In Jukkasjärvi about 20 km from Kiruna you will find the oldest wooden church that remains of the Sami people in Lapland (XVII century) and it has a marvelous retablo. Sami religious belief is animistic or shamanistic which says that every element of nature, animals or minerals have souls. It is also worth seeing the church's surroundings, its gardens are recreated with a small representation of the Sami customs.
Trivia: It is reflected in the book "Spilled Blood" by Asa Larsson
We started our last leg from Umea to reach Akäslompolo, hoping the GPS would take us to the border town of Haparanda between Sweden and Finland, but it was not so and which I am now very pleased about. A few kms. From Luleå we detoured via the E-10 a pretty nice road, down to Overkalix. From this point we made another detour on the road 392, quite narrow and saw absolutely anyone. I think we only passed 2 cars all the to Pajala. A few more kms. Going past Overkalix, in the middle of nowhere, we suddenly found a rather curious place. It was a group of huts and were perhaps some kind of souvenir shops. Some of them seemed lived in but we didn't see anyone only two parked cars. At first glance looked like a small village, but no, we were just crossing the imaginary line of the Arctic Polar Circle as a poster said and a globe. The feeling you feel is indescribable and can not be told with words. It was the first time we did this and we were further away from Madrid than ever. We managed to get there and it is an unforgettable moment for us. After taking the corresponding photographs we continue the tour. From this point until Akäslompo, a distance of 90-100 miles, the weather changed abruptly with a light rain and la ow temperature (5 degrees). That was when we saw abundant herds of reindeer.
My 1st contact with Swedish Lapland was loooking from above, through the window of my plane that was coming in to land. The last minutes of the flight were spectacular. It was the first time I saw so much snow from an aircraft. A completely white landscape, a polar immensity that we weren't going to miss in the next ten days. We were in the Arctic Circle. Going down the stairs, we realized that the plane had also landed on a white blanket and the temperature was completely different to Alicante, Freezing. In fact, I was wearing short sleeves under the jacket and immediately noticed the polar cold. I quickly realized nobody should take the freezing cold temperatures in Sweden lightly. Kiruna airport is very tiny. So much so, that there is only one route to and from the airport, Stockholm to Kiruna and vice versa. However, the most important landmark in the area, and many people travel to this town for business or to enjoy a holiday in the snow. Of course it's the airport in northern Sweden. This fact has become the chosen location to hold the Swedish space project.
One of my first experiences during my stay a visit to Swedish Lapland's Lake Torneträsk. In fact, after inspecting the team we went to have a walk on the lake. The Torneträsk is a large frozen lake and is right next to the Abisko Mountain Station and is in the Kiruna municipality.The Torneträsk is one of the largest lakes in Sweden and is 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. I will never forget the feeling of walking on the icy waters, especially the noise our footsteps made on the thick ice. While we walked more on the frozen lakes, it is that first time that makes you appreciate it. In addition, the colours were white and ice blue, which combined are beautiful. Although the ice was about 15 meters thick, venturing on Lake Torneträsk was taken with great care, especially after seeing a hole in the ice that had done something to a local fisherman. If you'll pardon the joke, it is a great place to break the ice.
The Abisko is probably the most northern place that I had ever been. I doubt that it is the furthest north, though, because Abisko is 200 kilometers above the Arctic Circle. Still, it is extremely high. What was I doing where Christ lost his sandal? Then begin a trip to Swedish Lapland, since in Abisko is a national park that is the beginning of Kungsleden or King's Road. There is a path that can be followed for days of snowshoeing. Abisko is a small village and a national park located in northern Sweden. Geographically, it is located in the Swedish province of Lapland near the Norwegian border. The park was founded in 1909, the same year in which the first laws of nature conservation were developed in Sweden. Abisko is also home to the scientific research center of Abisko. The center first came to be in 1903 in Abisko and it joined the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1935. It is used mainly for environmental research, biological, and geological purposes.
Nikkaulokta is a town very similar to the tv program Northern Exposure, though much more authentic and smaller. The special thing about this interesting town is that it is closely linked to the Sami culture, as we saw in their buildings, flags and the facial features of the people. In Nikkaulokta wooden houses are very distinctive and have the roofs of Sami style. One of the most unusual buildings in town is the Nikkaulokta Protestant church because it's a mix of the Sami style and Christian religious architecture. Very different from any temples I've seen, honestly. The other buildings also had similar characteristics, untill we saw the village restaurant, which was covered with objects linked to Sami culture and nature. There, we enjoyed a feast of Lappish food, buffet style featuring meat and fish with a very unique and tasty sauces. At first is seems there is very little to do in Nikkaulokta. In fact, we were only staying the night there to wait for the bus to take us the next day Kiruna airport. However,a simple stopover to wait for a bus became a very special and memorable experience. To top it all off, we we able to see the Northern Lights.
High Camp is a kind of camping-bungalow that you can find in the outskirts of Kiruna, with a spectacular lake and sauna. A place to go to relax and watch spectacular sunsets in summer and the northern lights in winter.