When is the best time to see the northern lights?
The northern lights can be seen in Swedish Lapland from the end of August to the beginning of April. The chances are about the same for each month. But to get the most out of your tour we do recommend you to come from December to March. The reason is that we can guarantee snow during these months which enable us to get further into the wilderness and nicer photo spots using either snow mobile or dog sledding. In our opinion the images will also turn out more nicely if we have snow in the landscape (the landscape is easier to catch). December and January are the coldest and darkest months but can be very beautiful with colourful skies and snow in the trees. In February and March we can still have snow in the trees, longer days and the time is easier for day time activities like dog sledding, ice fishing and snow-mobiling. We do also consider the moon phases when we set up our multiday tours to ensure that you get to Swedish Lapland when it is the best time to see the northern lights.
What is the chances to see and Aurora?
Abisko National Park is considered to be one of the best places to see northern lights in the world. The reason is that Abisko is placed in a dry micro-climate just underneath the aurora oval. We can never leave any guarantee that you will see the northern lights but we can guarantee that we will do all we can for you to succeed. During the past eight years all 3+ day guests have seen the northern lights in a nice way and we might be the most successful aurora tour company in the world! One reason for our success is a flexible program, small groups and that we only arrange tours when we have the best time to see the northern lights.
What cameras, lenses and tripods do you provide for us?
We are sponsored by Canon and therefore you can borrow very good photo equipment without any additional cost.
We do offer both professional and amateur camera models like Canon 1D Mark III, 7D, 70D, 100D, 550D, 650D, 1100D, 1200D and 1300D. We cannot guarantee a specific model but we will share the equipment we have. We have one camera and tripod for each guest.
Lenses for aurora photographing includes Canon 14:2.8, 15:2.8, 16-35:28, 17-40:4.0, 20:2.8, 24:1.4, 18-55:3.5-4.5 and 15-85:3.5.
Lenses for landscape photographing includes the lenses above and Canon 24-105:4.0; 70-200:2.8, 70-300:3.5-5.6.
For wildlife and deep sky astro photographing we do have 300:4.0, 300:2.8, 400:4.0, 400:2.8, 500:4.0 and 70-300:3.5-5.6.
We have a large selection of Manfrotto tripods including both light weight and heavy ones.
We do also have a Star Adventurer tracker for deep sky photographing, cable releases for Canon cameras.
Remember to bring your own memory card to use in our cameras. We have cameras both for SD and CF memory cards.
What sort of memory card should I bring?
It is good if you bring your own memory card for the camera and we have cameras for both SD and CF cards. Mini SD cards and Micro SD cards will not work. We recommend a minimum of 4 GB/night. We also have memory cards for sale on site (150 SEK for a 4 or 8 GB card).
Can I bring my own camera on the tour?
If you have a digital DSLR camera with a wide angle lens (14-20mm) we do always recommend you to bring your own. It is always best if you can get to know your own equipment better. Just tell us about your camera model if you are not sure if you equipment will be good enough. We can handle almost all cameras on the market. And if you or we have any problems with your camera model we do always bring at least one extra camera per group. Remember to bring extra batteries as your batteries will drain much faster in cold conditions. The price for the tour is the same if you borrow a camera from us or not.
What clothing is best for arctic winter conditions?
On all our tours we do provide you with a warm hat, warm gloves and a warm overall which are designed to be worn over your own warm clothes. The overall sizes we have range from XS to XXXL (48-66). You are welcome to rent warm boots at your hotel in Abisko if you don’t have your own warm insulated winter boots. On our 6 day Aurora, Wildlife and Sapmi tour and on our 5 day New Years Eve tour and 8 day aurora, wildlife and Sapmi tour we do also provide you with warm boots, socks and balaclava.
It is good to dress warm to give you a pleasant stay and these are our recommendations:
- Closest to your body we recommend a set of underwear in synthetics, wool or woolen mixture. Synthetics absorb and transport the moisture away. Wool absorbs the moisture but has the ability to keep you warm even when it is damp. Avoid cotton since it absorbs the moisture and chills when it gets damp.
- Long johns and a long sleeved undershirt
- The next layer can be of wool or fleece. This layer is for keeping you warm and to transports the humidity away from your body.
- Woolen or fleece pants, pullover/jacket
- Thicker socks
- The outer layer protects you from wind and moisture from outside.
- Water and wind proof jacket and trousers (our overalls we provide for you does also protect you from wind and water)
- Warm hat
- If the weather gets very cold it is good to have some extra warm clothes, for example down jacket or vest, thick fleece or woolen pullover or vest.
What sort of equipment should I bring?
Besides warm clothes specified further up on this page we do recommend you to bring the following things:
- Small backpack for the trip
- Small torch (we do also have one that you can borrow)
- 0,5 l bottle for drinking stops during the tour
- Hygiene articles
- Sun glasses and sun lotion (in March)
- Camera and tripods (we do also have all camera gear for you). If you extend your trip to Kiruna and Camp Ripan you will need to use your own camera equipment.
- Laptop (so you can down load images and good if you also have photoshop or lightroom installed).
- Memory cards, at least 16 GB (we have cameras both for SD and CF cards). We have extra memory cards for sale on site.
- Battery charger and extra batteries for your camera (if you bring your own).
How do I get to Kiruna and Abisko?
Most international guests fly into Stockholm/Arlanda and take the domestic flight from Stockholm/Arlanda to Kiruna airport or the train from Stockholm to Kiruna or Abisko.
Skyscanner is a good way to find the best flight for you: www.skyscanner.com
Please note that if you are staying at STF Abisko Hotel in the National Park (which almost all our guests do, please get off at the second stop in Abisko called “Abisko Turiststation”.
If you arrive on the same day as the tour starts we do recommend you to arrive with the 12.25 (Norwegian) or 13.10 flight (SAS).
If you need transportation from Kiruna to Abisko we can help you with the transfer. Please tell us when you make the booking of the tour. On all our tours we do include all transfers in the package price for you.
Hotel in Stockholm
If you need to stay overnight in Stockholm we can recommend Central Hotel, which is nice and close to the Arlanda Express airport train, and does a great breakfast. We can also recommend the Radisson Blu Royal Viking Hotel, also close to the airport train.
We recommend booking through Hotels.com for good prices (or your travel agent). If you wish to only stay a night at the airport whilst waiting for a flight the next day, we can recommend Clarion Airport Hotel.
The best and fastest way of getting to and from the airport in Stockholm is via the Arlanda Express train. You can buy tickets at the airport or train station, but you save if you buy in advance online at www.arlandaexpress.com
Please make sure you are covered as deposits are non-refundable. Please see our booking rules here.
Just tell us if you have any additional questions!
Welcome to Swedish Lapland on your next photo adventure!
Peter, Niklas, David and Hans-Olof