The Sami are and will continue to be an inalienable part of Swedish Lapland. Their customs for culture, cooking and keeping reindeer very much affect those living here today - one example being the traditional Sami dish Souvas, made from smoked reindeer meat (served in many of the local restaurants). Here in Lapland, visitors get the chance to learn about and understand the history, life, and culture of the native Sami people.
Winter is a wonderful time for all those who love snow and winter sports. There is a countless number of slopes and tracks for ski trips. It is not surprising that the Swedish skiing masters, with Ingemar Stenmark and Anja Pärson in the forefront, come from Lapland’s Tärnaby. A snowmobile safari for a few days will get you out into the wild. If you want a more natural feeling, you might prefer a ride with a dog sled over vast expanses of snow, all under the colourful cascades of the northern lights. They are clearly visible in the polar night, the time of year when the sun does not reach over the horizon.
Here, snow and ice are the building materials for the irresistible Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi which is built anew each year. One night there will etch Swedish Lapland forever into you memory. The northern cold here is more comfortable than the chill in southern Sweden, because humidity levels are incomparably lower here. However, remember to dress in layers before going out on snowy trips.
The summer is exquisitely beautiful and perfect for hikes along the mountain trails. Fishing on a lake or along the mighty rivers is a unique experience and joy when your catch writhes in your arms. If you, on the other hand, want to test your bravery, white-water rafting is a good option. At this time of the year, it never really gets dark since the midnight sun shines around the clock. Try a helicopter tour for a fantastic view of the area.
Lapland is an area full of culture, where the World Heritage site Gammelstaden (Old Town) in Luleå holds a unique position. The churches in Jukkasjärvi and in Kiruna are impressively beautiful and you should not miss the Silver Museum in Arjeplog. Attending a sauna here is a tradition to be observed. You will also get several opportunities to buy mementos and visit local craftsmen who, through their work, preserve old culture, not least the Sami culture.
It's not all about the past here in Lapland - visit the Esrange Space Center, which sends research rockets to space and - eventually - might just become the starting point of human expeditions.