Every aspiring world traveler writes a bucket list; They're things we dream of seeing and experiencing on this amazing planet. Many of those lists feature the same, man-made pillars of human society: Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza, Peru's Machu Pichu, and The Great Wall of China come to mind.
But then, there are those natural phenomenons we can't help but stand and observe in awe. The Grand Canyon or Plitvice Lakes National Park check all the boxes for hikers and wanders around the globe. But 121 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the Swedish province of Lapland is nestled one of the most underrated tourism sites in the world, which gives winter visitors a front row seat to the ultimate bucket list item: The aurora borealis.
Where Is Abisko National Park?
The Kiruna Municipality is Sweden's northernmost region and also the country's largest. You'll travel to nearly the end of Scandinavia before running into the village of Abisko, which sits on the shores of Torneträsk, one of the largest lakes in Sweden.
Train, bus or car are the recommended modes of transportation to arrive at the remote town, as you'll follow European Route 10 north, hopping off at the Abisko Turist railway station; The route continues on for hundreds of miles deep into nearby Norway.
Where to Stay in Sweden's Abisko National Park
STF Abisko Turiststation offers a full list of accommodations from hotels to hostels and even private cabins around Norrbotten County and the Swedish Lapland.
No matter what time of year you visit, Abisko National Park sounds like an absolute dream. Here is how the park's website describes your experiences here:
In early autumn, the mountain birch forest is "ablaze" with autumn colours, the mosquitoes are gone and the air is often fresh and cool.
In late autumn and winter, many come to experience the aurora borealis, polar night, snow and cold. When Torneträsk lake has frozen over around December, skating on the lake is a spectacular adventure.
In late winter and early spring, snowshoes or skiing are the order of the day.
In the summer, you can go on both long and short trips. This is the best time to experience bird life and magnificent displays of flowers. The water in the boreal rivers can be high during early summer.
Cross-country skiing, dog sledding, and snowshoeing along Kungsleden (commonly referred to as "The King's Trail) is the name of the game for adventurers, especially as summer's midnight sun bathes the hiking trails in 24 hours of sunlight. You can even take a 20-minute chairlift ride up Mount Nuolja to 2,900 feet above sea level where the Aurora Sky Station awaits.
But when polar night arrives and the lake freezes over, the sky station transforms into the most incredible viewing of the phenomenon we know as the Northern Lights.
Thanks to light pollution and the high elevation, viewing the aurora borealis from this wonderland is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Lights Over Lapland packages a huge list of activities to keep you busy, highlighted by the crown jewel of the Northern Lights.
There are live webcams to view Abisko's incredible sights during the winter months, but here are some awe-inspiring photographs of the region that will have you booking the next available flight out of the United States and bound for Stockholm on an adventure unlike any other.
10 Stunning Views of Northern Lights & Abisko National Park
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