Winter Wonderland Arctic Adventure

A family winter activity holiday north of the Arctic Circle







From $2,050 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Husky dog-sledding and night-time snowshoeing
  • Take your family to the spectacular Icehotel
  • Ride a snowmobile on a frozen lake and see the northern lights
  • Great value with all meals and activities included on every day

The town of Kiruna, located 300 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, is our base for this exciting family adventure holiday, which includes most of the classic winter activities such as snowshoeing, snowmobiling, husky dog-sledding and cross-country skiing. Close to the border between Sweden and Norway, this is the area historically known as Lapland and is home to the Sami people who still pursue a traditional way of life, grazing their herds of reindeer amongst the birch forest and open tundra. We fly in to Kiruna, the only town in this part of Sweden and transfer to the nearby wilderness centre of Camp Ripan, which provides comfortable accommodation in cosy cabins that work well for families. Camp Ripan has an excellent set-up, with a great restaurant, a northern lights lounge and a welcoming spa with heated outdoor pool. Situated within a spectacular landscape of 'taiga' forest, this is the perfect place for a winter family break and provides us with easy access to most of the classic winter activities. We start out with an adventurous snowmobile tour which takes us across frozen lakes and on forest trails towards Kebnekaise (2117m) Sweden's highest peak. Over the next couple of days, you and your family will also travel by husky dog-sled, take a night-time snowshoe hike and learn the basics of ski-touring on prepared trails. And, whenever the weather is clear, this is one of the best places on Earth to see the amazing northern lights. We also take an excursion to the nearby and world-famous Icehotel, where many of the rooms have been designed and sculpted by artists from around the world - an unmissable attraction. With all meals and activities included, this is an unforgettable family holiday in a veritable winter wonderland.

Is this holiday for you?

Suitable for children from 6 years old.

Providing cosy and comfortable accommodation and great food, our resort base at Camp Ripan allows us the flexibility to make this unique family adventure holiday work for most families. All the activities are in the reach of active children. When snowmobiling, children under 12 years of age will be towed in a covered trailed sledge behind the snowmobiles. Under 18yr olds are not allowed to drive the snowmobiles. Additional warm and appropriate clothing is provided for the snowmobiling and husky sled ride. You do however need to provide your own warm clothing for the other activities, for evenings and for spontaneous playing in the snow! This is an ideal family holiday for Christmas, February half term and Easter. The KE Team loves this holiday!

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel. A single transfer from Kiruna Airport is provided.
  • A day snowmobiling across frozen lakes. Picnic lunch in Sami teepee, possible ice-fishing.
  • Morning husky sledge safari. Break at Sami teepee with open fire. Evening snowshoeing in forest.
  • Visit the famous icehotel at Jukkasjarvi, return to Camp Ripan for lunch. Afternoon spa visit.
  • Morning cross-country skiing through the forest. Afternoon free for optional activities.
  • Departure day. A single transfer to Kiruna Airport is provided.
Fri 18 Dec - Wed 23 Dec Code FSW /5A/15/ Adult$2,050 Child$1,055 Status Guaranteed Book now
Tue 22 Dec - Sun 27 Dec Code FSW /06/15/ Adult$2,100 Child$1,060 Status Limited Availability Book now
Tue 29 Dec - Sun 03 Jan Code FSW /07/15/ Adult$2,260 Child$1,060 Status Limited Availability Book now
Sun 07 Feb - Fri 12 Feb Code FSW /01/16/ Adult$2,050 Child$1,055 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 14 Feb - Fri 19 Feb Code FSW /02/16/ Adult$2,050 Child$1,055 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 27 Mar - Fri 01 Apr Code FSW /03/16/ Adult$2,050 Child$1,055 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 03 Apr - Fri 08 Apr Code FSW /04/16/ Adult$1,940 Child$1,055 Status Guaranteed Book now
Fri 23 Dec - Wed 28 Dec Code FSW /05/16/ Adult$2,100 Child$1,060 Status Guaranteed Book now
Thu 29 Dec - Tue 03 Jan Code FSW /06/16/ Adult$2,260 Child$1,060 Status Guaranteed Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Kiruna. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Kiruna Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • airport
  • trip direction
  • peaks
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel. A single transfer from Kiruna Airport is provided.

