Norrbotten County Sweden

Norrbotten County SwedenNorbotten County Sweden - Situated in the north of Sweden, Norrbotten County is approximately an area of 26,671 km² with a population of around 195,000. Norrbotten, also known as North Bothnia includes a beautiful landscape of mountains, rivers, national parks, dense forest and many lakes.

There are many interesting and world famous tourist destinations in Norrbotten County Sweden including (in no particular order) Abisko National Park, Kiruna, Sarek National Park, The Ice Hotel, The Tree Hotel, Jokkmokk, Arvidsjaur, Arjeplog and Muddus National Park.

Kiruna, situated in Lapland, 145 kilometres from the Arctic Circle, is the northermost town in Norrbotten and has reportedly been inhabited by settlers for 6,000 years. Kiruna is a mining town of ore and because it has been mined heavily, the whole town is subsiding and has to be moved. Plans are all ready in progress to move the town 3km east beside the lake of Luossajärvi.

The climate of Kiruna and its geographical location mean that it receives short summers and long cold winters. It has been known in the past that snowfall can be all-year round, in most cases snow is present from late September until May.

Kiruna is also famous for space research companies and hosts the European Space Agency, Esrange, EISCAT and the Institute of Space Physics which is owned by Luleå Unversity of Technology.

Abisko National Park, situated in Lapland of Norrbotten - starts at the foot of Lake Torneträsk and is near the village of Abisko. This is a protected area of nature conservation and is also used by the Abisko Scientific Research Station for geological, meteorogical, geomorphilogical and ecology research. Many of the projects carried out are connected or related to climate change.

Sarek National Park is situated in the municipality of Jokkmokk and has a diameter of roughly 50km. This is one of the oldest national parks in the whole of Europe and was established around 1909. Within Sarek National Park there are around 200 peaks which rise to over 1,800m. This is a popular area for outdoor enthusiasts including mountaineers and hikers. Sarek has a high amount of rainfall and receives more rainfall than any other part of Sweden. Tour guides are recommended for this area as there is no shelter, trails are unmarked and some fast-moving rivers have to be crossed.

The Ice Hotel – Famous for its ice sculptors and amazingly stylised ice rooms is situated in the village of Jukkassjärvi, 17 kilometres from Kiruna. Every part of the ice hotel is carved from ice-carving sculptors invited from around the world and includes a bar, a small chapel and exotic bedrooms where you can spend the night, wrapped up warmly with reindeer skins. Couples get married in the chapel because of it's eccentricity and uniqueness. Previous sculptors created ice instruments and several concerts were performed live on television. The Ice Hotel attracts tourists from all over the world and is kept frozen all year round.

City Life in Luleå

Luleå South HarbourLuleå is the biggest city in Norrbotten and has a population of around 75,000 people. This coastal city sits at the top of the Bay of Bothnia and includes Luleå's amazing archipelago which has over 1300 islands – all reachable by boat. During the summer there are numerous ferry boats travelling out to various islands where they can drop you off for the day.

On some islands there are cafes, restaurants and island exploring adventures for all the family. Beaches here are very sandy and several barbecue areas are freely available to cook food. The south harbour in central Luleå is the best place to catch the ferry boat - early morning. 

Luleå's port is deep enough for cruise liners to visit Luleå's southern harbour (södra Hamn) and cruise ships travel between Luleå and Stockholm (Birka Cruises). Currently, new properties are being developed at the harbour area and will include a boating arena and more restaurants. Luleå is also a popular city for sports fans. Most popular sports are Luleå Ice Hockey, Luleå Basket as well as many popular winter sports including cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and touring skates.

Winter Sports

Luleå Dogsledding - Experience the power of your very own husky dog team.

Luleå Snowmobiling - Various Snowmobile Tours around Luleå over sea and land.

Skiing Resorts in Norrbotten

Riksgränsen - 21km of skiing slopes and is situated in Kiruna's municipality.

Dundret – In Gällivare - 10km of skiing slopes and situated in Gällivare municipality.

Kåbdalis - 9km  of skiing slopes and is situated in Jokkmokk's municipality.

Galtis - 7.5km of skiing slopes and situated 11 kilometres from the Arjeplog. 

Abisko - 2km of skiing slopes (black runs only).

Prästberget - 2km of skiing slopes situated in Arvidsjaurs municipality.

Vittjåkk - 5km of skiing slopes situated in Arvidsjaurs municipality.

Storklinten - 7km of skiing slopes situated in the city of Boden - close to Luleå.

Kiruna - 1.2km of skiing slopes in Kiruna municipality.

Björkliden - 15km of skiing slopes - Abisko - Close to Norway.

Svanstein - 8km of skiing slopes situated in Övertorneå Municipality.

Ruskola - 3km of skiing slops situated in Övertorneå Municipality.

Sami Culture

The arctic area of lapland which includes parts of Sweden, Finland, Norway and the Murmansk part of Russia are home to the indigenous 'sami' people. They are not only recognised but protected under the laws of international conventions of indigenous peoples in Europe. Their traditional livelihood of reindeer herding, fishing and fur trapping can only be lawfully pursued by sami people – there are around 2,800 sami people actively involved in this type of livelihood. Collectively, between all of the countries the Sami language is classified as the Uralic family of languages.


Moose or elk in Northern Sweden thrive in Norrbotten. This animal is extremely shy and you will have a good chance of seeing 1 or 2 when you're driving on less busy roads. Take extra care when driving as hitting a moose at speed could be extremely dangerous. Moose eat berries which means that when you eat moose or elk meat - it's very sweet and tasty! 

The hunting season is between September and February in the northern parts of Sweden. You will need a legal permit to hunt and of course attend a course to learn about the fauna and flora and all the huntable wildlife in Sweden.

Things to Do in Luleå - Winter in Luleå - Spring in Luleå - Summer in Luleå - Autumn in Luleå