A seemingly forgotten town, the specialty of Abisko is its remoteness, giving visitors a true sense of discovery when they arrive there. With a population of 85 people…that’s right just 85 people, Abisko is part of the Lapland province in Sweden, north of the Arctic circle. If your definition of being in the outdoors is interacting with nature, you must visit Abisko. The Arctic landscape, flora and fauna, are sights to behold for a lifetime and worth the travel.
Since there are no direct flights to Abisko, travelers must take a flight to Kiruna and then drive down to Abisko or take a train, which takes about an hour each. Those who have endured this journey, are great ambassadors of this outstanding piece of heaven on earth.
In this article, we will guide you through the various outdoor activities you can do in Abisko. Just like the landscape, even the activities are very unique in Abisko – from ice fishing to dog sledding!
Landscape Photo Tour in Abisko National Park
One of the most soul-satisfying things to do in Abisko is the photography tour in the Abisko National Park. The most convenient part about this activity is that the entrance to the National Park is just 5 mins by road from Abisko via the E10 Highway. If it was possible to further increase your convenience, depending on the guides, pickups are provided from all hotels in Abisko.
Strolling in the Abisko National Park can be a surreal experience with the ice-cold variations of the colour blue giving you a sense of being on an extraterrestrial, frigid planet, lightyears away from Earth! Explore and archive the extraordinary landscape of the Abisko National Park on your camera for an eternity of viewing pleasure. Additionally, the activity also gives you the chance to learn a few of the basics of photography as a discipline. Technical knowledge such as shutter speed, aperture, macro photography, focusing, composition and more will be subjects touched upon during the course of the activity.
You do run a risk of running out of camera storage because every little detail is worth capturing in the Arctic wilderness of the Abisko National Park.
It’s almost impossible to cover the National Park in one go but you could pick the kind of tour you’d like to go to based on the kind of pictures you want to take!
- The Shoreline of Torneträsk: The classic mountain and lake pictures take an Arctic twist at the Shoreline of Torneträsk with the iconic Lapporten mountain, accompanied by an unpredictable lake with beautiful ice formations and trees covered with icicles.
- The Arctic birch forest: These forests can be compared to the magical forests from the C.S. Lewis fantasy novel – Narnia, restoring your belief in fairytales. The snow-covered birch trees, mountains, and frozen lakes might give you the false hope of catching a glimpse of Bigfoot himself. But jokes apart, the intricate ice formations and animal prints in the snow, make for excellent wild photography.
- The Abisko River Canyon: If you want to test your skills of composition and focusing, the icy walls of the Abisko River Canyon is ideal. The canyon can be found close to the Abisko Tourist Station, giving you the opportunity to inquire about your next move on the holiday.
If you are new to photography and do not have a camera, you can borrow camera equipment from the guides. However, wearing warm winter clothes is a must along with carrying food supplies, as the activity goes on for around 4 hours and costs approximately 130 euros.
Dog Sledding in the Arctic circle
Dog sledding in the Arctic circle is one of the most unique things to do in Abisko and the meeting point for this activity is usually near the Abisko Mountain Lodge or the Abisko Ostra Train Station.
A convoy of dogs swiftly escort you through the Arctic circle as you embark on a beautiful journey in the ethereal snow-clad landscape. During the activity, you will admire the stunning views of intimidating snow covered mountain ranges and towering birch trees, dressed in snow and accessorized by icicles. Dog-sledding is an age old practice to locomote practically, over long distances in this part of the world and is now practiced recreationally. But what about the well-being of the dogs?
Well, the Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, chosen for this activity are built to last for much longer distances and need to burn their excessive energy, which is almost like a burden to them. Additionally, the well being of the dogs is reflected in their behaviour. Part of the activity itinerary allows you to play and pose for pictures with these enthusiastic canines.
It doesn’t matter if its your first time dog sledding, a brief training session and the presence of an instructor during the journey, allows you to take charge of your dog sled and ensures you a smooth ride on the soft snow.
The activity lasts around 2 hours and costs between 160 euros and 170 euros, depending on the instructor you go with.
Being in control of the dogs, as you breathe in the fresh air, out in the open, you get a sense of unison with nature, which is very hard to recreate elsewhere.
