Go Here Now: Arctic Circle
Sweden’s Lapland province blends rugged adventures with modern amenities.
The Arctic Circle isn’t all snow and perpetual darkness. When you visit in the summer, you’ll be greeted by lush greenery and sunshine lasting almost 24 hours a day. Located in the very top of Sweden, the Lapland province is home to acres of untouched forest reserves, freshly foraged food, and unique wildlife. You can get there easily by plane, flying from Stockholm to Luleå Airport. Discover how you can plan the perfect active adventure in one of the northernmost regions of the world.
Where to Stay
Treehotel features seven treehouses suspended in the canopy of a pristine tall-pine forest. Each has its own sleek design and modern amenities. The are accessed by ladder or hanging walkway, and use hydroelectric power to minimize their environmental impact. To unwind from your flight, book a session at the resort’s tree sauna and hot tub.
What to Do
For the Hiker:
Tackle part of Kungsleden, or the “King’s Trail.” The most popular trail in Sweden, it winds 270 miles through alpine villages and birch forests surrounded by dramatic snow-capped peaks. For a more low-key hike that’s no less awe-inspiring, head to Storforsen, one of the highest and most powerful waterfalls in Europe. Ramps run alongside the rapids and footbridges allow access behind the falls, making for Instagram-worthy pictures and refreshing sprays of water.
For the Daredevil:
Arrange a whitewater-rafting tour through CreActive Adventures for a dose of adrenaline. You’ll spend the day floating through majestic forests, eating a campfire lunch, and navigating rollercoaster-like water. Depending on your skill level, your guides will take you down class two through six rapids on the Råne or Kalix river.
If you’re staying at Treehotel, get your blood pumping on the property’s 1,100-foot zipline. While flying high above ground, you can take in stunning views of the Lule River.
For the Animal Lover:
Via your hotel’s concierge, book a moose safari. A car takes you deep into the forest to find these striking animals, standing at almost six feet tall and clocking in at 1,200 pounds. Along the way, you’ll take in other wildlife of the Arctic Circle, such as reindeer, foxes, and forest birds.
Where to Eat
On the way from the airport, head Unik Café for flaky croissants, smoothie bowls, and Greek yogurt with fruit. Wash it down with coffee and a fresh juice, such as their green apple, celery, romaine, parsley, and lemon blend.
Don’t miss Hemma Gastro Matbar, a deli, bakery, and restaurant. Start with the elk tartare, made with elk meat, tarragon mayonnaise, dried egg yolk, and carrot. Then have the black-bean falafel served with Swedish flatbread and lemon emulsion. Pair it with their cocktail of the day, such as a rum-and-blood orange concoction.
Sample hand-picked berries, wild game, and locally sourced vegetables at Britta’s Pensionat, the on-site restaurant at Treehotel. If you’re feeling adventurous, book a traditional Sami dinner, where indigenous locals come to serve their most-prized culinary possession, bear. Only around a dozen are hunted each year, and your hosts will walk you through the special way to eat this dish while sharing stories about their culture and traditions.