67°N

Sweden

Heart of Sarek

New 2023!

EXPERIENCE SWEDEN’S ARCTIC WILDERNESS

Heart of Sarek backpacking tour is Porta Arctica’s new rugged backpacking experience in Sweden’s largest, wildest and most remote arctic wilderness. This 70-kilometer, 6-day tour takes you through the Stora Sjöfallet National Park to the heartland of the iconic Sarek fell massif, into a pathless wilderness. During the tour, you will see glaciers, large river valleys, crystal-clear lakes, two kilometer-high peaks, challenging boulder fields and untouched arctic nature at its most authentic. There are no marked routes, wilderness huts or other camping services in the area, which is why the area is considered the most demanding hiking destination in Sweden.

1,190 €

Participation is ensured by filling in a binding registration form.

FEEDBACK FROM PARTICIPANTS

Sarek’s stunning scenery turned out to be even better than the expectations. The terrain was challenging in some places and the weather varied, but with the right equipment, the external aspects did not diminish the feeling. — I am very satisfied with the whole trip!! – 10/10
Olli A.

Finland

It was an extremely wonderful hiking trip, the destination was memorable, a nice group had been assembled and it was a great September break from everyday life with you. – 10/10
Olli V

Finland

Overall a great experience and worth the trip. – 10/10
Jens W.

Finland

Sarek surprised greatly with its beautiful autumn colors and varying terrains. There was something inexplicable and prehistoric about hiking next to the rugged mountains. The experience was absolutely wonderful! – 10/10
Perttu P.

Finland

BACKPACKING INFORMATION

  • Date: September 17.–24. 2023 (Sunday-Sunday) [Fully booked] 
  • Location: Stora Sjöfallet and Sarek national parks, Sweden (see map)
  • Length: 70 km
  • Duration: 6 days (+ 2 traveling days)
  • Level of difficulty: 3/5
  • Passport: required
  • Visa: depends on your nationality
  • Travel insurance: required, extended insurance coverage recommendable
  • Start: Oulu, Finland (transport) | Suorva, Sweden (backpacking)
  • End: Suorva, Sweden (backpacking) | Oulu, Finland (transport)
  • Group size: minimum 6, maximum 8
  • Guides: 2
  • Guiding languages: Finnish, English, German, Swedish

Price: 1,190 € (including VAT)
Payment is due after the tour.

Please read the travel and cancellation policy

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE

  • Transport Oulu (FIN) – Suorva (SWE) – Oulu (FIN)
  • Hotel accommodation in Gällivare on the way back (accommodation in double rooms)
  • Sauna, dinner and breakfast at the hotel
  • Backpacking guidance (2 guides)
  • All permits and reports, safety plan and maps
  • Common satellite communication devices and First Aid packs

NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE

  • Trips to Oulu (FIN) and back
  • Possible accommodations in Oulu (FIN)
  • Hiking equipment
  • Backpacking food

ABOUT THE TRAIL

Route: The Heart of Sarek backpacking tour starts from the village of Suorva in the middle of Stora Sjöfallet National Park. The route ascends from the river valley forests to the treeless fell plateau opening up at the elevation of 800 to 1000 meters. After passing the glacier-covered Ähpár mountain it reaches the Heart of the Sarek National Park: the iconic Sarek fell massif. After following the east side of the massif for a day and a half, the northern end of the photogenic Guhkesvagge valley will be reached, and a view of the Akka massif, called Sweden’s most beautiful fell, and the surrounding fell plateau opens up. From this point the route turns to the east back to Stora Sjöfallet National Park and further back to the starting point in Suorva.

Terrain: The terrain in the area varies from easy solid ground to wet marshland, extensive boulder fields and difficult-to-pass willows, as well as grove-like forests on the lower slopes of the Suorva river valley. The tour mainly takes place on the fell plateau at an altitude of about 1000 meters, where the terrain is pathless, open and the views are unobstructed. The hike does not involve moving on glaciers or in other places that would require special equipment or insurance.

River crossings: There are numerous larger and smaller rivers flowing in both national parks. They can only be crossed by wading. For that, you have to prepare for the tour with suitable wading shoes (preferably Crocs) and trekking poles providing additional support during the crossings. Tip: waterproof socks (like Sealskins) help to keep your feet warm in cold waters. Guides help with crossings as needed.

Drinking water: Due to the isolation of the area, the natural waters are drinkable as such. There are plenty of rivers, streams and lakes in the backpacking area, so access to water is easy

Daily distances: Due to the pathless terrain, the nominal length of the daily walking distance is about 10 – 12 kilometers. The total length of the backpacking tour is about 70 km.

Ascents/descents: During the first days of tour, the most ascent meters are accumulated when ascending to the fell plateau (in total approx. 600 meters), on other days less (100 – 300 meters). Accordingly, the most descent meters are accumulated when returning back to Suorva on the last day of the tour.

Temperature: In September, the temperature in the area is typically between 0 … +10 °C, but can drop to –5 °C at night and nighttime snowfall is possible. However, permanent snow cover will not arrive in the area until October.

Daylight: In September, the length of the day in the are is 12.5 hours. The sun rises in the morning at 7:00 a.m. and sets at 7:30 p.m.

Northern lights: September is the ideal time to see the northern lights in the area. You can check information about the sun’s activity and the Northern Lights forecast, e.g., from the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s Space Weather Service. (The measuring stations located closest to the area are Muonio and Pello on the Finnish side)

Insects: Thanks to the cold nights, the time for mosquitoes in the north is over in September. We still recommend taking a mosquito hat/net weighing a few grams with you.

ROUTE PROFILE

ABOUT THE LOCATION

Stora Sjöfallet and Sarek national parks are located next to each other in northern Sweden near the Norwegian border. Efforts have been made to keep the areas as untouched and isolated as possible in order to protect the unique nature of the fells. There are no marked hiking trails, wilderness huts or other camping services in the national parks. The area is generally considered Sweden’s most challenging hiking destination.

The mountainous Sarek National Park is known especially for its majestic fell massifs and their dozens of peaks rising to more than 2,000 meters and more than a hundred glaciers. Stora Sjöfallet is characterized by the Akka fell massif and the wide lake and river valley that cuts through the park. The elevation difference between the fell peaks and the deep valleys between them is in the heart of Sarek about 1,300 meters.

TRANSPORT TO/FROM OULU

The price of the Heart of Sarek backpacking tour includes car transport from Oulu, Finland, to the starting/end point of the hike (Suorva, Sweden) and back to Oulu, Finland.

Getting there / Transport: The Oulu-Suorva transport starts at the Oulu railway station on Sunday, September 17, 2023 at 07:00 a.m. 

Getting back / Transport: The return transport will start on Saturday, September 23, 2023 from Suorva at around 1:00 p.m. At 15:00 we will reach our hotel in Gällivare, Sweden (accommodation, sauna, dinner and breakfast included in the price). The return journey from Gällivare starts on Saturday 24.9.2023 at 9:00 a.m. and you will reach Oulu around 5:00 p.m.

SAFETY & GEAR

A safety plan will sent to all participants in advance by e-mail. Please read it carefully.

For the tour all participants need backpacking gear suitable for autumn camping. Especially ensure your sleeping bag and pad are suitable for temperatures around 0 °C. in case of doubt, please send us an email and ask us.
Note: Trekking poles are a mandatory piece equipment! A tarp is a recommended accessory.

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