Located on the North Calotte Trail in Sweden’s Lapland, Abisko National Park covers 77 square km (30 square miles) of sparkling fjords, stumpy mountains, birch forest, cave complexes carved into the rock, and spectacular waterfalls crashing through canyons. Elk and reindeer populate the landscape and the 440-km (275-mile) national hiking and Nordic skiing route of Kungsleden (King’s Trail) starts within the park.
During the endless days of summer, the reserve is a paradise for hikers and cyclists, carpeted with rare orchids and Alpine flowers; in winter there’s a permanent mantle of snow and the chance to ski or try out dog sledding and ice fishing adventures at the STF Abisko Mountain Station, which is 250 km (156.25 miles) north of the Arctic Circle. High above sea level on Mount Nuolja, the Aurora Sky Station is considered the best place in the world to view the elusive Northern Lights, thanks to the clarity of the air and lack of light pollution. The awesome cable-car journey up to the Sky Station provides amazing views over the wild landscape of the national park. Visit between June and mid-July to witness the midnight sun and from November through March to catch the Northern Lights.
STF Abisko Mountain Station and Aurora Sky Station: between Kiruna and Narvik in Abisko National Park. Open 24/7 all year around. Abisko has its own railway station, which is a 10-minute walk from the cable car up to the Sky Station. The park is also accessible by car on the E10 highway from Narvik, where a regular train service runs to Stockholm.