Sky Holiday: Sweden, 2024

Join us in search of the Northern Lights in the remote beauty of Swedish Lapland

Join the Cloud Appreciation Society for a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to the awe-inspiring winter wilderness of remote northern Sweden.

GROUP 1:  Nov 29th - Dec 3rd, 2024

GROUP 2:  Dec 3rd-7th, 2024

A warm and welcoming lodge in the arctic forest of Sweden’s prime aurora territory

The epic winter landscape of frozen lakes and ancient pine and spruce forests in the heart of Swedish Lapland is the stunning destination for our Sky Holiday in Nov/Dec 2024. This region is part of Sápmi, the ancestral homeland of the Sámi people, which stretches right across northern Scandinavia. This remote and enchanted land is located directly beneath the aurora oval. If we are lucky with the weather, it’s one of the world’s best locations for experiencing the beauty of the Northern Lights.

This Sky Holiday is being hosted by Cloud Appreciation Society Member 001, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, who will be giving an illustrated talk about the atmosphere in general and the science behind the aurora borealis. Our lodge is also home to a large pack of happy huskies, who’ll take us out by sled to explore their frozen forest. We’ll learn about the region’s indigenous Sámi culture. We will enjoy delicious gourmet meals prepared by the lodge chef with local ingredients. 80 miles (110 km) north of the Arctic Circle, the winter days are short  but there are long hours of twilight, which we will fill with fantastic outdoor activities.  Husky sledding through the woods, a snowmobile trip to meet reindeer and their herders, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are all included – and, of course, full use of the lodge’s sauna. If we’re lucky enough to be treated to a great aurora display, we’ll be in the perfect location, away from all light pollution, just to step outside and marvel as the northern lights dance across the night sky.

Remote and eco-focussed, our lodge lets you experience the stunning winter beauty of the iconic taiga forests of northern Sweden while enjoying all the creature comforts.

Särkimukka is in the Lapland region of northern Sweden.

Our lodge is located in thousands of acres of taiga forest.

Michael Törnkvist

This is a perfect aurora location if we’re lucky with the weather.

Michael Törnkvist

The lodge is a warm and welcoming base for our adventures.

Michael Törnkvist

We hope you like huskies! They’ll show us their forest by sled.

Michael Törnkvist

We’ll be warm and cosy in the middle of a winter wonderland.

Michael Törnkvist

We'll enjoy a Lappish lunch out in the lodge’s wooden ‘Kåta’.

Michael Törnkvist

We’ll explore the beauty of this unspoilt part of arctic Sweden.

Michael Törnkvist

Our chef will prepare delicious food using local ingredients.

Michael Törnkvist

We’ll be perfectly placed to spot rare mother-of-pearl clouds.

Tibor Csernay (Member 50,306), Kiruna, Sweden

This is a perfect trip for animal lovers. Our lodge, run by Johan and Sara Väisänen, is also home to over 180 huskies. The dogs love nothing more than running with sleds through the arctic forest, and we’ll be joining them for the ride!

Aerial-photosPine-Tree-Lodge-vinter--DJI_0726-1000

Our arctic home will be Pinetree Lodge in Särkimukka, Swedish Lapland.

“A perfectly planned and perfectly executed trip - Just spectacular in every way.”

L.H.R. (Member 3,660 and attendee of our Canada Sky Holiday)

The Northern Lights: a must-see for sky lovers

The swirling greens, yellows and sometimes pinks of the aurora are a sight you will never forget. The colours are caused by charged particles originating from the Sun, which have been trapped in Earth's magnetic field, interacting with the molecules and atoms in the upper reaches of our atmosphere. The intensity of the displays depends on the dynamic interaction between the 'solar wind' of charged particles and our shifting, stretching magnetic field. We at the Cloud Appreciation Society know more than most how impossible it is to make promises about what will happen in the sky on a particular date. But we've chosen the location for this amazing trip to maximise the chances of us witnessing a great display of the Northern Lights.

Särkimukka is remote enough for us to be away from artificial light pollution, and we are timing our trip around a new moon to ensure minimal reflection of moonlight off the snow and any clouds. The lodge is situated right beneath the 'aurora oval', the ring around the geomagnetic pole within which the Northern Lights form directly overhead. One great advantage of staying somewhere like Pinetree Lodge is that we don’t need to travel to see the lights. When they show, they appear directly overhead. You can enjoy them by just stepping out onto the porch or walking out on the frozen lake, where there’s no sound but the gentle crunch of snow beneath your boots. Talking of which, all our guests will be kitted out with the best winter clothing, included in the price, so they can stay warm and comfortable whenever they enjoy the stunning nature outside!

