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5
Ke Classic
Ke Classic
Holidays

Inside the Arctic Circle - Skiing the Kings Trail

Sweden
5 reviews
Available Departures: Feb, Mar

9 days from

US$2,955

without flights
Winter
Guided Group
CHALLENGING CHALLENGING

A classic hut-to-hut Nordic ski tour inside the Arctic Circle in North Sweden

Trip Code: SKS
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Inside the Arctic Circle - Skiing the Kings Trail

Highlights
  • Go in search of the spectacular Northern Lights in Abisko
  • Sleep in cosy mountain huts and relax in traditional wood fired saunas
  • Fully guided with snowmobile support and all meals and transfers included
  • Nordic ski touring equipment can be hired locally

At a Glance
  • Group Size 5 to 14
  • 7 days ski touring
  • Max altitude - 1140m
  • Join In Kiruna

Accommodation & Meals
  • All meals included
  • 5 nights Mountain Hut / Refuge
  • 3 nights Mountain Station
Overview

This Arctic winter wonderland adventure ski holiday will see you ski touring Nordic style along the famous King's Trail/Kungsleden of Sweden. With the winter sun resting on the horizon, the Arctic landscapes of northern Sweden, featuring majestic peaks and frozen waterfalls, are bathed in an ethereal light. Our fabulous ski touring holiday through this winter wonderland begins with 2 nights in Abisko - perhaps the best place in the world to experience the stunning Northern Lights. Then, after a day to hone your Nordic Skiing technique, we ski off into the wilderness, skiing across dramatic valleys and glorious viewpoint passes, as we follow the route of the King's Trail/Kungsleden. Snowmobiles will carry the group's equipment, so you'll only need to ski with a light back pack each day. We overnight in remote mountain huts, some of which have washrooms and wood fired saunas; the perfect place to relax after a full day cross country skiing in the cold, crisp air. Finally, from the Kebnekaise Mountain Station, beneath the highest peak in Sweden, we use snowmobiles to return to the roadhead. A memorable end to a fantastic ski touring holiday. Skiing the Kungsleden Trail demands a good level of fitness and, though cross-country ski experience is not essential, you need to have mastered the basics of down hill skiing.

During the course of this ski touring holiday, you will cover more than 90km on your skis, averaging 15km per day. The terrain is undulating rather than mountainous and the maximum amount of ascent on any of the days is 400m. Since we have snowmobile support to carry our small bags of spare clothing, we can limit the amount that we carry in our day packs to the daily essentials plus a certain amount of group safety gear. It should be possible to keep our packs down to no more than 7 - 9kg. Regular cross-country skiers will find this tour to be reasonably straightforward, those with little cross-country skiing experience will find it more challenging. Coming to terms with the techniques and rhythm of moving on skis on level ground can be demanding and it will be a couple of days before you will start to see an improvement in your technique. Though we have included a familiarisation day at the beginning to give those with less experiences the chance to practise their ski touring techniques, we would only recommend this holiday to those who have previous cross country skiing experience or who are competent downhill skiiers looking for a new challenge.

Because of the shortness of the day and cold temperatures during February, it is essential that all group members on early departures are competent cross-country skiers. We would recommend that those with less experience travel on later departures where days are longer and conditions warmer.

Note that you will be expected to take part in 'hut chores' including cooking, cleaning and fetching water; for many this is one of the best parts of experience!

Why KE?

This classic ski tour offers great value for money; with all meals, timed airport transfers, and snowmobile support all included in the price of the holiday.

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Itinerary

We meet at our accommodation in Abisko, approximately 1-2 hours drive from Kiruna Airport. A single timed transfer from Kiruna Airport is provided. Situated beside Lake TorneTräsk, the Turiststation, built over 100 years ago, has recently been renovated to include a bar and a restaurant overlooking the lake. All around is a snow-bound landscape of undulating countryside covered in birch forest, with views across to the peaks of the Kebnekaise range. Those who have opted to hire ski gear will have the chance to pick up their skis, boots, poles, climbing skins and gaiters. At some point in the afternoon/evening (depending on the groups arrival times) there will be a short briefing from the guide about the King’s Trail, the route, what gear to pack and the required safety equipment.

