Håkan Stenlund

A father. Writer. Fly fisherman. Bird hunter. Content manager at Swedish Lapland Visitors Board. Patagonia Ambassador. And low budget environmentalist.

  • Articles

    113

The food story

Filleting fish by a lake called Sårgåjávrre stand Lennart Pittja and chef Johan Eriksson. The morning’s catch will be just enough for the evening meal. A fire has been lit in the old smoking hut. This...

2020-05-23

The woods

A steady, refreshing breeze blows through the forest at Arctic Retreat. Sometimes the wind grabs hold of the trees around the log cabin, where I am staying. The trees sway gently in time with Nature. ...

2020-05-22

Architectural dreams

Bertil Harström, a fly fisherman and architect, has already turned 70. This afternoon he takes a stroll outside Arctic Bath, a new cold bath-house on the Lule River outside Harads. The concept was bor...

2020-05-20

The waterways

It is a clear, but slightly chilly early summer morning in the forest. The night mist lingers like minute clouds in the deep valley of the Laisälven river. The rays of the sun have yet to reach all th...

2020-05-19

The longest silence

But that doesn’t happen very often. Most fish are ridiculously small, hardly worth mentioning. Honestly, who wants to hear the story about when you caught a couple of char that was big enough to fill ...

2020-05-01

Gravel roads

Nalovardo, June, at the peak. Without stopping at the turning area by the top cabin I pedal on along the road that leads to the peak cairn: a kind of mountain stage, or Strava segment, that I have man...

2020-04-28

A stay in history

Lenin was here. And then he went home and started a revolution. There is a blue plaque in the waiting room at Haparanda train station that tells us how Lenin, the old comrade, stopped here in Haparand...

2020-04-23

A road trip for the hungry

In the old days, you could be arrested for loitering. Ambling along in the world without plans was seen as very suspicious behaviour. These days it’s different, and spending a day doing nothing is mor...

2020-04-13

The king of all trails

The King’s Trail extends through a varied mountain landscape in Sweden’s Arctic destination Swedish Lapland. The Swedish name is ‘Kungsleden’ and it was used by the Swedish Tourist Association – STF –...

2020-03-30

The way we eat

Kaffeost In Tornedalen, the coffee cheese is called kahvijuusto, and in Swedish we call it kaffeost. It could be a fresh cheese that in many ways resembles the Italian mozzarella. But in northern Swed...

2020-03-28

Driving on ice

Eric Gallardo drives fast. The chicane on what’s a perfect copy of the formula-1 track, Paul Ricard, on the metre-thick ice of Lake Uddjaur comes up very quickly. Unlike Eric Gallardo’s own knuckles o...

2020-03-16

A place to preserve

Red log cabins in a kind of organised chaos around one of northern Sweden’s most beautiful churches – this might not be a completely accurate picture of World Heritage Gammelstad, but that’s what it f...

2020-03-13

Adapted for the Arctic

It is not by chance that the reindeer on Svalbard are short-legged, while the reindeer of the woodland Sámi villages in Sápmi have longer legs. Long legs are a disadvantage on mountain slopes swept by...

2020-03-11

The higher land

Padjalanta/Badjelánnda means the higher land in Lulesámi. It’s Sweden’s largest national park, right next to the Norwegian border. The Padjelanta National Park is a part of the World Heritage Site Lap...

2020-03-09

Chad chose Abisko

Chad Blakley’s interest in photography began at an early age. As a teenager, he worked for a local newspaper in a small town outside New Orleans, Louisiana. During his college years, he started a smal...

2020-03-07

The Arctic light

Kaamos If you translate it directly, Kaamos means – darkness. But those who live in the polar regions know that’s not the case. It’s how the snow magically reflects blue light; Kaamos is the word used...

2020-03-06

The national parks

Most things in life aren’t as obvious as they might seem. On one side of lake Torneträsk, we find Vádvečohkka (Vadvetjåkka) National Park, one of Sweden’s wettest areas. On the other side of the same ...

2020-03-01

World’s best place for northern lights

On a beautiful Tuesday night, we take the chairlift from the village of Abisko towards the top of mount Njullá. It’s cold and crisp, the full moon is out, and the stars are abundant. We see a faint gr...

2020-02-01

The travels of a Solar Egg

The sauna Solar Egg was created by Riksbyggen together with artist duo Bigert & Bergström and installed in Kiruna. Since then the sauna has become a global success and taken on a tour around the world...

2020-01-31

Visut – a story of the reindeer

Our home, Swedish Lapland, has been formed by the Ice Age, the seasons and the reindeer. And we, too, have lived our lives in the shadow of the forces of nature. At Nutti Sámi Siida in Jukkasjärvi, a ...

