Here at Off the Map Travel we know that everyone’s interpretation of adventure is different. That is why we love getting to know you so that we can put together an itinerary that is perfect for you. We also love to travel to the many incredible destinations that we offer. This way, we get to know every single detail and can offer you recommendations and secret insider tips that add to the magic of your adventure!
In March, travel designers Alice and Shivani did just that and journeyed to one of our favourite destinations – Lulea in Swedish Lapland. This incredible Archipelago is a region rich in towering forest trails, frozen waters, cultural heritage and warm hospitality in a setting second to none. Here are our top Lulea highlights…
Tapas-style Tasters at Hemmagastronomi
We arrived in Lulea hungry for adventure, but mainly hungry for food! We followed our stomachs to Hemmagastonomi – an inviting deli, bakery and evening food bar. The evening meal consists of small taster dishes, which was perfect for us as we couldn’t possibly decide on one thing! Our table was quickly filled with a range of delicious sights and smells, and we didn’t waste any time tucking in! This restaurant will certainly be high on our list of recommendations for Lulea – fantastic service, and the perfect way to sample a whole range of delicious local food. Off the Map Travel founder Katie firmly believes the cinnamon buns from the bakery here are the best in the world!
During our time in Overkalix, we paid a visit to the Arctic Moose Farm, where we were warmly greeted by Ola Rokka. The Rokka family have been Sami Reindeer Herders for several generations, and are proud to share their stories with curious visitors. We were led through a wood cabin, and through a gate where the moose had gathered, patiently awaiting their afternoon snacks. We couldn’t quite believe how huge they were! They towered above us, with their inquisitive noses searching for the carrots they knew we were hiding. We had a wonderful time feeding and interacting with the herd of moose – while Ola Rokka tried to persuade us to ‘kiss the moose’… we were not convinced, but left with a newfound admiration for these friendly and inquisitive animals!
Off-road Snowmobile Adventure
One of the activities we were most looking forward to trying for ourselves was snowmobiling! Having never tried anything like this before, and hearing many exciting stories from our colleagues and customers, we had apprehensive butterflies as we suited up from head to toe. After a detailed introduction into how on earth to drive these huge machines, we were off across the frozen sea! We stopped several times to take in the incredible beauty of the frozen landscape, with the blue skies and bright sunshine perfectly contrasted against the glistening frozen archipelago, and we couldn’t believe the absolute silence in the air. On our second snowmobile adventure, we got a little over-confident… and both of us had to be rescued! Shivani created her own off-road trail, which led her straight into the path of a tree! And Alice misjudged the depth of the snow which surrounded us, and ended up completely stuck, waist deep in the powder snow!
A Night in the Treetops
Spending a night in the incredible Treehotel is at the top of many of our guests wishlists – and we know why! The seven rooms that make up this architectural wonder are nestled on the hillside of the Lule River Valley amongst towering snow capped pine trees. Our room for the night was the remarkable Blue Cone. Painted bright red, and accessed by a bridge this traditional wooden structure accommodates up to 4 people making it perfect for families and even small groups. The large floor to ceiling window and skylight in the loft offer incredible views of the valley and skies as we kept watch for the Northern Lights! As the sun dipped we decided to follow one of the marked trails through the forest which led to a spectacular panoramic viewpoint of the tranquil landscape – a secret spot not to be missed!
Arctic Wilderness Camping
Here at Off the Map Travel we are always looking for new and unique experiences to offer our guests. For those in search of adventure, camping in the Arctic Wilderness is certainly one of those experiences! Surrounded by a frozen lake, the camp sits elevated in the forest accessed only by snowmobiles! The traditional teepee style tents were kept warm by a classic log burner (as well as an additional all night burner) and we were welcomed warmly by our hosts and guides.
The most amazing part of this experience is the freedom for guests to explore however they wish, be it with the fat bikes, skis or kick-sleds, and also the expert local knowledge of the amazing guides. As we woke early the following day, the beautiful dappled light of the Arctic sunrise illuminated the pristine wilderness – certainly one of the best views that we have witnessed on our travels!
For more information on any of our Lulea highlights please contact the team today. Travel designers Alice and Shivani would love to talk to you about their experiences as well as the many other opportunities for adventure that await!