Gällivare, Sami Váhčir, is a mining town in Norrbotten County in northern Sweden, and an important railway junction as the ending point of Inlandsbanan and an important stop on the Malmbanan railway to Norway.
Gällivare municipality, Gällivare kommun spans a vast land area north of the Arctic Circle, larger than countries such as Montenegro. Out of the mere 18,000 inhabitants, 10,000 live in Gällivare itself.
- Gällivare itself
- Nikkaluokta, a village at the foot of Kebnekaise, Sweden's tallest mountain
The land around Gällivare has been inhabited by the Sami people since time immemorial. The Swedish government got their sight on Gällivare and Kiruna in the 17th century, as iron ore was discovered. Mining was done in Malmberget on a small scale (with ore pulled to the coast by reindeer), but expanded as the railway reached the city in 1888.
- Inlandsbanan is a 1300 kilometer railway running south to north through the Swedish heartland, roughly half way between the coast and the Norwegian border. Though there is regular passenger traffic on the line, it mainly serves as a recreative railway with railbuses, and most ticket types give you the option to hop on and off the train as you like. It begins in Kristinehamn on the shores of Vänern, and passes the major inland cities of Mora, Östersund and Vilhelmina on the way.
- Malmbanan, which literally means the Ore railway, is an important railway running between Luleå on the gulf of Bothnia and Narvik on the Atlantic coast. It's mainly used to transport Iron ore from the huge mines around Gällivare and Kiruna, but fortunately the spectacular views along the line can also be seen from several passenger trains running between the two cities, and in the summer, a daily overnight train from Göteborg and Stockholm.
Two European routes connects to the city.
- E45, one of the longest European routes, leading northwards to Karesuando, and southwards to Gothenburg and the west coast via inland municipalities/cities like Jokkmokk, Arvidsjaur, Östersund and Mora. It then continues via ferry to/from Denmark, all the way down to Sicily (Italy).
E10 then connects with E6 in the northern end (Narvik), and E4 in the southern end (Töre and Luleå)).
- E6 stretches from the northernmost parts of Norway, Alta and Kirkenes; via Oslo and Gothenburg; to the southernmost parts of Sweden, Malmö and Trelleborg.
- E4 stretches along the coast from Tornio (Finland); via the coastal cities, Luleå, Piteå, Umeå, Skellefteå, Örnsköldsvik, Sundsvall, and Gävle; to Stockholm, then further south from Stockholm to Helsingborg.
Note that neither E45 or E10 have motorway standard in this northern region.
Traffic accidents involving reindeers, sometimes whole herds, are not uncommon.
Also, be aware of the risk of white-outs during winter: As the temperature here can drop to -40 degrees or colder, snow can become a very fine powder. This can lead to complete and sudden temporary loss of sight, caused by thick snow smoke in the draught behind heavy trucks/buses and other meeting traffic. Keep your distance.
Gällivare and Malmberget form a walkable town; though the cold weather at winter makes walking a challenge.
Distances in the countryside are vast, and public transportation is very limited. Driving is a practical way to get around. Hiking is pleasant, but takes time. At winter, remain in the same place, or stay with a tour group.
- Gellivare Taxi (Located right outside the train station.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 24/7. Besides regular taxi service, also buses for larger groups, and guided tours to the top of Dundret, down to the Aitik open pit copper mine (the biggest copper mine in Europe), or the underground LKAB iron ore mine in Malmberget.
- Falcks Omnibus, ☎ . Local buses in the town of Gällivare, including Malmberget and Koskullskulle. 22kr (adult).
- Länstrafiken Norrbotten (Departs from outside the train station.), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Regional buses within the municipality, including many of the villages, the national parks, as well as neighboring cities.
- The Laponia national park system extends into Gällivare municipality and the town of Gällivare is a popular transfer point for travels up to the mountainous national parks. Popular starting points for hiking trips include, but are not limited to, Stora Sjöfallet and Ritsem. Bus connections are available all year round.
- During the darkest months of winter you might also experience the Northern Lights.
- Gällivare Hockey. Watch the newborn talent from the Gällivare hockey academy.
- 1 Dundret, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A mountain just outside Gällivare; one of Sweden's most spectacular viewpoints, from where 9 percent of Sweden's surface is visible on a clear day. During summer, it's a popular viewpoint for tourists who want to experience the midnight sun. The mountain has also an alpine skiing facility. It's not the biggest ski-resort in Sweden, but it has the longest season and has hosted World Cup events in both alpine and cross-country skiing.
- 2 Kebnekaise (Near Nikkaluokta; the peak is in Kiruna Municipality). Sweden's tallest mountain. Hiking up to the summit is a moderate challenge.
- 2 Gällivare Camping, Kvarnbacksvägen 2 (Hembyggdsområdet) (Outskirts of the town, follow directions towards Jokkmokk (E45), then left before you cross the river.), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Camping for tents and trailers, also affordable cabins available all year round. Cozy cafe during the summer. Located by the Vassara river, 8 minutes walk from the central parts of town. Cabins from kr 650, Dorm: kr 220, Bed linen: kr 90, Tent: kr 170.
|Routes through Gällivare|
|Narvik ← Kiruna ←||W E||→ Luleå → END|