Accommodation

Mountain Station

Meals

D

After breakfast, we will take a ski tour directly from the Mountain Station. The guide will be on hand to give advice to those who have less experience of ski touring. This day will give everyone a chance to try out their equipment and to get a feel for what the next 6 days will have in store. There will also be more instruction from the guide in the use of safety equipment. There will be sometime this afternoon for you to repack your bags ready for the morning, for more information on packing please refer to the Baggage Allowance section of the holiday information. Time allowing an afternoon visit to the sauna is also highly recommended! We spend a second night at Abisko.

Accommodation

Mountain Station

Meals

B L D

Carrying only our daypacks (as our smaller bags, together with the group's food will be carried for us on snowmobiles) we set off on our ski tour. We start directly from our accommodation and pass almost at once through a wooden gateway marked 'Kungsleden.' Thereafter, the trail is marked by slender posts topped with a red cross and these are in place almost every 50 metres. This might seem like overkill in terms of marking the route, but the importance of these markers is fully appreciated in snowy conditions when visibility is poor. Although there is a marked trail, different groups and individuals take very different routes and we will see ski tracks heading off to take advantage of a level, frozen stretch of river, for instance. The first stage of the tour is relatively easy; fairly flat and through light forest. A bonus at this time of year, of course, is that all the lakes are frozen, providing the flattest and easiest conditions of all. Weather allowing we will take several break today, where we can have a go and building snow benches, where we can perch, enjoy a hot drink from our thermos and soak up the feeling of being in the snowy wilderness. The last part of today's route to the Swedish Tourist Federation (STF) hut at Abiskojaure takes us across the ice of Abisko Lake itself. Tonight we will spend our first night at one of the warm and cosy STF Mountain Huts. Where we can enjoy huddling around the wood burning stove, or take a relaxing sauna, in amongst doing our share of the evening's hut chores.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

185 M

Descent

75 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs skiing

Distance

15 KM

This is a longer day's touring, involving over 400m of ascent, as we follow the Kama River westwards and then turn to the south-east to cross a low col and enter the Alis Valley, which is dominated by shapely snow-peaks. Depending on the conditions your guide may recommend that you fit your skins on your skis today. A logical spot to stop for a picnic lunch is at the 'windshelter' after approximately 12 km. There is a feeling today of entering the high mountains and pristine white wilderness as we continue through the Alis Valley. After lunch, it is pretty level all the way to our overnight stop at the Alesjaure Mountain Hut, with the option to cut directly across Ales Lake for the last 5 km. There is a cluster of huts at Alesjaure including an excellent sauna. After 2 days on the trail we will be glad of its recuperative and relaxing influence.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

470 M

Descent

150 M

Time

8 hrs skiing

Distance

23 KM

We have a shorter day today, of just 13 km over undulating terrain. The first part of today's route follows the wide open Ales Valley and then begins a gradual ascent on easy-angled slopes which are nevertheless quite tough to ski up. If the weather conditions permit, we will leave the marked trail and make our own tracks along the Alesatno River. Our overnight accommodation is at the busy Tjaktja Hut (c.1040m) the highest on the King's Trail. A low rounded snow-peak, with a steep face rises above this hut. It is usual for the snow to be 2 metres deep in this area.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

290 M

Descent

100 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs skiing

Distance

13 KM

Another short day, which starts with a 2-hour ascent of over 4 km, gaining just 100m in elevation, to the Tjaktja Pass (1140m). This is the highest point of the entire King's Trail and there are great views from the shelter at the col, looking towards the stunning Tjaktja Valley ahead of us. Beyond the pass, we enjoy our first proper downhill section on a broad trail which contours across the left side of the valley to the Salka Hut. As we ski through the valley we will want to make sure to look up and enjoy the breathtaking views. Salka is a popular base for Telemark skiers, as there are several peaks in the area which offer vertical drops of as much as 1000 metres. The Salka hut has one of the best saunas of the week and also a small shop where we can stock up on snacks!

