We are Mauro Marchesoni and Anki Andersson, and we run Luleå Adventure. Mauro is originally from Trento in Northern Italy, but moved to Sweden in 1994 and settled here in Luleå. He’s always been interested in dogs in general, and his interest in sled dogs began when his daughter wanted a dog. That first dog was Laika, an Alaskan Husky/Malamute mix. Over the years the pack got bigger and several Siberian Huskies were added, and the idea for a tourism business was born.
I, Anki, come from Gammelstad/Luleå. I too have always been interested in dogs and I’ve had many different breeds over the years. Since I met Mauro, Siberian Huskies have been close to my heart.
The company Luleå Adventure was established in 2006 and in the beginning it was a side-line business as we worked for Luleå Council. Since 2016 we run the company on a full-time basis. New dog pens were built during the summer and more dogs purchased. We built a grill-and-sauna Sámi tent in autumn. Late that autumn we had six new, gorgeous puppies. During winter 2017 we’ve welcomed many tourists from different parts of the world. We offer a familial experience near Northern Swedish nature. Our visitors get to meet our friendly and talented dogs.
We’ve got various dog sled tours on offer. You can go on a sled tour during the day, but also at night – the later could be an exciting option. Our tours are suitable both for families with children of different ages and the more adventurous souls. Our motto is flexibility. We can also provide transfer from your hotel, and you are welcome to book the wood-fired sauna.
When you arrive we go into the grill hut and choose clothes and shoes. We have a chat and get to know each other. Then it’s time to say hello to our beautiful purebred Siberian Husky. The dogs can make quite a lot of noise, as we have 24 of them. But they are all friendly and happy when they meet new people. If you want to we can show you how to harness the dogs and you can help out. The dogs know what’s going on and are happy to be harnessed.
When we have attached the dogs to the sled they are very eager to get going and there is barking and yapping galore. To reduce their stress levels it’s important to sit down quickly on the sled. When the Guide cries GO the dogs explode and take off at great speed. After a couple of kilometres they calm down and start running in a more moderate tempo. The guide gives the dogs commands as they tirelessly run through the forest, across open fields and streams.
Dog sledding is a great way to experience nature. The cold, clear air on your face, the silence of the forest, the runners sliding gently on the snow – it’s an experience in itself. If we’re lucky an elk or a herd of reindeer might appear.
Halfway we stop and let the dogs rest; a great opportunity for photos. Then we continue the journey back home. Once we’re back we help take the harnesses off and put the dogs back in the pens.
We serve hot drinks and sandwiches in our cosy grill hut before the return trip to the hotel. If you have any allergies or preferences when it comes to sandwich fillings, please let us know when booking. We use organic ingredients produced in Ale, or near Ale. The honey we produce ourselves on the farm.
Dogsledding in the evening is a different experience. Head torches illuminate the road as we travel through dark forests. If you’re lucky you might get to see the northern lights dance across the sky on a starry night. A magical experience that is very appreciated by our guests.
You can also try mushing the team yourself. Then we go through how the sled works and what to consider while sledding. Our experience has taught us that 6-8 dogs, depending on weight and snow conditions, is just right for beginners. You get a manageable team that doesn’t run too fast. We help each other to harness and fasten the dogs. If there are two of you, you share one sled. One mushes and one sits on the sled, halfway you switch so both get to have a go. The guide runs the first team and keeps and eye on the road and your team. We put safety first and it’s important that you pay attention to the dogs in your team and the guide. It’s an exciting and educational experience that shows how dogs and humans work together.
After a healthy, fun-filled dog sled tour it’s nice to get into the warm hut and have a cup of hot coffee or tea. If you’re very cold you can warm up properly in our cosy wood-fired sauna. To get the blood circulation going you can thrash yourself with a bunch of twigs and once you’re really warm the brave rush out into the snow and make snow angels. We provide soap and towels. When you book the sauna, cold drinks and a meal afterwards are also included. We serve a typical dish from North Bothnia using organic, local ingredients. A typical North Bothnian dish could be thin sautéed pieces of reindeer meat with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam, Nikkaluokta soup or elk-meat soup with dumplings. Please notify us of any allergies in advance.
It’s important to think about how you’re dressed in the cold when you go dogsledding. Even if it’s only a few degrees below zero, the wind makes it a lot colder. Also you stand up, or sit still, for at least one hour. Then it’s important you’re properly dressed. Ideally a base layer of wool, a thin woollen sweater and a thicker jumper under your jacket. You need a pair of warm trousers to wear underneath the thermal trousers as well as thick socks in a pair of lined boots, double gloves and a warm hat. You can rent shoes and snowmobile overalls here.
Our company is located between Ale and Selet, two small villages around 40 km southwest of Luleå Centre. Ale is an old village with a long history. A mill from the mid-17th century is preserved and used as a café in summer. In Selet there’s a preserved old iron works from the 18th century which is now part of a nature reserve.