Zari SadriComment

Swedish Lapland: Summer in Arctic Paradise

Zari SadriComment
Swedish Lapland: Summer in Arctic Paradise

Sweden, known for it’s brilliant blondes, classic meatball dishes, sleek architecture and design, also brought inspiration to the traditional design of our collection. Since Alps & Meters was born from the discovery of a vintage sweater found during a ski vacation to Sweden, we thought why not explore what summer in Swedish Lapland has to offer. Follow us North as we enjoy one of Europe’s oldest cultures and last bit of protected wilderness.

Luleå

Luleå has a small airport, and one we recommend flying into. It’s the largest airport in Swedish Lapland and offers flights from throughout Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, thus making this town the first stop on our trip North. 

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The city is known for it’s booming tech industry, and arts and music culture. It’s not necessarily a tourist attraction, which is exactly why we chose it. Make sure to catch a local concert and stroll the streets beforehand—many old buildings are wrapped in modern street art.

Aside from the city, the region is known for it’s archipelago. There are over 1,300 small rocky islands just off the coast of Luleå in the Bay of Bothnia. We highly recommend trying the catch of the day after spending an afternoon kayaking from island to island. You might want a guide to accompany your kayak rental from Explore Luleå. They offer plenty of day, or even two day, kayak trips around the islands.

Here you have your choice of accommodation—right on water is a quaint fishing cottage or in a contemporary hotel in Luleå. Whatever you fancy, enjoy!

Kalix

If you happen to have a curious palate, you’ll want to drive up the coast to Kalix next. Three rivers flow into the bay here, the Kalix, Torne, and Pite, creating the world’s most brackish archipelago, meaning there’s roughly only 0.3% salt in the water. The ocean is typically around 3.5%. The water flowing from the rivers are full of minerals providing unique and premium nutrients for the local vandace fish— it’s in the same family of salmon. This fish is caught and harvested for it’s roe and provides the most sought over Swedish caviar, Kalix Löjrom. For dinner, we recommend Arvid’s place. The restaurant offers a contemporary menu featuring many of Sweden’s delicacies, especially the Kalix Löjrom which can be found in multiple dishes.

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Once you’ve indulged in this Swedish delicacy, you may be ready for some relaxation on one of the few arctic beaches. Yes, an actual sandy beach. In the land of the midnight sun, any time of day makes for a good time to stroll the shore. 

If you’ve looked into accommodations here, you’ve probably noticed it’s a bit sparse. Don’t fear—after a two hour drive, you'll stumble upon a hotel that will make for a night to remember.

Harads

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Welcome to Harads! Home of the Treehotel, and… well that’s about it. You won’t find much here except the opportunity to sleep in elaborate treehouses and completely engulf yourself in nature. The hotel offers seven different and completely unique treehouses to choose from, each high above the forest floor anchored to trees. You’ll find tranquility in all the rooms, even the UFO, where the interior actually resembles outer space. Our favorite treehouse: the Mirrorcube.

The Mirrorcube, as you can imagine, is designed to eld seamlessly with the forest with all six of it’s sides reflecting the surroundings. There’s six reflective windows to give plenty of light and take in the beautiful panoramic views.

If you enjoy the serenity, feel free to stay a couple of nights here. There’s plenty of hiking and caribou spotting to be done!

Jokkmokk

Now that we’ve officially entered the Arctic Circle, our first stop within it is rich in the Sami culture (of the Sápmi region spanning Scandinavia and Russia). The forested town of Jokkmokk houses Sweden’s Sami museum and market, which is definitely worth a stop. The Sami people are known to be nomadic, moving their lavvu tents, similar to Native American Teepees, along with their reindeer herds. 

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After learning a bit about Europe’s oldest culture, you’ll probably be in need of some coffee. Or as the Swede’s call it: fika. It might come as a surprise, but Sweden has some of the highest coffee consumption in the world. Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise given that they hardly see daylight through the winter months. Fika means having a cozy coffee break typically with a few bites of a pastry. If you’re bold, try the kaffeost—a firm Sami cheese that tastes like coffee and pairs easily with a cup of black joe.

You’re welcome to enjoy a quiet evening in a traditional cottage here, or head North to Gällivare, where you can stay in a lavvu at the Sápmi Nature Camp.

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Jukkasjärvi

Our next stop is a bit more sophisticated, but equally as unique.

Welcome to the ICEHOTEL! Here there are only six rooms, each designed and elaborately sculpted by different artists from around the world. However, due to the summer temps, you’ll notice that they don’t exist. The ICEHOTEL is developed to be one with the river. The water is harvested in the summertime from the river, kept in very cold storage where the sculpting phases begin, erected outside when it is finally cold enough, and then in then in the early summer, the ice melts back into the Torne River.

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The ICEHOTEL offers a few warm rooms, in which you can enjoy the modern comfort in the summer. If you stay here, we recommend taking the educational tour of how the hotel is built. It includes an ice sculpting class! Afterwards, follow up with some chilled champagne at the ICEBAR. But don’t go overboard, there's a very scenic drive ahead!

Abisko

Welcome to Abisko! This is one of Sweden’s most scenic national parks. In the winter, it offers the best Aurora Borealis viewing in the country, and in the summer, plenty of midnight sun adventures. 

The village of Abisko sits between the park, on the shore of Torneträsk Lake, and just a few miles from the Northernmost border of Norway. With the scenic mountains, lakes, and river gorges with waterfalls flowing into them from all sides, Abisko is the hidden gem of Sweden. 

Abisko Mountain Lodge is a wonderful place to stay. Brasserie Fjällköket is the onsite restaurant offering different meals and wine pairings each night. The Lappish dishes are locally sourced and farm to table. 

Now that we’ve filled our bellies with something delightful and taken in the amazing views from the lodge, it’s time to go explore! The lodge offers fully guided services for whatever you might fancy. From fly fishing under the midnight sun to climbing mountains, the park is phenomenal for it all. Rent a helicopter and explore remote trails, untouched, to hike among the beautiful wildflowers and arctic animals.

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