advertisement

699km (434 miles) N of Stockholm, 112km (70 miles) S of the Arctic Circle, 171km (106 miles) SW of LuleƄ

All this place needs is a modern Mae West to arrive and open a beer joint called "Klondike Annie." Even though Arvidsjaur today is a modern community, it still revolves around its old Lappish center with well-preserved, cone-shaped huts where reindeer are rounded up and marked in June and July. Those months are the best time for most visitors to pop in.

Not all the Lapps have gone into the reindeer business. Many of the more traditional villages still pursue a life based on hunting and fishing. A very small percentage are nomads, following in the footsteps of their ancestors; sometimes you can see these colorful characters come into town to pick up supplies. Many of them still wear their genuine folk dress, a sight to behold. We recently spoke to one young man in native garb and were taken aback to hear him answer us in perfect English, proving that educational standards, even in the north of Sweden, are among the highest in the world.

Arvidsjaur lies in a belt of coniferous forests bordering on the highland region; these forests alone would merit a visit. Excellent skiing, an untouched wilderness with an abundance of wildlife, dog sledding, and good fishing at the Pite and Skellefte rivers are a few of the region's temptations.