Win a £6,000 trip to Swedish Lapland

When it comes to natural unspoiled wild areas, there are perhaps only a handful across Europe that match Swedish Lapland.

Published 16 January 2014 in Travel Articles


What does the wilderness mean to you?

Defined as a 'wild, uncultivated area', the picture that springs to mind might be of overgrown forests complete with roaming wild animals or of vast empty landscapes where the sky reflects, mirror-like, in the still lake. Alternatively, the concept of a wilderness might evoke visions of part-submerged shopping-trollies in a local river or an abandoned, incomplete construction site; both still effecting and strangely beautiful in their own way.

When it comes to natural unspoiled wild areas, there are perhaps only a handful across Europe that could be described under that original definition. One of the few that might, however, is Swedish Lapland — the last great European wilderness.

Weekend A La Carte's Aurora Nights is giving away a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to Swedish Lapland

Weekend a la carte

== COMPETITION OPEN ONLY UNTIL 31 MARCH 2014 == 

Fancy winning an incredible adventure across Swedish Lapland courtesy of Weekend a la Carte's Aurora Nights, experts in Northern Lights travel? If so, why not enter the Wilderness Photo Competition?

Simply upload a photograph of something that epitomizes what the wilderness means to you and you could be jetted off to the Arctic Circle for an unforgettable ten-day trip comprising 4WD adventures on the frozen sea, husky dog sled rides, a traditional sauna and a chance to catch the Northern Lights.

As if that wasn't enough, the winner will also receive not one, but two photography courses with eminent aurora photographers (and competition judges), Fredrik Broman and Chad Blakely.

Win a 10-day trip to Swedish Lapland

Enter now for the chance to see for yourself what an amazing place Swedish Lapland truly is. 


An Arctic jewel

Lapland, as it is known in Sweden, accounts for around a quarter of the Scandinavian country and is located in the North-West corner. It is characterised by its extremes; of blisteringly hot summers and freezing cold winters. Its beautiful landscape is in turn lit continuously by the midnight sun or veiled with thick, white snow.

Local people — the Sami — say that it has eight seasons, the four additional ones merged in between the traditional, i.e. winter, winter-spring, spring, spring-summer, summer. This has been so since ancient times so that people could carry out various tasks during the ever-changing climate.


Landscape

Huskies (c) Chad Blakely

With a contrasting terrain strewn with breath-taking snow-capped mountains, plentiful lakes, rolling hills and rugged canyons, Swedish Lapland is a joy at any time of the year. It comprises seven national parks, including Abisko and Muddas; each as stunning as the next. Little wonder that parts of the area have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is also home to numerous species of wildlife - most commonly reindeer and lemmings. Lynx, bears and wolverines are a little more elusive, but patient nature-lovers could be rewarded with a rare sighting.


Northern Lights

Swedish Lapland: Northern Lights

Situated within what's known as the 'Auroral Oval', the skies above Swedish Lapland see frequent, incredible Northern Lights activity. The region is considered one of the best places for sightings in the entire Northern Hemisphere, hence it is always popular with 'aurora hunters'. This wonderful phenomenon, which has been listed as one of the Natural Wonders of the World, has intrigued people for centuries and inspired many folk stories. On a clear night in the wilderness, some have even reported hearing the lights; whether true or not is something you'd have to discover for yourself.


Traditional

Sami and raindeer (c) flickr/Michiel van Nimwegen

Swedish Lapland possesses a fascinating history and a visit would not be complete unless it were influenced in some way by the traditions of the Sami, Scandinavia's indigenous people. This might include a trip to a reindeer farm, navigating the wilderness on a sleigh ride or simply hearing the enthralling stories that have been passed down through the generations. With a population of some 20,000, many Sami continue to live as their ancestors did, maintaining their traditional culture and are keen to share it with you.

Swedish Lapland — with its contrasting climate and enchanting atmosphere — really is a destination unlike any other.


Tips for the competition

Originality is one of the main judging criteria, so be as creative as you like; your composition doesn't have to be a snowy forest, it might be local urban wasteland — whatever ‘wilderness’ means to you.

For further details, inspiration, plus competition terms and conditions, check out the Aurora Nights website and good luck.


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