The 9 best ski areas in Sweden

Think about skiing in Europe, and your mind might automatically drift to the Alps. But what about a trip to Scandinavia instead? Sweden is home to wild mountain landscapes, perfectly groomed pistes and some truly world-class skiing.

If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary for your next ski holiday, we think Sweden is definitely worth a look.

Sweden is a great place for a skiing vacation. But which is the best resort?

Why go skiing in Sweden?

Sweden is home to some of the most vibrant, welcoming and enchanting ski resorts in Europe. They might not have the glitz and glamour of Courchevel, but they’re charming in their own uniquely Swedish way.

Another plus is that Sweden’s ski season starts later and ends later than resorts in the Alps. This means that, while you can ski in January, you’re often better off waiting until later in the year, when there’s still plenty of snow – and a lot more daylight, too.

The vibe at Sweden’s ski resorts tends to be relaxed and family friendly (there’s less of the raucous après-ski that you’ll be used to if you’ve visited France). The runs are shorter in Sweden, but there’s usually less hustle and bustle at the lifts.

So where are the best places to ski in Sweden? This list should get you off to a good start – there are more details about skiing in Sweden in this article on Ridestore Magazine.

Sweden’s best ski resorts

Åre

Åre is a great ski resort in Sweden
Pic: MattiPaavola (CC)

Åre is the most famous ski resort in Sweden, with thousands of Swedes making the long journey there to ski each winter (it’s around seven hours from Stockholm by train).

There’s a reason it’s popular: Åre is home to Sweden’s largest downhill ski area, with the longest runs coming in at about 6km.

Åre is really the Disneyland of the Swedish ski experience – it’s a little more commercial than the country’s other ski resorts, but the upside is that it’s become a bit of a hub for music, culture, skiing, and outdoor activities. From ice climbing and kayaking to freeriding, events and foodie experiences, you can find it all in Åre. 

Sälen

Around five hours’ drive from both Gothenburg and Stockholm, the ski area known as Sälen is actually made up of four interconnecting resorts (Lindvallen, Högfjället, Tandådalen and Hundfjället).

The four resorts are all a little different and easy to reach from one another, so no matter how good your are at skiing or boarding, you’re guaranteed to find an experience that suits your group.

For welcoming family fun, our tip is to head to Lindvallen. Or for a more challenging ski experience, try Tandådalen. Further west, Stöten is another picturesque little resort with oodles of charm, plus rustic hotels and great ski schools.

Sälen is one of Sweden’s biggest ski areas, and there are loads of accommodation options to choose from in the surrounding areas.

Riksgränsen

You can ski under the midnight sun at  one of Sweden's best ski resorts
Pic: Heikki Rauhala (CC)

Fancy skiing under the midnight sun? In June? Then you’ll want to consider a trip to Sweden’s northernmost ski resort. It’s so far north (an epic 16-hour drive up from the capital) that there can be decent snow here even in the summer.

Riksgränsen has a special place in our hearts. It’s heaven for freeriders. While the southern resorts in the Alps – places like Chamonix and Zermatt –have been almost totally explored, Riksgränsen remains beautifully wild.

If you can handle the journey, this is an elusive, mysterious and exciting place to go skiing or snowboarding.

Hemavan

Nestled in the imposing mountains of Swedish Lapland, Hemavan is the perfect place to head to if you want reliable ski conditions without needing to jostle for space on the slopes.

The expansive slopes are lovingly maintained and largely above the treeline, making Hemavan the ideal resort for a relaxing trip with friends or family (consistent snowfall and cold temperatures mean that there’s nice hard-packed snow, day in, day out).

When you’re done skiing, head into the quiet town (population c. 222), to drink some local beers and enjoy Arctic cuisine. 

Idre Fjäll

Idre Fjall is one of the nicest ski areas in Sweden
Pic: Jørn Eriksson (CC)

Partway between Sälen and Åre (see above), the scenic ski area known as Idre Fjäll oozes charm. It’s home to neatly tend slopes and a little chocolate box village, where restaurants and cafes beckon riders in with delicious food and roaring fires.

Up on the mountain, expect tree-lined runs and some excellent opportunities for fun off-piste skiing. Although you can’t often ski here outside of the main winter season, the resort is open all year for other outdoor activities like cycling and trail running.

Vemdalen

Often whispered about as being one of the best ski resorts in Sweden, Vemdalen is renowned for wide-open pistes that are groomed to perfection. Amazingly, there are rarely ever crowds here, outside of big Swedish holidays like the sportlov break (normally mid-Feb to mid March).

Vemdalen also had a good reputation for its après-ski (or ‘after ski’ as the Swedes call it). There are a few select watering holes where everyone goes, making it easy for the good times to roll.

Branäs

Branäs is one of the prettiest Swedish ski resorts
Pic: ANDRUN1 (CC)

Branäs is the biggest ski resort in Värmland, which hugs the Norwegian border in the western part of Sweden.

It’s best suited for families with kids, as the runs are fairly tame and there’s a purpose-built children’s ski centre (plus, all kids under the age of eight ski for free).

Other reasons to go? Well, Branäs has a state-of-the-art lift system, which makes getting around a breeze. And the resort has some incredible snowmaking capabilities. Even if you’re visiting early or late in the season, you should be guaranteed good coverage. 

Romme Alpin

Romme Alpin deserves a place on our list of Sweden’s best ski areas as it’s location is so handy. Just a few hours’ drive northwest of Stockholm, it’s a big hit with locals and tourists alike.

This is actually one of the only Swedish ski areas that lets you combine all the excitement and culture of a city break with a mini skiing holiday – not a bad shout if you’re short on time and want a traditional Scandinavian experience.

The resort itself has some lovely tree-lined runs, and there are good options available for trying your hand at other activities like snowmobiling.

Ramundberget

There are lots of Swedish ski areas to choose from

On a good day, Ramundberget is a proper winter wonderland. Prone to light and fluffy snow, it’s an excellent choice for freeriders and powder chasers but also for people who like to balance a few hours on the slopes with generally taking it easy.

Right next to the resort there are Nordic ski slopes, allowing you to enjoy the scenery while trying a different type of skiing.

Map of ski resorts in Sweden

 

Thinking of a trip to Sweden?

There are loads of options for skiing in Sweden, so it pays to do your research before heading off. Be sure to check out our guides to skiing in Sweden and the best ski areas near Stockholm. If you are looking for more skiing destinations in Europe, you can check out the 100 best ski resorts in Europe.

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