    Arriving at the compact airport at Kiruna, we meet a transfer representative and make the short (15 minute) transfer to Camp Ripan which lies on the outskirts of the town, close to the downhill ski slopes on the hill of Luossavaara. During the winter season, the town of Kiruna sits within a snow-bound landscape of undulating countryside covered in birch and pine forest and punctuated by frozen lakes. There are views across to the peaks of the Kebnekaise range of mountains. Pretty rows of red-painted cabins and reindeer grazing in their corrals (at some times of the season) makes this an unusual type of resort. On arrival, you will be given a programme with the timings of all the activities included in your KE holiday. You will then have time to settle in to your cosy cabin, which has a twin/double bed, en-suite facilities, comfortable sitting area, tea and coffee making facilities, satellite TV and a clothes drying facility. Some cabins have an extra room with a bunk bed and these work well for families. Dinner is taken in the main block, where there is an excellent restaurant.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • A day snowmobiling across frozen lakes. Picnic lunch in Sami teepee, possible ice-fishing.

    After an all-you-can-eat, buffet-style breakfast, you will meet your guide in reception for the first of the activities, the snowmobiling. Please note that for any of the activities during this holiday, you may be part of a larger group with people who have not necessarily booked through KE. This should not affect your enjoyment of this wonderful holiday. Please note also that there are a number of local activity providers that Camp Ripan work with and the venue for each of the activities can change. Your guide today will drive you out to the start of the snowmobiling. It takes around 50 minutes to drive to the lakeside hamlet of Pirttivuopio, for example. Here, the guide will make sure that you have adequate warm clothing for the day's adventure. A padded suit, snowboots, hat and gloves are amongst the items that will be provided if they are needed. After gearing up, we are shown the basics of snowmobile handling and then set off through the valley of the River Kalix, across frozen lakes and on forest trails to Nikkaluokta (the coldest place in Sweden) and the mountains that lie beyond. It is recommended that children under 12 years of age are towed in a covered trailer sledge behind the snowmobiles. Children over 16 years old are allowed to have a go at driving a snowmobile under supervision. Depending on the conditions, we may spot moose and reindeer along the way and have views that extend to Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekaise (2117m). We will either stop for a snack lunch at a traditional Sami-style teepee (if the weather is good we will be able to eat lunch outside around the open fire). Or, we may return to our guide's house at Pirttivuopio and have lunch there. During our tour, we may see local, Sami people fishing with nets beneath the ice. Later in the season, we may also be able to try fishing through a hole in the ice (most likely in the Easter departure). Returning to Camp Ripan, there is some free time, with the option to visit the excellent spa, before sitting down to dinner in the restaurant.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Morning husky sledge safari. Break at Sami teepee with open fire. Evening snowshoeing in forest.

    Our tour by dog-sledge is usually operated from a dog farm close to Camp Ripan. So, we gear up (again we are provided with additional warm clothing) before making the short transfer to meet our mushers (sledge drivers) and their dogs. Depending on the number in the party, a decision will be made on the number of dogs required for each sledge, which will be driven by one of the mushers. The dogs are Alaskan huskies and there could be as many as 12 pulling a sledge with 4 passengers and the musher. Anyone who wants to can usually assist with the process of putting the dogs in their traces. We then get comfortable on the sledge, snuggling down into our winter gear on reindeer skins, as the dogs get more and more excited, yelping in their eagerness to be off. Off we go, and suddenly everything is quiet. The only thing you can hear is the sledge running on the snow and the panting of the dogs. Although we are close to Kiruna and can see the hill of Luossavaara, this is excellent dog-sledding terrain - undulating and forested and offering a real taste of Arctic travel by dog sled. We will take a break at a Sami-style teepee and by the light of the open fire we will have a snack and a glass of lingon berry juice or a cup of coffee. There is a chance that we will see wild animals along the trail or their tracks in the snow. We return to our accommodation at Camp Ripan in time for lunch in the restaurant. In the early evening we have a guided, snowshoeing hike in the forest surrounding Camp Ripan. Snowshoes, ski-poles and head-lamps are provided from the gear shop in the Camp Ripan reception for this activity. If we are lucky, the northern lights will play their part in this night-time adventure. At the end of the walk, we can once again stop in a Sami teepee for a hot drink around the fire. Then, it's back to our cabins for a quick change before dinner in the restaurant.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Visit the famous icehotel at Jukkasjarvi, return to Camp Ripan for lunch. Afternoon spa visit.

