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Swedish Lapland

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.

Native culture
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 mushrooms!
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.

Swedish destinations
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.


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