During his journey through Lapland, the botanist Carl von Linné said "If not for the mosquitoes, this would be earth's paradise"; his comments were made after journeying along the river valley of the Lilla Luleälven during the short summer weeks when the mosquitoes are at their most active. JOKKMOKK's Sámi name comes from one particular bend (mokk) in the river (jokk), which runs through a densely forested municipality the size of Wales with a population of just 6500; needless to say, the town is a welcome oasis, though not an immediately appealing one.
Jokkmokk's fantastic ÁjtteMuseum (ájtte means "storage hut" in Sámi), a brief walk east of the centre on Kyrkogatan, off Storgatan (mid-June to mid-Aug daily 9am–6pm; mid-Aug to mid-June Mon– Fri 10am–4pm; May to early June & Sept also Sat & Sun noon–4pm; 50kr; Web: www.ajtte.com ), is the place to really mug up on the Sámi. Displays and exhibitions recount the tough existence of the original settlers of northern Scandinavia and show how things have slowly improved over time.
Jokkmokk's tourist office, at Stortorget 4 (mid-June to mid-Aug daily 9am–7pm; mid-Aug to mid-June Mon– Fri 8.30am–4pm; Tel:0971/222 50, Web: www.turism.jokkmokk.se ), is a few minutes' walk from the train station along Stationsgatan. Of the town's two hotels, AJokkmokk has a convenient and attractive lakeside setting at Solgatan 45 (Tel:0971/777 00, Web: www.hoteljokkmokk.se ; Price: Kr1200-1500), large en-suite rooms and a big sauna area; Hotell Gästis at Herrevägen 1 (Tel:0971/100 12, Web: www.hotell-gastis.com ; Price: Kr900-1200) is nothing to write home about, with simple, modern en-suite rooms.
Jokkmokk has a limited number of eating and drinking possibilities. The cheap and cheerful Restaurang Kowloon at Föreningsgatan 3 has lunch for 65kr and Chinese meals for around 90kr at other times, while pizzas from 65kr and simple fry-ups are available at Restaurang Opera at Storgatan 36. For traditional Sámi dishes such as reindeer, head for the restaurant at the Ájtte Museum, where lunch costs 60kr – the cloudberries and ice cream here are simply divine. The best place to drink is the Restaurang Opera; failing that, try the bar inside the Jokkmokk hotel – if you've drunk your way round Jokkmokk this far you won't mind the inebriated late-night company here.