We're looking at having our honeymoon in Lapland in March next year and like the sound of the Exodus tour (lapland & the icehotel) which starts in Kiruna (this has lots of activities such as huskys and snowmobiles). However we would also like to have a week nearby chilling out in a log cabin somewhere quiet & romantic, with the option to go downhill skiing if we fancy.
We don't like anything too touristy & would prefer to stay in a local village rather than a resort hotel. Does anyone have any ideas or recommendations on where we can stay near Kiruna that would fit in with our ideals?
i cant tell you anything about it really, but a chick on my myspace friends list has been to the same place youre talking about, http://www.myspace.com/perusilvia check out her blog about it (i think she wrote one..) if not, then contact her and ask her! shes a bit of a travel guru so she'll have good advice!
Downhill skiing from Kiruna isn't particularly easy, due to a lack of useful hills. There are LOTS of Cross country skiing options etc instead.
The nearest Skiing resort is Riksgränsen, North West of Kiruna on the train (about 2hours) and right on the Norwegian border (aat least two of the ski runs start in Sweden but end in Norway) which is an odd but cool little place. It even allowws skiing in the midnight sun later in the year, and the season doesn't even start until mid feb due to a lack of daylight. However, Riksgränsen is basically a resort, not a "real" village. There are a few nearby places, like Kattejåk, with huts and stuff, but they are mostly part of the resort area.
In terms of local villages, the best i can do is Åbisko, which is about 30mins from Riksgränsen (on the way from Kiruna), and which is the only viollage of any relevance at all around there. There is a possibility (if you don't have a car) to get a train over in the morniung to go skiing and then get back that evening.
Regarding Kiruna, I'd highly recommend (1) going on a self drive husky trip (i.e., you learn how to drive them yourself, instead of just sitting in a sled whilst somebody else drives) and (2) going on a tour for 3 or 4 (or more) nights. This is your best chance to end up out in the wilderness. If you ask for it, it will just be the two of you (plus guide) and you'll be out alone sleeping in huts and sledding between them, often without seeing sign of another human for a couple of days, and then watching the northrn lights.
You can also of course go on a shorter (and using a much larger number of dogs) guided trip where you just sit in the sled.
Around the IceHotel are a number of log cabins as well (most people stay in site for two or three nights, but only actually in the Hotel itself for one night), and other possibilities, including a few private cabins for hire, but you'd probably have to go through the Swedishg tourist board to find out whats available and where.