Kungsleden Trek - The Kings Trail of Sweden

Walk the finest trek in Sweden and climb the highest peak




From $1,620 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview


  • Guided ascent of Sweden`s highest mountain, Kebnekaise
  • Relax in saunas and experience the delights of the midnight sun
  • Spectacular Arctic Circle landscapes
  • One of the wildest and most remote trekking holidays in Europe

Trek through Swedish Lapland and climb its highest peak on one of Europe's most wild and remote hikes, the 'King's Trail' or 'Kungsleden', on this superb walking holiday. The King's Trail is situated 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle deep in Swedish Lapland. In summer, the approach to Kebnekaise (2117m) Sweden's highest mountain, crosses an unspoiled land of flower-carpeted birch forest and spectacular glacial valleys where the indigenous Sami people tend their herds of reindeer. Starting out alongside the Abisko River, we trek to the wonderful viewpoint of the T'tja Pass (1100m) and continue via the impressive waterfalls of the Tj'ktajakka Valley. Carrying light backpacks, we overnight at a series of comfortable mountain huts, some of which have saunas to help soothe the limbs after a day's walking. Upon reaching the Kebnekaise Mountain Station, we have time for a glacier trek and for the ascent to the exposed and snowy summit of Sweden's highest peak. Superb trekking and the unforgettable experience of daylight at midnight makes this a unique adventure holiday.

Is this holiday for you?

The days on the King's Trail (excluding the ascent of Kebnekaise) involve straightforward walking on well-defined paths. However some of the days are reasonably long with the longest being 25 kilometres. Additionally, you will need to carry all of your personal equipment and a minimal supply of the communal food. For this we recommend that you take a comfortable 50-60 litre backpack. We estimate that you should be able to keep the weight of your pack to no more than 10-12 kgs, since you will not be carrying either a sleeping bag or a camping mattress. The modest altitudes attained on this holiday will not have an effect on the strenuousness of the hiking. The longest and most strenuous day of the trekking holiday will be on the ascent of Kebnekaise. Group members will be issued with a climbing harness and a climbing helmet. With the local guide leading, the group will be roped together when crossing the lower glacier and on any snow-slope sections of the route. Because this route is regularly climbed there are usually big foot-steps in the snow to follow. Sections of the route involve easy scrambling, with the assistance and security of fixed ropes, which you will clip in to. The ascent of Kebnekaise is entirely optional.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the Abisko Mountain Station. A single timed transfer from Kiruna Airport is provided.
  • Trek alongside to Abeskoeatnu River to Abiskojaure Lake.
  • Trek to Alesjaure.
  • Trek over the Tjäktja Pass (1140m) to Sälka.
  • Follow the Tjäktjajakka Valley to the Singi Hut.
  • Leave the Kungsleden Trail and trek east to Kebnekaise Mountain Station in the Laddjuvaggi Valley.
  • Optional ascent of Kebnekaise (2117m) via the East Route.
  • Trek out to Nikkaloukta. Bus to Kiruna.
  • Departure day. A single time transfer to Kiruna Airport is provided.
Sun 19 Jun - Mon 27 Jun Code SKT /01/16/ Adult$1,620 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sun 24 Jul - Mon 01 Aug Code SKT /02/16/ Adult$1,780 Status Available 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 holiday 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
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • airport
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the Abisko Mountain Station. A single timed transfer from Kiruna Airport is provided.

    Meet at the Abisko Mountain Station located approximately one hour's drive from Kiruna Airport. A single group transfer from Kiruna Airport is provided. The drive leads through undulating countryside covered in birch and pine forest, with views across to the snow-patched mountains. The town’s name comes from the Sami word 'Giron', meaning ptarmigan. Time allowing, this evening there will be a short presentation about Abisko and the King’s Trail. KE Land Only Package Services begin with dinner and overnight at the Mountain Station

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Meals d

  • Trek alongside to Abeskoeatnu River to Abiskojaure Lake.

    From Abisko, we follow the impressive Abeskoeatnu River to a lake, Abiskojaure. An easy day on a flat trail with a good path throughout. In marshy areas there are boardwalks to protect the fragile semi-tundra vegetation and keep your feet dry! There are many wild flowers to be seen along the trail, including 6 varieties of orchid. If you are lucky it’s also possible to see tracks of bears, wolves, lynx, wolverine! Golden eagles and Fish eagles can often be seen circling high up in the sky. We spend the night in a hut at the far end of Abiskojaure lake. Dinner is prepared on a communal basis, with the assistance of the guide.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 100m

    • Distance 15km

    • Meals bld

  • Trek to Alesjaure.

