The Padjelanta trail

The Padjelanta trail

Hans-Olof Utsi/imagebank.sweden.se

Hans-Olof Utsi/imagebank.sweden.se

The Padjelanta trail

Visit the Padjelanta area and come close to one of the world’s indigenous people - the Sami people.

At a length of 150 kilometres in the far north-west corner of Sweden, between the villages of Kvikkjokk and Ritsem, this is both one of Sweden’s most beautiful trails and a unique cultural experience.

The name Padjelanta means "highland" in the local Sami language, and the trail passes through several summer settlements of the Sami people and the grazing grounds of their reindeer.

Highlights include tasting the smoked arctic char – a delicacy that abounds in the lakes up here – as well as a visit to the turf church in the Sami village of Staloluokta, complete with wooden altar and reindeer hides instead of pews.

If you come in early July, you might even be lucky enough to witness the age-old tradition of the marking of the reindeer calves under the midnight sun.

Count on ten days to complete the trail, or, if you’re pressed for time, take a helicopter to Staloluokta and hike out in 4-5 days to the trailhead. While it may be possible to buy some very basic foodstuffs en route, it’s better to carry your own supplies.

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Coordinates

The Padjelanta trail