Swedish Lapland's Guide to


On a perfect summer’s day at the end of June you get off the Haparanda Line in Kalix, the coastal community that gave its name and origin to that amazing vendace roe ‘Kalix Löjrom’. You have 36 hours to make something exciting of your weekend. The only thing you’ve done in preparation is booked accommodation. But what are you going to do in Kalix?

Afternoon: The shuttle bus from the new Haparanda Line takes you to the centre of Kalix. You have a room booked at renowned Valhall and outside on the terrace lots of people are enjoying the sunshine. You check in, then find a table on the terrace. Time to wash that travel dust down. From here you can see Nils Hotel with an inviting roof terrace, and a bit further along the street there’s the hotel Gamla Staden.

kalix löjrom, håkan stenlund, 1920 x 1080, food, taste
Kalix, the coastal community in Swedish Lapland that gave Kalix Löjrom both its name and origin.

Evening: You book a table at Valhall for dinner. But before then, you have time to go to the roof terrace at Nils Hotel. The view of the town, down towards the Kalix River, is perfect. The sun stays high in the sky for a long time here, and you make the most of it.

Before dinner you have a gin and tonic. Award-winning Norrbottens Destilleri, ND, makes gin in Töre in Kalix municipality. The distillery has a showroom there, where groups can have an excellent meal and enjoy one of their gin tastings. Valhall serves an uncomplicated menu that is just right. You choose to skip the Kalix Löjrom this evening, even if it’s always tempting. You have the carpaccio instead as a starter, and a roasted side of pork before you finish off with a coffee and a couple of pralines from local Arctic Treats.

About Kalix

Where the river meets the sea lies the small town of Kalix. Explore the archipelago and savour the famous Kalix Löjrom — the Caviar of Kalix — a prized delicacy that is healthy both for you and our nature, which is served at special occasions such as the Nobel banquet, royal weddings, and other celebrations. Don’t miss the Roe Safari, a safari like no other where you can taste the red gold of Kalix.

Have a chat with the local tourist information for more insights heartoflapland.com

Curious about living in Kalix?

Check out kalix.se

At Arctic Treats, treats are made by hand, and of course many chocolates have local flavors.

Morning: You wake up early and take a lovely morning walk. You walk past the classic, beautiful Kalix Church, Sweden’s northernmost medieval church, then cross the river and follow it downstream. This is where Kalix Golf Club is located and Filipsborgs Herrgård offers accommodation. Filipsborg is, apart from a well-known accommodation choice, also a special place because this was partly where the first GSM telephones were developed. You turn back the same way when you start missing that breakfast waiting for you at the hotel.

Daytime: You’ve rented a bike from Nordic Life and tomorrow they will take you out on the river for some paddling as well. Your rented fatbike lets you discover the town, but also try a track that you’ve been recommended by Nordic Life in the nearby forest. The first stop this morning is Vassholmen, a bit upstream. Vassholmen is an island in the Kalix River, one of Sweden’s four national rivers, and was used as a separation point during log driving back in the day.

These days the island is a cultural monument, and in summer there’s a cosy summer café here, a museum and plenty of folklore.

Vassholmen is an island in the Kalixälven, one of Sweden's four national rivers, which during the floating era served as a dividing point. Today the island is a cultural monument and in the summer there is a pleasant summer cafe, a museum, and wonderful folk life here. Photo: Andy Anderson

Afternoon: The café at Vassholmen serves lunch, coffee, cake, and ice-cream, all you need in summer, really. You make yourself comfortable on a patch of grass in the sun. You have a book to read. You opt for a salad for lunch. In the afternoon you cycle back to the hotel and park your bike.

You’re thinking that it might be fun to play some boules or mini golf down by Strandängarna but decide to go on a city walk instead. Small towns make life easier for those wanting to go shopping. No crowds, and what you can see is what there is. Outside Galleria Kalix there’s a huge orange sphere, reflecting both bandy crazy Kalix and the love of vendace roe around here.

Evening: You’ve booked a vendace roe tasting with Roland at Storöns Fisk. He welcomes groups of two to eight people and somehow you manage to grab a spot this evening. Once you’re there, in the fishing lodge at island Storön where they’ve taken you, you discover they also make their own fermented herring.

You’re tempted to ask them to open up a can, but refrain and concentrate on tonight’s tasting of Kalix vendace roe: Kalix Löjrom. This vendace roe is a favourite among Sweden’s restaurants, and Sweden’s first produce with indication of origin. An amazing product, up there with Champagne, Parma ham and Stilton cheese. Roland tells us about his fishing, and how hard it is to be a professional fisherman in the north. You also visit the tiny ‘fridge shop’ and buy some wild-caught cured salmon for your picnic sandwich. You remember an earlier visit to Malören, an island in the outer archipelago. It used to be inhabited by fishermen and hunters, suffering severe hardships, and is now a place you can go to and just enjoy yourself.

You make sure you reserve a couple of cans of Storön’s fermented herring for this year’s herring premiere. Once you’re back in town Valhall is full of people, and you find a cosy table on the terrace. You go for a Negroni, with ND forest gin as a base.

