A Visit to Kangos Guesthouse
Our Scandinavia Tailor Made Specialist, Mark, set off to explore authentic Sweden at Kangos – a traditional guesthouse in Swedish Lapland.
The journey from the Icehotel
I set off from the Icehotel in a shiny red Mini Countryman to visit the Kangos Guesthouse some 120 km away. The drive was exciting – the temperature was -38.5C and the Sat Nav didn’t speak English, but the route was easy and I had clear directions. Out the window I saw lots of snow and plenty of reindeer grazing, although sadly, I saw some reindeer road-kill too.
Kangos Guesthouse is 9km off the E10 arterial road that connects northern Sweden to northern Norway. It is well signed but unfortunately in the wrong language: I didn’t realise that I should have been looking for signs to the ‘Wardhaus’, which was Swedish for guesthouse!
After driving past several times I pulled into the main house. At the door I was met by the owner Johan and his wife, who welcomed me in.
The Guest House comprises of a main building surrounded by converted farm buildings which are connected by quaint little pathways dug through the snow. I enjoyed coffee and cinnamon buns with Johan in the main house before being shown around. Johan is an ex-school teacher who is now a business man, joiner and knifemaker – a really interesting man to talk to and a great host.
The interior of the main house is wooden and filled with beautiful antique furniture. This main building has some bedrooms, and also serves as the main dining room where the food is prepared and served in a smorgasbord – help yourself – style. There’s also a large sitting area above the ground floor with excellent views across the nearby frozen lake and the distant sun which was attempting to creep over the horizon.
Behind the main house is a traditional log sauna and next to that is a Jacuzzi that can accommodate up to eight people. Johan told me that, despite the cold, all you need is a warm hat to stay safe once your body is submerged.
Things to do and who should stay here
There is a full range of winter activities to try, including snowmobiles, icefishing and husky sledding. This last one is off-site, but is easy to arrange. Kangos is open in the summer months too, and Johan can take groups out fishing, or searching for cloud berries in the splendid isolation of the Lapland wilderness. This location is great for families and couples – especially ones who are intrepid or really want to be stimulated by their surroundings.
I would recommend a couple of nights here with one night at the Icehotel so that you get a good combination of traditional Swedish life and the spectacle of the Icehotel. I felt like I had glimpsed real Sweden – and I would love to return!