Vinter Hotell Palatset
P.O. Box 18, Jarnvagsgatan 18, Kiruna, Sweden
More about Kiruna
The local church
Me outside the ice hotel
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Kiruna vs Narvik?
We are a group of 10 people planning to hike the Kungsleden from Absiko to Kebnekaise beginning of August. We are looking for a place to stay over the weekend before we begin our hike. We dont need a town with activities but would like a place thats really nice. Any advise as to whether we should stay in KIruna or Narvik? We were once in Kiruna - nice and small town, but definitely not super pretty... Is Narvik any better?
Re: Kiruna vs Narvik?
Narvik itself it not very special either, BUT the surrounding is much nicer than in Kiruna. It is on the shore of the Narvik fjord (or Ofotfjord) with mountains surrounding it. Probably you can already do some hiking there... And the train trip between Kiruna and Narvik is also quite scenic.
In case you would decide for Kiruna, you should visit the iron ore mine there, in case you haven't done that on your previous trip. You can go down to something like -400 meters for an exhibition about the mine...
Re: Kiruna vs Narvik?
I agree that Narvik is nestled in a beautiful landscape. There are also two small but interesting museums, one dedicated to the Battle of Narvik of the 2nd WW, the other to the history of the town and its railway, you can buy the tickets with Swedish crowns, without having to change any money.
Re: Kiruna vs Narvik?
Same with me, I visited both places few times and I would vote for Narvik too, especially if you haven't been there yet.
Travel Tips for Kiruna
If you visit Kiruna during the winter, take advantage of the winter stuff - the ice hotel, wild moose safari, dogsledding, etc. After all, when and where else are you going to have a chance to do these things? For a small snow-covered village, there are a lot of things to do in winter in Kiruna. In the Yellow House youth hostel, there are a few posters and signs advertising these activities, so just pick which ones you want and call the number on the poster to book it. Be sure to bring warm clothes and boots though! I enjoyed the ice hotel, especially the theme rooms. Also, the wild moose safari was good. A few people in my group went dog-sledding instead of the safari, and they enjoyed that too.
The ever changing nature
The weather changes very rapidly and very locally. On this picture you see the clouds over the Kebnekaijse mountains (the highest peak is not visable).
When we got to Kiruna/Nikkaluokta/Kebnekaijse, the sun was all shining, the morning after we tried to get up on top of Kebnekaijse, but was stopped by fog, hail and heavy winds.
After that the clouds were covering the mountains the rest of the week, although in Nikkaluokta 20 km away the sun were shining. New clouds was driven over and over again by stormy winds towards us in Nikkaluokta but was heated up by the sun and disappeared on the way. Due to the winds we had rain driven over us now and then in the sun.
That sort of changes and variations is the fascinating thing about nature.
This is me getting ready to lay some tracks in the fresh snow.
Since Riksgransen is located above the arctic-circle there will be midnight sun here for a couple of months. During these months you can go skiing in the middle of the night!!! All the lifts are opened for a couple of hours each night. This is awesome!!
A warning: the sun can some days cause a blinding effect where you lose all the contures of the slope, and the lack of trees makes things worse. This is scary since I tested many different goggles and none worked well to reduce this.
Up here there are mostly tundra, with lots of wetlands and bogs. These enviroments are excellent for mosquitos. I strongly recommend some mosquito protection, the "Roll-on" protection is the best!
If you're worried about mosquito bites, don't be. How hard you try to keep away from them, in the end they will hunt you and they will get you! ;-)
The Sami people live in Lappland, and while we didn't meet any, we did see some of their traditions. While on the moose safari, we saw some pieces of cloth attatched to poles on the side of the road - the Sami people attatch them there as a way to mark where the reindeer are. Also, the people who went on the dogsled ride (dogsledding is a part of Sami culture) got to eat lunch Sami-style in a tent.