AuroraOvalSweden3-700

Our destination is Särkimukka, near Kangos, Norrbotten County, Sweden. This is in Lapland, ancestral home to the Sami people, and is beneath the aurora oval, which means any displays of the arora borealis are likely to happen directly overhead.

MoonPhasesDiagramSweden2024-700

We are timing the trip around a new moon as moonlight reflections off the snow and clouds can reduce the apparent intensity of aurora.

“The most spectacular aurora lights, the most extraordinary sled dogs, the most delicious and varied food, and most caring, kind hosts. I ran out of superlatives for this trip. It was the holiday of a lifetime!”

S.S. (Member 41,292 and attendee of our Norway Sky Holiday)

Huskies, reindeer, snowmobiles, cross-country skis – and warm Swedish Lapland hospitality

Pinetree Lodge is situated on a frozen lake in the middle of an ancient taiga forest. With a whole host of winter activities on offer, our time there can be as active or relaxed as you wish. From husky sledding on the forest trails, snowmobiling to meet reindeer and their herders, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, even ice buggy driving, the days can be activity-packed. Or you just relax with a book and a hot chocolate as you gaze out at a stunning winter wonderland.

Every afternoon, the lodge staff fire up the sauna, where you can relax and warm up. Then we might gather in the Brown Bear Bar for a locally brewed beer or a cloudberry sour cocktail – made with what must be most appropriate arctic berry for members of the Cloud Appreciation Society. Each evening, the lodge chef will prepare delicious meals made from locally sourced Lapland ingredients. The lodge offers the same amenities as a hotel, but with a family atmosphere in a remote, wilderness setting.

‘No, there aren’t any indicators.’ We’ll learn to ride a husky sled.

Michael Törnkvist

Rush hour in Särkimukka.

Michael Törnkvist

Long sunrises, long sunsets, and short days in between.

Michael Törnkvist

We’ll take snowmobiles to meet the reindeer and their herders.

Michael Törnkvist

Any of the 180 friendly huskies would love to take you for a walk.

Michael Törnkvist

Each night offers the chance of a fantastic aurora display.

Michael Törnkvist

The sauna will be ready for you to use each afternoon.

Michael Törnkvist

The lodge chef cooks with local ingredients wherever possible.

Michael Törnkvist

Cuisine from Lapland (with food intolerances catered for).

Michael Törnkvist

The lodge restaurant is a warm and welcoming hangout.

Michael Törnkvist

Enjoy a local beer or a cloudberry crush in the Brown Bear Bar.

Michael Törnkvist

“Well organized, interesting, fun, beautiful, delicious, culturally relevant… you all made it look and feel easy! This trip far exceeded my wildest dreams.”

N.B. (Member 45,110 and attendee of our Canada Sky Holiday)

Our itinerary

Our lodge will be ready to greet us with a welcome dinner.

We’ll collect you from Kittila airport in Finland

The nearest airport to our lodge is in Kittila, over the border in Finland. You can fly there from Helsinki International Airport. We’ll let you know which flight you need to be on into Kittila to meet us for our drive to the lodge. Pinetree Lodge is remote, and so the drive takes 2 1/2 hours.

On arrival, we’ll enjoy a delicious welcome dinner cooked by the lodge chef with a welcome and orientation briefing from the staff about our stay. We’ll be kitted-up with our winter gear. Use of Arctic-quality jackets, trousers, boots, mittens, and hat are all included for the whole stay so you won’t have to worry about packing lots of heavy clothing.

Your Welcome Bag will be waiting for you with useful information, Cloud Appreciation Society goodies and your exclusive embroidered patch to commemorate this trip. You’ll want to take time to rest from your flight, perhaps in the sauna, but don’t forget to look out at the sky! If we are lucky with a display of the aurora borealis, we can slip on our winter gear and step outside to enjoy it.

Meal: two-course dinner in Pinetree Lodge.
Accommodation: in Pinetree Lodge, Särkimukka, Sweden.

Please note: the actual order and timing of events might change.

‘We’re ready when you are.’

Time to meet your four-legged guides to the taiga forest!

After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll head out to meet the huskies, who’ll be ready and excited to take us sledding through the taiga, the boreal forest that is so characteristic of this Arctic region.

