Living in Tornedalen


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Pajala Municipality is a beautiful and safe place where you can enjoy both the northern lights and the midnight sun. Living is easy, housing is affordable and nature is always right on your doorstep. If you are curious, read this guide and then don’t be shy to contact us with any further questions.



Pajala is the heart of the municipality and lies on the Torne River. Around half of the total population of the municipality live here. Pajala offers everything you need when it comes to schools, healthcare, shops, restaurants and other services. The clubs and associations represent a smörgåsbord of activities and meeting places all year around. The second weekend after Midsummer, in June, sees the traditional Pajala Fair which attracts mora than 30,000 visitors over three days.

From Pajala it is just a stone’s throw to the Kaunis Iron mine just outside Kaunisvaara, which is one of the biggest employers in the municipality. The border to Finnish Lapland is about 25 minutes away by car.


Village Life

Pajala Municipality consists of a living countryside with communities and villages of varying sizes. No matter where you choose to live, you will always be close to nature and to neighbourly warmth.

In our region there is a broad range of services offered by private companies, the local council and associations. If you choose to live in slightly larger village you will probably be close to schools, sports facilities, supermarkets and petrol stations.

Life in a village is slightly different – you should be prepared to help others but in return you get a warm sense of community and knowledge sharing. Pajala Municipality is one of Sweden’s safest communities. Villagers can be a little reserved at first but if you need help with something, they’re always ready to lend a hand.



Find out more about our beautiful surroundings on The Heart of Lapland web page.


The seasons in the Torne Valley


Tornedalen (the Torne Valley) is a place where the winters are always white. The first snow usually covers the ground towards the end of October, and remains until May. The darkest and coldest period, Kaamos, is in December and January. In the winter you can experience the magic of the Northern Lights, starry skies and the moon lighting up the snow-covered landscape. Winter is not something to fear – dress properly and go out. If you’re the kind who likes a challenge, you can try winter bathing in the river. A wonderful experience, we promise!




The days start getting longer around February, and slowly but surely the sun’s rays begin to warm our chilled bodies. Life returns to the great outdoors and both lunch and dinner are best prepared on a muurikka pan over an open fire. Activities in the fifth season – the ”spring-winter” – include bracing ski tours in the forest and ice fishing on the river. Crust snow makes the forest and nature accessible in a completely different way and you can get almost anywhere you want to.




Summer in the Torne Valley is short and intensive, so be ready for it! From the end of May to the middle of July, we enjoy the light of the Midnight Sun. Salmon fishing is popular in the Torne Valley, and the Torne River is one of the world’s best salmon rivers.  Pajala Fair falls on the second weekend after Midsummer, in June, and attracts over 30,000 visitors. We spend the weekend meeting old friends and making new ones; the Fair is a true family occasion, offering activities for everyone.





Towards the end of August, the warm summer days slowly make way for fresh winds and a colourful display in the forests and on the ground. The evenings become darker, and the Northern Lights take over from the autumn sun. In autumn you can hunt, pick berries and mushrooms, or just enjoy the embrace of the forest without mosquitoes and gnats.








Did you know that Pajala has its own airport?

15 min west of Pajala you find our airport, from where you can fly to Luleå in just 40 minutes.There is one departure in the morning and one in the afternoon. At the entrance, you may be greeted by some local reindeer who like the area.





Fun Facts

  • Five gushing rivers flow through the municipality: Torne, Kalix, Muonio, Lainio and Tärendö. We have the world’s second longest bifurcation and one of the world’s greatest salmon rivers.
  • Norrbotten is safe. The region has the lowest reported incidence of crime and 9 out of 10 Norrbotten inhabitants feel safe in their every- day situations.

  • We’re not overcrowded here. We have a population of 6,000 in an area of 8,000 square kilometres, that is 0.75 inhabitants per square kilometres.
  • In Pajala, love lasts. Pajala is in third place among all Swedish municipalities in the Marriage Longevity League: 40 years.

  • Dark and cold? Our place is one of the best in the world to experience the magical mystical Northern Lights, which you can enjoy from September to April. In addition, the region can guarantee snow. In June, the Midnight Sun takes over and shines round-the-clock for 40 days.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site Struve Geodetic Arc. In the 19th century, the form and size of the Earth was to be determined. The German-Russian astronomer Wilhelm Von Struve led an expedition from the Black Sea to Northern Norway, where geodetic measurement points were set up. In Pajala we find one of them, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is on the mountain called Jupukka, from where you will experience fantastic views.
  • Norrbotten County has the world’s northernmost IKEA situated in the neighbouring community of Haparanda.


Family Guide

Pajala Municipality is among the safest municipalities in Sweden to live in. Here, nature plays a central role and you can easily get to the forest in your spare time.


We have associations all around the municipality that offer different activities for children and families. Available leisure-time activities include:


  • Ice-hockey
  • Football
  • School of the arts with dancing, drama and music
  • Martial arts, spinning, weight training in groups, etc.
  • Children’s gymnastics
  • Theatre
  • Riding school/ riding centre
  • Indoor and outdoor swimming
  • Slalom skiiing
  • Floodlit cross-country ski track/running track
  • Motocross


Through different study organisations and associations you can take part in evening courses in creative activities, languages and different lectures. You can be sure to find activities for everyone in the family.

    • Pajala Municipality provides a gift pack worth 3,000 SEK given to families with newborn babies.
    • There are playgrounds in schools and preschools in the main community and the larger villages, which are free to use outside normal school hours.


Nursery and Schooling

All children have access to attend nursery school, which offers educational childcare, from the age of one, while their parents are working or studying.

From the age of six, children attend elementary school.


Pajala: to Year/Grade 9

Sattajärvi: to Year/Grade 6

Korpilombolo: to Year/Grade 9

Tärendö: to Year/Grade 6

Kangos: to Year/Grade 9 independent school, Kangos Culture and Ecology school

Junosuando: nursery school


Lapland’s upper secondary, Pajala.

Pajala School of the Arts, offers courses for children in comprehensive school – music, dance and theatre

Libraries are located in Pajala, Junosuando and Korpilombolo


For you who are new to Sweden there is SFI, Svenska för invandrare (Swedish for Immigrants), at Lapland Learning Centre in Pajala.
There are also vocational education courses and courses related to the mining industry.


Working in Pajala

Pajala is amongst the municipalities with the lowest unemployment rate in Sweden, and there are many job vacancies in our municipality, as we face a high wave of retirements. To work in the public sector in a small municipality means great variety and you have the possibility to take part in development work and increase your skills.


In the private sector there are companies that ensure that there is wide range of products and services in our communities and villages. Major private employers include the mine, a sawmill as well as various employers focusing on transport, contracting machinery, nature experiences, hotels, restaurants and the food industry.


Moving Here

Do you think that Pajala and the Torne Valley may be an exciting, attractive and a good place to live in? That’s great! You’re warmly invited here to live the ultimate village life with us. Here you will play an important role and you will be a will be able to find a comfortable balance between tranquillity and activity, work and leisure.


In Northern Sweden there are many different housing options. You can rent a flat or house, buy a detached home or farmstead. Our municipality covers a large area and it offers many different settings and service offerings in the different geographical areas.


HejHemby originated through an initiative of Pajala Municipality – it is an organisation that offers support to both home owners and home seekers for more accommodation options on the open market, and is able to match your needs with what is on the market. Contact them or register as a home seeker on the website.


Among the different property owners there are different types of flats to let and on Pajala Municipality’s digital map you can see vacant building plots that are on sale.


Welcome to the heart of Swedish Lapland!

Norrsken över en älv i ett snölandskap