TÄRNABY, 125km northwest of Storuman along the E12, is the birthplace of Sweden’s greatest skier, Ingemar Stenmark. A double Olympic gold medallist, he occasionally spiced up his training here with a spot of tightrope walking and monocycling. It’s a pretty place: yellow flower-decked meadows run to the edge of the mountain forests, the trees felled to leave great empty swathes that accommodate World Cup ski slopes. Since there’s not much to do in Tärnaby itself, it’s a much better idea to explore the surrounding countryside: a popular walk leads across the nearby mountain, Laxfjället, which affords fantastic views down over the village. Another good walk for a sunny day leads to the beach at Lake Laisan, though the water is rarely warm enough to swim even in the height of summer; to get there, take the footpath that branches off right from the main Sandviksvägen past the campsite or ask the tourist office for precise directions.
Buses continue from Tärnaby to HEMAVAN, 18km northwest, which marks the beginning and the end of the 500km Kungsleden trail. This tiny, nondescript village, straddling the main road, is totally devoid of attractions. It’s purely and simply a service centre which provides accommodation and eating opportunities to hikers starting and ending the trail here. Hemavan can be busy during the peak summer season (mid-June to mid-Aug) and at this time it’s therefore wise to book a bed in advance to be sure of somewhere to stay.