Sápmi

Travel Guide Europe Sápmi

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Introduction

Sápmi, in English commonly known as Lapland, is the cultural region traditionally inhabited by the Sami people, traditionally known in English as Lapps. Sápmi is located in Northern Europe and includes the northern parts of Fennoscandia. The region stretches over four countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. On the north it is bounded by the Barents Sea, on the west by the Norwegian Sea and on the east by the White Sea.

Russians and Norwegians are the most numerous groups in the region; the Sami make up only a small minority of about 5% of the population in Sápmi. No political organization advocates secession, although several groups desire more territorial autonomy and/or more self-determination for the region's indigenous population.

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Geography

The largest part of Sápmi lies north of the Arctic Circle. The western portion is an area of fjords, deep valleys, glaciers, and mountains, the highest point being Mount Kebnekaise (2,111 metres), in Swedish Lapland. The part of Sápmi falling on the Swedish side of the border is characterized by great rivers running from the northwest to the southeast. From the Norwegian province of Finnmark and eastwards, the terrain is that of a low plateau that contains many marshes and lakes, the largest of which is Lake Inari in Finnish Lapland. The extreme northeastern section lies within the tundra region, but it does not have permafrost.

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Cities

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Sights and Activities

Ajtte, Sami and Mountain museum

In the Ajtte, Sami and Mountain Museum and you can find information about nature in Lapland. There is also lots of focus on the Sami culture and the Swedish seattlers in Lapland. Ajtte is located in Jokkmokk, north of the Arctic Circle.

Laponia World Heritage Area

Laponia is a nature and culture World Heritage area. Sarek National Park, Padjelanta National Park, Muddus National Park and many more are part of this World Heritage. The Sami culture is strong and alive. The best entry to Laponia is via Jokkmokk or Gällivare.

Mount Kebnekaise

Mount Kebnekaise is the tallest mountain in all of Sweden. Its highest peak is 2,104 metres (6,900 feet) and is glaciated. From the summit travellers can see 9% of Sweden's surface area. After climbing the mountain there is a nice lodge to take a break at and have a coffee. Remember to take a break and try to spot some wildlife.

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Weather

The climate is subarctic and vegetation is sparse, except in the densely forested southern portion. The mountainous west coast has significantly milder winters and more precipitation than the large areas east of the mountain chain. North of the Arctic Circle polar night characterize the winter season and midnight sun the summer season- both phenomena are longer the further north you go. Traditionally, the Sami divide the year in eight seasons instead of four.

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Getting There

By Plane

Tromsø probably has one of the larger airports in this northern region, though there are flights to many other smaller cities and towns. Otherwise you can fly to for example Rovaniemi in Finland on the edge of the region.

By Train

Trains go as far north as Rovaniemi, Kiruna and Narvik.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 8:40 on Jul 4, 16 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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