Morning Hike In Abisko National Park
If you’re a morning person there’s plenty of things to do in Abisko but what better way to start your day than to go for a morning hike in the Abisko National Park! The entrance to the National Park is just 5 mins by road from Abisko via the E10 Highway. The meeting point for this activity is STF Abisko Mountain Station, which is a 7-minute drive from Abisko or a 30 minute walk from Abisko (if you’d like to stretch your muscles before the hike).
The break of dawn in the Abisko National Park is a sight to behold with the light rays of sun reflecting off the thick layers of snow, consuming everything in sight. From frozen lakes, to white piles of snow in the form of moutains, there’s not a lack of distractions in the Abisko National Park. If Lady Luck is smiling on you, you might even make a few furry friends in the form of wild foxes, reindeer, mountain hares, and the majestic Scandinavian moose.
During the course of this spectacular adventure, your guide will take you on a local trail, which leads to the grand Abisko river canyon, which is often frozen, depending on what time of the year you’re there. Lake Torneträsk almost steals the limelight with its vast expanse and scenic surroundings. You guide will share fascinating facts and knowledge about the area, local wildlife and indigenous people of the region.
Nightly Aurora Photo Tour in Abisko National Park
When it comes to creating an ambience, the aurora nightly photo tour is the best activity on our list of things to do in Abisko. The activity takes place in Abisko National Park but you can meet your guide at STF Abisko Mountain Station (which is a 7-minute drive from Abisko or a 30 minute walk from Abisko).
The Northern Lights are on most people’s bucket list but viewing the stunning natural phenomenon from the Abisko National Park and exploring the National Park under the mystic green sky is truly unique. As you may know, the Aurora Lights can’t be viewed all year long, but you have a way higher chance to encounter them in Abisko than anywhere else, due to its tendency to have clear skies.
During the activity, you will be accompanied by a professional and local photographer, who will brief you about the basics of photography. If you don’t have a camera, most guides will provide you with one, with a preset lens to capture and admire the Northern Lights for an entire lifetime. As you wait are waiting under the stars for the Northern Lights, your guide will enchant you with folklore from the Lapland.
Your guide will also share with you, the link between the aurora and the local culture along with fascinating information about the solar system and the countless constellations above the Abisko National Park. While unraveling the mystery behind the dancing green light in the sky, your guide will also discuss the impact that strong solar storms and the auroras may have on modern society in the years to come.
The activity takes place at a very slow place, making it a perfect family activity – an opportunity to spend some quality time. Lasting a duration of around 4 hours, the nightly aurora photo tour in abisko national park costs roughly 100 euros per person.
Ice Fishing In Lake Torneträsk
Usually associated with a pensive activity, fishing in Abisko, comes with a bit of a twist. The fascination around the novelty of ice fishing in Abisko, distracts you from the the mundane nature of fishing and puts it amongst one of the most exciting things to do in Abisko. Depending on where you’re staying in Abisko, your pick up timings for this activity may differ, but provided nevertheless. The meeting points mentioned below are easy to access and popular:
Björkliden – Hotell Fjället 08:45 12:00
Björkliden – Gammelgården 08:45 12:00
STF Abisko Mountain Station 09:00 11:50
From there, a minibus trip will get you to the lake and into the activity.
As you may have already guessed, you can participate in the activity, without any sort of fishing experience, let alone ice fishing. The tools of a trade for this specific activity are fishing rods, warm clothes, bait and an ice drill! The ice drill is used to make a hole through the thick ice, allowing you access into the seemingly impossible to access lake. Now that you’re in, the patience game commences. The elusive, the legendary and the very tasty, Arctic Char is on the menu but there’s a strict catch before you can cook policy, you must follow.
As you watch time pass by, sip on a hot and soothing beverage, to make up for the freezing cold. If it gets too cold, you can take refuge in your very own wooden hut, in front of a fireplace. Hopefully, you have earned your reward…it is now time to celebrate with the spoils of the victory. Once you consume the delicious fried Arctic char you realize it was worth the wait and the 80 euros.
If you’ve checked off all outdoor activities to do in Abisko, there’s a bunch of awesome outdoor activities to do in Sweden that you should definitely check out as well! For instance, you must check out the outdoor activities in Kiruna, which is just an hour’s drive from Abisko!