Compared to the Swiss Alps to the Southwest, the culture of skiing in Sweden is much more laid back and casual, though the Swedish mountains still offer plenty of resorts and snow-covered slopes for traveling and local ski enthusiasts alike.
Ski resorts in Sweden are not hard to find, but there are a few that are outstanding and offer a more curated wintry experience. From the popular Åre Ski Resort's 103 runs to the easily-accessible Branäs Ski Resort's family-oriented activities and slopes, Sweden offers a variety that caters to every level of skiing and snowboarding expertise.
Because Sweden is colder than the Alps, it's almost guaranteed to snow from November through early May, but keep in mind daylight hours are shortest in November through January, so you'll only have five to six hours on the slopes before dark if you visit then. Be sure to check the Swedish weather before you visit so you'll have a better idea of sunrise and sunset times as well as snow... conditions and temperatures.
Scandinavian travel can be quite expensive once you factor in costlier flights, accommodations, and food and beverages, but staying at one of these resorts could help you better budget your Swedish winter vacation. Although slightly pricier than the Swiss Alps, these Swedish ski resorts offer a much more relaxed vibe and all the same great amenities.
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Åre: Size and Variety
Åre is a very popular ski resort in Sweden and is considered Northern Europe's largest and most diverse alpine sports resort for all skill levels, especially advanced skiers.
This ski resort offers 103 runs, 40 lifts, a gondola lift, children's slopes ("ÅreBjörnen"), night skiing, slopes for all skill levels, snowmobile safaris, dog sleigh tours, and ice fall climbing. During the summer, you can go hiking, biking, climbing, canoeing, river rafting, and fly-fishing along the river.
The resort is in central Sweden, 55 miles (90 kilometers) west of Östersund or 93 miles (150 kilometers) east of Trondheim, Norway.
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Sälen: Six Resorts in One
Sälen is probably the most popular resort among Swedes and a great spot for intermediate skiers. Sälen offers a total of six ski resorts in one, all interconnected by the four ski areas: Lindvallen, Högfjället, Tandådalen, and Hundfjället.
Located in south-central Sweden, 55 miles (90 kilometers) west of Mora and 45 miles (70 kilometers) east of the Trysil ski area in Norway, Sälen would make for a nice midway stop on a cross-Sweden ski tour.
This ski resort offers 160 downhill runs, nine contiguous green slopes, family skiing areas, cross-country skiing, a fun snowpark, snowboarding, and more than 100 lifts. In the summer, you can go fishing and hiking here as well.
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Although Stöten could be identified as one of the Sälen resorts, this area attraction made major renovations to their ski resort in 2016 to create Sälen's longest express lift as well as five all-new slopes for all ages.
Located just a few miles from the town of Sälen, Stöten offers 46 slopes ranging in difficulty from easy to expert, so beginners and daredevils alike will be able to find the appropriate challenge at this resort.
This resort isn't just for skiing, either; Stöten offers massage and head-to-toe relaxation treatments for adults and even has its own indoor activity house and waterpark called Vattufjäll.
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Vemdalen is one of the smaller ski resorts in Sweden, but has a big draw—snow is guaranteed here, and the slopes open as early as October. This ski resort consists of the areas Björnrike, Klövsjö/Storhogna, and Vemdalsskalet and offers a lot of nature and beautiful vistas to enjoy.
Vemdalen is located in central Sweden about 75 miles (120 kilometers) south of Östersund and 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the Åre ski resort.
This ski resort offers 53 slopes, four areas for children, 30 ski lifts, three fun snowparks, and cross-country trails. In the summer, Vemdalen offers horseback riding, fishing, camping, swimming, and a series of annual events.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Aimed mostly at families and intermediate skiers, Branäs ("Ski Branäs Fritidscenter") is a nice, compact ski resort with lots of accommodations and an assurance of snow very early in the season.
The central location of Branäs makes this south-central Sweden resort easy to reach no matter what part of Scandinavia you're visiting. Branäs is 110 miles (180 km) north of Karlstad, 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of the Trysil ski area in Norway, and 120 miles (200 kilometers) northeast of Oslo.
