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Europe > Nordic countries > Sweden > Norrland > Norrbotten County > Kiruna Municipality > Abisko and Björkliden

Abisko and Björkliden

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Abisko is a village in Norrbotten County and the Lappland province in northern Sweden.

Abisko nationalpark is a national park around Abisko, 77 km2 (30 sq mi).

Björkliden is a resort village 7 km northwest of Abisko.

Understand[edit]

Map of Abisko and Björkliden
View from Björkliden over the national park until Lapporten (the Gate to Lappland)

Abisko is a popular outdoor destination due to its proximity to nature and relatively easy accessibility. Abisko is near many great national parks and hosts a trailhead on the spectacular Kungsleden hiking trail; at the same time, it is on the malmbanan railway between Narvik in Norway and Luleå, which means it can be reached by an overnight train from Stockholm quite easily. Abisko village is around the train station "Abisko Östra". The large and well equipped hostel/hotel "Abisko turiststation" lies at the train station of the same name, 2 km further west.

Torneträsk, on the shore of which Abisko is located, is the sixth largest and second deepest lake of Sweden, and the largest fell lake in Scandinavia.

Get in[edit]

MTAB IORE with an empty ore train near Torneträsk (the lake in the background)

By car[edit]

Abisko is 80 km east of Narvik and 100 km north-west of Kiruna. It is easily accessible by car by the European route E10 between the two. Cars can be rented at the Tourist Office in Kiruna (closed from Friday 18:00 to Monday morning).

By plane[edit]

There are two main airports serving Abisko:

  1. Narvik/Harstad Airport in Norway, 120 km west of Abisko, has direct flights to/from Oslo Gardermoen (operated by SAS, Norwegian), Trondheim Værnes (operated by Norwegian, Widerøe) and Bodø (Widerøe) Airports.
  2. Kiruna Airport, 100 km south-east of Abisko, has daily direct flights to Stockholm Arlanda Airport (operated by Norwegian and SAS). It is connected to Abisko by train and buses run by "Länstrafiken Norbotten".

By train[edit]

The two nightly trains from Stockholm to Narvik stop in Abisko, both in the village itself (Abisko Östra) and outside the mountain station (Abisko Turiststation). One is direct, whereas the other has a change in Boden. There are also two daily trains from Luleå or Narvik. Timetables can be found through Samtrafiken (look for Nr. 30, Narvik-Kiruna-Boden-Luleå).

Get around[edit]

There is a chair lift up Nuolja mountain operating in the summer from the tourist station. It also runs from 08:00 to 00:00 during the aurora season and is operated by the nearby STF hostel.

For moving around outside the villages, foot and ski (in season) are the main options. Roads are limited to the area along E10.

The Abiskojåkka delta is off limits in summer, to protect the nesting of birds.

There is a snowmobile route to Abiskojaure and onwards, turning back towards Riksgränsen along the border to Norway.

See[edit]

Aurora near Abisko

Abisko is a great place to observe Northern lights thanks to the location within the Auroral belt and its relatively dry climate and low cloudiness. Aurora Sky Station (a part of STF Abisko Mountain Station) is located on the top of the mountain Nuolja and can be reached by a 10 min walk from STF Mountain Station and from there by a chair-lift.

  • 1 Aurora Sky Station, STF Abisko Mountain Station, Sweden, +46 980 402 00, e-mail: . In 2013/2014 winter season: Sep 5 - Sep 28 and Nov 1 - Nov 30: Th-Sa 21:00-1:00; Guided tour: 22:00, 22:30, 23:00 and 23:30. Dec 1-Mar 30 Mon - Sun (except Dec 24 and Dec 31): 21:00-01:00; Guided tour 22:00, 22:30, 23:00 and 23:30. The night visit to the station includes return ticket by chair-lift, guided tour and an aurora watchers overall. Alternatively, an aurora photo tour with professional photographers can be arranged. Sep, Nov 625 kr, STF member: 525 kr; Dec-Mar 695 kr, STF member: 595 kr.

