Road trip in Swedish Lapland

The Honeymoon route

The church bells have stopped ringing and your new rings are on – let the adventure begin! It’s time to go on a honeymoon! But is it going to be a barefoot experience on a beach in the tropics? No – you’re dreaming of something out of the ordinary. A road trip through Swedish Lapland!

Through exciting architecture, culture, and nature, you slowly wind your way up from the coast of Skellefteå to the Kiruna mountains. But also across the Arctic Circle twice, to finally end up by the Kalix archipelago.

The Wedding Photographer

Helicopter rides over mountain peaks, dog sledding across sparkling snow and fluttering tulle under the midnight sun. This is what the wildly varying working days of wedding photographer Rebecca Lundh look like.

Take a look at Rebecca’s work here

1. Skellefteå–Harads 204 km

As newlyweds you arrive in Skellefteå, ready to embark on a honeymoon in the northernmost north. Your rental car is ready to go and you eagerly check in to your first night, staying in one of the highest wooden buildings in the world: The Wood Hotel by Elite, a sustainable 20-story hotel that not only absorbs carbon dioxide from the air, but also contributes through solar panels and glass walls where excess heat or cold is channelled into the town’s heating system. Clever!
After a good night’s sleep, you continue your journey into the north. You arrive at your first stop, which is Boden and its county art centre Havremagasinet where you take an art break among 3,600 square metres of contemporary art. The historic building gives you an opportunity to reflect, discuss, or just observe. When you’re ready, it’s time to drive on towards Harads. There you spend the next night at Loggers Lodge, run by friends Eric and Jörgen. As you’re in the area, you also take a peek at the exciting architecture at Treehotel and Arctic Bath.

1920 1080 wood hotel, sven burman
The Wood Hotel by Elite in Skellefteå opened its doors in the autumn of 2021. Apart from 205 modern hotel room, it also houses a large congress hall, three restaurants, a sky bar, and a complete spa facility with a spectacular panoramic view. Photo: Sven Burman.
havremagasinet, boden, foto: petra älvstrand, 1920 x 1080
The art centre Havremagasinet in Boden was founded in 2010 as an initiative by the artist collective Kilen. The vision was to create a centre for contemporary art in Norrbotten. Since then, more than 50 exhibitions have been arranged featuring artists from Norrbotten, Sweden, and the world – interspersed with countless programs and meetings.
loggers lodge, håkan stenlund, 1920 x 1080
Loggers Lodge in Harads was started by childhood friends Eric and Jörgen. The cottage they now gently commercialise was built in the late 19th century and back then it was used as a temporary home for hard-working loggers when they transported timber along the river to the sawmills on the coast. Hence the name Loggers Lodge.

2. Harads–Jokkmokk: 86 km

The next morning you continue to Jokkmokk where you’ll have a taste experience with Eva Gunnare at Essense of Lapland. Eva will tell you all about what wild plants you can use to enrich your spice rack at home and you also get to taste the eight seasons of Jokkmokk through herbs and berries. Afterwards you take a tour of the local shops of course, such as Ajtté, Stoorstålka, Care of Gerd, Jokkmokks tenn and more.

You spend the night at Peace & Quiet Hotel in their sustainable and eco-friendly luxury glass suite for two with panoramic views. But you won’t know exactly where the suite is located tonight until you’re taken there, because the entire place moves depending on the season.

Arctic Superberries

Join Eva on a forest tour to be inspired and learn about the nature’s own pantry.

eva gunnare, cj utsi, 1920 x 1080
Food creator Eva Gunnare is passionate about using local ingredients in all the best ways, and her courses give you an opportunity to be inspired by the unique flavours of Lapland.

3. Jokkmokk–Kiruna: 214 km

Then it’s time to get that play list going again and let it be the soundtrack for your journey on towards Kiruna and Jukkasjärvi. There you take a look at the artwork of the year at the world’s first Icehotel, meet the reindeer and get to know more about Sami culture at Nutti Sámi Siida and check out Bror Hjorth’s colourful altarpiece at Jukkasjärvi Church. If you have time to spare you might even book the Jukkasjärvi Sauna Ritual?

A bit later you continue 30 minutes west to Arctic Gourmet Cabin where you’re staying the night and having dinner in the world’s perhaps smallest restaurant. Chef Johan cooks right in front of you and if you’re lucky you might get to see the northern lights or the midnight sun – according to the season – between courses.

At Icehotel you can try the Jukkasjärvi Sauna Ritual.  It’s a sauna ritual in ten steps where you get to try a sauna bath, a dip in the Torne River, heated outdoor bathtubs and more.  Wellness for both body and soul, after all the wedding nerves.

The world’s smallest restaurant

The nine-square-metre ‘big’ restaurant in Kaalasjärvi invites you to a genuine dining experience with the Löfgren family. 

niehku interior, håkan stenlund, 1920 x 1080
Niehku translates in to dream in Sámi and Niehku Mountain Villa is truly a dream hotel up north.

