After our 10 days road trip on the Baltic Sea, we wanted to stay remote from any big cities and do some more activities in the nature. That’s how we ended up staying in Skaulo, in Norrbottens län, in the middle of Swedish Lapland.
The area was indeed very beautiful but the real highlight of our time there was our stay at the Tiny Lakeside Home we found on Airbnb, at Barbara’s place. It is one of our all-time favourite place, so we can only recommend you to pack your jacket and visit Skaulo this winter!
Our stay at the Tiny Lakeside Home in Skaulo
At first, we did not really know what to expect from this place. We had found it was a dog sledding farm, with a tiny chalet and shared bathroom and toilets. We needed to work a lot during the week we spend there so we mostly enquired about the wifi speed.
When we arrive, late that night, after 4 hours driving in a snow storm, we were really happy to see the dogs and meet but we could not see much about the place itself as it was already really dark. Our chalet was very comfortable though, and everything – including shared areas – sparkling clean.
On the next morning though, and following the snow fall, everything was covered of snow and seems like a real snowy fairy tale. We discovered the lake just a few meters from the chalet, and every morning and every night, we have been watching incredible sunlights from the pier.
What to do near Skaulo
Ice skating on a frozen lake in Galliväre
As we bought ice skates in Luleå (where it was still too warm with too much rain to ice skate there), we really wanted to find a frozen lake we could ice skate on. Barbara, our host, told us she has been ice skating everyday for the past month in Skaulo, on the lake in front of her house, but few days before we arrived, it started to snow and the lake was now fully covered of snow. Most of the lakes are not cleaned from snow, so once the snow season has started, you cannot use ice skates on the lakes anymore.
However, as we were going to hike on the mountains next to Galliväre, we passed by a large frozen lake in front of the city, and we stopped there for a few hours. The snow had been cleaned all around the lake, and on a large square in the middle for a hockey fields to be delimited. What a freedom feeling to ice skate on a lake! It was the first time for us, far away from overcrowded ice rinks in big cities where we use to ice skate anymore.
Our tip: It is not easy to rent ice skates anywhere in Sweden. Actually, we have never seen that possible so far. It would be much easier to bring your own, or to buy some in one of the many sports or winter shops you will find on the way (Intersport, XXL, Stadium, etc). You can find a very good one for occasional ice skating for about 40 euros.
Hiking in Skaulo surroundings
One of the best activities we love to is hiking. We do hike everywhere: in Greece, in Lanzarote, in France, in Costa Rica. But to hike in Sweden is slightly different as you would need a proper equipment, not to freeze out.
Even if we had bought some of our technique clothes about two years ago for our trip to Iceland, in March 2019, we were definitely not ready for a hike in -15 degrees. Combining our ski clothes, some technique underwears and some local purchase (at Stadium, at InterSport, at XXL), we ended up with a full ready-for-cold outflit: technique underwears, silk gloves, normal gloves, wool hats, neck-warmers, ski pants, thin sleeveless jacket and proper winter jacket. Not to forget the thick ski socks and the snow-proof hiking shoes. One advice ? Never neglect hands, feet and neck.
Hiking on frozen lakes in Skaulo
As we were ready to explore the area, we were walking a couple of hours a day. Sometimes around the place we rented, on the frozen lake directly. Early in the season, it’s better to stay close to the edges of the lake, just in case. To be safe always ask locals if it’s safe for you to walk on a lake. But try not to miss it, it’s quite a feeling ! Barbara, our host, is actually running almost everyday on the lake during winter to reach the closest village. Much faster than through roads. That’s a pretty nice local lifestyle! Later on the season, snowmobiles will also drive around, and dog sleds! Be ready for some pretty nice views there!
Hiking near Skaulo
What we did was to drive around and to stop whenever the forest looks pretty. You will see many trails starting along the road, where it’s easy to park.
You can also check one our favourite hiking app – AllTrails – to find some nice hikes around you. We use it everywhere we go. And if there is nothing but you find a nice one, don’t hesitate to add it to the app for your fellow hiking travellers! We often check the app that to find some inspiration and we ended up finding some very nice hidden spot this way.
Chase the Northern Lights
Even if it was not really planned, we have been very lucky in Skaulo, to spot some beautiful Northern Lights right from our cabin! We were already ready to go to bed, so we changed very quickly and went straight to the forest. There, we spent about half an hour there, the moon was full and the sky was very clear. It was very easy to spot several Northern Lights, and it was amazing, to be just by ourselves, in the middle of nowhere, with the Aurora Borealis on the background. We came back home totally frozen but really happy. We still have a lot of work on the photographs though!
To take photograph of the Northern Lights, you need to configure and shot your photos in a very specific way. We can recommend this very good guide on happyworld.is.
Dog sledding in Skaulo
One of the main reason we decided to stay at Barbara’s place was mostly because of the dogs. She owns a husky / dog pack and is a dog sledding musher: she trains and leads them along the snowy road, forest or frozen lake. If you stay there, you will live just next to the dogs. They are all very kind and sweet, such a pleasure to visit them in the morning and cuddle them before going for some dog sledding.
We did not do dog sledding for too long, as it was not confortable that early in the season with so less snow for the dogs, but it was still an amazing experience, we cannot wait to do it again! What a unique feeling, to sled with the howling dogs and the polar lights – and the moon! – on the background. Truly a magical experience, we highly recommend.
Our one week visit to Skaulo was truly one of our favourite time in Lapland, and in Sweden in general. We were so close to the nature, to the dogs, we have seen the most beautiful sunlights of our lives and we were truly sad when we had to live, especially because we were heading to Kiruna, a big city, quite far from the dreamy nature we love.
Don’t hesitate to check Barbara’s place! It’s ideal for any nature seeker. Find more about Barbara and her adventurous lifestyle on her blog.