Do[edit]

Abiskojåkka river and Torneträsk lake (Abisko national park) in June

The tourist station organises various activities throughout the year, but the real attraction is hiking on the many trails, out in the spectacular wilderness of the national parks of the area. Winter offers cross country skiing and even some alpine skiing. There is a chair lift on Nuolja and two more alpine areas nearby at Björkliden and Riksgränsen.

There are three (partly coinciding) long distance hiking trails from or passing Abisko. They can be used also for shorter hikes, especially Kungsleden has good infrastructure.

  • Kungsleden (440 km), probably the best-known hiking trail is Sweden, to the south.
  • Nordkalottleden (800 km), the southern part of which partly coincides with Kungsleden and Padjelantaleden but also meanders among the Norwegian fells. To the north the trail continues via Norway, northernmost Sweden, the tripoint Sweden/Norway/Finland and Kilpisjärvi (190 km) to Kautokeino in Norwegian Finnmark (190 km more).
  • European long distance path E1 from Italy, north of Abisko mostly coinciding with Nordkalottleden.

Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in Sweden, can be reached from Abisko by Kungsleden, although Nikkaluokta is closer (see Kebnekaise and Nikkaluokta). Kebnekaise fjällstation at the root of the mountain is the most common base for expeditions (also guided tours in season). The Singi mountain cabins (Singistugorna) at Kungsleden are another option for independent expeditions.

There are also other mountains in the 2,000 m (6,000 feet) range in the area.

Buy[edit]

There is a shop at the tourist station which caters for hikers' daily needs and also carries a selection of outdoor equipment, and some other shops:

  • MakoMat, Kalle Jons Väg 1, 98107 Abisko (connected with the petrol station), +46 980-669 30, e-mail: . M-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 11:00-17:00. A shop with a petrol station and a restaurant/bar.

Eat[edit]

  • Tjuonavagge, Abisko Östra (Inside the tourist station). Serves up great organic food, buffet style, taking inspiration from the nature around it - reindeer meat with cloudberry jam anyone?
  • MakoMat, Kalle Jons Väg 1, 98107 Abisko, +46 980-402 55, e-mail: . M-Th 10:00-17:00, F-Sa 10:00-21:00, Su 11:00-19:00. The restaurant offers à la carte food and a lunch menu.

Drink[edit]

The Storstugan pub inside the tourist station is the friendliest place in town to go for a drink. Rather fortunate, since it's also the only place.

Sleep[edit]

There's a bed and breakfast in Abisko village, as well as some summer cottages. The tourist station has hostel, hotel and cottage accommodation available. It is run by STF, Svenska Turistföreningen; as accommodation is considerably cheaper for members it may be advisable to sign up for membership before booking. Membership is also available at the reception. There is also a camping ground – although the right to roam basically entitles you to sleep anywhere except in the Abisko national park or by private houses, as there are not really any cultivated lands. In the national park camping is allowed at the tourist station, at Nissonjohka and at the Abiskojaure cabins.

There is a quite good network of cabins, day huts and shelters along Kungsleden, other trails and commonly used routes. Mostly there is a moderate fee for lodging (470/150 kr per person for non-members). Also camping by cabins is usually subject to a fee (giving access to the facilities, such as possibly a sauna).

  • 1 Abiskojaure fjällstuga (13 km from Abisko along Kungsleden). Closest mountain cabins, in the other end of Abisko national park. Accommodation in dormitories. Sauna and shop.

Connect[edit]

STF Abisko (Abisko Tourist station) +46 980-402 00, info@abisko.nu.

Go next[edit]

  • Laponia, several national parks and nature reserves forming a UNESCO World Heritage site, some 100 km southward
  • Kiruna, the nearest city
  • Narvik, Norway, a port town at the end of the railway; the Narvik mountains are an important hiking destination
Routes through Abisko and Björkliden
LofotenNarvik  W Tabliczka E10.svg E  KirunaLuleå



This city travel guide to Abisko and Björkliden is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.