Stora Sjöfallet National Park
I have never been here but it has to be mentioned on a page about Gällivare. Located in the westernmost part of this vast municipality, the park can be reached by road from Porjus about 40 kilometres south of Gällivare, and that is as close as I've ever got to it but I hope to remedy that some time. Again, a park belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage area known as Laponia, this is a park full of lakes and of the Mount Akka and Kallaktjåkkå massives respectively. It takes its name from the local waterfall which these days is not that impressive due to hydroelectric extension in the area, but the rest of the park is full of high fells, virgin forest and boulders. There is a private fell station in Vietas.
- Hiking and Walking
- Mountain Climbing
- National/State Park
Some 40 minutes north-west of Gällivare, towards Kiruna, is the village of Kaitum which is a Sami village and therefore is the local centre for Sami handicraft. Moreover, there is a famous chapel here by Anders Labba, in honour of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskiöld who loved it up here. It was built in 1964 in the shape of a Sami tent. To get here by public transport, you need to catch a Kiruna train but not the night trains from Stockholm as the village is far too small for those to stop (see website below).
- Arts and Culture
- Religious Travel
Aitik Copper mine
Run by the now internationally famous Swedish mining company Boliden, Aitik opened in 1968 and lies 20 or so kilometres south east of Gällivare itself, which is why it is less visited than the LKAB mine in Malmberget (see general tip). You can visit this one too though in high season, and it is the World's largest open cast copper mine so it should be impressive (and also has finds of silver and gold). As for me, I sadly also associate it with dam failures in the years 2000 and 2003 when copper was released into the nearby river and Boliden was prosecuted for neglect when constructing the dam that was supposed to hold contaminated water. At least Boliden seems to have accepted responsibility for the whole event and learnt something from it whilst continuing its work on recovering lead from the environment and so on.
- Historical Travel
- Adventure Travel
'Gropen' in Malmberget. This...
'Gropen' in Malmberget. This is a big hole in the ground in the middle of Malmberget. It's caused by the mine and separates the town in two parts. Today it's ~250 metres deep, and growing.
To me it gives a bittersweet feeling because the mine which keeps Gällivare/Malmberget going also is destroying it.