Top Romantic Experiences in Swedish Lapland
Swedish Lapland is an incredibly romantic place. Reindeer stand proud beneath snow-heavy trees and the night skies dance with the kaleidoscopic Northern Lights.
Filled with wonder and folklore, Swedish Lapland is a great place to get close to cultural heritage, as well as to each other. The vast snowy landscapes, warm, romantic wooden cabins and open fires lend themselves to a trip perfect for couples in search of a quiet, yet still exciting, escape.
From photographing the Aurora Borealis to candlelit dinners in tipi tents, here is our experts’ pick of the top romantic experiences in Swedish Lapland.
Northern Lights walk at Arctic retreat
Arctic Retreat is a gem hidden deep in the forests of Swedish Lapland, on the banks of the Råne River. A truly secluded escape, there are three log cabins here; each features a bathroom, fireplace and a private outdoor jacuzzi. There’s not much that is more romantic than cosying up and watching the pale haze of early morning or the sprinkling of stars at night.
There is also a wood-fired sauna in a separate building to warm up in after a day of exploring in the snow. A host will be on hand during your stay should you need anything, so you’ll be able to concentrate on spending time with your loved one. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are also included, so you won’t even need to worry about cooking.
It is easy to discover the wonders of the Arctic Circle’s incredible landscape on Arctic Retreat’s many excursions. From snowmobiling to cross country skiing, there are many ways to journey through the lodge’s surroundings. Perhaps the most romantic activity to be found at Arctic Retreat, though, is the Northern Lights walk. Don snowshoes and head out after dinner in search of these magical lights. You need good weather conditions and a clear sky to be able to see them but if you do catch a glimpse, it is an experience that will stay with you forever.
Sápmi Nature Camp
Sápmi Nature Camp is run by Lennart Pittja, who grew up in a reindeer herding Sami family. Here, she continues a tradition that dates back thousands of years in an intimate and passionate way. The camp is a small scale camp committed to responsible tourism, so there is no electricity used. Light from fire, candles and kerosene lamps combined with the moonlight and the stars add to the camp’s romantic charm.
While you’re there, join in with the traditional practice of reindeer herding. You’ll get to meet the camp owner’s family and see what life is really like on a working farm. During your visit, the family will talk you through the year and seasons in Sápmi. You’ll also learn how the developing world and changing climate is affecting the traditional Sami way of life.
Get cosy at Logger's Lodge
Logger’s Lodge is Swedish Lapland’s ultimate romantic getaway. It is a private forest hideaway for two, with 5 kilometres of wilderness separating it from its nearest neighbour. There is a plethora of romantic activities on offer here, from relaxing in a wood-fired sauna to dogsled touring. The magic of the Northern Lights takes pride of place here, and guests have the chance to learn how to photograph the Aurora Borealis.
The sensor of a camera is more sensitive than the naked eye when it comes to seeing these majestic lights, and if the solar activity is low, then a photograph can sometimes be the only way to see the phenomenon. On this excursion, you’ll be set up with a DSLR camera and a tripod. Creating images that you’ll be able to keep forever is a remarkable way to make memories with your loved one.
Sporty types can discover the lodge’s surroundings on a Nordic ski tour. The Sami people have been gliding over snow for years, and on this excursion you’ll be fully immersed in local culture. To keep you warm and in good spirits, food, drink and local delicacies will be served around a campfire during regular breaks. This is a great opportunity to learn about Arctic nature and traditions whilst spending uninterrupted time with one another. If you’re animal lovers, continue your day by driving your own team of sled dogs behind an expert guide team. You’ll be able to get up close to these beautiful animals – the tour includes a safety briefing, instructions on handling the dogs and time to meet the puppies.
