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Northern Lights in Abisko

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A light story

Abisko Östra, 8pm. Whatever the day, it’s sauna time. I grab a sweatshirt, step in my shoes and cross the 20 meters between the two chalets. I slow down as I take a short shower. Now I’m ready.

Abisko Östra, 8pm. Whatever the day, it’s sauna time. I grab a sweatshirt, step in my shoes and cross the 20 meters between the two chalets. I slow down as I take a short shower. Now I’m ready.

I walk into a dark wooden room. Only a faint golden light allows me to guess the shapes around. Four bodies are already sweating in the silence.

One waters the stones. I can feel a damp wave searing my skin. I breathe the burning air. It goes through my nose, down my throat and fills my lung. It’s so hot. It forces you to focus on your breathing.

But sometimes it’s too much.

I leave the sauna for the changing room. Or even outside. It’s cold, I know. However, it feels more like a relief to sit on the icy bench surrounded by the night.

Back in it looks like we tamed each other. We talk about our day, our plans. But with a deep voice. No more than one speaker at the time. We don’t want to disrupt the peace and quiet of the moment…

I would like to say that it’s where I leave you. It’s a nice place to stay a while. And take the time.

But it’s not.

It’s late and freezing. I only have a thick scarf but it’s enough: the warmth of the sauna is still burning inside me. I step down the porch and an incredible sight strikes me.

A long green curve tears away the dark sky... I’m staring at my first northern lights. I can’t take my eyes off the dancing line. They look like colorful waves moving and breaking the deep blue.

Even if I know that’s the magnetic field of the Earth and a solar particles stream reacting with each other, I can only dream about the legends of flying spirits or fire bridge built by the gods…

That’s where I leave you. Stuck in a magical place. Get amazed. Get impressed. Lose yourself following the lights. Wait for the clouds to cover the sky again. And go to sleep with stars and northern lights dancing in your heart.

Breathe the green air.


Special Thanks to Mélissa Lazzari without who I couldn't share her amazing pictures of the Northern lights we saw that night!

... Practical Corner

The hostel "" is absolutely wonderful, I recommend it! Nice people, happy to help and giving advices about hikes and others. And sauna is everyday <3 But as everywhere in Sweden: take your bed linen with you or you'll have to pay an extra...

Be aware that there isn't a lot to do in Abisko besides outdoor activities. No shops, no dance floor, just nature. It's a place where you live simply and enjoy what the landscape gives you. Note that when it's not high season almost everything is closed: there was only one supermarket opened (very small!) in Östra and that's it! So if you don't have a car choose wisely where and when you go ;)

It's possible to see the Northern lights almost all winter so check out the forecast for the electromagnetic activity on the sun to know when to look at the sky...

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The author

Eileen Robinson

Eileen Robinson

I’m Eileen, a Belgian living in France. I got the travel bug when I was so young that I don’t even remember it. I hope my stories will bring you to travel while reading!

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