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

370 M

Descent

580 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs skiing

Distance

16 KM

Today we will follow the Tjaktja Valley, enjoying a leisurely day across gently undulating terrain, all the way to the huts at Singi. The two huts at Singi are located by a small lake in an open bowl surrounded by low hills and nearby a traditional Sami village. This afternoon we will have some time to explore the local areas, before the sun slips behind the mountain and we retreat to our cosy hut for another night in the Swedish wilderness.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

80 M

Descent

190 M

Time

4 -5 hrs skiing

Distance

12 KM

We effectively turn away from the King's Trail today, as we head west through the Ladtjo Valley and, mostly downhill, to the Kebnekaise Mountain Station. Throughout the day's skiing there are fantastic views of Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest peak. There are excellent facilities at the Mountain Station, with showers, saunas, a restaurant, bar and a shop. No more communal cooking is necessary, as all food is provided in the mountain stations excellent restaurant, which is dedicated to the memory of the hut's original host.

Accommodation

Mountain Station

Meals

B L D

Ascent

365 M

Descent

450 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs skiing

Distance

15 KM

After breakfast at Kebnekaise, we have an exciting 1-hour snowmobile transfer, mostly across the frozen surface of Ladtjo Lake, to the trailhead at Nikkaluokta. Here we pick up our main baggage, which has been transported separately from Abisko, re-pack and change into our travel clothes before transferring 1hr to Kiruna Airport.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Peaks Peaks
Airport Airport
Direction Direction
Transfer
Trek

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional and qualified tour leader
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as described
  • All meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Single timed group Kiruna Airport transfers

  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for local staff
  • Ski equipment and boots and/or associated hire costs
  • Miscellaneous expenses souvenirs etc.

The group will meet at the Abisko Mountain Station. On Day 1 of the itinerary there will be a single timed transfer from Kiruna airport to Abisko Mountain Station. This transfer will be timed to meet the SAS flight from Stockholm arriving in the early afternoon. The journey takes 1.5 hours.

On the last day of the Land Only itinerary there will be another single timed transfer from Nikkaluokta to Kiruna Airport timed to meet the check in of the SAS flight to Stockholm departing in the late morning.

Anyone may join the group transfers by prior arrangement. Travelling as a group or on public transport saves energy. If your flight schedule does not allow you to take advantage of the arrival transfer you should make your own way to the Abisko Mountain Station. There is a reliable airport bus service which will meet every flight.

Accommodation contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All meals are included in the holiday price.

Whilst staying at the Mountain Stations at Abisko and Kebnekaise, all meals will be taken in the restaurants. Meals whilst on tour will be prepared from preserved food via communal cooking, to be co-ordinated by the Guide. Everyone will be expected to assist with preparing meals. Breakfast will consist of bread, porridge or muesli with dehydrated milk, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and some jam. Lunch will be bread, sandwiches and soup, made up from hot water from a thermos. Dinner will be co-ordinated by the guide and will also be mainly dehydrated and processed food. Some fresh food items will be carried from Abisko. 

Tap water is drinkable in Abisko. Whilst staying in the huts water will be collect from the lakes/wells and will be boiled to provide plentiful drinking water.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

We will spend 3 nights in "Mountain Stations", at Kebnekaise and Abisko, which are more like lodges and have great facilities. Here the group will sleep in 6 berth rooms, with shared toilet and shower facilities and communal seating areas. All bedding is provided. Each station has a separate male and female saunas, a good restaurant and a bar.

During our time on the trail we will stay each night in a different mountain hut. These are maintained by the Swedish Tourist Association (STF) and each has its own host in residence. The huts offer simple but comfortable accommodation and each has its own unique personality! There will be no electricity, running water or mobile phone coverage, this is all part of the special and unique experience of staying in the remote Swedish wilderness. For many staying in these cosy mountain huts is one of the highlights of the tour.

The biggest hut has spaces for around 90 people, split over several smaller individual cabins, others are much smaller. Our group will usually have exclusive use of one of the lodges, though at busy time we may be required to share. Inside each of the huts you will find a combined kitchen and cosy day room, bedroom and drying room.

At the huts we will sleep in mixed dorms of 4 -10 people. Pillows and blankets are provided and all rooms have a wood-burning stove or gas heater. For comfort we recommend taking your own pillow case and a sleeping bag liner.