Within walking distance from the lodge, the husky kennel is impressive to see. It houses over 180 happy dogs, all well looked after by the team of mushers and handlers. The huskies know the score, but we'll be taught how to control the sled. There will be two of us per sled so we can take turns at the reins. Driving your own dog sled team through the northern forests of Swedish Lapland is an experience you’ll never forget.

You’ll meet your husky team as you start your tour, but you can stop by at any other time during your stay to say hello. Once you meet the dogs, it will be hard to keep away. Give them a cuddle and enjoy their playful personalities!

After a simple lunch of soup and salad back at the lodge, there is the opportunity to head out for a very different experience of the taiga forest. We can take a calm, quiet and enriching hike by snowshoe or cross-country ski. Both are perfect ways to discover nature even when the snow is deep. We can choose to book a guided excursion (at an additional cost) or we can choose to explore the tranquil and varied surroundings on our own.

Don’t be late back for the evening’s illustrated talk by Cloud Appreciation Society founder, Gavin Pretor-Pinney (Member 001). He will be giving us a tour of the atmosphere. We'll learn about the many and varied cloud formations that bring variety and drama to the sky – including the stunning and rare mother-of-pearl clouds, which we’ll be in a perfect location to spot.

Meals: buffet breakfast, soup and salads lunch, two-course dinner, all in Pinetree Lodge.
Accommodation: in Pinetree Lodge.

Please note: the actual order and timing of activities may change.

We'll head out by snowmobile to meet the reindeer and their herders.

It is high time we met some reindeer 

We’ll set off on a snowmobile tour to meet a corral of reindeer and their herders. We’ll all have decided the evening before whether we want to do this in the morning or the afternoon. There will be two passengers per snowmobile. You can each take turns driving, so long as you have driving licences.

Riding the lodge’s snowmobiles* through the forests and along the riverside, we will be heading to a large reindeer corral. There, we’ll get to feed deer and learn about the central role they’ve played historically in the culture of the Sámi people of Lapland and which they still do in the far north today.

We can relax for the other part of the day. Perhaps use the lodge’s lounge and its sauna? Or have a snowshoe walk or cross-country ski through the beautiful surroundings.

In the evening, Gavin Pretor-Pinney will give an illustrated presentation about the science of the aurora borealis. You’ll learn how one of Nature’s most dramatic light shows forms, and why most of the popular-science explanations are misleading.

Meals: buffet breakfast, soup and salads lunch, two-course dinner, all in Pinetree Lodge.
Accommodation: in Pinetree Lodge.

Please note: the actual order and timing of activities may change.

* The lodge uses the latest models of snowmobile with new engine technology with an eco-driving function for less engine power and lower emissions. Their snowmobiles are manufactured in Lapland, about 180 miles (300 km) away in Rovaniemi.

Showshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing or just relaxing...

A multi-activity day

This is a multi-activity day, where you get to try more of what Lapland has to offer.

We'll do a kennel visit and husky walk, when you can learn more about the life of these amazing dogs and how things work in the husky camp. You’ll help to put on a husky harness and feel their eager power as one takes you along the walking trail.

Our lunch today will be of traditional Lappish fare out in the lodge’s kåta. This is a wooden teepee that is on an island in the middle of the frozen lake. The lodge staff cook your traditional Lappish lunch over a roaring open fire. They’ll make us coffee on the fire too.

We’ll have the chance to do some ice fishing. This involves drilling a hole through the ice and using a mini rod to try and lure a fish. The lodge has a catch-and-release policy (using non-barbed hooks).

And if you feel like some excitement, you could even take one of the ice buggies for a run on the frozen river. At every turn, you drift on the slippery surface of the ice!

Of course, there will be time to use the lodge’s sauna to warm up after the day’s adventures or maybe just relax in the lounge with a book. And remember, the remote winter beauty of this stunning location is all around us, so you can step outside for a hike at any time.

Why not have a celebration cloudberry sour cocktail in the Brown Bear Bar. It is made with gin infused with cloudberries, which are a wild delicacy of the arctic region. But keep your wits about you because this evening we have our celebration dinner – with a quiz on what we’ve learned on the trip. No prior knowledge is required! And, yes, there will be prizes.

Meals: buffet breakfast and two-course dinner in Pinetree Lodge. Lappish lunch in the wooden kåta, out on the island in the lake.
Accommodation: in Pinetree Lodge.

Please note: the actual order and timing of activities may change.

Time to bid farewell to our Arctic forest home.

