Camp Alta is the place where we stayed while we were in Kiruna, and it seems it’s going to be quite a long post, as most of the activities we did there were related to this camp.
Camp Alta has a lot of cabins located all around the Lake Altajärvi, which is about 15 Km in the south-east of the city of Kiruna. Despite that distance, is not a problem going from the airport or the train station to the camp or vice versa, as the owner (Leif) picks you up for free, and in the way he stops in a local supermarket so you can buy food.
As we were a big group (about 15 people), we had to split into two cabins (and one of the groups, the last day has to split into other two cabins), so I’m going to talk about some different types of cabins they have.
The 9-people cabin we saw (there are 2, my friends stayed in the 130 squared meters one), had 2 floors and were quite big. In the basement, it had a room with 2 beds, a huge full-equipped kitchen (with also a table and chairs), a huge living room with TV and fireplace, a shower and a toilet. The other floor was a big room with space for 7 rooms.
The 7-people cabin (64 squared meters) in which I particularly stayed wasn’t very big, but had a decent area. It had 2 small rooms with bunker beds (more or less like the one I stayed in Göteborg) and a third room with bunker beds and an extra individual bed. Aside from that, like the other cabin, it had a full-equipped kitchen (and a table and chairs in it), a living room with TV and a fireplace, and shower and toilet.
The 5-people cottage (24 squared meters) was too small for my taste, as it had two bunker beds and the rest of the people had to sleep in the coaches and a suppletory bed. It had a full-equipped kitchen and a table with some chairs. Also a shower and a toilet.
The 3-people cottage (12 square meters) was ridiculously small, with just the beds and a small kitchen. It had no toilet and no shower, so if you needed a toilet or a shower you had to go to the service building, which is a very small cabin about 50 meters away from the cottage.
If you need bedclothes or towels, Camp Alta rents you them for about 60 SEK, and while the bedclothes are OK, the towels are very small and soft as sandpaper.
Aside from the living premises, Camp Alta also offers a variety of outdoor activities and tours. In the free activities we can find skying, fishing in the ice or using the sauna, which is in a cabin over the lake and there’s room for about 20 people.
I particularly recommend the last one, which was quite interesting, not only because the sauna itself, but also for giving you the chance of having a bath in the frozen lake through a hole in the floor of the cabin, or running over the lake wearing just a swimsuit.
The tours offered aren’t precisely cheap per se (despite they are if you take into account all the costs involved), but are interesting, as they always relate riding a dogsled or an snowmobile, or in some cases, both of them, one after the other. For all of them, they give you warm clothes: special boots and sockets, a warm suit and a hat or helmet (depending on the tour).
Me, and all the people that went with me, joined the cheapest of the dogsled tours. With 4 people per dogsled, we rode for 3 hours around the surroundings of the lake, including coffee break of about 30 minutes. It was a great experience, even more if you take into account that the guide who was driving our dogsled let us drive for a while. (But in this picture, we were still of course, hehe).
The following day, some people took a 7 hours tour which involved going to the Ice Hotel by snowmobile, and then eating some reindeer with lingon a potatoes. The only thing I missed of that tour was eating reindeer, as the rest of the people organized a tour to the Ice Hotel and Kiruna city by car and bus.
And of course, with all the cabins and cottages being around the Lake Altajärvi, and 15 Km away from the closest city, if the sky is clear you can stand over the frozen lake to have a neat view of the northern lights.
I liked almost everything of this camp, as the big cabins were fantastic (and cheap), the tours very interesting, and the owner of the place very kind and funny. The only problem I see is that if you go there without a car and you want to go to the city, or other places, you have to rely too much in Leif, who usually is very busy and has to slip you into his tight schedule.
- Official site: Camp Alta.