A late July afternoon, your drive into Arjeplog. The pink church Sofia Magdalena is a landmark, reflected in Sweden’s deepest lake: Hornavan. You decide to stay for a bit. You have 24 hours to do something exciting. So: what to do in Arjeplog, now that you’re here?
Afternoon: You take a turn into town at the Silver Museum and drive to Hornavan Hotell, just by the water. There are fishing boats in the marina at Skeppsholmen, the location of one of the tables in The Edible Country, and it’s available for bookings. But tonight, you settle for the view lake Hornavan has to offer, and a tasty piece of meat.
Sometimes things don’t have to be more complicated than that.
Before heading to bed, you go for a walk on Skeppsholmen. The sun sets into Hornavan, which is still as a mirror. Sweden’s deepest lake was a mecca for trolling fishing for a long time, among fishermen looking for trout and arctic char. These days it’s also famous because of ACWA Fishing.
Morning: After an early night you wake up in the early morning and have time for a walk before your hotel breakfast. It’s not difficult to find a pleasant hike along the water. Arjeplog is sometimes referred to as having a mountain archipelago, water and islands enough for everyone. You take Hamnvägen past Heli AB‘s helicopter hangar, perhaps you should take a sightseeing trip or a fishing trip?
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At Bertil’s Park you turn off towards OK/Q8 and then along Strömvägen, out on Kyrkholmen, before you turn back again along the Silver Road. You could have chosen to hike Vaukaleden, which is partly adapted for people with reduced mobility. That tour would take you 10 km and up to the view on Öberget and Hotel Silverhatten, another accommodation option in town, together with Kraja Camping. But mostly what you see is how pretty it is. Few places can offer this kind of setting, where the mountains end up more or less in your back garden.
Over breakfast you try to come up with a plan for the day.
The Silver Museum, with its Sámi silver collection, is an excellent start to a journey through the history spanning from hunter-gatherer traditions via Sámi culture to the high-tech car industry proving grounds of modern Arjeplog. The mountainous archipelago is spacious enough to fit outdoor activities of all kinds, without ever compromising the silence of the Arctic.
Have a chat with the local tourist information for more insights. arjeploglapland.se
Curious about living in Arjeplog?
Morning: A visit to the Silver Museum is a given. This museum is in every way possible a keeper of Arctic history, based on 100 years of passion and a personal story. You spend almost the entire morning there and then walk across the square to Arjeplog Vilt och Kafé to try another classic: Kaffetåren.
Few cafés in the north offer something as quintessential to the north as kaffetåren: coffee served with coffee cheese, dried reindeer meat, coffee meat and reindeer tongue.
You add all this to the coffee in your cup, then enjoy. This way of eating probably came about when it was winter, and to save time you’d boil the coffee and then heat up the meat and cheese by putting it into the cup. These days many in the north enjoy this, even when it’s not cold.
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Afternoon: You walk across the square to Coop, buy some snacks and then envisage an afternoon of sightseeing. You have your car. Gáldesbuovdda/Galtispuoda, the ski mountain clearly visible from the town, is a start if you want to see the mountain world and get a view of the mountain archipelago. At 800 metres above sea level, you can see the Norwegian mountains in one direction and Padjelanta in the other if the weather allows. The trails here also appeal to trail runners and hikers.
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On your way back you stop at Rapatjärn and the area known as Åsarna (the Ridges). They consist of nice paths out towards Hornavan, paths that pass by several places where archaeological remains tell stories about human activity here 7,000 years ago. There are nice bathing places and rest stops here for afternoon coffee and cake.
Packing up: You were planning on leaving but end up staying another night. A beautiful view, tasty food, and comfortable accommodation – why complicate your holiday? Tomorrow you can continue your journey along the Silver Road, perhaps turn off towards Laisdalen valley, or stop in Jäckvik and walk along Kungsleden, the King’s Trail, for a bit within the Pieljekaise national park. If you continue further west past accommodation at Polcirkeln, in Sandviken or Vuoggatjålme, you’ll reach Merkenes – a road that goes all the way up to the bare mountain, above the tree line.
If you choose to drive east, a stop at the Sami centre Båtsuoj, near Slagnäs, could be interesting. In Båtsuoj they have traditional forest Sami buildings, reindeers in an enclosure, and also an amazing sauna, if the weather is chilly. But of course it won’t be – you’re on holiday.
In Slagnäs, at Slagnäsforsen rapids, there’s really good fishing as well, just like in all of Arjeplog.