    After making breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, we head off for the day. Following a trail to the west of the stream, we may pass Sami communities living in the forest. After walking over a low col, we drop spectacularly down into the next valley. From here there are great views of the high peaks. Although today’s 20 km walk is quite a long one, it is over easy terrain with no big hills to climb. To save your legs, it is possible to take a boat ride along the lake for the last 6 km to the hut at Alesjaure. This informal ferry service is provided by the local Sami people but is only available from early July (earlier departures will not be able to take advantage of this little boat). There is a cluster of huts at Alesjaure, and an excellent sauna in a separate hut next to the stream where you can get hot then jump into the crystal-clear meltwater stream (not for the feint-hearted). Hot water can be drawn off the sauna wood-burning stove for a DIY shower. Note that saunas are mixed male and female timed sessions.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 300m

    • Distance 20km

    • Meals bld

  • Trek over the Tjäktja Pass (1140m) to Sälka.

    After breakfast we pack up and head off on today’s walk, which will be one of our longest. We follow a long valley that rises gradually for 13 kilometres before a short steep section up to the Tjäktja Pass (1140m). Clear weather permitting, there are fantastic views of the next valley from the top. We now drop steeply into the Tjäktjajakka Valley, reminiscent of Glencoe but with more sisters! There are some spectacular waterfalls tumbling down the eastern side of the valley. Our overnight halt, the Sälka Hut is in a great location for exploration of other valleys and peaks, if you have the inclination - there will certainly be sufficient daylight. The water in this entire area is safe and good to drink, direct from the stream. The locals just have a plastic cup hanging off their belts that they remove and dip into a stream whenever required. Dinner is once again prepared communally. Again there will be access to a sauna for those keen to relax those tired legs.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 350m

    • Distance 25km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 300m

  • Follow the Tjäktjajakka Valley to the Singi Hut.

    To make sure our legs are in good condition for the optional ascent of Kebnakaise, we now enjoy two consecutive shorter day walks and today we continue to follow the Tjäktjajakka Valley to Singi Hut. We should be lucky enough to spot groups of reindeer in this area. Uncomfortable in the heat of summer, these animals tend to sit on the snow patches, which does make them very visible! We overnight in the hut at Singi.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Distance 12km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 100m

  • Leave the Kungsleden Trail and trek east to Kebnekaise Mountain Station in the Laddjuvaggi Valley.

    Today we leave the Kungsleden trail to head east to the Kebnekaise Mountain Station. The 33km trail from Singi out to Nikkaluokta is not part of the Kungsleden itself, but this route does allow an easy exit from the area and also affords us the opportunity to ascend Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekaise. The Kebnekaise Mountain Station in the Laddjuvaggi Valley is like a small mountain village, accommodating and feeding those who visit to make the ascent of Kebnekaise. There are excellent facilities here, with showers, saunas, post-sauna chill out rooms (kept at an ambient 25°C), comfy chairs, a restaurant, bar and shop selling souvenirs, trail food and some clothing and equipment. No more communal cooking is necessary, as all food is provided in the restaurant. After dinner, there is a slide show on the ascent of Kebnekaise presented by the mountain guides.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 150m

    • Distance 14km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 150m

  • Optional ascent of Kebnekaise (2117m) via the East Route.

    An early start to the day, first of all meeting at the equipment store where everyone will be allocated harnesses and helmets. (Note that all technical equipment is provided at no additional cost). Then we head off alongside the Kittelbäcken stream in the Kitteldalen Valley towards the Björlings Glacier. The trail is the steepest ground encountered on the holiday so far. The glacier, which is crevassed, leads to a narrow snow ridge with some exposure. Our guide will ensure that everyone clips into the fixed lines at this point to secure the scramble onto a rocky terrace. After a further 50m, we reach a wide gulley. From here, the fixed lines continue up a steep and exposed scramble for about 100m. After crossing some easy rocky slopes, there’s a final steep snow and ice section to the summit. Kebnekaise was first climbed by a Frenchman, Charles Robot, in 1883 and the summit is a glacier that is slowly melting. Depending on your map, Kebnekaise is reported as being either 2117, 2111, or 2108 metres. There are excellent views along the sinuous snow ridge to the rocky north summit and to all the peaks that mark the border with Norway. Descent is via the same route as we head back to the comforts of the Kebnekaise Mountain Station.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 1400m

    • Distance 15km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1400m

    • Time 9 hours

  • Trek out to Nikkaloukta. Bus to Kiruna.

