Abisko

The National Park has attracted hikers from all over the world for more than a century. Here begins the famous ”Kungsleden” and here is where you have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights. If the Swedish mountains had its own capital, it would surely be Abisko.

Åheden

Where Stockholm has its Dalarö, Gothenburg its Marstrand and Helsingborg its Viken, Umeå in Åheden has its very own refuge for city dwellers who want to breathe the cleanest air and live the simplest life.

Burträsk

When you pass an oversized cheese slicer along the E4 in Västerbotten’s coastal land, you know that you’ve ended up right. There is only one place on earth where the Västerbotten cheese can be made. Right here, in Burträsk.

Church Town

Over 400 years after they were first built by farmers who needed somewhere to spend the night in connection with Sunday’s church visit, 405 cottages still remain. Since 1996, Gammelstad Church Town in Luleå has enjoyed a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Eljest

To be a little different, of a certain kind, a bit special and not like the rest, peculiar but loveable, odd but pleasant, strange but in an appealing way. All of this is to be what we in the north of Sweden call eljest.

Ensamheten

Is there any Swedish place name that evokes more immediate feelings than Ensamheten (The Loneliness)? No matter how much melancholy the name entails, Ensamheten does foster great strength and power. (Yep, two world champions in arm wrestling come from here.)

Fara

In Standard Swedish, the word ”fara” is used solely when someone makes an extended trip. You can, for example, ”fara” to Australia. In the north, however, you use ”fara” for any kind of trip, whether it’s to the mountains, to the office or your next-door neighbor.

Fjällspira

It was first discovered back in 1737. Ever since, the tiny pink flowers with the white and wooly stalk has fascinated early summer hikers. Need we say the Fjällspira can only be found in the very northern parts of Sweden?

Fredrika

The limit for defining itself as an urban location goes to a crowd of 200 people. Fredrika in Åsele municipality lost that status in 2015. Still, the village is well worthy pf its place on the map, not least thanks to its stately and unexpected Buddha statue.

Han

The north of Sweden is in many ways progressive, but not so much when it comes to how the language evolves. Where others make efforts to use gender neutral pronouns, people in the north still refer to most things as him. ”Where is the car?” ”I put him in the garage.”

He

In Swedish, there are many different words used to cover all meaning of the English verb ”put”. In the North, there is one short word that fulfills the same inclusive function as ”put”: He.

High Coast

It was not until the seventies that the high-lying coastline between Härnösand and Örnsköldsvik began to be called the High Coast. Today, it is well deservedly one of Sweden’s fastest growing tourist destinations.

Holmnäs

The best thing about Norrland is the unpredictability. Like when fine culture moves into a sheep house. In the small village of Holmnäs outside Umeå, a well-attended opera performance is held once a year in the sheep house where the acoustics send a libretto echoing far over the meadows in the bright summer night.

Ids

People of the North generally do not care all the much whether the grammar is one hundred percent adequate or whether the one you’re in dialogue with is slightly offended. If you don’t feel like doing something, you let them now by bluntly saying so: ”jag ids int” (I cannot be bothered).

Int

Keeping things simple is of the essence for people in the north. As long as you make yourself understood, skipping out on a letter or two when speaking and/or writing is not a big issue. Inte means not, int means the same.

Krycklan

For those who know their hydrology and aquatic ecology, Krycklan is home turf. All others can be well informed about this still watercourse in the Vindelälven river, which, along a part of the route, also has a nature reserve named after it.

Liljekonvalj

One of the great mysteries of life is how something that looks so beautiful and sounds at least as beautiful (Lily of the Valley, taste the word) can be so toxic? The sweet obviously needs to come with some salt.

Ljusvattnet

Along the slowest part of the E4, between Umeå and Skellefteå, you pass the seemingly insignificant village with the self-explanatory name Ljusvattnet. Crystal clear lakes, summer and winter.

Lovikka

A mitten, knitted with yarn and with a significant cross pattern, was all it took for a small village far north of the Arctic Circle to make a name for itself in wide circles. But then again, those mittens are something else.

Malgomaj

The big lake outside Vilhelmina, where every year someone seems to be breaking the biggest char-record, has a name that sounds very much like a Swedish toddler trying to speak English.

Nalta

Nalta means little. In Vänsterbotten, there is a proverb laconically clarifying how nalta is best used: Harta borti harta jer brano, harta borti he, he jer nalta. (You may want to Google it, or better still, ask someone from Västerbotten).

Nordanskär

Who doesn’t want to check in at a ”kurort” (health resort) at any time in their lives? This beautiful Swedish word that rings so much more holistic well-being than the more contemporary spa. The outlet of the island Nordanskär in the Kalix River was already in the 19th century Sweden’s, and perhaps the world’s most northerly kurort.