Photo: Tomas Utsi
Midnight sun in Sweden

UNDER THE MIDNIGHT SUN

POST congress tour to northern Sweden and Finland
Period: June 29 – July 4

*Dates and schedules are subject to change.
**Trip confirmation requires a minimum of 20 participants.

Imagine a place where the sun never goes down, where the sun stays on the horizon all night long. During the summer days, you can experience this magical phenomenon in some parts of Finland and Sweden. Here the sunset is also the sunrise, where people can play golf when they should be in bed. This POST event trip experience will take you to memorable places during the magical midnight sun period. Starting with a flight up north of the Arctic Circle, you will be invited to experience the Sami culture, enjoy beautiful landscapes, do activities during the midnight sun, visit the Ice Hotel, and discover the Abisko Scientific Research Station.

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Experiencing the midnight sun

Abisko is a small, cozy village in Sweden, located 250 km north of the Arctic Circle; there is the polar day from the beginning of June, meaning the sun does not set below the horizon at midnight. Here, you will experience the magical midnight sun.

Surrounded by mountains, a simple hiking activity around the village is breath-taking. We hike in alpine terrain with the red-yellow light wrapping the surroundings in a golden glow. Along the way, we do multiple stops where you get time to enjoy the view and listen to a guide describing this area’s history, from the ice age, passing by the Viking era, to northern light hotspots.

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A trip up Nuolja by cable car

The experience already begins in the cable car, where the journey goes quietly and slowly up the mountain. The cable car takes us to the Aurora Sky Station, at 900 meters above sea level; from there, we hike to Nuolja’s top at 1164 meters above sea level, where you will have a magnificent and wonderful landscape view. Once at the top, the achievement is celebrated with bubbles, snacks and, weather permitting, the beautiful midnight sunlight. Shortly after midnight, the hike down to the cable car starts again, and from there, we take the lift back down towards Abisko Tourist Station.

At the STF Aurora Sky Station, you can appreciate the fantastic flora of the bare mountain or enjoy the view from the station’s sun terrace. This place is unique, so the evening tour starts at 8 pm and finishes at 1 am during the magical midnight sunlight. Thousands of people from around the world visit this spot every year to contemplate this magical nature and natural midnight sun phenomenon.

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Road Abisko – Kiruna

This road E10 Kiruna is a stunning driving tour via some of Swedish Lapland’s most picturesque landscapes. The way is near the coastline of Torneträsk lake, one of Sweden’s largest lakes. Here you will enjoy views of gorgeous hills, mountain, wide valleys, crystal lakes, and picturesque small towns. This road crosses well-known Abisko National Park.

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Abisko – Vedbastu vid Torneträsk

This traditional sauna is located down by Torneträsk in the middle of a fantastic landscape surrounded by mountains and a lake. You can enjoy the wonderful combination of the heat from the sauna and the cooling dip in the Torne swamp’s crystal-clear waters.

In this wood-fired sauna, you can experience a new dimension of Swedish lifestyle and witness the magical Swedish midnight sun.

Jukkasjärvi and the IceHotel

Jukkasjärvi is located 200 kilometres above the Arctic Circle, which means 24-hour daylight. The nights here are as bright as the days during the summertime. The midnight sun invites you to stay up late and bathe in its golden light, perhaps between invigorating sauna sessions or a Torne River boat tour that finishes off with kokkaffe (boiled coffee in a kettle) served in a wooden cup made over an open fire on the riverbank. The summertime is short and mild, with an average temperature of 16 °C (61 F), inviting you to outdoor activities.

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The Icehotel guided tour

This city has a must-visit Swedish landmark for travellers from around the globe, even during summertime, the Icehotel. Whatever the season, there is an extraordinary experience awaiting anyone who visits Icehotel 365. The hotel opened its doors in 2016, and it is the first in the world to offer ice experiences year-round. It is about 2100 square meters and designed in ice art, and there is also an Ice bar to drink while learning about Icehotel’s history through images, art, and a short video presentation. It is possible to test your creative skills in ice sculpting and create your own ice sculpture from pure Torne River ice. The artistic design and creativity make the Icehotel a unique place to visit and enjoy.

Visit the church in Jukkasjärvi

This region has a lot of historical places which give a special characteristic to the area. The red houses are part of Scandinavian countries, but have you ever considered a red church?

The Jukkasjärvi little wooden church is painted red and white and blanketed with thick snow for much of the year. So, summer is the perfect moment to admire its beauty. The oldest, most central part of Jukkasjärvi church dates back to around 1607. Additional sections, like the tall wooden clock tower, were added in the mid-1700s.

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Pajala Vasikkavuoma and the Sami culture

The forests around Pajala have historically been the land of the Sami population. The Vasikkavuoma nature reserve is a mire, and it was used for harvest until 1950. During the visit, you will learn more about nature, plants, crafts, Arctic knowledge, bake Ghakku, participate in simple Sami summer games, and test a genuine Sami meal prepared by Huuva Hideaway.

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Sami culture

This activity is perfect for discovering one of the region’s most traditional and important cultures while singing, listening to storytelling, and eating. There is a possibility to have a small pop-up shop with genuine craftsmanship, design, and food products (e.g., berry syrup, mustard, juice) to increase the experience and memories.

Lunch: Sami and Tornedal dishes and drinks – as traditionally eat during the summer.

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Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park and LAPLAND HOTEL PALLAS area

We are on the Arctic Circle line, which has an important meaning in astrophysics. Due to its location and latitude, the polar night in winter creates the possibility of experiencing long nights without the sun rising. In contrast, during the polar day in summer, the sun never disappears from the sky. In this area, you can experience the most beautiful of the fells and other national park landscapes.

