ARCTIC LIFESTYLE

The everyday arctic lifestyle is deeply rooted in nature. We live our lives under the northern lights and the midnight sun, amid hail and black flies, wet snow and intense sunlight. We dry our meat in the spring, smoke our fish in the summer and boil our coffee over an open fire all year round. For us, Swedish Lapland is not really a place, but rather a way of life.

Meet the locals
  • Árbediehtu

    Simply put, painter and craft artist Leila Nutti is a jack of all trades. But what she does is perhaps more aptly described by the Sámi word árbediehtu.

    Håkan Stenlund
  • From joik to Airijoki

    Telling a great story has always been important. In fact, some claim that homo sapiens thrived as species due to their skills in gossiping. From jojk to Airijoki, from stories to songs, this place is known for a good vibe.

    Maria Broberg
  • The embroidered
    resistance art

    She celebrates her 40th anniversary as an artist, Sámi narrator Britta Marakatt-Labba. This is also how long it has taken Swedes to discover her art. The breakthrough was international for this resistance artist who tells her story with the needle as a brush.

    Håkan Stenlund

A HYMN TO HOME

Lennart Pittja runs the award-winning eco-lodge Sápmi Nature Camp in the Laponia world heritage in Swedish Lapland, on the grounds his Sámi reindeer herding community Unna Tjerusj has inhabited for generations.

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GEUNJA

Some claim Geunja is one of the best-kept secrets of Swedish Lapland, not least the fortunate ones who have gotten a humbling glimpse of the everyday life here in the Arctic as a Sámi.

THE LAND OF THE SÁMI

The Sámi culture is traditionally strong, and since the Sámi have lived and worked in northern Sweden for millennia, the culture is a big part of our Arctic lifestyle in Swedish Lapland.

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Arctic lifestyle
  • To the top of Nieras

    The road to Ritsem through World Heritage Laponia is probably one of the most beautiful roads in Sweden. It is also an easy way to get straight to a high-mountain environment with fantastic opportunities for ski touring. The mountain Nieras at Stora Sjöfallet is an amazing and easily accessible ski touring gem.

    David Björkén
  • The woods

    A breath of fresh air never hurts. That has always been our roundabout way of trying to explain what it is that makes nature good for us human beings. But the results of more and more research in recent years have shown just how beneficial spending time in the great outdoors is for human health and wellbeing. Science confirms a piece of time-honoured folk wisdom. It’s time for a walk in the woods.

    Håkan Stenlund
  • Outdoor fika

    That Swedes have their fika (coffee and a snack), and that they drink lots of coffee, are well-known facts. But what's the thing about having it outdoors? What's the deal with coffee boiled over an open fire?

    Maria Sirviö

THE WAY WE EAT

When in Swedish Lapland, exploring the nature of the Arctic, chasing the northern lights or just soaking up the sun 24/7, make sure you don’t miss out on the food. Some of the food we eat might sound a bit strange, but we highly recommend you try and get a taste of Swedish Lapland.

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Stories told with names

Many towns, mountains, rivers in Swedish Lapland bear the names given to them by the Sámi people, usually describing their characteristics. When reading a map of Swedish Lapland, knowing the meaning of some Sámi words adds another fascinating dimension to the landscape.

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A place to preserve

Just outside Luleå, you'll find the church village Gammelstad. This used to be where Luleå city centre was located right up to the 17th century, with red log cabins in a kind of organised chaos around one of Sweden's most beautiful churches. It's a unique place and something to preserve for future generations.

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Anything but wilderness

On a headland called Viedásnjárgga in Stora Sjöfallet National Park lies Naturum Laponia. It's a place that tells a story of mountains on the other side of the lake and how reindeer find their way here year after year. It tells part of the story of why this place was awarded the title World Heritage.

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Outdoor living
  • Gravel roads

    If biking in Swedish Lapland were a song, which song would it be? Take Me Home, Country Roads, John Denver's 1971 hit, would definitely be in the running. Dusty gravel roads, blue mountains and that constant feeling of being right at home.

