- Encounters with locals
- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
- Hiking / Trekking
- Off the beaten track
Situated above the treelike, the national park of Padjelanta offers incredible views from its high, arid plateaux over crystalline lakes, imposing mountains with snow-capped summits, and abundant flora and fauna. Inside the park there are numerous hiking trails; to walk from one end to the other is achievable in a dozen days or so, but you'd have to come well equipped! As you might imagine, signs of human life are rather rare here.
I visited the place one summer, and remember the park as one of the highlights of my trip to Sweden. It also acted as an initiation into the culture of the Samis, a formerly nomadic people from the North of Europe, who today make their livelihood from rearing reindeer and managing the accommodation along these hiking trails. It's an experience I'd strongly recommend to anyone in that region of Sweden!
I spent 8 days walking along the Padjelanta path which goes from Kvikkjokk to Ritsem. After preparing the last few details in Kvikkjokk (gas, map, weather), I was able to stride through the boreal forests and experience the raw nature. Bear droppings are even along the route!
We only managed to get up to the deserted plateaus with gently sloping hills once in the Padjelanta National Park. These open spaces are a good opportunity to see the wild reindeer gambol around. What a memory to take away when I saw them.
One of the interesting aspects of the trek is also to go through several minuscule Sami villages like Staloluokta on the banks of Lake Virihaure. A good sauna before watching the sometimes magnificent sunset is lively recommended before considering the other trips off the beaten track.