4. Kiruna–Riksgränsen: 132 km

Your morning begins with a visit to the new city centre to see the urban transformation process in Kiruna, as well as landmarks such as Scandic Ferrum’s new hotel, the Kristallen city hall (‘the Crystal’) and the Aurora Culture & Congress Centre. After the city walk and all the information about Kiruna’s city history, you visit Stejk Streetfood to have a souvas sandwich each with smoked reindeer meat before continuing your journey towards Riksgränsen.

But no rush! Along this stretch there are plenty of pretty stops, so make sure you have a lot of time. You can visit Naturum in Abisko for example, improving your knowledge of flora and fauna. Or perhaps a short stroll along the King’s Trail hike – Kungsleden – to stretch your legs? Perhaps you could take the lift up Nuolja to get a bird’s eye view of lake Torneträsk, the Lapponian Gate and the national park. A bit further along there’s Silverfallet water fall with its magnificent pebble beach.

Once you arrive in Riksgränsen you visit the old locomotive depot ruins, transformed into a place welcoming adventurous skiers and explorers: Niehku Mountain Villa. Just getting cosy in this hotel with its award-winning interior is actually more than enough, but if you’re still fidgety your next adventure is right outside the door. Just get out there, adventuring!

Stylt Trampoli were responsible for the design, and they have managed to capture the unique fact that this is the history of Riksgränsen, too: the ore railway and the iron ore, the history of the mine in Kiruna and the port of Narvik and how they are linked together here on the border between Sweden and Norway. The old stone wall from the locomotive depot runs straight through the hotel, and in the restaurant the old grease pit has become the perfect wine cellar.

The dreamcatcher

Photographer Asaf Kliger wants to bring more “wow” to the world. At the original Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Swedish Lapland, he has found a place that accommodates all his needs.

1920 1080, huuva hideaway, håkan
1920 1080, huuva hideaway, håkan
the edible country, 1920 x 1080, pia huuva
Huuva Hideaway is being run by Pia och Henry Huuva.

5. Riksgränsen–Övertorneå: 409 km

After breakfast with a view of glorious lake Vassijaure it’s time for the longest tour of this route, towards the little forest Sami village Liehittäjä in the Torne Valley where Huuva Hideaway awaits. You’ll stay in an old timbered Ajtta, with a modern interior, in the middle of the forest, near a lake, to experience the Arctic nature. The name Liehittäjä could in fact be translated as ‘seductive’, and what could be more perfect for a honeymoon?

Huuva Hideaway

During a certain time of the year, Huuva Hideaway together with Visit Sweden offers an opportunity to try the Edible & Drinkable Country.

kalix löjrom, håkan stenlund, 1920 x 1080, food, taste
The inflow of fresh water from the rivers provides fresh, mineral-rich water and unique conditions. The conditions here create unique food opportunities for the vendace, which rarely grows larger than 20 cm, and the vendace in its turn provides the world's finest roe.

6. Övertorneå–Kalix: 64 km

Let’s head for the coast! About an hour’s drive from Övertorneå is Kalix, the home of the gold of the sea. With Cold Adventures you can travel the seas for real, with their vendace roe safari. You get to experience life as fishermen for an entire day, eating a traditional fisherman’s lunch with vendace grilled over ambers and visiting the fish factory where you get to see how the roe is processed to become Kalix löjrom.

In addition, a three-course dinner awaits at Niklas and Madelene’s house. But there’s also an opportunity to try your hands at the job and make your own roe. You spend the night at family-owned and family-run Filipsborgs Herrgård with a view of the Kalix River.

The characteristic Kalix löjrom is often served at gala events such as the Nobel Dinner and was the first food item in Sweden to be awarded a Protected Designation of Origin. It’s part of an exclusive club, in the company of Champagne and Parma ham.

Kalix Löjrom

Learn the story behind Kalix Löjrom.

Malören is a nature reserve located on the outskirts of the Bothnian Bay archipelago.

7. Kalix–Malören: 15 nautical miles (about 1 h by boat)

After the alarm clock goes off and finishing breakfast it’s time to continue out to Malören. But prior to that, you visit Arctic Treats of course – you need some handmade pralines for the journey. Perhaps you stay a bit longer and take a praline course? Once you’ve satisfied your sweet tooth, you aim for Norrkust Marina where you’re picked up for journey to a modern Treasure Island: Malören.

On Malören you get to enjoy a sea view in all four directions, and even if it’s said to be one of the most lonely and peculiar places in the country, there is much to discover here. Among other things the unique plant life in the nature reserve, with beach pea and sleepy primrose, the lighthouse from 1851, the shipwreck Jenolin and the ‘Cathedral of the Archipelago’. You cook your own meals, either in the guest kitchen or using the outdoor kitchen depending on the weather. The evening, and the entire honeymoon, comes to an end in the wood-fired sauna where you get to sum up the experience, but also make future plans for your life as spouses.

More road trips

Here you will find more ideas for road trips in Swedish Lapland.

All road trips