Åre, named by Conde Naste as one of the world’s ten best ski-resorts, offers excellent snow and world class skiing. But what really sets Åre apart from other ski destinations is its quaint village nestled below the slopes; with a picturesque square surrounded by traditional wooden houses with hotels, shops and restaurants.
Whether you’re planning a ski holiday or just looking for a cosy winter get away, Åre in Sweden is the place to go. The ski resorts situated in the heart of Sweden, high up in the mountains, offering top class skiing. In fact so good that Åre will host the Alpine World Ski Championships for the third time in 2019.
With 44 lifts and 100 pistes, Åre is North Europe’s largest resort, covering everything from advanced skiing and a dedicated snowboard park to gentle slopes and children’s bunny runs. For the more adventurous there are summit trips and challenging off-piste. At night the slopes are flood-lit for magical night skiing for the whole family.
The valley is lined with miles of cross-country tracks, Åre’s frozen lake offers ice skating and ice-fishing, there’s horse riding, dog sledding and snowmobile safaris. Everything imaginable for a holiday with plenty of fun in the snow.
If you need a break from the outdoors there’s water and sauna world, there’s shops, cafés and museums and even an English-language cinema. We particularly enjoyed visiting Åre Chokladfabrik, a mini chocolate factory in Åre where not only do they sell the best chocolate, but you can see the whole production, whilst enjoying a mug with hot chocolate – a perfect ‘hygge’ activity on a frosty Winter day.
Åre is also home to many well-known restaurants. Maybe you’ve heard of Fäviken – one of the world’s best restaurants in the middle of the Swedish wilderness? Well, that’s only a short drive away from Åre. Also worth mentioning are the huts in and around the slopes, serving food and drinks as well as legendary après-ski nightlife, for those who need less sleep.
The restaurants all pride themselves in serving local produce, with supplies from the local butcher, craft breweries and farm shops. And then there’s some amazing bakeries – so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experience the Swedish tradition of ‘fika’, taking a break to have coffee and cake.
Accommodation – Where to stay?
You can choose the accommodation that suits you the best, from private lodging (self-catering apartments and cabins) to 5-star luxury hotels (some are ski & spa). They are located in and around the piste system, with ski in and out. For families with young children I would recommend the more quiet part of Åre; Björnen, a mountain area a bit above Åre village where the piste system has more gentle slopes and several family friendly hotels. Björnen is also the home for the design hotel (ski & spa) Copperhill Mountain Lodge, built in 2008, which has since then won several awards both for design and hospitality.
But Åre has a long tradition of hospitality. Åregarden Hotel, today a modern and exclusive boutique hotel, has been welcoming guests since 1895, in the heart of Åre village.
© Hotel Åregarden / Mats Lind
When we visited Åre before Christmas we chose to stay in Hotel Åregarden. Quality of the beds and linens (which equals a good nights sleep!), food offering, location and service are all important factors to us when choosing accommodation. And Åregarden exceeded all our exceptions.
Added bonus is its history, stylish and very comfortable lobby and lounge areas, not only one but several restaurant options within the hotel premises and the hotels ski and boot storage room by the lift – only a short stroll from the hotel. I’d also like to mention that they offer a spa package, worth looking into if you want to treat yourself.
How to get there?
Easy Jet fly direct from London all winter to Åre Östersund, with prices starting as low as £28.49 per person one way. Alternatively, you can fly SAS to Trondheim in Norway. Åre is about 80 miles away from Trondheim, an easy drive with a rental car, or you can hop on a direct train or book airport transfer with your hotel.
So, Åre in short… A combination of world class skiing and at the same time experience a quaint Scandinavian mountain village. What really baffled me, was how quickly we whisked ourselves out of our city life and landed in this hidden gem of a Winter Wonderland.
Here are a few moments from our Åre Adventure
…having ‘Fika’ in Åre Bageri (the best bakery in Åre!) with cinnamon buns to die for.
…marvelling the Winter Wonderland view from Copperhill Mountain Lodge in Björnen Åre.
…me, enjoying a night cap by the bon fire in a sami tent, after our meal in Fäviken.
…seeing the Northern Lights flickering over the Winter sky at night!
Back in our everyday life, our family winter adventure suddenly almost feel like a dream. So, while the sun sets in London… I’d wish we were back in Åre and at Hotel Åregarden!