Having recently returned from Swedish Lapland, I thought I would let you know about the exciting new additions to our programmes and upgrades to our existing Northern Lights Tour destinations. Lapland never stands still!
Mattarakhha Lodge which we premiered last season exclusively for our clients, is now undergoing a small extension ensuring more rooms. This lodge really is wonderful for anyone who wants a cosy retreat in the middle of nowhere, an added bonus to being able to see the Northern Lights as no other light disturbance is visible! There is also the option of upgrading your dinner evening by having a 3 course dinner with a 1 hour hot tub session (for an additional cost). What better way to see the Lights!
Hotel Arctic Eden has also done a few changes, mainly in the form of a new chef who has the Swedish equivalent to a Michelin star. Having stayed at the hotel and enjoyed a wonderful dinner, I can testify to not just the quality but also the wide range on offer! In the course of the evening I sampled salmon, reindeer, meat balls and herring, and there was plenty more! The
diet was on hold that evening!!
As sad as I was to say goodbye to the warm hospitality of everyone in Kiruna, I then travelled up to Abisko Mountain Lodge and was again met with more wonderfully welcoming people and mouth watering food to sample. Abisko Mountain Lodge is a great place to be – high up in the mountains. Ski resort by day, and great place to see the Northern Lights at night.
That evening I was fortunate enough to join Chad, our Abisko Northern Lights Breaks photographer for an evening learning how to take some good shot of the lights. I was very lucky that Chad still had some availability as he is now mostly booked up for the entire 2012-13 season. After a walk down to the base of Mount Nuolja (Abisko Sky Station) following a lantern lit path, Chad showed the group which settings were needed on the cameras and we got to work. The Northern Lights did not disappoint! After 30mins we started to notice a thin band across the sky and soon after that the Aurora Borealis were out in full force above our heads. Beautiful greens and pinks gliding along the sky. To everyone who thinks travelling to the arctic on a full moon minimises your chances of seeing the aurora – this fantastic display happened with a full moon behind us!
Having returned to the Lodge after an awe inspiring evening, I was greeted by a full house – as it was Saturday and December, the locals had come up to spend the evening with the tourists. A good time was had by all with live entertainment and as it was Christmas we even had Christmas carols in English and Swedish.
The next day was my last day and after some time viewing the arrangements for the new rooms being built at Abisko Mountain Lodge, I then had a visit to Abisko Sky Station. Another superb 3 course meal awaited me at the top of the ski chair lift (the only way to reach the top of Mount Nuolja). We then were given a science talk on the Lights before heading out for a sighting.
I felt very sad to be leaving Swedish Lapland after such a warm welcome, fantastic food and first class tours. Nothing makes you feel more special than small numbers on these tours where you can really get to the heart of the local people and culture.