March 4, 2020 | Sunvil Holidays
Holidaymakers looking for adventure just below the Arctic Circle can, from next winter, fly direct to Swedish Lapland from London with travel specialist Sunvil, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020.
From 18 December 2020, the new SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) flight will take you from London to Luleå, the coastal city in Northern Sweden, in just over three hours, with flights operating on Mondays and Fridays between 18 December 2020 and 15 March 2021. Flying direct, rather than at present via Stockholm, on a new aircraft, reduces carbon emissions considerably by 18-20%.
Luleå is the gateway to the frozen Bothnian Bay, the Lule and Råne river valleys plus the Arctic north, as well as some of the coolest hotels on the planet, including newly-opened floating hotel Arctic Bath, cosy retreat Brandon Lodge and the extraordinary Treehotel. On a multi-centre, tailor-made trip you can also enjoy a sub-zero stay at the iconic ICEHOTEL, or a stay in Finland’s renowned glass igloos.
When you’re not hot-tubbing or taking time for ‘Lagom’ (finding harmony and balance, the Swedish way), you can immerse yourself in the traditional lifestyle of the local Sámi people, or challenge yourself and learn a host of new skills, from cooking and dog-sledding, to snowmobiling, photography, ice-sculpting and more. Sunvil can carefully craft a Swedish Lapland trip for you, whatever your interests.
Sunvil will be adding the lesser-known city of Haparanda to its offering in 2020. This historical trading site is a 1.5 hour drive from Luleå and is twinned with sister city Tornio. They sit on each side of the Torne River, one in Sweden and one in Finland and in two different time zones – you can even celebrate the striking of midnight at New Year’s Eve twice! In Haparanda you’ll find the world’s northernmost IKEA and Sweden’s ugliest church, the old town is filled with neat wooden houses, cafés and shops selling handicrafts made by local artists and designers and you can even take the Icebreaker (a cruise through the crackling ice).
Chris Wright, Managing Director at Sunvil says: “Since Sunvil introduced Swedish Lapland in 2009, we’ve been hooked and haven’t stopped discovering and taking inspiration from the local people, their way of life and devotion to nature. We just fell in love with the region: its scenery, the people, the food, the wildlife and the fascinating local culture.
“We’re delighted to launch the first direct flights to Luleå and, in line with our ethos of introducing undiscovered destinations, we’ll be launching itineraries to smaller, lesser-known parts of this region ahead of the inaugural flight in December. “For us, it is about offering our guests an enriching holiday experience, one in which they’ll learn about the region’s heritage and traditional Sámi culture, explore the remarkable Lappish countryside and ultimately, find the real country.”
Nestled amongst the deep forests of Swedish Lapland, away from artificial light, this authentic-meets-luxury family-managed lodge consists of three traditional log cabins on the edge of the Råne River. Popular with couples and groups of friends alike, the quiet retreat is surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty. There’s nothing to disturb the peace other than your shrieks of glee as you head into the wilderness on fat bikes, sleds, snowshoes and skis (all complimentary). The cabins each feature a cosy interior, private outdoor hot tub and large panoramic north-facing windows, which make the perfect viewing spot for the Northern Lights.
Price from £1,989 pp (two sharing), including flights (Stansted), three nights’ full-board accommodation and shared transfers.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020, this truly unique retreat was inspired by the film ‘The Tree Lover’ by Jonas Selberg Augustsen, and consists of seven cabins, each suspended 4-6 metres above the forest floor. Each cabin is decorated in a contemporary design, from a ‘cube mirror’ covered in reflective glass to make it almost invisible to the human eye to the Bird’s Nest – a wooden hideaway positioned high in the trees and styled as a nest. The hotel’s restaurant is superb, too, and offers all kinds of local Swedish delicacies, from wild game to the finest hand-picked berries.
Price from £1,617 pp (two sharing), including flights (Stansted), three nights’ full-board accommodation and shared transfers.
The ultimate romantic retreat, switch off and allow yourself to relax and unwind in a warm and homely private timber cabin that’s perfectly made for two. Nestled in the middle of the forest, enjoy total silence and no light pollution – staying here is about ‘just being’. Connect with your surroundings through the gastronomy – a private chef will serve organic, gourmet, local meals to your table – or spend some romantic time stargazing from the outdoor hot tub.
Price from £2,645 pp (two sharing), including flights (Stansted), three nights’ full-board accommodation and private transfers.
Sustainable tourism is at the forefront of Sunvil’s ethos and is working hard to add rail-based itineraries to and within its destinations where possible. It has already successfully launched rail programmes from London to Greece: Corfu and Sivota, and looks forward to widening its net of rail-inclusive trips to Scandinavia later in 2020.
Sunvil is proud to offer carbon offsetting options for all trips taken by its customers – to carbon offset visits to Luleå with the World Land Trust costs just £9.88 pp (for the return trip). It also continues to support and give back to local communities and its trusted partners globally.
Notes to Editors: Award-winning holiday specialist Sunvil has pioneered many fascinating destinations in its 50-year history and has been at the forefront of environmental initiatives and good practice, protecting its destinations and – ensuring that local people benefit from tourism – for over 30 years.
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