Gällivare is located about 100 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. It is home to the world heritageLaponia, which includes national parks; Sarek, Padjelanta, Stora Sjöfallet and Muddus, as well as parts of the nature reserves Sjaunja and Stubba.
The town was founded in the 17th century, located in a major iron ore mining region. Together with nearby towns Malmberget and Koskullskulle it forms a conurbation with some 15,000 inhabitants. This is the second northernmost significant urban area of Sweden after Kiruna.
Outside Gällivare lies the ski resort Dundret, which is equipped with six ski lifts and ten groomed slopes along with a conference centre and hotel. The ski season stretches from the end of October all the way into early May. The town has been host for several World Cup skiing events, both alpine and cross-country.