    After breakfast, we will meet our driver in reception and make the short (20 minute) journey to Jukkasjarvi and the world-famous Icehotel. The name Jukkasjarvi means 'meeting place' and this small settlement on the River Torne has been an important focal point for local herders and hunters for centuries. Today, it is home to the world’s largest ice structure the Icehotel, which includes an ice bar, an art gallery and even an ice church which is consecrated for weddings and christenings. We take time to explore this unusual building which is reconstructed every year with varying themes - each year bigger and better. The highlights are the many 'deluxe' rooms, each of which have been given the designer treatment by artists from around the world. Beautifully carved out of ice over a period of several weeks and with a wide variety of themes, these can be quite breathtaking. The temperature at Jukkasjarvi is usually 10 degrees colder than at Kiruna. So, it's a relief to be able to explore the hotel, which is kept at a balmy minus 6 degrees centigrade. There is a tasteful gift shop and a reception area with bar and restaurant at the Icehotel for anyone who needs further warming up. We return to Camp Ripan for lunch. In the afternoon we can again visit the spa and there is also the chance to watch a documentary about the Sami people and their reindeer in the Northern Lights Room (above the reception). Dinner in the restaurant.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Morning cross-country skiing through the forest. Afternoon free for optional activities.

    After breakfast, we meet our guide for the cross-country skiing activity in reception. We are kitted out with appropriate skis, ski poles and boots. Our cross-country skiing adventure starts out directly from Ripan. There is a sports field close by with a circuit of prepared cross-country tracks and several pisted trails lead off from this field. After a short introduction on the level field and also on a pisted slope nearby, there is the option to complete a fun and undulating circuit through mixed forest terrain which takes us out towards the hill of Luossavaara. There are also shorter and easier ski tour options, depending on the standard of the group. Again, given good weather, we will have views across to the peaks of the Kebnekaise Range. Returning to base, we hand back our ski gear and go for lunch in the restaurant. In the afternoon, we can choose from optional activities including further snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Or, we can walk into town or simply play in the snow. Simple plastic sledges can be borrowed from the gear shop. Other options include a northern lights tour on horseback or a reindeer encounter where we meet a Sami reindeer herder who takes us for a short sledge ride and we can pet and handle the reindeer. Some of the options this afternoon are at additional cost and pre-booking is essential. We return to the accommodation for our last dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. A single transfer to Kiruna Airport is provided.

    After breakfast and depending on your flight time, there may be time to visit some of the sights in Kiruna or have some more fun in the snow. Kiruna Church is worth a visit. Extraordinarily beautiful and built along the lines of a Lappish cottage, the Church was recently voted the finest building in Sweden. In the late morning, we will transfer to the airport. KE Land Only package service end on arrival at Kiruna Airport. CHRISTMAS DEPARTURES Christmas is special in this part of Sweden and Camp Ripan take extra care to ensure that it is as magical as could ever be. Departures which fall over the Christmas days have a slightly different format, and the itinerary will be in a different order to accommodate the celebrations. Swedish Christmas Dinner - the Smorgasbord In the evening of the 24th Christmas the Swedish have their ‘Christmas Dinner’. This smorgasbord feast is a buffet selection of the finest herring, salmon, hams, smoked reindeer, lamb, deer, meatballs and much much more. There are plenty of options for the vegetarians! Father Christmas arrives on his sled pulled by his reindeer This is the highlight for big and small! As Father Christmas arrives through the wintery evening on his sled pulled by the real reindeer – surely it can’t get more magical! He tells a tale of the eventful journey over the mountains through the snow storm and everyone is given the chance to acquaint themselves with the reindeer. All the children will also receive a small gift from Father Christmas. Christmas Day torchlight procession For those who can get up early on Christmas morning, there is the option to take part in a torchlight procession through the snow to the Kiruna Church. The early Christmas service, Julotta, is an old Swedish Christmas tradition. Even although many Swedes do not attend regular church services, they do take part on Christmas Day. The Kiruna Church, which beautiful and based on a large Sami hut, was honoured with the accolade of ‘Sweden’s Most Beautiful Building' in the year 2000.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional English-speaking Swedish guide for all activities
  • Kiruna Airport transfers (single timed transfer for group flights)
  • All land transport and activities as described
  • All specialist winter activity equipment
  • Additional warm clothing for the snowmobiling and husky sled ride activities
  • 5 nights accommodation at Camp Ripan
  • 1 visit to the Aurora Spa
  • All meals included

