Swedish Lapland activity week

“Strap on your snowshoes and embrace the Swedish winter by learning how to ice-fish, embarking on a husky safari and crossing frozen seas in search of the Northern Lights. ”

Highlights

Luleå | Lodge accommodation | Forest walk | Wilderness lunch in traditional Sami tent | Snow mobile to Brändöskär | Aurora hideaway | Husky safari | Ice fishing | Northern lights watch
“Strap on your snowshoes, rev up the snowmobile and mush the huskies for a week of wilderness activities and Northern Lights watching as part of a small group in Swedish Lapland”

Highlights

Lapland's Luleå archipelago | cosy lodge accommodation | learn outdoor skills like fire making and ice fishing | forest snowshoe walks | wilderness lunch in traditional Sami tent | snow mobile to Brändöskär | candle-lit Aurora hideaway | husky safari | Northern Lights watch | free time for optional excursions |

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Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Swedish Lapland activity week

Environment
Water – As the water in Sweden is safe to drink, we suggest packing a refillable drinking bottle and drinking the tap water during the week. Water is heated by solar panels in the summer months when the sun is up! Water from snowmelt is collecting at the beginning of spring.
Waste - Our local operator follows a strict ‘leave only footprints’ policy. When groups stop for lunch, no rubbish is left and fire pits are buried with snow. Leaders also teach clients about how they impact on the local environment and want is done to try and keep this to a minimum.
There is a strict recycling policy throughout the lodge and all rooms have two bins one for waste and one for recycling.
Suppliers - All meat served at Pine Bay is from the local farm, just 600m from the property. Berries, mushrooms and fish are all bought from local farmers. Washing powders, shampoos and soaps are all organic.

Community
Local crafts and culture –We will have the opportunity to visit small souvenir shop at nearby Brandon Lodge sells a range of arts and crafts products made by local people, such as Sami jewellery and reindeer hides. By stocking these products, we are encouraging local and traditional methods of production and supporting the economy in the area.
Friends and Neighbours – Pine Bay Lodges sister hotel, Brandon Lodge sets aside a small field for the local Sami herders to keep their reindeer in winter. Guests are welcome to come and visit the animals and learn more about Sami culture and how important the reindeer are both economically and culturally.

The lodge employs local leaders and staff who know the area well and love to share stories about their local history and culture. Many families have lived in this region for generations. Employing them here, means they don’t have to move to larger urban centres to find work.
The popularity of this region of northern Sweden has given a boost to winter tourism all over Lapland. Previously areas that relied on their own nationals for winter income are now getting more visits from overseas clients, who stay for longer and spend more money. However, where most visits to the region are just for a couple of nights over a long weekend, on this trip you stay for a full week helping to provide weekly income from January to March.

UK office
It all starts at home so we have first worked to reduce our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.




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