Each hut has a shared outside toilet block. These are well maintained and have plenty of toilet paper and antibacterial hand wash available.

Most of the mountain huts also have their own wood-fired sauna. The saunas will have split session times in the evening: female only, male only and mixed. Towels are not provided at the huts so we recommend taking a travel towel that is large enough to wrap around you. Each of the saunas will have and a small basic wash room attached to it, where bowls and hot water (from the sauna) are provided for you to wash. It is possible to wash your hair here if there is enough water.

One of the most fun aspects of this ski tour is getting involved in the hut chores. Chores include fetching water from the wells (which are normally on the edges of frozen lakes), being responsible for the fires, cooking dinner, preparing breakfast and packed lunch items and clearing up. This will be coordinated by the guide and teams will rotate chores throughout the week. It is expected that you leave the hut in the condition you found it with fresh water and wood for the next travellers.

After an exciting day skiing, recuperating in the sauna and dinner, there will generally be time for relaxing where you can read your book by candlelight, chat to your fellow travellers or play card games. You will also of course be on the lookout for the Northern Lights, which can regularly be seen when the sky is clear.

Single rooms are not available.

The group will be led by a professional and qualified tour leader.

This holiday does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.

Approximately £150 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc.) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, drinks (please note that alcoholic drinks in Sweden are expensive) and souvenir purchases. This amount will also allow you to pay reasonable tips to the local staff. Please also note that when you pick up main travel baggage, which has been transported separately to meet you in Nikkaluokta, you will be asked to pay a small fee (approximately £4 (40SEK) per bag) for storage. This money goes directly to the local Sami community in Nikkaluokta. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of currency (Swedish Krona) since there will be not be any opportunities to change it once you leave Stockholm. There is no ATM in Kiruna airport, but you can withdraw cash at ATM's at Stockholm/Arlanda airport when you change flights. For this reason you may want to acquire your Swedish Krona before you travel. 

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your leader and local team. Tipping is entirely voluntary and should be dependent on good service. We recommend that you decide levels of tipping and give any tips as a group rather than from individual group members.

For this holiday you will require three different bags: your main luggage, a small additional bag and a rucksack of around 40 – 60 litres.

Bag 1. Main Luggage
This is the bag in which you will transport all of your luggage to Abisko. A soft duffle bag or a wheeledsuitcase is suitable. Please check your baggage allowance with your international airline. On the evening on Day 2 you will be asked to pack all the items you require on tour into your rucksack and your smaller bag ready for the following morning. On the morning of Day 3, when we set off on tour, the group's main luggage, including all items not required on tour, will be transported directly to Nikkaluokta where it will be stored for the coming days. You will be reunited with your main luggage on arrival in Nikkaluokta.


Bag 2. Small Bag
A 20L dry bag or small lightweight rucksack is suitable. In this bag you will pack a few personal  items / clothes that you require for the evenings in the huts. This might include your pyjamas, hut slippers, t-shirts, toothbrush and book. There is a strict weight limit of 7kg for this bag, as it travels on the snowmobiles each day. 

Bag 3. 40 – 60 litre rucksack, with hip belt
This is the bag you will carry with you each day during the ski tour. In this bag you will carry your sleeping bag, thermos flask, roll mat, med kit, warm clothing, lunch, water and a share of the group’s saftety equipment. The packed weight of the bag will be around 7-9kg. We recommend a rucksack of around 40- 60 litres, though a 60l rucksack will be easier to pack and will allow you to store all of your equipment inside the bag on cold days.

We also recommend a rucksack, with an outer attachment for storing your roll mat, and a hip belt.

*NOTE* If you are planning to travel with your own skis, please be aware that different airlines have differing policies with regard to baggage allowances and transporting ski equipment. The baggage section on your chosen airline’s website will usually contain this information.

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.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

The unit of currency in Sweden is the Swedish Krona.

Getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience.

You should be aerobically fit and comfortable with walking for 6 hours for consecutive days. Hill walking, with a good amount of ascent and descent, is the best training. Running, cycling and swimming are also good for developing cardiovascular fitness and stamina.

