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A Well-Preserved World

Image of Viktor Johansson
By Viktor Johansson
EU - European Region Development Fund

A Well-Preserved World

“For a long time, people did not want to market it. We kind of wanted to keep it to ourselves.”, as E. Hennertz once said about the people of Luleå and their love of their archipelago.

The luleå archipelago is a world of its own1,312 ever-changing islands, shaped by weather and wind, midwinter cold and the magical midnight sun in summer. For a long time, the people of Luleå wanted to keep this vast archipelago near the city to themselves. This has preserved it, made it pleasantly sleepy. An experience for everyone and for all of the senses. Hop from beach to beach and hike across the islands with your children. Fall asleep and wake up to the sound of seabirds, waves and wind, in a cottage in the archipelago. Light, quiet nights and adventurous days. Go on day trips or tour the entire archipelago. Experience the Luleå archipelago in your very own way.

Those used to life in the archipelago often say that you leave everything behind on the mainland. Worldly things leave your mind and time itself slows down. Here, there is a fresh fragrance, an aroma of sea and not harbour. The air is clear and the water brackish. The weather shifts. Sun turns to summer rain and mirror-like waters become stormy seas.
The archipelago is whimsical. Take the popular island Klubbviken for instance, its two sides are completely 
different from one another; one idyllic, with tour boats, sandy beaches, restaurants and fun activities, the other untouched, rough, facing the sea.

Boat traffic to the larger islands is accessible and comfortable. Using your own boat, you can dock at natural harbours and have entire islands to yourself. The archipelago is wild but also flat, accessible and safe for children. Here, your fantasy is free to roam. Go bathing in the freshwater of Swedish Lapland’s mighty rivers. Further out, the river meets the sea and the water becomes brackish.

Taste the archipelago. Enjoy the amazing archi- pelago buffet aboard the tour boat M/S Laponia. On Hindersön salmon is caught in the nearby bay and berries and mushrooms are picked on the island. Enjoy fried Baltic herring with mashed potatoes, lingonberries and clarified butter at Klubbviken.

Some islands have had residents for hundreds of years. On the outer rim of the archipelago lies Rödkallen, Kluntarna, Småskär and Brändöskär, left to the mercy of time and weather. There are cabins which once belonged to fishermen, lighthouse keepers and coast pilots - and there are lighthouses.

Quickly or calmly

Experience the archipelago quickly or calmly. Travel comfortably aboard a tour boat, paddle peacefully in a kayak or canoe, or try a jet­ski. You will soon be in the outer archipelago. Or back in the city. Regardless of your preferred pace, the Luleå archipelago means freedom.

Fall asleep and wake up

Fall asleep and wake up to the sound of seabirds, waves and wind, in a cottage in the archipelago. Cut firewood, make a fire, and heat water. A timeless sanctuary. An overnight stay in the archipelago is a genuine and unfor­gettable experience.

Go island hiking with your children

Row from Tjuvholmssundet on the mainland out to Sandön. Dock at natural harbours. Follow paths and trails across several islands in the archipelago. Pick berries and mush­ rooms. Listen to seabirds and catch a glimpse of the wildlife. Have a lightsaber fight on your very own sand du­ nes. Walk the ‘nature trail’ at Kluntarna or the hiking trail at Småskär. Experience the longer Skärgårdsleden (the Archipelago Trail) spanning all the way from Luleå Airport to Brändöskär on the outer rim of the archipelago.

Text: Viktor Johansson
Photo: Stina Sundén Jansson, Camilla Niemi