  • Travel insurance
  • Kiruna Airport transfers (other single timed group transfer)
  • Additional activities other than those described
  • Tips for local staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A single group transfer from Kiruna Airport is provided. This transfer is timed to the arrival of preferred group flight and will depart Kiruna airport at around 5.30pm. At the end of the holiday there will be a single group transfer back to the airport, arriving at around 2.30pm. The journey time in each direction is just 20 minutes. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

This is a holiday at low elevation.

During this trip the group will spend 5 nights at Camp Ripan on the outskirts of the modern town of Kiruna. This unusual resort hotel is comprised of several rows of wooden cabins which have twin rooms, en-suite facilities, satellite TV, tea and coffee making facilities, comfortable sitting area and drying room. Family cabins have 4 beds and can accommodate a 5th extra bed if required, however it is more comfortable if you opt for 2 cabins for a family of 5 (at an additional cost). Families of 3 (2 adults and 1 child) will be in a 4 bed cabin. The hotel reception has a bar, and a restaurant with a reputation for good local food. The proprietor of Camp Ripan is a chef and the cuisine is a priority for her. There is also a spa, one visit during your trip is included (either day 2 or 4), with an indoor and outdoor pool. If you are lucky you can enjoy the warmth whilst watching the Northern Lights flash through the windows.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Breakfast is an all you can eat buffet, with most breakfast items available. Cereals, bread, toast, yoghurt, spreads, omelette, scrambled egg, bacon, sausage, fruit juices, tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Most lunches are also taken at Camp Ripan and this is a single course meal, meat or fish with vegetables. Water and bread is also provided. Dinner is a 2-course meal served in the excellent restaurant. Much of the produce is harvested locally from the region and the chefs prioritise traditional Sami dishes, such as moose meatballs, reindeer, beef, salmon, Arctic char and lingon berry dessert. Dinner can be either a starter and a main course or main course and dessert. Every dish has its own story and the waiters will take pains to explain to you what you are eating. Simple dishes for children are also available. On some days, we may eat a snack lunch during our activity.

All meals are included from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 6.

Approximately £200 for the average family should be sufficient to cover miscellaneous expenses, drinks and souvenir purchases. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of currency. The Swedish unit of currency is the Krona (SEK). If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly. Also, if you expect to buy considerable quantities of soft drinks or alcoholic drinks, you should make an allowance for this. A beer in the restaurant at Camp Ripan costs around £8. OPTIONAL ACTIVITY COSTS. Subject to change without notice. All these options are payable locally. Activities are usually taken with other guests at Camp Ripan and are at set times and days. Depending on the dates of your travel only certain activities will be available. Please call the office if additional information is required. - Snowshoeing or cross country skiing: From SEK 150 for afternoon rental - Northern Lights on horse-back: Min age 12 years. 1590 SEK per person (4 hours) Pre-booking essential - Encounter the reindeer: 1980 SEK per person, 990 SEK per child under 12yrs (3 hrs). Pre-booking essential - Reindeer sledding: 2640 SEK per adult, 1320 SEK per child under 12 yrs (5 hrs). Pre-booking essential - Aurora Borealis with Sami Dinner: 1950 SEK per person. (4hrs) Sami stories and photoguide. Pre-booking essential - Aurora tour with dinner in Abisko: 1950 SEK per person (5hrs). Pre-booking essential. Photo equipment can be hire for an additional cost if required. - Moose Safari by minibus: 1225 SEK per adult, 615 SEK per child under 12yrs (3hrs). Pre-booking essential. - Aurora Spa: 295 SEK per adult, 150 per child - In search of the Christmas Tree. Set of by sled to find the Christmas tree and decorate it: 1295 SEK per person. Christmas only. If you partake in this then you will not be able to do the scheduled activity on your trip.

