Abisko National Park

If your reason for going to Abisko National Park in the end of June is to see the midnight sun, it helps if it’s not cloudy at midnight. However, when I went to this national park, located at the very northern tip of Sweden, the sky was covered by clouds at 12.00 AM on my first night. As I walked back up to Abisko Guesthoue, I was kind of thinking that this part of my summer travels had been a waste of time. And money. It’s obviously amazing to walk around Abisko at mightnight in full daylight and all that, but it’s not the same thing as seeing the midnight sun. Anyway, at 12.00 AM the following night, the sun came out from behind a cloud. It had been cloudy at 11.59PM. I’m not kidding.  My journey to Abisko had suddenly turned into a rip-roaring success.


There are obviously other reasons why people visit the Abisko National Park in summer. Hiking through the stunning mountainous landscape along well-maintained trails being an obvious one. 

 

But before I get to that, I just want to comment on the layout of the village of Abisko. Close to the Abisko Östra train station, you have the Abisko Guesthouse with shared cooking facilities and a supermarket nearby. Opposite the Abisko Turiststation 2.5 km further down the line, you have the STF Tourist Station with a restaurant of nearly Michelin standard and where pre-booking is required. In addition, there’s no sit-down cafe at either end of the village and no taxis available. So if you want a cooked dinner or visit the supermarket, you’ve got a 5 km walk ahead of you depending on where you’re staying.

That said, the walks through the Abisko National Park are stunning, and if you’re there for the hiking, trodding back and forth between the two ends of Abisko village along the Rallarleden (The Railroad Workers Trail) won’t be a problem. 


The main hiking trail – Kungsleden (The King’s Trail) – is a 440 km trail starting in Abisko and ending by Hemavan. This is where most people start their hiking, whether just for a couple of miles or for some more serious trekking. It follows the Abiskojåkka River to begin with. 


Other options on offer are wandering along the Abiskojåkka Canyon.


Going down to Lake Torneträsk, the seventh largest lake in Sweden. Here you might spot people jumping into the freezing water after taking a sauna. I did, but my sense of decorum stopped me from taking photos. 


Visiting the bird-watching area of the Abiskojåkka Delta. Well, I saw no birds with the naked eye but a guy with binoculars I met seemed quite excited.


Walking to the nearby Voulip Njáhkájávri Lake. A nice 2-3 hour hike if you’re looking for something not so strenuous. Like me.


Or take the ropeway up to Njullá. This is the perfect place to see the midnight sun – the ropeway operates at nighttime three times a week. 


Your can also walk up to the top of Njullá from where the ropeway stops. It takes about an hour. Well, that’s what people say who have done it. I just faffed about near where the ropeway ended, taking selfies, taking panos of the scenery, and looking at the mountain flowers growing there.

 

I went straight from the ropeway ground station to the Abisko Östra train station. It was time for a 22-hour train journey to Copenhagen. 1,980 km.

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