    Håkan Stenlund
  • The waterways

    From the four national rivers to tiny water mirrors in the forest. From rafting boats to kayaks and canoes. It is impossible to miss all the water in Swedish Lapland. Big and small, flowing or still. Perfect for paddlers and the curious.

    Håkan Stenlund
  • Go hiking

    Getting just the right amount of physical activity will do you good. This is common knowledge. It's also said that nature is a healer for both body and soul. Maybe more so than ever in late summer when the colours begin to change, from sharply green to fiery red and orange. The air becomes wonderfully crisp and fresh, filling your lungs and your mind with energy.

    Ted Logart

THE KING'S TRAIL

This is Sápmi, a slowly changing cultural land. The 450-kilometre long trail will take you through the Laponia World Heritage, four national parks and the headwaters of Sweden’s four remaining national rivers. This is the most beautiful hike up north, covering some vast and wild land.

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An Arctic lifestyle

We define the destination Swedish Lapland in a hundred ways or more. For the mountains, forests and wetlands, and for the major rivers flowing continuously to the sea and the archipelago. For the people who live here and for the broad, untouched expanses of untamed nature. For art, music and literature. For a cultural landscape and for wildlife.

Naturally, our everyday arctic lifestyle also defines us as people. The seasons, distances, and climate have dictated a special way of life and a life in which nature is a major aspect, almost like a religion. Of course, for many, the geographic boundaries of Lapland, drawn by rulers many hundreds of years ago, are more important than the actual soul of the place. But what we are trying to define is an arctic soul. But what is that?

Indigenous people lived here long before a Swedish king moved the boundaries for his domain farther north. The king’s men called these people Lapps, but they called themselves the Sámi and their homeland Sápmi. Sápmi is a borderless land that stretches across the entire Nordkalotten region, from northernmost Norway, over northern Sweden, into northern Finland, all the way to the Kola Peninsula in Russia.

Today we also refer to this region as Arctic Europe. It is a part of the world that has become increasingly interesting for major political powers, foreign investors and oligarchs. Naturally, this destination, Swedish Lapland, is a vital part of the global fabric, but it has been shaped since time immemorial in a multicultural melting pot. Via our neighbours to the east and west – Finnish Lapland and northern Norway – we are the only part of Sweden to share national boundaries with two countries. And, somewhere at this intersection, there is something that we wish to define as a unique lifestyle.

Amid the clatter of reindeer hooves, fiery sermons, and weathered log cabins, something very exciting have emerged. It is an everyday arctic lifestyle deeply rooted in nature that we wish to share. We live our lives under the northern lights and the midnight sun, amid the hail and black flies, wet snow and intense sunlight. We dry our meat in the spring, smoke our fish in the summer and boil our coffee over an open fire all year round. And we put ‘coffee cheese’ in our boiled coffee because we love the taste and the squeaky sound it makes between our teeth.

For us, Swedish Lapland is not really a place, but rather a way of life. And you are welcome to share it with us.

Also read
  • The edible country

    The freedom to roam is an essential part of life in the Nordic countries. In the Arctic region, it is a large part of our culture and our well-being. To be able to access and live off the land is a privilege for campers and foragers, but it also comes with responsibility. This is the edible as well as the drinkable country.

    Håkan Stenlund
  • The eagle’s nest

    In the village Kalvträsk outside Skellefteå, wildlife photographer Conny Lundström has constructed a number of hides where photographers can experience a photo session with golden eagles up close. British photographer Dani Connor came here for that very reason: to capture golden eagles with her camera. But when she returned home, her memory cards were filled with pictures of squirrels.

    Håkan Stenlund
  • A frozen icon

    In the village of Jukkasjärvi, outside Kiruna, lies the original ICEHOTEL. Every year, since 1989, it has been reincarnated in a new rendition and there’s always more to come. From the beginning this was kind of a crazy idea in the winter, nowadays it’s as crazy all year round.

    Emma Forsberg