Directly south of Arvidsjaur lies the exquisite, mountainous preservation region of Vittjåkk-Akkanålke, a forest reserve with hiking paths cut through its wild and beautiful reaches. The paths are 1.5 to 5km (1-3 miles) in length. Also contained within the nature preserve is Lake Stenträsket, which is known for its char fishing. In summer, you can rent boats to tour the lake. The summit of Akkanålke can be reached by car and offers a panoramic lookout perch.

Lappish souvenirs and handicrafts are available at Anna-Lisas Souvenirbutik, Stationsgatan 3 (tel. 0960/106-33). Other souvenir stores in town are Handicraft Arvida, Storgatan 17 (tel. 0960/133-20); and Lindmarks Slöjd & Snickeri, Hedgatan 9 (tel. 0960/217-70).

Easy Excursions from Arvidsjaur

The town of Arjeplog sits on the edge of high mountain country on a peninsula between the great lakes of Uddjaur and Hornavan. The highlands in this region are studded with excellent fishing waters (you can practically catch whitefish from the roadside). It was colonized in the 16th century when silver mining started in Nasafjäll on the Norwegian border. Reindeer at that time carried the silver to Piteä for shipment. The church at Arjeplog was built in 1767 and contains a bridal crown (made from flowers and tree branches from the forest); legend says that it once was stolen by the Lapps but was found again up in the mountains. In Aldorfstrom, the neighboring silver village, you can still see some of the buildings from the old purifying plant. Today, lead ore is mined in the "underwater mine" at Laisvall.

Guided visits to the area stop at Galtispouda, a mountain range outside Arjeplog, which offers a panoramic outlook over the surrounding lakes and mountains. The Arvidsjaur tourist board organizes excursions to the area from June 30 to August 5. Tours leave by local bus (tel. 46/771-100-10) from Arvidsjaur at 11:15am daily, going to Arjeplog; a one-way ticket costs 90SEK ($18/£9). At Arjeplog, you visit the silver museum and the beautiful old church. At 3pm you're picked up by a guide at the tourist information kiosk and taken by bus to Båtsuoj, a Sami camp in the forest where you can later enjoy a Lapp dinner in a hut.

On Friday and Saturday the return to Arvidsjaur is by an old steam train, one of the most thrilling such rides in the north. Arrival back in Arvidsjaur is at 10pm, but the midnight light will light your way. The price of the train ride is 190SEK ($38/£19); free for children up to 12. For children under 6, the trip is free. If you visit the silver mine at Arjeplog, you pay another 50SEK ($10/£5), although children under 16 enter free.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.