Stockholm & Luleå: A Winter Wonderland

Think of exhilarating adventures set in a winter wonderland reminiscent of C.S Lewis’s enchanted world; Narnia. Combine this with a stint in the uber-hip city of Stockholm, a chance to discover the culinary magic of Sweden, and top it all off with a night kipping in the world’s only tree hotel set in the midst of the forest, and you’ve got a whirlwind tour of the best this country has to offer.

Styling in Stockholm

Touch down in the one of the chicest and most design innovative cities in the world. With its cobblestone streets and terracotta and saffron colored buildings that reflect into the shimmering lake, it’s no wonder this place is a favorite of ours here at Black Tomato. With an up and coming restaurant scene and vibrant bars found across the city, it’s a place to exhilarate the senses and let your hair down.

Check into the achingly fashionable Lydmar Hotel, which is perfectly placed across the bridge from the old town and a stone’s throw from the gorgeous boutiques; just make sure to make enough room in your bag for all your new trinkets. For those looking for a bit of culture, Stockholm has stacks of it. For art aficionados, you’ll find works from 17th-century Dutch Baroque master, Riddarhuset, or for those into more contemporary visuals then the Södermalm district is in no shortage of buzzing subway galleries. All that exploring the city will work up an appetite, so we’ll let you in on our favorite stylish restaurants and cutting-edge bars to indulge in some Swedish fare and tipple.

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Into the wilderness

From the excitement of the city, hop on a quick flight to Luleå, in northern Sweden. Set on the edge of the Gulf of Bothnia overlooking a stunning archipelago, it’s an off the beaten track destination that sets the scene for some epic adventure. Leisurely take in your surroundings, and stroll through the narrow streets stopping off at Roasters café for a spot of people watching.

After a good nights rest at the Elite Hotel, your first adventure will literally lift you off your feet as you take off on a hovercraft trip floating 30 centimetres above the ice. See the outer edges of the frozen archipelago from a new perspective, and make sure to keep your eyes open for seals and sea eagles soaring silently above you.

Following a light lunch, it’s off to the scenic UNESCO heritage church town of Gammelstad. Seeing the picturesque red and white wooden cottages and simple stone church covered in a blanket of white transports you back to the 15 Century when churchgoers would reside on their weekend pilgrimages. A unique insight into true Scandinavian history.

Traversing the ice

The next day, make your way to the island of Hinderson, where the secret beauty of Jopikgården offers a traditional Swedish experience. No snow filled jaunt would be complete without testing out your driving skills on the back of a heart-stopping snowmobile, and Hinderson’s scenic surrounding are the perfect place to head out into the unknown. Once you have navigated your way home, an inviting kitchen awaits you, serving up mouthwatering gourmet Swedish fare, inspired by locally produced food that will warm your bones. For starters, we love Löjrom, a tasty local caviar followed by a hearty dish of smoked reindeer. For those handy with a fishing rod, you can even catch your own supper, then cook it yourself at your lodgings. To truly appreciate the sheer size and beauty of the frozen archipelago, and to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights we recommend hopping on a snowmobile and heading out at full speed across the bewitching landscape.

Treetop living

Let your imagination run wild for the next two nights as you hole up in one of the most imaginative hotels we’ve ever seen. Inspired by the film ‘The Tree Lover’, about three men from the city who wanted to get back to their roots by building a treehouse together, Britta and Kent Linvall decided to take it one step further. The couple has attracted some of Sweden’s top architects, helping them to build some of the most unusual, ecologically friendly treehouses which allow visitors to live in harmony amongst nature. Suss out your room hidden amongst the trees, from the floating UFO, giant nest, and our personal favorite the mirror cube, camouflaged behind mirrors reflecting the forest on every angle.

It’s not just a playful night’s sleep you have come here for though, its time to get ready to work your legs as you choose between either kick sledding or cross-country ski tours across the glittering white landscape in the pursuit of the magic of the northern lights. The next morning proves to be a little more relaxing as you huddle up under a warm fleece blanket in a horse-driven sleigh to experience the magical snow-covered winter landscape.

Soak up the city

Today you’ll leave behind the head wintery wilderness and head back the city. Stockholm’s trend-setting haven welcomes you back to city life as you return to the luxury and familiarity of the Lydmar hotel for your last night to explore the city. There’s still enough time to do any last minute shopping you might have missed out the first time around before boarding your plane home.