"Sami capital" Jokkmokk by Sjalen

Jokkmokk Travel Guide: 31 reviews and 86 photos

Jokkmokk! The name sounds exotic even to the average Swede with its four "k:s" in one word. My daughter even thought we were going to Japan when I mentioned it to her the first time :))) The name is of course Sami since this is the capital of things Sami in Sweden - the reindeer herding people with their own almost Finnish sounding language. Jåhkåmåhkke, as Jokkmokk is known in Sami, means "bend in the river" and that is what you get here by the Little Lule River. The Samis had Jokkmokk as a winter camp and therefore it is also known as Dálvvádis which means just that. As a municipality, Jokkmokk is the second largest in Sweden which means that it is as wide as the entire provinces of Scania, Halland and Blekinge (in the far south) put together! In all this landscape live less than 6000 people and in Jokkmokk itself, just above 3000 which leaves lots of space for the many national parks here, known as the UNESCO World Heritage area of Laponia.

I cannot begin to describe how much I like it up here even though I have only been in winter so far. The midwinter light is fantastic and comes in all shades of blue, pink and orange. In summer, the sun never sets for a good few weeks and that is when people try to ignore the mosquitos and hike in the national parks. Jokkmokk itself is a very friendly place. Everywhere you go people greet you as if you've known them for ages. A few times of the year, Jokkmokk comes alive with various events such as the famous Winter Market. It is an old market place as Samis have always gathered here to hold markets and it is in fact one of their oldest market places (along with for instance Jukkasjärvi further north where you find the famous Ice Hotel today). In the 17th century, the Swedish king granted the Samis permission to keep their market here when abolishing many other Sami activities. This is why Jokkmokk developed into a bigger settlement. Today, it is a great base for lots of outdoor activities and Sami culture.

For booking of accommodation, activities and all sorts, the official website is: http://www.turism.jokkmokk.se/

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:lots to do, exotic, scenic wilderness, space, northern lights
  • Cons:only summertime trains
  • In a nutshell:Right on the Arctic Circle
  • Last visit to Jokkmokk: Dec 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2007 at 3:01 PM

    So you DID make it to the Jokkmokk Winter Market! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. We couldn't make it here ourselves because of Midsommar, but we went to Abisko instead (thanks to you!), so everything worked out fine! Cheers, Mark


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