Our last morning in Särkimukka

After our last breakfast, it is time to check out and get ready for departure before our drive back to the airport in Kittila, Finland where you will be able to catch your flight to Helsinki. 

Attendees of our Sky Holidays often stay in touch with each other after they get back home. This morning is an opportunity to exchange contact details and say goodbye to your new-found friends – whether of the two- or four-legged variety.

Breakfast in Pinetree Lodge.

Please note: the actual order and timing of activities may change.

“Each activity on its own would have been superb enough – like seeing the Northern Lights! – but experiencing everything together took my breath away.”

D.B. (Member 35,540 and attendee on our Finland Sky Holiday)

Price and details:

Per-person price, based on shared accommodation:

£1945.00 GBP

Includes everything listed in the ‘What's Included’ section and is based on two or more sharing a room.

Individual travellers: We will be happy to try and arrange for individual guests to share twin rooms with other guests of the same gender. A supplement of £295.00 GBP is required to book a room for individual use only.

The possibility of changes: The itinerary listed is representative of this trip but some details may have to be revised depending on conditions.

Travel Insurance & Liability Waiver: All guests are required to arrange comprehensive travel insurance, which includes medical evacuation from a remote location. Our partners for this trip, Steppes Travel, will require proof of travel insurance before a booking is fully confirmed. All guests must sign a liability waiver for the adventure activities.

Reservation Policy: Bookings are on a first-come, first-served basis. A deposit of £585 GBP is required to reserve each place. The balance will be due 84 days prior to arrival.

Cancellation Policy: For the cancellation policy and all other booking conditions please see the terms and conditions for Steppes Travel, our travel partners for this trip.

Group Numbers: This trip is dependent on us having a minimum of 14 guests per departure. You do not have to be a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society to attend this Sky Holiday.

Accommodation:

All accommodation is in twin or double rooms, with the option for independent travellers of sharing with another of the same gender or paying a supplement for single use. All rooms are in the main lodge and have en-suite facilities.

The lodge accommodation is modern and comfortable.

Michael Törnkvist

All rooms have en-suite facilities.

Michael Törnkvist

What’s included:

Cloud Appreciation Society welcome bag with special commemorative embroidered patch to mark the trip.

Illustrated talks about clouds, the atmosphere, and the aurora by CAS founder and Member 001, Gavin Pretor-Pinney.

½ day husky sledding tour (2 passengers per sled self-driving).

½ day snowmobile tour to meet the reindeer and their herders (2 passengers sharing a snowmobile (a driving licence is required)).

Kennel visit and a husky walk.

Lappish lunch in the wooden ‘Kåta’.

Ice buggy driving.

Cross-county skis and snowshoes for self-guided use. (Guides and tuition can be arranged with the lodge for an additional cost.) Ice fishing equipment (on our last day).

Transfers between the airport in Kittila, Finland and Pinetree Lodge.

Four nights accommodation in Pinetree Lodge.

All meals in the Pinetree Lodge restaurant: breakfast buffet, lunch of vegetarian soup with salad buffet, two-course dinner. Juice and coffee/tea is also included during meal times.

Use of thermal clothing (jackets, trousers, boots, mittens, and hat).

24-hour emergency contact.

Use of the lodge’s lounge and sauna. (The hot tub with private sauna, and the ice swimming can be arranged with the lodge for an additional cost.)

Insurance waiver, which reduces guest liability for damage of mechanical equipment from 12,000 SEK to 2,000 SEK per person (approx. £150 GBP).

What’s not included:

Flights into and back from Kittila Airport, Finland. Steppes Travel can, however, help you arrange flight bookings when you register your interest in this trip.

Any optional additional activities booked at the lodge.

Alcoholic beverages or other drinks from the bar.

Personal spending money.

Travel insurance, which is compulsory for this trip.

“This was absolutely the best trip of my life. The activities were excellent and the experience is something I would never have achieved otherwise. A truly magical adventure!”

M.W. (Member 23,652 and attendee of our Canada Sky Holiday)

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SKY HOLIDAY TODAY!

GROUP 1:
Nov 29th - Dec 3rd, 2024

GROUP 2:
Dec 3rd-7th, 2024

Our Sky Holidays tend to get booked-up quickly, so if you’re interested to join us on this one-in-a-lifetime trip let us know using the button below. We’re partnering on this trip with the B-Corp travel company, Steppes Travel, and Sue from Steppes Travel will be in touch on a first-come-first-served basis.

Sweden-Flag-Icon-300