This ski resort is a family-oriented resort with snowboarding areas, six lifts, 18 pistes, snow guns, a gondola lift, long intermediate slopes, children's skiing areas, and a snow park. Summer activities at Branäs include hiking and biking.
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Tärnaby-Hemavan: Young and Crazy
The Tärnaby and Hemavan ski resort is for adventurers. Winter sports activities include more unique offerings like dog sledding and heli-skiing. Heli-skiing is off-trail, downhill skiing or snowboarding that is accessed by a helicopter, as opposed to a ski lift.
Tärnaby/Hemavan features a multitude of activities and entertainment and attracts a younger crowd than the other ski resorts in Sweden. The Scandinavian nightlife found here includes some of the best aprês-ski (or ski lodge) parties in Sweden.
The resort is located in north-western Sweden, 93 miles (150 kilometers) northeast of Storuman and 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest of Rana in Norway.
This ski resort offers slopes for all skill levels, snowboarding, heli-skiing, dog sledding, snowmobile safaris, and aprês-ski nightlife in Hemavan. Summer activities including fishing, hiking, and biking.
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The Idre Fjäll ski resort is located in central Sweden and offers a slew of winter and summer activities, including a number of concerts performed by traditional Swedish musicians and national pop singing sensations.
Just 93 miles (150 kilometers) northwest of Mora and about the same southwest of Östergund, Idre Fjäll is relatively small compared to other nearby resorts, but that doesn't mean it's any less entertaining.
Along with ski instructions from certified trainers, Idre Fjäll Ski Resort invites guests to enjoy snow racing, dog sledding (for families and individuals), night skiing, snowmobile tours, snowshoe walks, horse and sleigh rides, and base camping. Year-round, you can also enjoy access to the on-site sports hall, bowling alley, indoor pool, gym, and activity center as well as concerts and special events.
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Romme Alpin offers 31 slopes spread across two snow-covered peaks and serviced by four Express lifts, two T-bar lifts, and a single two-person seat lift.
This small ski lodge is located just under four miles (six kilometers) from Borlänge, 27 miles (44 kilometers) from Ludvika, and 96 miles (155 kilometers) from Uppsala, making it easily accessible by car from most parts of southwestern Sweden. However, Romme Alpin also offers bus shuttle services between major cities like Stockholm as part of a special vacation package.
This family-friendly lodge hosts annual holiday events, but otherwise maintains the peaceful demeanor of a hidden vacation destination, complete with a spa and sauna as well as luxurious accommodations.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Ramundberget started as a border outpost and still serves as one of the most-remote ski resorts in the Swedish mountains. Although it has all the usual resort treats like restaurants, parks, and spas, Ramundberget is a smaller and more intimate resort than most others, shying away from commercial mass consumption in favor of curating guest experiences.
Ramundberget is located in the Norrland (Northern Sweden) region known as Jämtland, Funäsfjällen, a few miles north of Bruksvallarna and about 139 miles (225 kilometers) southwest of Östersund. This small resort is only accessible by car, so factor in a rental if you wish to visit this historic establishment.
Activities in Ramundberget include photography tours of the region, off-piste (packed snow) skiing, torchlight tours through the mines above the resort, yoga, spa treatments, and ski touring as well as the usual winter sports.
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Although Lofsdalen doesn't offer much in terms of activities or luxurious accommodations, this resort does provide all the usual amenities for a slightly lower cost—and the slopes are generally less crowded despite being on-par with other resorts in the region.
Lofsdalen is located in Härjedalen, which is 41 miles (66 kilometers) from Sveg and about 175 miles (282 kilometers) from Sundsvall. There are also a number of other resorts nearby, but you'll have to rent a car to access Lofsdalen.
Some special events that do occur at Lofsdalen include Mackmyra Week in mid-March, which invites skiers to "ski and taste" at a number of wineries and distilleries on the mountains, as well as annual Easter and Christmas celebrations.