The ski-touring season in northern Sweden extends from February to May. By the beginning of March there is lots of daylight (sun rises at 0700 and sets at 1700 approx.) and the temperatures start to rise. The ambient daytime temperatures are still low - several degrees below freezing - though, because the air is so dry here, it does not seem so cold. Night time temperatures in February and early March can be as low as -30°C though -10 to -15 °C is the norm from mid March through April. Thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream it is actually warmer here than its Arctic Circle location would suggest. 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 skiing. Long, sunny days are quite usual at this season, although it is also possible that we might encounter short-lived snow storms.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov 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 FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • The Rough Guide to Sweden. Proctor and Roland.

  • Sweden – Lonely Planet Guide. Bain and Cornwallis.

Tourist & Hiking Map. 1:100 000. Sheet BD6 (Abisko - Kebnekaise) Piblisher: Lantmateriverket.

A detailed topographic map in colour, at a smaller scale than most UK hikers’ maps but with a useful 25m. contour interval. The map is in Swedish with an English legend.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please try to keep the weight of your baggage to a minimum. See the ‘baggage allowance’ section for further details.

You SHOULD bring the following items:

  • Ski touring boots - see Ski Equipment for more information

  • Lightweight shoes or hard soled slippers (for use whilst staying in the huts/ideal for evening visits to the outdoor facilities! Crocs are ideal for this purpose)

  • Woollen liner socks (2 pairs) - these great for preventing blisters.

  • Woollen Knee length ski socks (2 pairs)

  • Spare laces

  • Socks and underwear (wool recommended)

  • Travel clothes (for use before and after tour)

  • Winter mountaineering trousers or salopettes (for use in evenings or for skiing in on cold days)

  • Fleece lined thermal leggings (In good weather conditions you will ski-tour in these each day underneath your overtrousers. Running, cycling, or cross-country ski leggings are ideal)

  • Waterproof/windproof overtrousers

  • Thermal baselayer shirts (2 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve)

  • T-shirt or casual shirt

  • Fleece jacket

  • Down jacket (essential for putting over your ski clothes during breaks)

  • Waterproof/windproof jacket with hood or ski jacket

  • Warm hat

  • Lightweight balaclava or facemask

  • Ski goggles

  • Sunglasses (Category 4)

  • Lightweight thermal gloves

  • Warm and waterproof ski gloves and mittens

  • Spare pair of warm gloves or mittens

  • Backpack (40 - 60 litres) with hip belt and outside attachment for roll mat (see notes)

  • A large travel bag and a separate small bag (see baggage allowance for more information)

  • Full-Length foam roll mat (for sitting on at lunch stops/emergency use – see notes)

  • 1 litre Thermos flask (with insulating carrier if possible)

  • Camping mug

  • Spoon (long handled to reach to bottom of thermos)

  • Water bottle 1 Litre (plastic not metal) (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Water purification tablets

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated to 0°C) for emergency use (see notes)

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite)

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Buff x 2

  • Emergency whistle

  • Sleeping bag liner or sheet sleeping bag (for whilst in the huts) (mandatory)

  • Pillow case (mandatory)

  • Washbag and toiletries (it is possible to wash hair at huts where there are saunas)

  • Small Towel (big enough to wrap around you in the sauna)

  • Antibacterial hand wash

  • Small lunch box (a recycled take away box is ideal)

Ski Equipment

  • Ski-touring skis* - see below

  • Ski-touring boots *

  • Ski poles*

  • Gaiters *

  • Skins*

  • Windshelter (provided) One for every 2 persons

  • Snow shovel (provided) One for every 2 persons

The following items are optional:

  • Binoculars

  • Camera

  • Ear plugs (especially if you are not the one snoring!)

  • Pen-knife (remember to put all sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Book / playing cards / headphones and music (for evening entertainment)

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Ski Equipment:

The ideal skis to use for this trip are 'no-wax' cross-country skis with scales, together with appropriate ski boots. Skis should have steel edges. If we encounter icy snow, crust or deep powder - the scales will not always provide sufficient traction and skins will be required. For inexperienced cross-country skiers, skins can also be used on long descents, slowing the rate of descent and providing a degree of control.

