The city of Luleå sits at the northern end of the Norbotten Coast on the Gulf of Bothnia. The city was originally located around nearby Gammelstad, but moved to its new position when the land began rising, in the absence of the heavy glacial ice layers that once covered this region. Although quiet enough to feel truly remote, direct flights from the UK from December 2020 mean Luleå and the surrounding Lappish wilderness are more accessible for adventure-seekers than ever before.
Gammelstad has avoided the commercialisation of the newer city and retained its sense of history. Built up around a 15th century stone church, this is a picturesque setting for a lantern guided tour, or a meander along historic streets, passing among the Scandinavian style cottages that have earned this parish village UNESCO World Heritage status.
The Luleå Archipelago, just off the coast, compromises over 700 islands. Relax at sandy Klubbviken Beach on Sandön Island or go bird watching on Småskär in summer. Here historic sites, forested hinterlands and picturesque harbours reward those who take the time to explore this out of the way region. And, during the winter months this remains the ideal place to spot the Northern Lights, go husky-sledding or snowmobiling in the frozen forests.