Skiing in Sweden – lots of fun, sport and unforgettable winter holiday
Mountain skiing tourism in Sweden has gained worldwide popularity not so long ago, but it attracts many tourists thanks to clean air, beautiful nature and high quality service.
Scandinavian mountains are lower compared to the Alps, that’s why many tourists doubt that skiing in Sweden can be of great pleasure. However, the World Cup in Alpine skiing 2001 put Swedish resorts on the map having dispelled the misconception. Since that time, the flow of tourists to the Scandinavian mountains has increased significantly, and the resorts began to develop rapidly.
General information on Sweden ski resorts
Though the Europeans have not so long ago discovered Sweden ski resorts, this kind of sport has a long tradition in the country, and the resorts meet the latest requirements. The pistes are carefully prepared daily, and the snow machines guarantee sufficient snow cover. Swedish ski schools are among the best in the world. The choice and quality of restaurants, as well as a variety of entertainment corresponds those in large cities. All of this together creates excellent conditions for ski holidays in Sweden.
Ski resorts in Sweden offer tourists with a great variety of winter outdoor activities. You can experience the national interests of the Swedes: go ice-fishing, to ride reindeer sleigh or take a winter safari. The great choice of pistes in Sweden is combined with variety of wild skiing trails. The level of service is so high that if you want to become a pioneer in the wild route, even helicopters and snowmobiles are at your disposal. Those who prefer snowboarding or cross-country skiing will be able to improve their skills in Sweden, as well.
When to go skiing in Sweden
At Sweden ski resorts, there is a guaranteed snow cover from November to April. However, the ski season usually lasts until early May thanks to the artificial snow making machines. In different months lifts’ schedule changes as well: until February they usually work up to 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and then, with increasing the daylight, the time of operating the lifts is at least until 16.30 – 17.00.
In the spring, from the beginning or mid-March, the weather can disappoint tourists with unpleasant surprises like sleet, rain or strong winds. Then upper pistes or entire slopes may be closed. Some resorts (when certain number of pistes is closed) return tourists money for ski-passes, accommodation and equipment.
Where to stay
The resorts offer accommodation in fully equipped cottages and self-catering apartments or in hotels, often located a stone's throw from the ski lifts. Often on the hotel’s territory, there is a cafe or restaurant, as well as a sauna and swimming pool.
A number of hotels in Sweden ski resorts corresponds to three or less stars. Some apartments are equipped with bunk beds. It saves space, heating and, consequently, the cost of living. Tourists will be able to choose the best accommodation that suits their needs of comfort and financial possibilities. For example, a two bedroom cottage 8 km from Are and only 350 meters from the lift will cost you 48 Euros per night for two people. But for a double room (with a shared bathroom) in Are you have to pay 90 Euros per night. Vemdalen accommodation will be cheaper – from 50 Euros for a double standard room with shower.
Sweden ski resorts
As for elevations and skiing opportunities, the resorts in Sweden are significantly superior to Finnish slopes. Sweden is a perfect option to continue exploring the Scandinavian countries. In Sweden, there are great facilities, a well-planned system of lifts and a variety of apres-ski.
Swedish ski resorts are popular among sportsmen wishing to try a new slope and combine mountain and cross-country skiing. Many young people are attracted by great opportunities for snowboarding, fun and safe skiing off-piste, and snow parks with all necessary equipment.
Sweden ski resorts comparison
|Resort||Maximum slope length, m||Elevation, m||Number of slopes||Lifts||Tips|
And now let's take closer look at the most popular resorts.
It is the largest winter resort in Sweden and northern Europe with 100 km of pistes. It held numerous winter competitions to the World Cup. It is very popular due to not only a well-developed infrastructure but also comfortable weather conditions. The average temperature in the coldest month, January, is 9 below zero, in March – 3.8 below zero, and in April, the temperature rises above zero.
The ski season lasts 7 months a year, from mid-November to mid-May. The best snow is in January. In Åre, there are also excellent opportunities for snowboarding and the best snowboarding gutter in Scandinavia. Among other things, the resort is perfect for families: a free ski pass for children up to seven years and a 15-level system of classes at the ski school, and Theme Parks for kids.
Getting there: by plane to Stockholm, then from Stockholm to Ostersund also by plane (50 minutes) or train (day or night, 9 h). From Ostersund to Are, you will get by transfer (85 km, about an hour) or train.
The ski resort Salen is geared for families: a lot of green and blue slopes, ski schools, a large number of entertainments for children. The resort Salen is also the world's only Mak-Ski (McDonalds at the slope). From November 15 to May 1, so-called Snow Guarantee is offered for tourists: if less than 15 pistes operate and you are ready to leave the next morning after your arrival, the resort refunds for ski-passes, ski rental and accommodation.
The season lasts from November to May. Usually the natural snow cover is quite deep. But if necessary, 46 % of the pistes are served by 400 artificial snow machines. Salen ski resort is divided into 4 sectors, between which a free ski-bus runs: Hundfelet and Tandedalen, Lindvall and Hegfelet, Klappen, and Stoten.
Getting there: The resort is located near the Norway border, a 6-hour bus ride from Stockholm. 400 km from Stockholm, 250 km – from Oslo.
Vemdalen is a perfect resort for not only a family holiday but also extreme activities. Steep mountain slopes and two parks with trails specially geared for everyone to test their abilities and learn new skating technique. Skiing is possible here even in the evening and night as searchlights provide excellent visibility.
Vemdalen may be proud thanks to several reasons. In addition to the variety of pistes and picturesque views there is cutting-edge infrastructure. Among the latest innovations the resort can boast of a 6-chair lift Grizzly Express, which is claimed to be the largest and fastest in Sweden.
The length of trails for cross-country skiing in Vemdalen is over 300 kilometers. Given that the length of the ski slopes is 45 kilometers Vemdalen can be considered more of a cross-country skiing resort than of a mountain ski resort.
Getting there: the resort is located in the province Yomtland, in northwestern Sweden, with a ski resort Åre nearby. The distance from Stockholm is 440 km.
Two ski resorts in Swedish Lapland located 20 km from each other. By the ‘blue road’ E12 you have to overcome 360 km from Swedish Umea to the resorts. From the Norwegian town of Mo i Rana, the distance is 120 km.
Tarnaby is a small village near the Arctic Circle. The world's elite of mountain skiing comes from Tarnaby. There are 132 victories at the World Cup, nine Olympic medals, 20 world championship medals – everything is here. And there are no more places like this anywhere else in the world, even in Austria famous for its ski traditions. The secret of the success lies in the length of the season (November to May), the quality of the slopes and skiing schools. After all, the professionals are trained here. There are two skiing schools, ski academy and racing camp.
Getting there: It takes 4 hours to get from Vaasa to Umea, and then 360 km to Hemavan.
Ski-pass prices at different resorts
|The resort||Children 8 to 15 years and adults over 65 years, €||Adults from 16 to 64 years, €||Children up to 7 years|
|Are||1 day – 363 days – 99||1 day– 453 days– 132||free|
|Salen||1 day– 335 days – 143||1 day– 405 days – 187||free|
|Vemdalen||1 day– 303 days– 88||1 day– 383 days– 109||free|
|Tarnaby-Hemavan||-||1 day– 173 days– 40||free|
Discounts are available, for example, when buying a ski pass for the morning skating, for several days, or for a couple of parents accompanying the child.
Skiing in Sweden is a great way to spend a bright and memorable vacation with the whole family.