* Ski Hire Available: Ski Touring Equipment, which includes skis (Make: Asnes Amundsen BC – Norwegian), boots (Crispi – Italian – leather, all sizes available), poles and climbing skins can be hired through KE, from the Abisko Mountain Station, at a cost of approx. GBP 295  (2024 price). Please note that equipment should be reserved and paid for through the KE office with at least 5-weeks advance notice, along with your boot size (please specify European size) and your height.

Notes:

  • It is requirement by the Swedish authorities that all participants on the Kungsleden must carry a sleeping bag. We recommend taking a lightweight, small bag, which will sit easily inside your rucksack, ideally no heavier than 1-2kg. 

  • We also ask you to bring a foam mat rather than a self-inflating thermarest because thermarests are not so easy to handle in very cold weather as they do not self-inflate. 

  • At Abisko the group will be paired up and each couple will be asked to carry a snow shovel and emergency wind shelter, which will be provided.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Reviews

4.4 out of 5 from 5 reviews

What an amazing adventure! ★★★★★

What an amazing adventure! I had a fantastic time and would highly recommend this experience. Our guide, Johanna, was wonderful - fun, knowledgeable and very experienced. She really made the trip extra special - thank you KE and Johanna! She guided us through an Arctic storm, kept our spirits up and kept us safe. Even when we had to stay in a hut for an extra day, we had a really enjoyable time and, in fact, this added to the adventure.

By Catherine London | 16 March 2023

Not too happy about the way things turned out notwithstanding the explanation. ★★★

Small group of four with me the slowest on any steep downhills (but determined and strong), guide's assessment of our chances and adverse weather forecasts which were not borne out meant we stopped on day 3, spent 2 days at hut and then had to turn back. Safety must come first and I'm not challenging guide's professional judgment which is key on a trip with any significant potential for risk. But KE needs to build in an extra day to maximise chances of success if our experience is anything to go by. Scenery beautiful however, ski-ing (what we experienced of it) manageable for anyone with a bit of cross-country experience and seeing the Northern Lights was great.
By Phinella London | 23 March 2019

Fabulous Arctic adventure ★★★★★

This trip surpassed expectations. We had a very experienced guide, Hans, who helped us all get the most out of the trip and kept us laughing. Our musher, Morgan, was also great - he guided the dogs transporting our food and extra belongings to the huts each night - plus also gave extra insights into life in the Arctic and training Huskies. The ski hire from Abisko was good quality. The skiing itself was fun - we had to deal with a variety of conditions including high winds and white out but we a ll felt confident that we'd get to our destination thanks to Hans' leadership. The food was far better than described, and importantly it was plentiful. Plus there were always a few cans of beer each evening. The flights and transfers to and from the airport were efficient and on time - the snowmobile ride down from Kebnekaise a real treat on the way back.
By Suzanne Wallingford | 20 March 2017

Remarkable adventure even for those with limited ski experience. ★★★★★

I have been a skier for decades. Living in USA (Colorado) I ski quite a bit--alpine, alpine touring, skate skiing, and classic touring. I have done week long trips at backcountry huts in British Columbia and had wild descents off of mountains. But I have never had any experience on skis similar to the tour of Kungsleden (King's trail) I recently finished with KE Adventures. I had never before skied in a high arctic landscape--wild, mostly above treeline, north of the Arctic Circle, with temper atures moderated somewhat by the Gulf Stream. I had never done a ski trip with dog team support--carrying roughly half our gear, keeping our packs to a reasonable weight (7kg plus or minus). I had never done a ski trip where while at the huts (actually "huts" were groups of buildings, with bunks, kitchens) I went to a sauna followed by rolling in the snow. I had never had a ski trip where the Northern Lights appeared and put on a helluva show one night. Add to that one very competent guide, delightful and witty traveling companions, two of the most charming dog team drivers imaginable, sled dogs so appealing you wanted to stick one (or two) in your checked bags, and you have the makings of a truly magical trip. If you can snowplow on skis, and are reasonably fit, DO NOT MISS THIS TRIP. It is that amazing.
By Adventure GOLDEN | 28 March 2016

