Skellefteå - a part of Swedish Lapland
In some sense you might say we are in the centre of the world. Known for our advanced technology, an open-minded society, well-fair and creativity. But we're not. We're far up north. Even for a swede we're way up north. And we live in a spectacular place called Skellefteå in the region of Swedish Lapland. Here the great, virgin forests are dense, the waters wild and pure and the sun doesn't set for 100 days in summer. Some might call Skellefteå remote and rural. Some would probably even call it wild, who knows? The only thing we are absolutely sure about is that we wouldn't be anywhere else in the world but here. And we like to call this heaven on earth.
Swedish Lapland is the largest by area and represents about a quarter of Sweden’s total land area, a rich county. It is rich in nature, natural resources, culture, experiences, well-run companies and competent people. Swedish Lapland is also rich in contrasts. Contrasts of wilderness and high technology, the darkness of winter and the Midnight Sun, high fells and archipelago, rural communities and cities. Norrbotten also has a rich industrial and commercial sector. The primary industries - mining, steel, forestry and hydropower - are important for both the county and for Sweden.
We socialise informally and spontaneously. Photo: Patrik Degerman
The average population density in Europe is 118 people per square kilometre. Here in Lapland it’s two. As a result people look forward to meeting each other and appreciate each other more. You socialise informally and spontaneously. There are many places to meet. People buy and sell goods at markets; they get together in large, modern conference centres with all the latest technology. The traditional meeting place is of course the sauna. The heat and steam free your thoughts and release tension. The most complicated deals are best solved around steaming coals.
The silence of the wilderness is deafening. When there is nothing to shout above it becomes easier to listen to yourself. There are no ringing telephones. No revving cars. No screeching underground trains. Just you and nature. And the thunder of falling snowflakes. The loudest thing around is water. It rushes in rivers, laps the sandy beaches of the archipelago, drips from icicles and crunches under your feet as frozen snow.
Cristal clear winter morning at the village Kalvträsk, Photo: Conny Lundström
10,000 years ago the ice age came to an end in Europe, except in Lapland, where it still rules the landscape today. Snow, ice and cold weather still shape people’s lives and culture. It is coldest in mid-winter, from January to February, when the temperature can hover around –20ºC for weeks on end. But the climate is dry and agreeable, and as long as you’re properly dressed it’s pleasant to spend time outdoors.
Swedish Lapland’s World Heritage sites encompass both human settlement and wilderness: settlement in the form of the church village in Gammelstad outside Luleå, and wilderness in the shape of four national parks and two nature reserves in Laponia. Laponia is a living Sami cultural landscape that has outstanding natural appeal. You follow your own route through this land without roads. Accompanied perhaps by the howling of sled dogs. Perhaps on skis or snowshoes. Perhaps on foot or by canoe.
Freash water directly from the rivers, Photo: Ted Logardt
The difference in temperature between summer and wintertime is 60°C. During wintertime the temperature can be down to - 35°C compared to the summertime when it often can be up to + 30°C.
In Swedish Lapland we have lots of things that other destinations don’t have much of; such as time, space, peace, quietness, pure air, fresh water, snow, midnight sun and aurora borealis-the northern lights. Come see for your self – There is much space also for you! Skellefteå is situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea, only 55 minutes north of Stockholm by airplane.