Tucked between Finland and Norway, Sweden has
hibernated while its neighbors have been busy promoting their northern
territories. Only the Germans seem to have penetrated the thick
coat of ignorance surrounding Swedish Lapland.
Much of the forests and many of the large rivers have of course
been raped by the hydro electric power companies and forest industry
like everywhere else in the world, but there are still large areas
of virgin nature left in Swedish Lapland. The forest companies seem
to be now slowly shifting their policy of large scale clear-fellings
to a more nature friendly approach. Swedish Lapland can actually
boast with the largest coherent protected wilderness areas in Europe,
including the world heritage site of Laponia. Three of the national
rivers in Sweden can be found up here, a dedication which is supposed
to mean that they are protected from the power companies.
Swedish Lapland has the second largest number of Saami,
the only native population left in Europe, and some of them are
still able to practice reindeer herding despite a long history of
setbacks. But there is of course more to the Saami culture
than reindeer herding.
When it comes to the abundance and quality of raw materials,
Swedish Lapland is world class.
You may not have thought of Sweden as a culinary super power and
it might not yet be considered one of the great European cuisines,
but if you are looking for generous servings of basic, tasty food
made of high quality ingredients, Swedish Lapland has the stuff
to pamper your stomach. I myself enjoy to watch living animals instead
of having them as meat on the table, but if you fancy wild fowl
the forests are full of ptarmigans, blackcocks, hazel-hen and capercaillies.
Or if you would prefer bigger chunks of meat you could try moose
or reindeer. In the rivers and lakes you can catch salmon, trout,
arctic char and grayling. And for the ones interested in berries
I honestly can`t think of a better place. Lingonberries, blueberries,
cranberries, raspberries, cloudberries and more. Ever tried arctic
raspberries? A very sophisticated tasting dark-red beauty that is
said to be the finest of them all, and I am inclined to agree. And
thanks to the midnight sun, all plants get a fuller taste and a
higher concentration of vitamin C. And let`s not forget about the
Unfortunately, if you don`t want to hunt or gather the ingredients
by yourself, to get a good taste of the local cuisine your best
bet would be to pay a visit to one of the high end restaurants in
Stockholm. In Lapland it is not very easy to find restaurants that
prepare local dishes.
So then, if Sweden has all this great nature and culture, why can`t
you see any destinations from Swedish Lapland in your pamphlets?
While the Finnish entrepreneurs for example have joined forces and
with government support successfully advertised their country world
wide, the Swedish entrepreneur has jealously guarded his territory
and networking is a new word in his vocabulary. And the Swedish
government hasn't cared too much.
Off the beaten track
But all this is not necessarily bad news for Swedish Lapland. It
has left us with a number of interesting destinations where the
genuineness has not yet been spoiled by large scale tourism. When
it comes to low temperatures, snow and northern lights, Swedish
Lapland is a terrific choice, and that is also true for winter activities
like dog sledding, skiing and snow mobiles. Summer months arrive
with midnight sun, hiking, white water rafting, great fishing and
a wide variety of other possible activities. You can find all of
it here. But not everybody know about it. Swedish Lapland is for
the connoisseur looking for an exclusive experience.