Everything good except the hired skis ★★★★

Through KE we hired Nordic ski equipment from Abisko station. On the first training day we were not happy with our skis but were told it was our incompetence. On the second day we set off on our six day tour. During the tour we became aware that our hire skis and those hired by the american couple did not perform as well as the personal skis brought by other clients. The hire skis allowed an ascent of an 8% slope only, those with personal gear could ascend up to 25% The hire skis "balled up" wit h sticky snow on day 3 the personal skis did not. Hire skis would not hold an edge when traversing a steep slope or when snowploughing On day 6 on icy snow the hire skis were uncontrollable, for some on the day we took them off and walked, those on personal skis had much fewer problems. At one point Carole swapped skis with one of our guides. Immediately the found she "could ski again". The hire skis being very poor in comparison with the guides. During the tour we were able to compare our skis with those who had their own THE HIRE SKIS HAD BLUNT STEEL EDGES THE HIRE SKIS HAD WORN DOWN FISH SCALES THE HIRE SKIS GLIDING BASE WAS OLD AND SCRATCHED It is a disgrace the STF is hiring out old worn out equipment to clients doing this serious ski tour. We had level 1 serious weather alerts for 4 of the six days we were out, your skis gave us a hard time. We understand the american couple, Tom and Lori will be in touch with you eventually with the same concerns. I welcome your comments on this. PLEASE TREAT THIS AS A SERIOUS COMPLAINT. More than that I would welcome a statement that Abisko Station had updated it's skis to state of the art and that they were maintained to professional standards. So that others are not so affected. Rick Newcombe, Carole Becker.
By Carole Frodsham | 23 March 2016

KE Adventure reply

Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear you had some problems skiing during your holiday. We have never previously received a complaint about the hire skis from Abisko. The Abisko Mountain Station is the Swedish Tourist Association's 'centre of excellence' for cross country skiing. It has a very strict policy on the maintenance of its hire equipment. All skis are inspected and waxed after every use and no skis are older than 3 years, with the majority between 0 and 2 years old. Following your complaint our agent in Sweden has inspected the skis at Abisko and we have set up a new monitor alert to notify us of any complaints from other users of their equipment. Thank you once again for bringing this matter to our attention. Feedback such as yours is invaluable in ensuring that the service we offer to our clients is the best it can be. We hope that this issue, together with the very challenging weather you encountered, has not deterred you from future cross-country ski trips.


Traveller Reviews
4.4 out of 5 from 5 reviews

What an amazing adventure!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

What an amazing adventure! I had a fantastic time and would highly recommend this experience. Our guide, Johanna, was wonderful - fun, knowledgeable and very experienced. She really made the trip extra special - thank you KE and Johanna! She guided us through an Arctic storm, kept our spirits up and kept us safe. Even when we had to stay in a hut for an extra day, we had a really enjoyable time and, in fact, this added to the adventure.

By Catherine London | 16 March 2023

Not too happy about the way things turned out notwithstanding the explanation.
★ ★ ★
Small group of four with me the slowest on any steep downhills (but determined and strong), guide's assessment of our chances and adverse weather forecasts which were not borne out meant we stopped on day 3, spent 2 days at hut and then had to turn back. Safety must come first and I'm not challenging guide's professional judgment which is key on a trip with any significant potential for risk. But KE needs to build in an extra day to maximise chances of success if our experience is anything to go by. Scenery beautiful however, ski-ing (what we experienced of it) manageable for anyone with a bit of cross-country experience and seeing the Northern Lights was great.
By Phinella London | 23 March 2019

Fabulous Arctic adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This trip surpassed expectations. We had a very experienced guide, Hans, who helped us all get the most out of the trip and kept us laughing. Our musher, Morgan, was also great - he guided the dogs transporting our food and extra belongings to the huts each night - plus also gave extra insights into life in the Arctic and training Huskies. The ski hire from Abisko was good quality. The skiing itself was fun - we had to deal with a variety of conditions including high winds and white out but we a ll felt confident that we'd get to our destination thanks to Hans' leadership. The food was far better than described, and importantly it was plentiful. Plus there were always a few cans of beer each evening. The flights and transfers to and from the airport were efficient and on time - the snowmobile ride down from Kebnekaise a real treat on the way back.
By Suzanne Wallingford | 20 March 2017