2019-10-30

The aurora whisperer

Experiencing the Northern Lights is on many people’s bucket list. Travellers from around the world head north to experience the celestial phenomenon, hoping to snap a picture of it. Been there, done t...

2019-10-28

The great race of mercy

In Junosuando, a village located on the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland, there’s a statue of Leonhard Seppala. He’s one of the world’s most famous mushers. This is the story about Leonhard himself, h...

2019-10-26

Särkimukka: 4 people and 197 huskies

Out in the woods, beyond the end of the road in Särkimukka, lies a kennel and many magical miles of track. People from all over the world come here to experience winter and an Arctic adventure. Most o...

2019-10-10

A forest food bar

Mathias Dahlgren won the world chef championship, Bocuse d’Or, already back in 1997 and today he’s one of Sweden’s most famous chefs. His restaurant Matsalen at Grand Hôtel in Stockholm was named one ...

2019-09-09

Arctic fika

In Sweden we love our coffee, and so-called boiled coffee (coarse ground and brought to the boil in a pan) is in many ways the national drink of Swedish Lapland. Preferably served with all the trimmin...

2019-03-12

The big closing party

It’s all about turning. No jumps, no flips, no rails. Just the beautiful art of being able to turn on a snowboard. But apart from that Riks Banked Slalom is just a great happening in May. Riks Banked ...

2019-03-06

A night at the station

What happens when you combine a delicious dining experience with the world’s best location for the northern lights? Well, perhaps you can call it a perfect night at the station. The place for northern...

2019-01-29

A hideaway for all seasons

We were kindly allowed to read the guestbook from Logger’s Lodge, filled with ecstatic reviews from world celebrities, ordinary people and people in love who have visited to forget about all the must-...

2019-01-29

A design favourite

What started with a film featuring a small wooden hut in the forest has become a cool hotel. These days Treehotel in Harads is considered one of the world’s major travel destinations. ...

2019-01-28

Winter swim with Christof Wandratsch

When extreme swimmer Christof Wandratsch became the first person to cross lake Boden and broke the world record across the English channel, he found himself looking for new challenges. He found winter...

2019-01-21

Out of reception

Places still exist where there’s no point asking for the password for the wifi. Places where you leave your mobile behind to spend some quality time with others – or perhaps with yourself. The Sámi ec...

2018-12-10

A night among the trees

Treehotel in Harads is more than just a design favourite among the treetops. Returning after a day packed full of experiences there’s a treat in the form of locally produced food from Swedish Lapland ...

2018-12-07

The master’s playground

Kristoffer Turdell from Gällivare is the newly-crowned champion of Freeride World Tour, the World Championship of Extreme skiing. His scene might be all the mountains in the world, but it’s still a ru...

2018-11-08

Living in a dream

Niehku means dream in Northern Sámi. In Riksgränsen two friends have just built a hotel called Niehku. Below we list four reasons why you should choose to live the dream for a while. The first impress...

2018-10-10

Speed upon the King’s Trail

The world’s most successful trail runner, Tina Emelie Forsberg, ran the entire King’s Trail in summer 2018. When others take three to four weeks to do a ‘through hike’, Emelie ran it in less than five...

2018-07-03

A feeling for wood

In the forests of Harads he has designed both the most natural kind of accommodation you’d expect to find: a bird’s nest, and the most unnatural: a UFO. Now he has designed a cold-water public bath as...

2018-04-27

Beach life

Perhaps summer and swimming aren’t what first springs to mind when you think of Swedish Lapland. But, in fact, there are plenty of cool beaches and places to go for a swim – thanks to the inland ice. ...

2018-04-20

Two skiing friends and an amazing hotel

People who have visited Riksgränsen during these last 20 years or so are familiar with “Strumpan” and “Jossi”. One of them used to run the piste machine and is now a mountain guide. The other one used...

2018-03-28

Forest life in Svanstein

Good skiing usually depends on one thing and one thing only: good snow. But good snow has many enemies. Sunshine, temperature and wind can all mess with the fluffiness of snow. It’s best protected by ...

2018-03-06

Sápmi Nature Camp

Sápmi Nature Camp is located just outside Gällivare. In many ways, it’s a completely different world, a place to go if you want to change a little. Sápmi Nature Camp in Gällivare, north of the Arctic ...

2017-12-12

Photograph northern lights

So you’ve gone to Swedish Lapland, Sweden’s Arctic destination, to experience the magical northern lights. Here are seven simple tips on how to get some good pictures of the beautiful light phenomenon...

2017-11-05

Life at Pinetree Lodge

Four kilometres beyond the end of the public road you’ll find the village Särkimukka in the Torne Valley. In the middle of the woods, on a frozen lake, this is home to some ten people and hundreds of ...

