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25 - Hemavan

Kungsleden

Not really a town so much as a shopping mall with a collection of accommodation and ski options, Hemavan sits on Bluvågen and acts as either the start or end of the trail.

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25 - Hemavan

Not really a town so much as a shopping mall with a collection of accommodation and ski options, Hemavan sits on Bluvågen and acts as either the start or end of the trail.

Trail Information

Distance: 0km

Difficulty: N/A

Transport: Buses into Umea twice a day. Daily flights to Stockholm from Hemavan Tanby Airport. Also on offer Helicopter trips to Ammarnäs.

Resupply: There are many options here from ICA Supermarket, the Fjällstation shop, and the shopping mall's activewear store.

Accommodation & Shopping

Trolltunet AB

Trolltunet is a cute 'alpine' village, set up just off the main road with a series of faux log cabins, which are done up in a modern style on the inside, and they're comfortable spacious. Due to corona, the breakfast buffet was cancelled, but instead, breakfast was provided in the room's fridge of meats, cheese, cereals, juice and coffee, so it was not a hardship.

Hemavans Fjällcenter

The largest place to stay in Hemavan is offering accommodation, an excellent restaurant, and a shop catering to hiking and fishing. The shop is a good size, and the hiking clothes are reasonably priced, but all high-end brands, so if you are looking for a cheaper change of clothes, try the Mall. I picked up a Patagonia mid-layer on a special offer.

The restaurant is excellent and features a wood carving, almost certainly by the same artist who crafted the miner that marks the front of Adolfstrom's Mining camp. The Reindeer steak was fantastic, as was the strawberry sorbet, fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

Hemavan Fjällstation

The Hiker's hostel, complete with a climbing wall on the outside. It doesn't appear to have a shop, nor does it sell the STF patches. (Naturum offers a small selection of hiking specific ones)

The hostel is a good size and a bit further back from the main town.

Café FICA Restaurang

A typical supermarket cafe on the upper floor of the shopping mall, its got plenty of seating and a good view.

Fjälls Kitchen

A fast-food joint near Trollstunet that sells great burgers and fries for a good price.

Bayhill Center

A small shopping mall contains a good-sized ICA supermarket, a Godis for snacks, a System for anyone needing a few beers or a bottle of wine. There is also a fun land for kids, an upmarket boutique and a decent sized activewear store called Sportringen Outlet focused on camping equipment.

Berglunds Järnia

West of Trollstunet, and just before the shopping mall, the ironmonger shares space with a petrol station.

Hemavans Högfjällshotell

A proper hotel at the top of the hill near Naturum was closed during my visit, catering more to the ski crowd.

Sights

Naturum Vindelfjällen Hemavan

At the top of the hill, near to the end/start of Kungsleden. Much like Ammarnäs and Abisko, it was closed for visitors due to Corona but did have a small table outside with information and the chance to buy some small souvenirs.

Fjällbotaniska trädgården

If you take the lift in the Naturum to the golden dome or walk around the outside, you can find the Botanical Garden, with Sami Ketan, and a large selection of native plants, all with detailed labels to learn more about the natural world you pass on the trail.

It is a lovely spot to walk around in nice weather and a nice break for a casual stroll after a month of heavy hiking.

Hemavankyrkan

A lovely church from the '70s in Falu Red, worth a visit. As a tourist town, the services in the summer are lead by priests from different areas of the country who come to visit.

Side Trails

Hemavan is the start of Kungsleden but also offers a range of other trail options. Check with one of the accommodation providers or direct with Naturum for options.

The Experience

Day 26 - 13th:

The sign marking the end of the Kungsleden is a kilometre or two walks into town. The Naturum and Naturum gardens are right next to the Sign, and following the information into town, you pass the Mountain Station. I was very early reaching my booked accommodation at Trollstunet and asked if I could leave my bag somewhere to explore the town. Instead, they gave me an upgrade to an available room, which I greatly appreciated, and everyone I would have met in town in my unshowered state.

Hemavan is quite compact, not really a town so much as a series of shops and hotels on the Blue Road. (Bluvägen)

East from Trollstunet is Wardhuset, and then further Hemavan Fjällcentre, where I picked up a clean top to wear as all of mine was deeply dirty from a few weeks on the trail.

Opposite Wardhuset is the old Kyrka, which is lovely and worth a visit.

West of Trollstunet, you find the shopping mall, and I managed to pick up some cheap jogging trousers to wear with my new hoodie once I was properly clean.

Surprisingly, there is no 'souvenir' store like you see in Saltolouka or the Sami store in Ammarnäs. It's a shame, given this is the endpoint if you are doing the trail the traditional way, it seems the natural spot to offer a few items to send as gifts. I'd recommend buying in Ammarnäs and using Ammarnäs Livs postal service to get things home rather than waiting for Hemavan.

Around midday, I didn't really feel that the trip was over. It felt so much like one of the way-stops on the trail that I'd not processed everything was done. I stopped for lunch in Fjällskitchen, a fast-food burger place, but the burgers were great.

I'd booked the later bus in the afternoon to give myself time in Hemavan, and I regretted it having looked around and realised how small the town actually was, as I'd reach Umea quite late in the day.

I ate dinner at the Fjällcentre, a cosy chilled out space, and the service was great, and they even made an effort to respond to me in Swedish.

Back in my room, I discovered the chairs were recliners.

Nigh drew near, and my following days' journey was on wheels rather than my own feet.

Day 27 - 14th:

7 am, and I was awake. It turns out coffee after dinner when you've been restricted to one morning instant coffee a day for a month is a huge mistake, and I barely slept.

I left my bag with the reception and took the long way up the hill to the Naturum. Past a site offering Skidoo storage units for summer.

Naturum was, of course, closed for Corona, but the small kiosk gave me the chance to get a patch, which, whilst not exactly what I was looking for, was a fitting end for the series.

The lady working there was super chatty and helpful, perhaps because they are typically information providers and museums rather than stores. From there, I took the elevator up to the golden dome, which has a walkway into the Botanical Gardens.

The garden is a good size with various paths around it—some proper nature trails, others wood walkways and everything in-between.

After another lunch at Fjälls Kitchen, I popped back into the Fjällstation shop for a walk and then chilled out in cafe FICA for an hour to wait for my five and a half hour bus trip Umea.

The views from the bus area great for most of the journey along the Bluvägen. Pine topped hills and so many lakes. Crossing bridges and paved routes over the water, and I pulled into Umea with the setting sun.