Sàpmi - Swedish and Finnish Lapland

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Sàpmi (Lapland) starts below the Polar Circle and extends to the shores of the Arctic Ocean.
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Sàpmi, Finland

Sàpmi, Finland. The term "Sàpmi" refers to Sami country, which encompasses the northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland, plus the Kola peninsula in Russia. At the end of summer, seeds fallen from high grasses make a pink carpet among the man-managed forests.
Sàpmi, Finland. The dirt road running parallel to the border with Norway leads through the small town of Angeli to Inari to the Northwest. Most dirt roads we took in Norway, Sweden or Finland are easy drives such as this one.
Sápmi. Walking through Arctic forests is virtually impossible. Rocks, water holes, thick mosses, dead trees... it is best to wait for the snow and put skis on.
Sápmi. Magical Arctic skies.
Sápmi. Lakes are often framed with rushes which disappear in the fall. The roots will produce shoots in the spring, around May.
Sàpmi. In the tundra plains, the lakes are related by waterways, wide and shallow, sometimes turning into rapids when meeting rock formations.
Sápmi. The ground here is like a sponge full of water, marshlands on which cloudberries bushes develop. They are lovingly picked in August, an end of summer tradition still very present today.
Sápmi. In July, past the polar circle, nights are not totally dark, as the sun remains just under the horizon. When the skies are clear, its rays light the skies during a magical show which can last for several hours.


Sápmi, Sweden

Sápmi, Sweden. A kota, the traditional Sami housing. It is a truncated pyramidal single room made of logs and covered with moss for insulation purposes.
Sápmi, Sweden. For the Sami nowadays, kotas are often summer cabins in the mountains.
Sápmi, Sweden. For over 10 000 years, the Sami have been living in the Arctic regions of Europe. Managing their partly domesticated herds of reindeer has allowed them to survive through centuries of polar winters.
Sápmi, Sweden. Church in Jokkmokk, on the Polar circle. The Sami were christianized by Swedish missionaries.


More on Sami People and Sapmi Country in Arctic Europe