The group will be accompanied during each of the activities by English-speaking Swedish guides. The guides are specialist instructors in each field (i.e. husky sledding, snowmobiling or snowshoeing) and will vary with the days' activity and the itinerary.

You are under no pressure to tip the guides during this holiday. Tipping is the accepted way of saying thank you to your activity provider and is entirely voluntary.

There are no baggage restrictions on this holiday apart from that set by your international airline.

KE Trek Bag / Free Gift

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

A passport with 3 months remaining validity is required. Passport holders from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or any EU countries do not require a visa. Other nationalities should check with the respective consulate in their own country.

Whilst we keep our information up to date, you should be advised that visa requirements can change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in case of recent amendments.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Warm and waterproof snow boots
  • Trainers / sneakers or similar (to travel in)
  • Warm socks (2 or 3 pairs)
  • Underwear
  • Warm fleece trousers, together with waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Or, waterproof, padded ski pants or salopettes
  • Long johns (thermal underwear)
  • Thermal baselayer shirts
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts to travel in and for evenings
  • Fleece jacket
  • Fleece jumper
  • Warm ski jacket or down jacket
  • Warm hat
  • Scarf
  • Eyewear- ski goggles and good quality sunglasses
  • Warm fleece gloves
  • Warm and windproof overgloves or mittens
  • Daypack c.20 to 30 litres (1800 – 2000cu in) (depending
  • on how much of the kids' stuff you need to carry)
  • Headtorch / headlamp with spare bulb and batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 2x 1 Litre (quart)
  • Selection of dry bags (to keep daypack contents dry)
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Small towel
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Immodium), painkillers, plasters (band-aids), and blister treatment, antihistamine cream and tablets, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

The following items are optional:

  • Karrimat or similar foam mat (for lunch stops)
  • 1 litre Thermos Flask
  • Travel clothes
  • Swimwear (for spa)
  • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
  • Camera, media, batteries

Equipment provided locally

  • Additional warm clothing as required
  • Snowshoes
  • Ski touring equipment including boots
  • Headtorch/lamp for snowshoeing night hike
  • Notes:
    You should take the sort of warm clothing that you would use for a mountain skiing trip. Additional clothing and all equipment will be provided at Camp Ripan for all the activities.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

Know before you go

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

No previous experience is required for any of the activities included in this family holiday. The snow shoeing and cross-country skiing will work better for active families who are used to walking at weekends.

We are running this Arctic Sweden adventure at Christmas and also in February and the Easter holidays. There will be a noticeable difference in the climatic conditions that we can expect to encounter during these three periods. During the Christmas trip, the dominating influence will be the fact that the sun does not come above the horizon at all and there is only about 4 hours or so of good daylight. This is the season when the Northern Lights are most active. At this time of year, the temperature can be as cold as minus 25°C, but is more likely to be minus 10 to minus 15°C . However, because the air is so dry here, it does not seem so cold. The sun first puts in an appearance in early January and by mid February, there is lots of daylight (the sun rises at 0800 and sets at 1600 approx) and the temperatures start to improve. The ambient temperatures are still low, several degrees below freezing during the day and -10°C or colder at night. Thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream it is actually warmer here than its Arctic Circle location would suggest. The early spring season is a great time to visit the Swedish Arctic. During the day the sun warms the snow, causing a little softening and then at night it re-freezes to form a crust which is perfect for snowmobiles, dog-sledges or for skiing. In February and even more so at Easter, long, sunny days are quite usual.

The Rough Guide to Sweden. Sweden – Lonely Planet Guide.

Kiruna - Tourist & Hiking Map. Lantmateriverket. Sheet BD4 - 1:100 000.

Relief is shown by contours at 20 metre intervals and enhanced by relief shading. An overprint shows routes for hiking and cross-country skiing, as well as mandatory and recommended trails for snowmobiles, campsites, youth hostels and various other types of accommodation, etc. The maps have both a UTM grid and latitude and longitude grid. The map legend includes English.

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