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Sulitjelma, the gateway to Laponia

Kungsleden, Nordkalottleden, Nordlandsruta, and Europe’s last great wilderness. Sulitjelma offers an eldorado for those who are interested in outdoor activities.

Sulisfjellet is known far beyond Norway’s borders as one of Norway’s most stunning natural landscapes. It is located in the heart of Lapland and is the gateway to the Laponia World Heritage site, which is just across the border from Sulitjelma. Here you will find everything from the magnificent, hilly countryside with many large and small fishing lakes to magical U-valleys between majestic mountain peaks.

Photo: Per Ludvig Mosti

World Heritage Site Laponia

What most people don´t know is that the Laponia World Heritage Site is just across the border from Sulitjelma. Parts of what one characterizes as Sulisfjellet are actually part of the World Heritage Site. About the Sulitjelma area, the following is described on Laponia’s official website:

Dear child has many names, especially if she is on the border between the two countries. Sulidälbmá is spelled in Norway Sulitjelma. In Sweden, the Sami name Sulidälbmá is used. But this is the same area – alpine high mountains and huge glaciers, where the border between Norway and Sweden cuts right through the mountain massif and divides the large glacier Sállajiegŋa into two parts.

Sállajiegŋa means “the cracker” and is Suildälbmá’s largest glacier. Standing down at her feet is the closest ice age we can come. The blue and white huge ice curves down and calves in a cloudy glacial lake. Below the glacier the reindeer is grazing, who have moved up here to escape the mosquitoes in the summer.

Photo: Per Ludvig Mosti

Europe’s last great wilderness

If you want to experience the majestic nature of Laponia, Sulitjelma is a good starting point. As the gateway to Europe’s last great wilderness, there are also many great walks starting in Sulitjelma. Three of the most famous trips are Kungsleden, Nordkalottleden, and Nordlandsruta.

Kungsleden

The Kungsleden between Abisko and Hemavan is one of the world’s most famous and perhaps best hiking trails. The trail is about 400 kilometers long and was created by the Swedish Tourist Association at the beginning of the 20th century. From Sulitjelma you can start the tour from the Sorjus area and connect on the Kungsleden from there. You can optionally go from Mavas and on to Pieske and then follow Kungsleden.

Nordkalottleden

The Nordkalott Trail is a marked trail through the Arctic parts of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. The trail is 800 kilometers long and goes from Sulitjelma to Kautokeino. The trail crosses national borders 10 times along the way. 380 kilometers of trail are in Norway, 350 kilometers in Sweden and 70 kilometers in Finland. The route runs through the protected areas of Upper Dividal National Park, Rohkunborri National Park, Abisko National Park, Reisa National Park, and Padjelanta National Park. Hiking on the Northern Calotte Trail is demanding and not recommended for the inexperienced. The distance between accommodation cabins is often too long to fit into a day march. Tents should, therefore, be carried with them.

Nordland Trail

The Nordland route is a continuous route through the entire Nordland county, a total of 570 km. The vision of the Nordlandsruta is to become an internationally known hiking route. Nordlandsruta aims to increase the value-added nature and culture-based value in both outdoor and travel life in a sustainable way. The Nordland route includes Laponia, seven municipalities, seven reindeer grazing districts, and three Sami villages. Also, the route crosses the Arctic Circle, four national parks and several reserves. The Nordland route goes through large parts of the Sulis mountains, all the way from Argalad to the Sorjus area and on into Sweden.

Map photo from www.traildino.com

Video from Laponia

Do you want to get to know the Sulitjelma mountains better?

Take a look at this amazing video created by Zdeno Dvorak:

All photos: Per Ludvig Mosti