The dawn of a fish

Kalix Löjrom is today a well-known brand and a raw material that can be found in fine restaurants around the world. This is the story of how it came to be.

island, archipelago, skärgård, Andy Anderson, haven, kalix, 1920 x 960
The Bothnian archipelago is spectacular and many Kalix residents like to spend as much time as they can on the islands. Photo: Andy Anderson

Morning: Since summer under the midnight light makes you feel awake you take an early morning walk down to the campsite Strandängarna. Before the public bath opens for you to swim your lengths you have time for a session in the outdoor gym.

After a bit of swimming and a quick visit to the gym you walk back for breakfast and then pack your things. Nordic life arrive with kayaks to Strandängarna, so it’s time for you to return the rented bike and to paddle a couple of hours on the river before you board the train again at noon. A perfect finish to these perfect days.

Packing up: You definitely could have stayed longer; made it out to Malören and the outer archipelago. As you paddle around on the Kalix River, you remember that there’s probably good fishing in the river: pike, salmon and the exciting whitefish netting in Kamlunge. If you’d have done this in winter, the bike and the boat would have been replaced by snowmobile and skis. There’s always more to explore.

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  • Mentions


In sauna veritas

Sauna, or bastu in Swedish, is something as natural to people in the north as the midnight sun and the northern lights. It used to be something of a prerequisite for life in the Arctic, and now it is a rich part of the culture itself. Sauna is the essence of life up here.

At the outmost rim

To get to the atoll-like island Malören, fifteen nautical miles across the open sea from Kalix, it takes a boat trip of about an hour. Once you are there, the serenity that these nautical miles provide extends itself. The sea becomes a buffer zone of time and space. Because nothing can disturb you or reach you. You are at home, by the sea.

The gold of the Bothnian Bay

Kalix Löjrom, Kalix vendace roe, became Sweden's first food product to receive a protected designation of origin ten years ago. We tag along on a vendace roe safari to learn how this delicacy becomes one of the best dining experiences Swedish restaurants have to offer. We also get the opportunity to make our own roe. But first: a visit to the pub.

When to see the northern lights in Swedish Lapland

Shimmery and magical. The dance of the northern lights is a spectacular sight that we frequently enjoy in Swedish Lapland. Viewing the Aurora Borealis is both a jaw-dropping and mystical experience. But when is the best time to see the northern lights in Swedish Lapland?

The Arctic light

You might think that in the Arctic, we have darkness or daylight. In the winter, the sun never rises above the horizon, and in the summer, the sun never sets. But in fact, we have light all year round. Just different kinds of light. Some darker, some brighter, and some very colourful.

Photograph the northern lights

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

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. And it's easy to capture the show with a camera on standby. These are five simple tips for capturing autumn in a photo.


When the sun never sets, and the kids are on summer holiday. When holidays are waiting around the corner and meadows explode with wood cranesbill. That's when long lines of cars queue up to get out of the cities. It's time to go find tranquillity with friends and family in summer houses and holidays homes, away from the hustle and bustle. It's time to celebrate the most important holiday of the summer. It's midsummer.

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 fingers crossed that you’re right. Then you can safely assume there’ll be no trace of the kid during the entire trip.

The not-so-big five

Scouting out the 'Big Five' on the African savannah is the big dream of many. They include leopard, lion, elephant, rhino and African buffalo and is a group of large, majestic and fairly dangerous animals. Here in the Arctic part of Sweden, we don't have animals the size of an elephant or with the speed of a leopard, but we have a fair few animals that are pretty cool in their own way. Below we have listed five animals that are both unique and fascinating, definitely worth putting on a list of must-see animals.

The labyrinths
on the islands

When you visit the islands of Swedish Lapland, you might stumble upon stones laid out in a formation. Maybe it's actually an old labyrinth that you’ve found? The phenomena are tens of thousands years old, and the pattern can be found in different places across Europe.

The midnight light

If it's your first time visiting Swedish Lapland during the summer, you'll notice that it never gets dark. You have entered the world of the midnight sun, and if you're not used to it, it's an extraordinary experience. But beware, it might affect your sleep quality.

The forest is yours

Is it really true that anyone can walk around the forests and beaches of Swedish Lapland? Pick berries and pitch a tent anywhere? Yup, that's exactly what it's like in the democratic forest.

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?

Beach life in the Arctic

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.

The taste of
Swedish Lapland

When you visit Swedish Lapland, you will notice that our food culture is closely intertwined with our lifestyle. There is a strong tradition that testifies to how we have lived from what nature has generously provided us with for many millennia. Join us on a guided tour of our natural resources, taking the shortest possible route to the plate.

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.


Snow is something more than frozen water to the Sámi 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 the way you experience life.

The eight seasons

In Swedish Lapland, nature plays an intrinsic role in our life and work, and the people here are highly sensitive to the small details of the changing seasons. Therefore, it seems only natural that the Sámi people describe eight seasons instead of four.


It is December and the landscape is covered in a white blanket; trees are heavy with snow and the roads are white. The dense mid-winter darkness creates a blue light during a few hours, and windows are lit up by advent stars and candlesticks. Christmas is here.