    Another early start. Easy walking for a couple of hours to the lake, Ladtjojaure. From here, we take a boat ride down the river and across the lake. Looking back across the turquoise lake water to the dramatic peaks and valleys of Kebnekaise makes a fitting finale to the trip. We walk out throught the forest to Nikkaluaokta. On arrival in Nikkaloukta we say goodbye to our guide and catch the bus to Kiruna where we check in to our comfortable hotel. This evening we will have a celebratory dinner in one of Kiruna’s restaurants.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Distance 14km

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 200m

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

    KE Land Only package services end with breakfast at the hotel in Kiruna. A group transfer to Kiruna Airport is provided after breakfast.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional English speaking Swedish guide
  • Kiruna Airport transfers (on designated group flight)
  • Accommodation in mountain huts for 7 nights on a full board basis
  • Hotel accommodation in Kiruna for 1 night on a bed & breakfast basis
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Boat trips on Lake Alesjaure (July/Aug departures only) and Lake Ladtjojaure

  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for local staff
  • Kiruna Airport transfers (other than for designated group flights)
  • Dinner on the last night
  • 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.

There is a single timed transfer for clients on Day 1 of the trip itinerary and again on Day 9. You will be met by the local guide or KE representative at Kiruna Airport. They will arrange the transfer to the Abisko Mountain Station. This transfer is normally in the late afternoon of day 1 and after breakfast on day 9, and takes approximately 1.5 hours. Clients making independent travel arrangements to Kiruna, who do not wish to use this transfer, should meet the group at the Abisko Mountain Station in the afternoon/evening of Day 1. All clients MUST inform the KE office of their travel details. Contact details and an emergency number will be provided with the booking confirmation.

The altitudes attained on this holiday are not extreme and the maximum altitude attained is no more than the equivalent of a pressurised cabin on an international flight. You may ‘feel’ the altitude the first time you trek above 2000 metres but all that is required is a slower pace to compensate. You should pay particular attention to your hydration levels while trekking above 2000 metres.

During this trip, the group will spend 4 nights in basic mountain huts, 3 nights at 'Mountain Stations' (Abisko and Kebnekaise) and 1 night at a hotel in Kiruna. Accommodation at the mountain huts will be in dormitories. Pillows and blankets are provided - you need only bring a sheet sleeping bag and pillowcase. All the huts have communal cooking areas, although there is no electricity or running water. At the mountain stations, which are more like a mountain lodge, accommodation will be in 2 bed and 4 bed rooms or chalets with shared toilet and shower facilities and seating areas. Accommodation at the huts and 'Mountain Stations' is communal. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with other clients of the same sex, where this is practicable. Single room accommodation is not possible on this trip.

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

Whilst staying at the mountain huts, everyone will be expected to assist with preparing meals. The guide will organise a rota for these communal duties. The huts have basic cooking facilities. 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. The fresh food that we carry from Abisko is estimated to last to Alesjaure cabin. The rest of the food for this hike will be cached in the Alesjaure cabin and in the Slka cabin. There is no shop in the Tjktja cabin so the group will carry food from Alesjaure to Tjktja. Whilst staying at the mountain stations, all meals will be taken in the restaurants. With the exception of the final celebratory dinner in Kiruna, all meals at mountain stations and hotels are also included in the price.

All meals included except dinner on day 9 and lunch on day 10. Meals whilst hiking (other than at Abisko and Kebnekaise) are to be prepared from preserved food via communal cooking, to be co-ordinated by the Guide.

Approximately £100 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc.) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, drinks and souvenir purchases. This amount will allow you to pay for the final dinner in Kiruna and also to pay a tip to your local guide. Additional baggage which you do not need for the trek is transported from Abisko to Nikkaloukta where it is stored until your arrival. There is a 40 SEK (£4/$6) additional cost for this bag storage which is paid directly to the Sami people living in Nikkaluokta, and this service is a vital part of their earnings. 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 Kiruna. There is no ATM in Kiruna airport, but you can withdraw cash at ATM's at Stockholm/Arlanda airport when you change flights. If you are intending to buy considerable quantities of soft drinks or beer, or expensive souvenirs you should budget accordingly.

