Only people who can keep a secret are allowed to accompany the research scientist, Tomas Meijer, on this unique excursion through the Arctic fox’s natural habitat. You trek through the Lapland mountain world on a sturdy Icelandic horse, and sleep in a tent on Björkfjäll Mountain in the middle of Europe’s largest nature reserve, Vindelfjällen.
We cannot guarantee a sighting of the Arctic fox but you will visit its territory and see, smell and perhaps hear the animal. The Arctic fox is an endangered species and the location of the lairs must remain secret.
At Vindelfjällen Research Station in the small mountain village of Ammarnäs, the guides are introduced, the programme presented and equipment packed. Arctic fox researcher, Tomas Meijer, talks about the riding tour on Vindelfjällen, the animals and plants that you may encounter on the mountains, and how plants and animals are interlinked in Nature.
After dinner at Ammarnäs Wärdshus and a good night’s sleep at Vindelfjällen Research Station, we make our way to Bierganis reindeer pasture where our Icelandic horses are waiting. They are good-natured and stable animals, and are used to finding their way in the trackless mountain terrain.
The trek takes us over Björkfjället’s high grassy plateaus with their panoramic views. We stop many times to look for the fox’s lairs and droppings and grouse, and listen to interesting descriptions of the Sami lifestyle.
In the late afternoon, after riding about 20 kilometres, our group reaches the Fjällhästen log cabin at Båsatsjaure, situated 1,000 metres above sea level. Here, we are treated to dinner and spend the night.
Next day, the tour continues through the Vindelfjällen area. We will visit at least one uninhabited lair and continue to look for the Arctic fox. We are sure to see many birds of prey such as the golden eagle and long-tailed skua, before it is time to return to the log cabin where we enjoy dinner and spend another night.
After breakfast, it’s time to pack everything up and make our way back to Ammarnäs. This stage takes us over bare mountain areas and through mountain birch forest. Back at the Research Station, the wood-fired sauna is already warm, and we relax and discuss our adventure. Our final meal is enjoyed at Ammarnäs Wärdshus and we once again spend the night at Vindelfjällen Research Station.