At Pallastunturi and Muonio, for example, it is possible to admire the midnight sun and other atmospheric optical phenomena such as sundogs, circumzenithal arcs and other halos. The midnight sun period extends from around May 20 to July 5, and the sky during this period usually offers beautiful reddish-pinkish colors in the ”evening” hours. Those are great times to get out and enjoy a hike or a bike tour.

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Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

An excellent choice to enjoy this fantastic place is to visit Finland’s third largest national park, Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, which covers an area of 1,020 square kilometres and is located in Western Lapland. This site is Finland’s most visited national park, and in 2019 received more than half a million visitors.

In Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park you can breathe the world’s purest air* and experience the vastness of the fell landscapes around you. The exceptional nature of Pallas-Ounastunturi fells was recongnised already in early 1900’s and the area was among the two Finland’s first National Parks that were established in 1938.

Later on in 2005 the National Park experienced vast changes, when Ylläs-Aakenus Nature Reserve was joined to the old National Park and a new one called Pallas-Ylläs National Park was established. The National Park is now double the size it used to be.

*according to scientists of the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) who have studied air samples taken at a local air quality research station.

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This evening activity takes you on a forest hike to a fell top nearby. Although the hike is uphill, the exercise is gentle and exhilarating. You may have the chance to come across a herd of reindeer or birds like Siberian jay and willow grouse while walking. You can observe the colorful sky, even if it is cloudy. A mix of red, yellow, and pink colors gives the summer a bright night in the Arctic an extraordinary atmosphere. Every day the magic and beauty of the skies are unique.

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Guided E-biking tour

An excellent way to explore the region is using an electric bike, also known as e-bike. A guided excursion will take you on a ride in nature. After receiving your helmet, bike, and instructions, the adventure is ready to begin. During the tour, you will journey through Lappish landscapes, enjoying the tranquil forests’ silence and the beauty of the surrounding nature. A small break to enjoy juice and snacks will be part of the experience in this magnific place.

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The husky farm

One of the most famous animals in the region is the husky. This tour will take you to visit the huskies during their summer holidays. Visiting the farm is a great way to get to know these beautiful and enthusiastic Arctic animals. On arrival at the husky farm, you will be welcomed by eager but friendly barking, as these dogs are keen to get to know you. A guide will share knowledge about the life of sled dogs. After visiting the farm, it is time to say goodbye to the furry friends and experience another tradition in this region, grilling sausages and drinking around the campfire.

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Visit the Rovaniemi art museum, Korundi house

If you appreciate art, you will love to visit the Rovaniemi art museum, Korundi house. This cultural space is the home to Rovaniemi Art Museum and the Lapland Chamber Orchestra. Korundi brings together artists and viewers to enjoy the celebration, history, art, and contemporaneity. Here you can explore the world from a northern perspective. The Korundi house offers different activities during the year.

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Visit the Santa Claus Village

Rovaniemi is known worldwide as the official Santa Claus hometown, and his most-famous resident receives visitors all year round. You can meet Santa Claus and cross the magical Arctic Circle 365 days a year at the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland. But even without snow, the village of Santa Claus is worth a visit. Besides meeting Santa Claus, you can cross the Arctic Circle, send letters with a special Arctic Circle postmark from the Post Office of Santa Claus, and receive it for Christmas. Here you also find restaurants, souvenir shops, and some activity to do.

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Visit to Abisko Scientific Research Station

Climate research in Abisko attracts scientists from all over the world. At the research station, several unique long-term experiments are conducted, attracting scientists from all over the world. Every year the research station receives around 200 scientists who study the birch woods, mires, mountain heaths, alpine and glaciated areas, lakes, and rivers. Through experiments, the scientists improve their understanding of how increased carbon dioxide levels, UVB radiation, ground and air temperature, and snow depth affect the ecosystems and the processes within these systems.

Within the different research projects, all aspects of life in the local environment are considered, from microbes to tourists, in a time frame from hundreds of millions of years back in time, to different future scenarios.

The research station is located in a subarctic climate about 200 km north of the Arctic Circle at Abisko National Park in Kiruna municipality, northwestern Lapland.

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Visit to GAW ICOS LTER forest, peatland or fjell site (the Pallas meteorological station)

The Pallas Supersite consists of versatile research infrastructure for monitoring and studying the atmosphere, ecosystems and their interactions. The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) has a long history of atmospheric monitoring at Pallas: the first weather station was established near Lake Pallasjärvi in 1935. The measurements of atmospheric composition were started in 1991, and the Sammaltunturi station was established as a node of the Pallas–Sodankylä Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) station in 1994. Currently, Pallas comprises one of the most important research infrastructures in Finland and in the wider circumpolar region, contributing to numerous European and global research programmes, such as GAW, ICOS, ACTRIS and EMEP. Pallas also serves as a platform for scientific collaboration with international as well as national research institutes (LUKE, SYKE and GTK).

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Visit the Arktikum Science Centre: Increase your knowledge about the Artic

Arktikum is a science centre and museum that lets you experience northern nature, culture, and history up close. Housing the University of Lapland’s Arctic Centre and the Regional Museum of Lapland, Arktikum stimulates thought, encourage debate, and provide a deeper understanding of the Arctic.

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The Science Centre Pilke: see the forest like you’ve never seen it before

If you are attracted to northern forests your place is Pilke in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland near the Arctic Circle. The science centre’s exhibitions will allow you to explore current forest issues, while the Pilke Shop offers forest products that appeal to all of the senses. At the Science Centre Pilke exhibition you will have the opportunity to explore the forest with all your senses and from many different angles.