Compared to the Swiss Alps to the Southwest, the ski culture in Sweden is much more laidback and casual. That doesn't mean, however, that the Swedish mountains don't offer plenty of resorts and snow-covered slopes for powder enthusiasts traveling from near and far.
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 this Nordic country is colder than the Alps, it's almost guaranteed to snow from November through early May, but keep in mind daylight hours are scarce during winter, so you'll only have five to six hours on the slopes before dark if you visit then. Be sure to check the weather before you visit so you'll have a better idea of sunrise and sunset times as well as snow conditions and temperatures.
Åre: Size and Variety
Åre is a very popular ski resort in Sweden and is considered to be Northern Europe's largest and most diverse alpine sports resort for all skill levels, especially advanced skiers. Here, you'll find 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 climbing. The resort is in central Sweden, 55 miles (90 kilometers) west of Östersund or 93 miles (150 kilometers) east of Trondheim, Norway.
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 resort offers 160 downhill runs, nine contiguous green slopes, family skiing areas, cross-country skiing, a fun snowpark, snowboarding, and more than 100 lifts.
Stöten: Bonus Runs in Sälen
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 a challenge at this resort. It 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.
Vemdalen: Snow Guaranteed
Vemdalen is one of the smaller ski resorts in Sweden, but it has a big draw: The snow is guaranteed here, and the slopes open as early as October. This resort encompasses the areas of Björnrike, Klövsjö/Storhogna, and Vemdalsskalet. It's located in central Sweden, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) south of Östersund and 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the Åre ski resort. Vemdalen offers 53 slopes, four areas for children, 30 ski lifts, three fun snowparks, and cross-country trails.
Branäs: Quick to Reach
Aimed mostly at families and intermediate skiers, Branäs (short for Branäs Fritidscenter) is a nice, compact ski resort with lots of accommodations and an assurance of snow very early in the season. Its central location makes this south-central Sweden resort easy to reach no matter what part of Scandinavia you're visiting. Branäs is 110 miles (180 kilometers) north of Karlstad, 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of the Trysil ski area in Norway, and 120 miles (200 kilometers) northeast of Oslo.
Branäs 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.
Tärnaby-Hemavan: Young and Lively
The Tärnaby and Hemavan ski resort is for adventurers. It features a multitude of activities and entertainment, attracting a younger crowd than other ski resorts in Sweden. The nightlife found here includes some of the best aprês-ski (or ski lodge) parties in Sweden. Tärnaby-Hemavan is located in northwestern Sweden, 93 miles (150 kilometers) northeast of Storuman and 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest of Rana, Norway.
The resort offers slopes for all skill levels, snowboarding, heli-skiing, dog sledding, snowmobile safaris, and aprês-ski nightlife in Hemavan. Other wintertime offerings include dog sledding and heli-skiing (off-trail, downhill skiing or snowboarding that is accessed by a helicopter, as opposed to a ski lift).
Idre Fjäll: Intimate and Artistic
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 distance southwest of Östergund, Idre Fjäll is relatively small compared to other nearby resorts, but that doesn't mean it's any less entertaining. In addition to ski instructions from certified trainers, Idre Fjäll Ski Resort offers snow racing, dog sledding, 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.
Romme Alpin: Family-Friendly Relaxation
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 a few miles 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.
Ramundberget: Historic and Private
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 amenities—restaurants, spas, and more—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. It's only accessible by car, so factor in a rental if you're planning a visit. 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.
Lofsdalen: Small but Fun
Although Lofsdalen doesn't offer much in terms of activities or luxurious accommodations, it does provide all the usual amenities for a slightly lower cost. The slopes are also generally less crowded despite being on-par with other resorts in the region. Lofsdalen is located in Härjedalen, 41 miles (66 kilometers) from Sveg and about 175 miles (282 kilometers) from Sundsvall.
Special events that 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.