Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

Visit the area

Lapland is a must-visit destination with a unique combination of Sami culture and dramatic landscapes with high peaks, glaciers, vast forests and wetlands, untamed rivers, and rich biodiversity with many iconic Arctic and Boreal wildlife species.

The famous King's Trail hiking trail, Lapland

The famous King's Trail hiking trail, Lapland
Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

Did you know that Lapland is an almost roadless land – only four smaller roads lead into the area from the east/south-east, making it Europe’s largest, unfragmented nature area. Less than 1,000 inhabitants live permanently in the core area of more than 3 million ha. The main urban centers nearby are Kiruna, Gällivare, Jokkmokk, Arvidsjaur and Arjeplog, with good visitor facilities and transport connections.

Lapland has numerous natural attractions, ranging from wild rivers, mystical old-growth forests, extensive natural subalpine birch forests, vast marshlands, many lakes, mountains and glaciers. Here the Sami community has lived for millennia, and through a life dependent of migrating reindeer, the natural landscape and many ecological functions are still intact.

The big herds of migrating reindeer with thousands of animals provide a unique and spectacular experience. The area, which includes the three big rivers of Kalix, Råne and Pite with the many tributaries, is famous for sport fishing with species such as Arctic char, grayling, Atlantic salmon and trout. The area provides excellent opportunities to experience the Midnight sun and the Northern Light.

Key species

Great grey owl

Great grey owl
Sven Zacek / Wild Wonders of Europe

Discover the many charismatic mammals, birds and other species that Lapland hosts. Amongst the most well-known are brown bear, wolverine, Eurasian lynx, Arctic fox, moose/elk (with some of the biggest bulls in Europe), European beaver, Eurasian otter, white-tailed eagle, golden eagle, gyrfalcon, long-tailed skua, peregrine, snowy owl (during lemming years), great grey owl, Ural owl, Siberian jay, waxwing, Siberian tit, pine grosbeak and many ducks and waders.

Grayling, trout and Atlantic salmon are key fish species in the rivers and the Arctic char in the mountain lakes.

During the short summer period, the mountains are coloured by a palette of different plant species, such as mountain avens, Alpine gentian, Lapland rosebay and purple mountain saxifrage.

Natural and cultural attractions

The high natural and cultural qualities of Lapland – Sápmi – make it a unique destination all year around for people seeking extraordinary experiences that combines untamed nature, breath-taking landscapes, unique culture, and richness in wildlife.

Some of the current main attractions are:

  • The four national parks of Sarek, Padjelanta, Stora Sjöfallet and Muddus are great destinations for hikers and mountaineers. The Sarek national park is one of the oldest and largest in Europe and is characterized by endless valleys and mountains, six peaks of over 2000 meter as well as the magnificent Rapa Valley.
  • Several of the largest untouched nature reserves in Europe; e.g. Sjaunja, Kaitum Old-growth Forest (Fjällurskog) and Udtja.
  • Restaurant Skaidi in Nikkaluokta Sarri Lodge

    Restaurant Skaidi in Nikkaluokta Sarri Lodge
    Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

    Nikkaluokta-Tjuonajokk-Kebnekaise area: The gateway to a high mountain area with Kebnekaise – Sweden’s highest mountain (2106 m asl) – with good access to Kiruna airport and professional tourism providers. Tjunajokk is a fishing camp reachable by foot and helicopter during summer and by ski or skidoo during winter. The Kebnekaise Mountain Station (Fjällstation), belonging to the Swedish Tourism Association (Svenska Turistföreningen), and the private Nikkaluokta Lodge provide excellent accommodation facilities.

