: £68 per person.
Description: A driving experience on ice allowing you to develop as a driver and provides an insight into the security systems that modern cars are equipped with. Transfer and coffee and cake included.
Operates: Fri and Sun, 0800-1200.
Price: £320 per driver, 115 per accompanying passenger.
Description: Hovercrafts operate over even surfaces whether it’s ground, water or ice. They are supported by an air cushion which ensures the craft never touches what lies underneath and this provides a safe, fun and quick means of transportation. On this spectacular tour you will visit the outer edges of the Luleå archipelago travelling 30 centimetres over the ice! The tour begins with a guided minibus tranfer from your hotel which will take you out onto the ice roads. On the way the guide will talk about Luleå and the archipelago and after about 20 minutes in total you’ll meet with the hovercraft. After a briefing and go through of equipment the journey towards the pack-ice fields outside the archipelago begins. After arrival at the outer edges of the islands you will take a walk around the towering ice on trails checked by the guide. If conditions for pack-ice are not ideal then the islands of Kluntarna and Brändöskär with small idealic fishing-villages will be visited instead. On this tour the participants will experience the vastness of sea in a new way - frozen. Maybe, if you are lucky, you can also spot a seal or sea eagles...
Operates: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday departing 1100. February - April, varies depending on the thickness of the ice.
Duration: 3 hours, 15 minutes (this includes a guided transfer from the hotel of 20 minutes in each direction i.e. activity lasts 2.5 hours).
Price: £237 per person, children under 10 half-price.
Price includes: Guided transfer, activity, ligh lunch and refreshments.
Notes: Warm clothes, especially warm boots, are required since the tour includes walking on ice.
Description: Travelling by sea - quite important to mankind but made impossible by climate in the strong arctic winter. Only since the steam-engined steel vessels of the 19th century has it been possible to operate the channels of the northern seas in wintertime. Experience the might and the wide-open spaces of the ice-covered sea. Listen to the sound of ice blocks being crushed against the hull of the boat Arctic Explorer and get a glimpse of what little man can do in the hands of nature. The tour includes about 1 hour of ice-breaking and if the ice of the Bothnian Bay is not thick enough the Arctic Explorer will go upstream the River Piteå instead where there is plenty of thick ice to break. Meanwhile the passengers can stroll around the boat, both in- and outside, visit the captain on the bridge and the non-restricted areas of the engine-room. After about 30 minutes’ journeying the boat stops and the passengers are allowed out onto the ice and for those who dare is the chance of trying to swim among the floes dressed in a survival-suit!
Operates: Saturdays, beginning of January - March/beginning of April. Departs 1000.
Duration: 4 hours (guided transfer to Piteå of 1 hour each way plus 2 hours on the ice breaker).
Price: £199 per person, children 0-3 travel free and children 4-14 half-price)
Price Includes: Guided transfer, activity, a hot drink (further snacks and drinks available to purchase onboard). Warm winter clothes are available for rent at £24 per person and for those who like to swim survival suits are provided at no extra charge.
Notes: A minimum number of 10 passengers per departure is required in order for this tour to operate. Survival suits are attached to ropes held by the guides who stand on the ice - full safety and instruction briefing beforehand.
Description: Did you ever hear the sound of 60 exhillarated Alaskan Huskys communicating? This is what greets a visitor at Svedjekojan, the Husky-farm located at Tanuträsk some 35 minutes from Luleå. The team of dogs are enthusiastic and ready to go and you will soon be seated on a sled with 2 or 3 other people behind a team of 4 or more huskys. When your sled driver, you and the huskys are ready you will take off at pace along trails through the forest and across frozen lakes on a 2 hour adventure. Going on a dog-sledding tour through the arctic winter is an extraordinary experience in many ways. The strength of the dogs and their capability to pull the sled at high speed in the varied terrain, the crisp climate and stunning surroundings all gives the visitor a thrill never forgotten!
Operates: Monday and Friday, middle of January to early April. Departs at 1230.
Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes. Guided transfer is 35 minutes each way and activity 2 hours including preparation.
Price: £216 per person, children under 10 are half price.
Price includes: Guided transfer, activity, warm drink.
Notes: Participants should bring their own warm winter clothing. Blankets are provided for those sitting on the dog sleds. A limited number of sizes of adult winter overalls are available for hire at £10 per person per tour. Please advise at time of booking.
Description: Test-drive your own team of friendly Alaskan Huskies over frozen lakes and through snow covered forests. Pulling sleds in crisp winter cold is what they love to do. Before the tour you will receive instructions on how to drive the dog sled from experts and together with your team of huskies you'll travel up steep hills as well as along straights at high speed. Returning to Svedjekojan after this stunning tour you will enjoy swapping stories of the day's adventure.
Operates: Mon & Fri, mid Jan - early Apr.
Duration: 3 1/2 hours (including return transfer)
Price: £208 per person, thermal overalls available to rent at SEK100 per person. Partcipants must be 16 plus.
Description: Test your sklls driving on ice! The beautifully set lake Ebbenjarka is covered by solid ice during wintertime and it is here that you can challenge yourself and friends in a car and/or cross cart to driving in extreme conditions. Wth 25 kilometres of ice tracks on the lake you will enjoy 2 hours of fun and adventure and take home some fantastic memories. Time is divided between driving cars and cross carts and there is expert supervision.
Operates: Mid Jan- early Apr. Mon, Wed & Fri
Duration: 3 hours ( 2hrs activity, 20 minutes transfer each way).
Price: £177 per person. Participants must be 16 plus
Description: Take a seat in the sled, experience the howling dogs, and then the silence when the journey begins... Coffee and cake over a campfire is included.
Operates: Daily, 0930 - 1100 and 1300 - 1430
Price: £139 per person
Description: Experience handling and driving your own reindeer with a sled in Lapland's virgin forests. Back at the reindeer camp you feed the reindeer and are then served a traditional Sámi lunch. Transfer included. Age limit 8 years. Age limit for driving own reindeer sled is 16 years.
Operates: Daily, 0900 - 1300
Price: £199 per person (children 8-15 years £139)
Description: A guided tour of Europe's only civilian space centre - an international centre for space research. Transfers included.
Operates: Daily, 0830-1230
Price: £65 per person, students £60, children 3-12 years £32.
Description: A sightseeing tour along the city's quays, out to and around the island Fjäderholmarna. The guide onboard provides information throughout and if you feel a little chilly there is a Swedish Glögg, a traditional hot mulled wine in the cafeteria. For extra tradition why not add a bowl of Swedsh peasoup and perhaps a glass of punch as Stockholm passes by outside. Peas have been grown in Sweden since the Stone Age and the soup was an important dish in the navy and on merchant ships.
Operates: 20 Dec - 7 Apr
Duration: 1 1/4 hrs
Price: £19 per person, with soup £25
To book call 01274 875 199 or Contact us by email