This horseback vacation is on well trained and even-tempered Icelandic horses, and is the perfect way to see the Kebnekaise mountains of Lapland in the far north of Sweden and Norway. This is north of the arctic circle, and horseback riders will get to know the Icelandic horses, have an adventure, be out in nature, sit round a campfire, learn about the Sami culture and sleep in a Sami tent (lávvu). The focus of this vacation is the Icelandic horse, the riding, nature, weather and food, and a stress-free experience.

This horseback riding trail is for those who want to ride up in the mountains with great views in an area that very few people ever see. The ride is mainly on pathless terrain, so the pace can be quite slow. This vacation is for those who do not mind helping out with camping who want to experience the purest way of being out in nature.

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from AS of Bergdietikon on 25/07/2019

Ride Summary
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Grand Lapland Summer Trail (7d/6n) - Sweden

Day 1
Arrive to Kiruna and meet the transfer to the horse farm for dinner. Accommodation on the farm in double rooms.

Day 2
Transfer to the horses after breakfast. After allocating the right mount for each rider, head through the forest up on the bare mountains with fantastic views. Continue to ride on the south side of the Kalix river. Tonight the group sleep in a Sami tepee (lávvu) in sleeping bags around the fireplace.

Day 3 - 5
The next two night's accommodation is in a cabin. During the tour there is an extra horse carrying the food and equipment, but riders carry their own personal belongings in saddle-bags on their own horse. The following morning the group pack for the ride over the bare mountain to the small Sami settlement of Ratekjokk , the accommodation for the next two nights. There is a sauna at Ratekjokk to help relieve aching muscles.

Day 6
Onto Puoltsa to stay overnight on the horse farm for the last night. Say goobye to the horses and enjoy a farewell dinner.

Day 7
Departure day. The transfer will leave for Kiruna after breakfast.


Please note: Some tours are ridden in the opposite direction. The route is also subject to alterations as a result of unexpected weather.

Please follow this link for a map of the start point of this itinerary: Lapland Summer Trail

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

There are about 30 Icelandic horses at the farm that will suit both beginners and experienced riders. The Icelandic horse is quite small, about 130-145 cm high with four or five gaits walk, trot, canter, tölt and pace. The paces on the ride are at a walk, moderate distances in trot (tölt), and short distances at a canter. There is a rider weight limit of 90kg


Rider requirements

For this tour it is necessary to have some riding experience in varied terrain and to be in good physical health. It is also preferable if you have experience of camping as riders are encouraged to participate with setting up the camp.

Sometimes it is necessary to lead the horses when the terrain demands it, so you should be able to walk beside your horse for up to 20 minutes over rough terrain.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 198 lb/90 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

The accommodation is quite simple. 2 teepees, or 'lávvus', are provided between the group for the camping nights. The 2 houses on the base farm have three bedrooms with a comfortable living space, shared kitchen and bathroom. Riders must bring their own travel sheets for the “lávvu” nights. Sheets and towels can be arranged at the farmhouse - payable on site. There is a sauna at the farmhouse, perfect for the end of a day riding!



On the trail, riders carry personal equipment in saddlebags. It can be windy and cold up in the mountains, so take warm clothes. There´s not very much room in the saddlebags so pack carefully and sensibly. The ride provides reindeer skins/sleeping mattresses at the overnight places and riders need to take a travel sheet to put into the sleeping bag. There is usually no toilet and shower on the mountain tours. Luggage can be stored at the farm while riders are out on the trail.



Riders are expected to help out with camp chores and the horses. There is a team atmosphere on this ride, with the food is cooked together over a fire when outdoors. The food consists of specialities from the area, for example reindeer meat and fish prepared in a traditional way.


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.

NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures

Passport and Visa requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country.

Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate should you need a visa.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/sweden

In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Sweden.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/sweden

Climate Summary

For sunshine visit Sweden between late May and late July, leaving before the August rains. The average temperature in the northernmost mountains in July is about 11°C (52°F), but you should be prepared for occasional sub-zero temperatures and snowfalls, even in summer. The northwest and far north: This is mostly a plateau of moderate to high elevation. Temperatures are largely controlled by altitude and at the higher levels snow cover persists throughout the year. In sheltered valleys precipitation may be much less than on the surrounding hills. Here, during fine weather, winter temperatures sink very low while summer temperatures may rise surprisingly high. The greater part of the area, however, has a severe winter climate with short, changeable summers. Sweden's northern latitude means that it never gets really dark from mid-May to late July, with the trade-off being a pervasive December dimness.

Climate Chart

Health

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit. You should always bring any regular prescription drugs you may need with you. If you need to contact the emergency services in Sweden call 112. Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Sweden and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.


Health (ride specific)

Some nights will be spent sleeping on sleeping mattresses and reindeer skins so if you have an allergy to animal fur please let us know beforehand. Riders should be fit enough to be able to walk alongside their horse up hills and where it is difficult to ride.

Electricity

In Sweden the supply voltage is 230V. If the appliance or its power supply are not dual voltage rated, the single voltage appliance will have to be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly (unless the appliance operates at 230V).

Mobile, WiFi and charging

Please take along plenty of batteries and film with you before you travel. Camera batteries can be re-charged at the farm but not whilst camping. There is limited mobile phone coverage during the trail. If you want to bring a GoPro please be advised that you will have to have permission from all other guests and guides that they are willing to be filmed.

Packing List

***Ofelas ask that guests do not to check in directly through to Kiruna even if they say at the airport that it is going to work. A lot of luggage gets stuck in Stockholm - please ask at check-in to be able to pick up and re-check your luggage.***

Travel sheet
Raincoat/long raincoat and rain trousers - but these are also provided by the ride if you prefer
Rubber boots/waterproof boots (long legs, comfortable to walk in) with thick socks
Robust, comfortable, windproof jacket and trousers. Riding trousers are best, but not necessary
Warm sweater/sweaters. It can be cold and windy
Cap, gloves, scarf
2 pair of gloves - thin and thick
Long underpants - wool is the warmest
Extra t-shirt, underwear, socks
Sandals /other light shoes
Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, small towel, toilet paper etc.)
Anti-mosquito preparation
Knife
Plastic bags to pack into/waterproof bags
Bumbag
Small water bottle
Sunglasses and sun cream
Camera
Swimming costume
Binoculars
Snacks
Torch - in August

All personal equipment will be packed on your own horse in saddlebags during the tour. It can be windy and cold up in the mountains, so take warm clothes with you. There is not much room in the saddlebags so you will have to think about what you really need to take with you - your hosts will help you pack before you leave for the trail. You will need to pack for two days in the saddlebags, the remaining items can be sent to the cabin in Ratekjokk (where you can have some extra clothes to change into).

There will be sleeping bags and reindeer skins/sleeping mattresses in the tepee, so you need to take a travel sheet to put into the sleeping bag. Long-sleeved underwear, long underpants and socks are good to sleep in, in the tepee, wool is the warmest material. If you don´t have wool or silk, then synthetic is better than cotton.

Programmes

There are set departure dates in July and August for the 6 night trails. Please see the itinerary below for details.

Departure Dates

2024: 30 (Full)June; 14 (Full), 28 July; 11 (full), 25 August.

Pricing
No single rooms available (on some or all nights). Riders must be prepared to share with someone of the same sex.


No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20247d/6n5double pp1,369
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20247d/6n5double pp1,625
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
20247d/6n5double pp1,825
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20247d/6n5double pp17,149
Recommended Reading

To learn more about the Sami people have a look at www.samer.se and about Kiruna www.kommun.kiruna.se/Om-kommunen/English/


Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Kiruna Airport (KRN)
Transfer:
Transfer included to and from Kiruna Airport to the farm (25min) (Airport closed 15 - 28 July 2024 - alternative arrangements will be made)
Flight Guide:
London - Kiruna return from £220pp (2024/25)
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