2017-11-01

Simple tips for shooting autumn colours

Many think autumn is the most beautiful time of year in Swedish Lapland. It’s as if Earth itself grants a generous firework display of colour before the winter sleep settles over the Arctic landscape....

2017-09-04

The silence of Tjuonajokk

Imagine a holiday without a single update in the feed. With Facebook quiet as a summer’s night and with birdsong dominating over the buzz of mobile phones. Tjuonajokk, on the Kaitum River, is a place ...

2017-08-22

The brewing coast

One brewer used to build cars for NASCAR, another is a trained social worker and a third is a business developer at the University of Luleå. Beer interest is growing and in Swedish Lapland, there are ...

2017-08-07

Between two worlds

Two villages with the same name on either side of the mighty Torne River. Kukkolaforsen is something very special and in many ways, it proves that the Torne Valley is a world of its own, filled with t...

2017-05-01

The bestseller

Photographer Mattias Fredriksson started out as a cleaner at Hotel Riksgränsen. Then he picked up a camera. Today he’s the most published skiing photographer in the world, still with a soft spot for t...

2017-03-21

The Nordenskiöld race

The world’s longest cross-country ski race, 220 km, take place in Jokkmokk. How did it all begin? And why? It’s hard to know what goes through the head of someone who’s about to travel 200 km on skis....

2017-03-17

Skating in the dark

Bob de Jong is an Olympic champion. He’s also the oldest skater in modern times to win an Olympic medal. Last winter he went for a couple of runs up in Swedish Lapland.Dutchman Bob Johannes Carolus ...

2017-02-21

Skiing under the northern lights

Last year, in February, three of the world’s greatest freeskiers, Reine Barkered, Aurelien Ducroz and Jackie Paaso, went to Björkliden to see the northern lights and do some skiing. I called Reine to ...

2017-02-03

Skating under the northern lights

The Dutch filmmaker Marco Lubbers had a dream: To go speedskating under the northern lights. And he also wanted to make a film about it. For that, he travelled to Swedish Lapland. Marco Lubbers is a f...

2016-12-16

Sápmi slow food

As far away as you can get from industrial foods, you’ll find Sámi food traditions. Nothing goes to waste. Everything has its own unique flavour. Meet Ingrid Pilto, a Sámi food creator. At home in he...

2016-11-28

5 questions to 5 Sámi designers

Sámi design comes in many shapes. Some of Sweden’s coolest designers have taken the Sámi expression further – to put some excitement into everyday life. ...

2016-11-28

The vulgata rally

One of nature’s most beautiful displays takes place during a couple of weeks every summer. A mayfly called Ephemera vulgata hatches and every single fish in the lake go crazy when presented with such ...

2016-06-20

Archipelago days

What happens when a father and son decide to spend a couple of days in the Gulf of Bothnia archipelago? Well, first you have to promise that there will be mobile phone coverage and then keep your fing...

2016-06-17

The secret stone valley

In Sámi it’s called Geargevággi, which translates to Stone Valley in English. But in real life, it might as well be a fairytale. — What the —-, have you seen anything cooler than this, Zach? The Ameri...

2016-05-19

The call of the wild

Dog sledding through vast expanses of white is in many ways synonymous with a winter adventure in Swedish Lapland. Håkan Stenlund took a tour with the company Erlebnis Wildnis in the Vindelfjällen Nat...

2016-03-14

Ice fishing in Saltoluokta

Equipped with a reindeer skin and an ice drill, an ice fishing rod and maggots, our friend Håkan Stenlund welcome spring on the ice around Saltoluokta. Winter fishing has never been more enjoyable. On...

2016-03-06

The fishing luck of mothers-in-law

The Arctic climate calls for certain innovations to master the art of ice fishing. To close a door on the cold, be comfortable and catch a fish you sometimes need a whole house. But inside the house t...

2016-02-10

Muohta

Snow is something more than frozen water to the Sami people. It’s a way of expressing the foundation of their existence – the migration of the reindeer. To a skier, snow is also more than snow. It’s t...

2016-02-02

Into the winter

When the rest of Sweden prepare for spring, Björkliden and Riksgränsen open for the winter season. Håkan Stenlund goes north, to the playground of the fanatics. “Thank you for this weekend”. “Thank yo...

2016-01-14

Jokkmokk Winter Market

On the first weekend in February, every year since 1605, the Jokkmokk market is held. Apart from world-class Sami art, culture and handicraft, visitors are normally greeted by proper, cold winter weat...

2015-12-17

Sweden’s highest Mountain Station

One thousand, two hundred and twenty-eight metres above sea level is where you find Sweden’s highest mountain station: Låktatjåkko. It takes you a couple of hours to walk there from Björkliden and hal...

2015-10-30