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360km (224 miles) NE of Umeå, 328km (204 miles) W of Luleå, 440km (273 miles) N of Östersund, 1,008km (626 miles) N of Stockholm

We'd be inclined to skip these villages if they weren't vitally necessary refueling stops in this remote wilderness area. The villages mark the end of the Kungsleden (Royal Trail), one of the greatest hiking trails in all of Europe. The trail runs from Hernavan to Abisko, a distance of 338km (210 miles).

Tärnaby was the birthplace of Ingmar Stenmark, double Olympic gold medalist and Sweden's greatest skier. Not surprisingly, Tärnaby also is the center of Sweden's most accessible alpine region, which offers beautiful mountains and a chain of lakes. Hikers can strike out for Artfjället, Norra Storfjället, Mortsfjället, and Atoklinton (only with hired guides). And Laxfjället, with its fine ski hills and gentle slopes, is nearby on the Blå Vägen (European Rd. 79).

Hemaven is the largest tourist resort in the area. Many paths lead toward Norra Storfjället, a small mountain visible from Hemavan. A delta formed by the River Ume is particularly rich in bird life.