  • Stora Sjöfallet-Saltoluokta area: also an end-of-the-road situation near Gällivare where several wilderness oriented local operators and professional tourism providers are present. Gällivare also offers good connections by air and rail. Some of the valleys in the area host really big moose, and here the beautiful Naturum – the main information centre for the Laponia World Heritage Site – is located.
  • Rapadalen: The famous gateway to the Sarek National Park with spectacular sceneries.
  • Moose in the Sarek National Park, Sweden

    Moose in the Sarek National Park, Sweden
    Staffan Widstrand

    Tjåmotis-Årrenjarka-Kvikkjokk: From Kvikkjokk the famous trail Padjelantaleden can be hiked. During winter fantastic moose-watching opportunities are available with the big moose from Sarek.

  • Other attractions include the Ajtte Sami Museum in Jokkmokk.

The website of Swedish Lapland provides much more and detailed information.

Access

By plane: There are different airports in Swedish Lapland – Kiruna, Gällivare and Arvidsjaur – with regular flights easily reachable from Stockholm Arlanda. Getting to Lapland is simple and quick, the flight from Stockholm airport Arlanda to Kiruna takes 90 minutes and all year round there are 2–3 daily direct flights from Arlanda. One can go to Luleå and proceed from there to Lapland by car, bus or plane.

By train: Going to Lapland from Southern Sweden is also a good option. The night train departs from Stockholm in the afternoon and there are several daily departures to Swedish Lapland. There is also an option to go by train from Narvik in Norway into Swedish Lapland.

By car: One can get to Swedish Lapland and Finnish Lapland by driving the Swedish coastal highway E4. Once in Northern Sweden, many roads from the E4, and also from the E45 – the Inland Road, lead into the core areas of Rewilding Lapland.

Taiga boreal forest in Kvikkjokk, in the Laponian UNESCO World Heritage Site

Taiga boreal forest in Kvikkjokk, in the Laponian UNESCO World Heritage Site
Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

Travel itineraries

A vast array of wild natural areas provides the backdrop for many exciting and unique adventures for travelers to take advantage of. Plan a trip to Girjäs where you can immerse yourself in nature, amongst the mountains and learn about the Sami culture and their reindeer herding relationship.

In search for the famed Northern Lights, what better way to do this than on horseback with an expert local Sami guide? Wandering through ancient forests at the foothill of the mountains on horseback in winter is an amazing experience, and while keeping your eyes on the sky you might even be lucky to cross paths with moose. Return to the Goahti (traditional Sami structure) and enjoy a hearty meal of fresh fish and game.

Arctic wildlife safari with snowmobile

Using environmentally friendly snowmobiles is one of the best ways to search the winter landscape for the illusive Moose. Starting close to the Kalix River the tour begins in the mountain forest where winter grazing is good and offers a chance to see the capercaillie – the forests largest bird.

The trail meanders up on the bare mountain and at the tree line andt here is a great chances of see the characteristic grouse in full winter glory. With breathtaking views we have now reached the kingdom of the reindeer.

Reindeer with a Sami touch

Reindeer with a Sami touch
Carl-Johan Utsi

Your Sami guide shares stories of ancient times, the daily life of the modern reindeer herder and the threats that now pressure the Arctic indigenous people. We continue our round trip on the Arctic tundra with good chances to find traces of both wolverine and lynx. The mountain’s big predators are timid, but the tracks in the snow tell stories about the past night’s hunting. If we are lucky, we might see a glimpse of the hare when it anxiously leaps off. After an event rich day in the mountains, a late lunch with some of the season’s typical Sami dishes await you… all while the polar twilight descends over the mountains outside.

Cross country in Nikkaluokta – spring time joy

Skiing starts at the doorstep of the Nikkaluokta cabins… backpack on and off you go.

To ski up along the Ladtjo Valley is a springtime dream and simply following the snow mobile tracks west brings you to the birch forest a few kilometers away. Followed by marshlands and lakes leading you to the mighty Kebnekaise Mountains.

Another excursion is to ski in the quite Vista Valley and after 12 kilometers there is a small cabin called Lisa’ Cabin where you can have a good rest. At the same time a friendly snow slope can be your resting place.

It is possible to ski onwards up onto the bare mountains on a nice day. The views are majestic particularly on clear sunny days. Be sure to have sunglasses with you!