Autumn in Sweden

On the first full day of our stay in Sweden we headed out for a nice hike through the Abisko National Park. We first had a look at Abiskojåkka canyon, where the river makes its way through a nice canyon to the lake. After this, we set off on the beginning (or end) of Sweden’s most famous long-distance footpath: the Kungsleden. In the past, I’ve done the final 200 or so kilometres towards Abisko so it was nice to be back.

Fall and colours

During our hike, we saw and heard many Redwings and Fieldfares and some groups of Waxwings. We were hoping for more wild- and bird life like Moose, Reindeer, Hawk Owl or Ptarmigan. These remained elusive, but we kept searching. Meanwhile, we kept enjoying the magnificent scenery surrounding us. On the horizon, the famous U-shaped valley ‘Lapporten’ was visible for most of our hike. How gorgeous the surroundings were, we kept looking at the skies above us as well. The famous ‘blue hole of Abisko’ wasn’t showing up yet and most of the day it was overcast… Not promising much for the chances to see the auroras later.


After a bit over 10 kilometres we came back home. Now we could start the preparations for the evening and night to come. The Aurora-predictions looked good and, even more importantly: it started to clear up! Slowly more and more clouds disappeared and we could see stars! Time to get our cameras and spare batteries ready, get some hot tea or coffee and dress warmly.

the first real aurora

At around 20:00 we could start to see some activity on the Aurora webcam nearby, but it was still too faint to see with the naked eye. But at around 21:00 it was time to get outside and head to one of those nice places we had found the previous day. It was really green!! For Ypie and Leon the first time they really saw the auroras. Little did we know what was about to happen next …

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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