Nature lovers will feel at home amongst all of Swedish Lapland’s wilderness but this region really comes into its own in Storforsen Nature Reserve. This reserve houses the largest rapid in Northern Europe; although it is extremely cold, the water does not freeze here. Take a leisurely stroll at your own pace along wooden walkways beside the rapid. To finish your day here, you can enjoy an organic meal prepared on a traditional Muurikka pan by a warm fire. Storforsen Nature Reserve is a true winter wonderland.
Northern Lights snowmobile safari
The Northern Lights are a perennial in Swedish Lapland for good reason. Our favourite way to see the lights is done while staying at the infamous Icehotel. On your chosen night, you’ll take a snowmobile out into the wilderness and away from artificial light. In Jukkasjärvi, where the Icehotel is located, the Northern Lights can be seen from September to March. On this snowmobile ride, you’ll hear all about how these lights appear, what causes them and the folklore surrounding the phenomenon. There will be a few photo stops along the way, as well as a warming dinner at a wilderness camp.
For travellers looking for more off the beaten track experiences, Icehotel offers wilderness skills and ice sculpting workshops. A wilderness skills workshop will teach you all that you need to know to be able to survive in the forest. You will learn useful bushcraft skills and by the end of the tour, you’ll be able to start a fire with a flint and orient yourself just by using some of nature’s signs. Held in Icehotel’s creative area, the ice sculpting workshop teaches guests how to sculpt a block of ice into whatever their imagination creates.
The Icehotel is an experience in itself, with the temperature of the cold rooms somewhere between -5 and -8°C on the thermometer. The harsh temperatures that accompany bedding down in one of the cold rooms are softened by thick mattresses covered in reindeer skins, thermal sleeping bags and steaming cups of lingonberry juice.
Ice dining and ice fishing from Treehotel
If you’d rather be amongst the treetops, then the Treehotel near Harads will be right up your street. The seven unique rooms are situated above ground in a pine forest, boasting panoramic views over the Lule River. The patio level is a net surrounding the trunk of a pine tree, so you can lie back and immerse yourself in the sounds of the forest. As with any Swedish Lapland lodging, there are many activities on offer here – ice fishing and ice dining in particular help guests to delve deep into their surroundings.
While ice fishing, you can try the best fishing spots along the river and discover the area’s small forest lakes. An experienced fishing guide will teach you everything there is to know about ice fishing, from what lures to use to how different fish behave in different waters. After a chilly morning out on the lakes, you’ll be able to keep spirits up by enjoying a packed lunch and hot beverages by a campfire.
Ice dining is an entirely different experience; it’s the height of romance at Treehotel. As night falls, a snowmobile and sled will take you down the river. You’ll arrive at a secluded spot lit up by torches and candles. In a traditional heated tipi tent on an ice covered lake, you will be served a three-course dinner. You’ll sit on reindeer skins while enjoying a fantastic meal, with the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights. This is by far one of the most romantic ways to experience being side by side with nature, as well as each other.
Dinner and foraging at Pine Bay Lodge
For foodies, Pine Bay Lodge is a home away from home. Boasting nine rooms and a large open plan dining and lounge area, this lodge offers the typically cosy Scandinavian feel. On one evening, you can enjoy a seasonal dinner prepared by the resident chef. There will be a variety of local delicacies on offer – think salmon, caviar, trout and wild game such as moose and reindeer. After dinner, you can opt to head out via boat to a nearby island, for coffee and tea prepared over a fire, and a possible glimpse of the Northern Lights; it’s a delightful way to end any evening.
Foraging may not sound like the perfect romantic adventure, but there is something to be said for searching through the forest for local delicacies together. The forests surrounding Pine Bay Lodge are full of autumn delicacies: blueberries, cloudberries, lingonberries, sea buckthorn and a variety of mushrooms. While walking through the forest, you’ll be able to take stock of how these berries ripen during the summer months and catch a glimpse of local wildlife. At the end of the walk, you can join an outdoor cooking class where you’ll learn how to prepare a three-course dinner using local ingredients. This excursion is a great way to pick up some local specialities to cook for your loved one.