Remarkable adventure even for those with limited ski experience.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I have been a skier for decades. Living in USA (Colorado) I ski quite a bit--alpine, alpine touring, skate skiing, and classic touring. I have done week long trips at backcountry huts in British Columbia and had wild descents off of mountains. But I have never had any experience on skis similar to the tour of Kungsleden (King's trail) I recently finished with KE Adventures. I had never before skied in a high arctic landscape--wild, mostly above treeline, north of the Arctic Circle, with temper atures moderated somewhat by the Gulf Stream. I had never done a ski trip with dog team support--carrying roughly half our gear, keeping our packs to a reasonable weight (7kg plus or minus). I had never done a ski trip where while at the huts (actually "huts" were groups of buildings, with bunks, kitchens) I went to a sauna followed by rolling in the snow. I had never had a ski trip where the Northern Lights appeared and put on a helluva show one night. Add to that one very competent guide, delightful and witty traveling companions, two of the most charming dog team drivers imaginable, sled dogs so appealing you wanted to stick one (or two) in your checked bags, and you have the makings of a truly magical trip. If you can snowplow on skis, and are reasonably fit, DO NOT MISS THIS TRIP. It is that amazing.
By Adventure GOLDEN | 28 March 2016

Everything good except the hired skis
★ ★ ★ ★
Through KE we hired Nordic ski equipment from Abisko station. On the first training day we were not happy with our skis but were told it was our incompetence. On the second day we set off on our six day tour. During the tour we became aware that our hire skis and those hired by the american couple did not perform as well as the personal skis brought by other clients. The hire skis allowed an ascent of an 8% slope only, those with personal gear could ascend up to 25% The hire skis "balled up" wit h sticky snow on day 3 the personal skis did not. Hire skis would not hold an edge when traversing a steep slope or when snowploughing On day 6 on icy snow the hire skis were uncontrollable, for some on the day we took them off and walked, those on personal skis had much fewer problems. At one point Carole swapped skis with one of our guides. Immediately the found she "could ski again". The hire skis being very poor in comparison with the guides. During the tour we were able to compare our skis with those who had their own THE HIRE SKIS HAD BLUNT STEEL EDGES THE HIRE SKIS HAD WORN DOWN FISH SCALES THE HIRE SKIS GLIDING BASE WAS OLD AND SCRATCHED It is a disgrace the STF is hiring out old worn out equipment to clients doing this serious ski tour. We had level 1 serious weather alerts for 4 of the six days we were out, your skis gave us a hard time. We understand the american couple, Tom and Lori will be in touch with you eventually with the same concerns. I welcome your comments on this. PLEASE TREAT THIS AS A SERIOUS COMPLAINT. More than that I would welcome a statement that Abisko Station had updated it's skis to state of the art and that they were maintained to professional standards. So that others are not so affected. Rick Newcombe, Carole Becker.
By Carole Frodsham | 23 March 2016

KE Adventure reply

Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear you had some problems skiing during your holiday. We have never previously received a complaint about the hire skis from Abisko. The Abisko Mountain Station is the Swedish Tourist Association's 'centre of excellence' for cross country skiing. It has a very strict policy on the maintenance of its hire equipment. All skis are inspected and waxed after every use and no skis are older than 3 years, with the majority between 0 and 2 years old. Following your complaint our agent in Sweden has inspected the skis at Abisko and we have set up a new monitor alert to notify us of any complaints from other users of their equipment. Thank you once again for bringing this matter to our attention. Feedback such as yours is invaluable in ensuring that the service we offer to our clients is the best it can be. We hope that this issue, together with the very challenging weather you encountered, has not deterred you from future cross-country ski trips.


DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2025

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More Information

  • Inside the Arctic Circle - Skiing the Kings Trail
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SKS /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 23 Feb and ends on Mon 3 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$475
  • Contact us for single room pricing
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Inside the Arctic Circle - Skiing the Kings Trail
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SKS /02/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 23 Mar and ends on Mon 31 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$475
  • Contact us for single room pricing
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for joining at the Abisko Mountain Station and ending in Kiruna. Single timed transfers are included from/to Kiruna Airport are provided.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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