Planning a hike along the Kungsleden
So what is the Kungsleden? The Kungsleden (or Kings Trail) runs between Abisko and Hemavan and is one of the world’s most famous hiking trails, and possibly the best one.
The path is more than 400 kilometres long, and was established by Svenska Turistföreningen at the beginning of the 20th century.
I hope you find this information help whenPlanning a hike along the Kungsleden
In 2017 some friends and I participated in the Fjallraven Classic in Sweden which is an organised hike from Nikkaluokta to Abisko. The Fjallraven Classic was a great experience but it did have its downfalls the main one being the trail was heaving thousands of people walking along the route.
The advantage is participating in the Fjallraven Classic is a lot of the organisation / transport is provided for you: pick up from the airport, transfer to Nikkauokta, food and fuel is also supplied.
5 people and myself have decided to follow the same route next June but will be organising transport, supplies and accommodation by ourselves.
If you are planning on organising this excursion yourself hopefully some of this information will help.
Planning a hike along the Kungsleden
Getting to Sweden
From the Uk the only viable method without time constraints is flying. You can fly into Stockholm from most major airports
Arlanda Airport (ARN)
Arlanda is the cities main airport and if you decided to take the overnight train up North there is an express train every 15 minutes to Stockholms central train station.
Your flight will also depart from Arlanda to Kiruna departs if you are flying up North.
We arrived in Arlanda in the evening and with our flight leaving early next morning we stayed over in a converted airbus on the grounds of the airport.
My room was originally one of the jet engines although fun and different there where no bathroom facilities in the engine meaning having to walk down steps then up into the main part of the aircraft to take a leak in the middle of the night.
Skavsta Airport is about 7km from Nyköping and the local bus service no. 515 will take you to and from Nyköping city center via the train- and bus stations, from where you can travel onwards.
The local train station in Nyköping is 7 km away from the airport. Take a taxi or the local bus service no. 515 to/from the train station to connect to the overnight train to Kiruna.
Overnight Train – Stockholm to Kiruna
You can travel by train all the way from Stockholm to Kiruna. You can choose the night train and sleep away the hours until you arrive in northern Sweden.
Flying to Kiruna
There are 2 airlines that fly to Kiruna from Stockholm. These flights can get full quickly so early booking is required when Planning a hike along the Kungsleden.
Arriving in Kiruna
Kiruna Airport, situated far north of the polar circle and is Sweden’s northernmost airport. Travel time to the town centre by bus / car is about 10 minutes.
Transfers from the Airport
Kiruna Airport Shuttle
Kiruna Airport Shuttle service will transfer you quickly and easily to and from Kiruna Airport direct to the door of selected hotels and within short walking distance of almost all accommodation in Kiruna.
Meeting most inbound and outbound flights our Kiruna Airport Transfer bus is a great way to start and finish your trip to Kiruna. Booking is easy and can be done directly with us online using our easy-to-use booking platform, ensuring you arrive confident that your seat is booked.
With transfers starting from just 175 SEK per person – book here
Nikkaluoktaexpressen bus service
The bus stops at Kiruna Airport on the way to and from Nikkaluokta on each run. This route is served March 2 to May 1 and June 15 to September 23, 2019. Tickets do not have to be booked in advance. Payment can be made by card or cash on board the bus, but tickets can also be purchased online here.
This is a great way to get straight to start at Nikkauokta but due to the fact you cannot carry fuel on any international / local flights you will need to head into town to stock up on fuel before heading out on your hike.
Accommodation before you start.
As I see it there is a few choices
- Hotel / Room in Kiruna
- Cabin / Camping at Camp Ripan
- Cabin at Nikkaluokta
Hotel / Rooms in Kiruna
First choice is the Scandic, you have a choice of different rooms, prices vary up to 1235SEK per night. You also have the use of the sauna and access to local amenities. The hotel is situated next to the Tourist Office that have a baggage hold service.
Bishops Arms. English style pub with good beer, food and accommodation in the centre of Kiruna. A great place to sit and look at Planning a hike along the Kungsleden
You will find Camp Ripan in the middle of central Kiruna, close to both the city and the countryside. Situated 10 minutes walk from the town centre it is easy accessible from both bus and train stations.
Camp Ripan offers Rooms, Cabins and Camping. This seems the best option for me as it is close to local amenities and has a bar on-site.
Accommodation at Nikkaluokta
The Sarri family started with small scale tourism by offering food and accommodation in the family home. Tourism then developed little by little to the business it is today.
There vision is still to serve food and offer accommodation. But educate visitors about their village, nature and culture. The will also help you with Planning a hike along the Kungsleden
Nikkaluokta as a living village all year around.
The cabins have various comfort and price range.
Apartment 2-6p kitchen, wc & shower
Small cabin 1-2p wc & shower, kitchen in service building
Charming cabin 1-4p kitchen & toilet, shower in service building
Mountain cabin 1-4 p kitchen, wc & shower in service building.
There is also the possibility to camp and use their facilities, a restaurant, shop and other facilities before you start you hike.
Stocking up on Supplies
When Planning a hike along the Kungsleden you will arrive in Kiruna and need to stock up on essentials that you cannot take on the flight with you such as fuel. In Kiruna you have a good choice of local amenities to purchase you items.
Map of Kiruna.
Food And Drink Supplies
- Supermarket close to Camp Ripan
- Systembolaget Alcohol Store (Alcohol over 3.5% can only be brought from Systembolaget throughout Sweden).
- Tourist Office
- Bishops Arms (food, good beer and accommodation).
- Pizza Palladium (great Pizza restaurant).
Once yo start your walk for 110km you will not see much or little civilisation, phone reception basically ceases at Kebnekaise and starts in Abisko.
Raising the alarm should an emergency happen can only be done at a mountain station or if you are carrying a GPS emergency device (which I recommend).
The mountain cabins along the way or a great place to stop so that you can get some food but these are really expensive you can pay unto 70SEK for a can of coke.
You also have the possibility to use a sauna along the way or stay in a mountain cabin.
When Planning a hike along the Kungsleden you could stay in a mountain cabin.
There are cabins situated along the route. Further details and booking can be found here. They all have different facilities some have saunas and shops but if the weather comes in they are a much appreciated retreat.
Many of the facilities are shared so prepare to share these with other looking to weather out the storm or have spend the night in a mountain cabin.
Prices start around 800SEK a night and you must be a member of the STF to make your booking. This can be done here
A sample of a mountain cabin.
STF Alesjaure is positioned on a hill with a mile-wide view along Kungsleden between Abisko and Kebnekaise.
Alesjaure is STF’s largest mountain cabin and is the perfect place to take a zero da, sauna and overnight. facilities are good basic meals, sauna accommodation and a small shop.
Hopefully some of this or most of the information will help you plan you trip along the Kungsleden. Contact me for further assistance.