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198km (123 miles) NW of Luleå, 1,191km (740 miles) N of Stockholm, 204km (127 miles) S of Kiruna

Surrounded by a vast wilderness, this little community on the Luleå River, just north of the Arctic Circle, is the best center for immersing yourself in the culture of the Samis. It has been a cultural center and trading post since the 1600s.

Jokkmokk, meaning "bend in the river," is also the finest base in Norrland we've found for exploring the great outdoors. Bus routes link Jokkmokk to surrounding villages, but the system offers service that is too infrequent to be of practical use by the ordinary visitor, so for most visitors, a car will be vital.

Who comes to Jokkmokk? Other than summer tourists, visitors are mostly business travelers involved in some aspect of the timber industry or hydroelectric power. Jokkmokk and the 12 hydroelectric plants that lie nearby produce as much as 25% of all the electricity used in Sweden. Most residents of the town were born here, except for a very limited number of urban refugees from Stockholm.

Chillin' in Jokkmokk -- Jokkmokk is one of the coldest places in Sweden in winter, with temperatures plunging below -29°F (-34°C) for days at a time. In the winter, the cold weather forces the Lapp Church to inter corpses in wall vaults until the spring thaw will permit burial in the ground.