Groups will be accompanied by an experienced English-speaking Swedish guide, familiar with the Kungsleden and the Kebnekaise climb.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. For your guides we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction.

You should try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum, since you will be carrying it. A reasonable overall weight for your packed rucksack during the trekking is 10 kgs / 22lbs. You need to allow space in your backpack for an extra 1-2kgs (2 – 4lbs) of fresh food you will be carrying from Abisko. After the first night in Abiskojaure the extra weight is reduced to approx 1 kg. The fresh food from Abisko is estimated to last to Alesjaure cabin. The rest of the food for this hike will be cached in the Alesjaure cabin and in the Sälka cabin. There is no shop in the Tjäktja cabin so the group will carry food from Alesjaure to Tjäktja. The weight of the food is estimated to approx 0,5-1 kg/person (1-2lbs). Luggage not required for the hike (your trek bag and travel clothes) will be transported from the Abisko mountain station to Nikkaloukta where is it stored until your arrival. There is an additional charge for luggage to be stored here whilst you are on your trek (see spending money).

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:

  • Hiking boots
  • Gaiters
  • Socks
  • Trainers / Sneakers or slippers for use in the huts.
  • Technical walking socks (2 or 3 pairs)
  • Spare laces
  • Trekking trousers/pants
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Underwear
  • Shorts
  • Thermal baselayer shirts
  • T-shirt / casual shirt
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear – Sunglasses
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Thermal gloves
  • Backpack 50 - 60 litres / 3000 – 3600 cu in
  • Mug and spoon (for lunches)
  • Antibacterial hand wash
  • Vacuum flask ½ litre
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (x2)
  • Head torch/headlamp
  • Insect repellant
  • Basic First Aid Kit which should include: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea.

The following items are optional:

  • Karrimat or similar foam sit mat (for lunch stops)
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Small towel
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Travel clothes (can be left in trek bag)
  • Camera, batteries
  • Selection of dry bags (to keep kit dry)
  • Trekking poles
  • Pen-knife (remember to put all sharp objects in hold baggage


  • Your trek bag and travel clothes will be transported from the Abisko Mountain Station to Nikkaluokta where they will be stored, and then transported on to the hotel in Kiruna. There is a small charge of approx 40 SEK for this baggage storage which you will need to pay directly to the local Sami people living in Nikkaluokta.

    You need to allow space in your backpack for an extra 1-2kgs (2 – 4lbs) of fresh food you will be carrying from Abisko. After the first night in Abiskojaure the extra weight is reduced to approx 1 kg. The fresh food from Abisko is estimated to last to Alesjaure cabin. The rest of the food for this hike will be cached in the Alesjaure cabin and in the Salka cabin. There is no shop in the Tjaktja cabin so the group will carry food from Alesjaure to Tjaktja. The weight of the food is estimated to approx 0.5-1 kg/person (1-2lbs).

  • Although the summer months from June – early September offer the best conditions to trek the Kings Trail with day time temperatures of between 8 – 18C (46 – 64F), it can be cold during this period and warm clothing should be packed. There can also be some snow patches remaining on the trail, and muddy, boggy sections of trail, so boots need to be suitably waterproof.

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: www.fco.gov.uk. 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 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.

The summer months from June to early September offer the only timeframe to trek the Kungsleden. Daytime temperatures in Kiruna in July and August range from 8°C / 46°F to 18°C / 64°F. Sunny weather can be expected, with occasional rainfall, although it is more likely to be wet in August. It can also be cold at night and in more exposed areas. There can also be some snow patches remaining on the trail, and muddy, boggy sections of trail, so boots need to be suitably waterproofs. The midnight sun shines from late May to mid-July, and it is daylight 24 hours a day from mid-May to the end of July. The summer sun is never far below the horizon.

The Rough Guide to Sweden. James Proctor and Neil Roland. Sweden – Lonely Planet Guide. Carolyn Bain and Graeme Cornwallis. Kungsleden: The Royal Trail Through Arctic Sweden - Claes Grundsten

Fjallkarta. Abisko - Kabnekaise - Narvik. Lantmteriet (Sweden Survey) 1:100,000

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.

Recent Reviews & Blog Posts