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Skiing in Sweden

Skiën in Zweden

You may not immediately think of Sweden for your next ski holiday, but Sweden is a great winter sports destination. The ski areas are generally a bit quieter than the popular ski resorts in France or Austria. Moreover, many areas are snow-sure and you can easily combine it with other winter sports (cross-country skiing, ice skating, ice fishing, snowmobile trip, husky trip,…) not to mention a nice sauna after a day on the slopes and the opportunity to see the northern lights. The ski season in Sweden runs from November to April / May, depending on the ski area you choose. Below I list some options for skiing in Sweden.

Langlaufen in Zweden

Ski resorts in Sweden

Ski area Åre

The Åre ski area is arguably the most popular place to ski in Sweden. Actually, Åre includes a few different ski areas that are are connected by ski bus. You will find 91 km of slopes in Åre, both for beginners and advanced skiers. Off-piste skiing is also popular in Åre. With Gunniliften, a ski lift of no less than 1.6 km, Åre has the longest ski lift in the world. They absorb the short, dark winter days by illuminating the slopes. Åre is located in Jämtland.

Tip for the overnight stay: Holiday Club Åre

Skiing in Sälen

Sälen in Dalarna is probably the largest ski area in Scandinavia with 116 km of slopes. It is close to the Norwegian border, about 4 hours from Oslo. Sälen consists of the ski areas of Lindvallen, Högfjället, Tandådalen, Hundfjälllet and Kläppen. Like most ski areas in Sweden, Sälen is extremely family-friendly. Advanced skiers will love the many black runs in Tandådalen.

Skiing above the Arctic Circle

Dundret is located near Gällivare, about 100 km above the Arctic Circle. Here Sweden offers the opportunity to ski as early as October. The slopes are lit so that the polar night is not an obstacle. The ski area is quite limited, but there is a lot to do in the area. Maybe not the spot for those who want to ski all week, but fun for those who want to spend a few days on the skis during their holiday in Swedish Lapland.

Skiing on the more than 20 km of slopes at Riksgränsen is only possible after February, when the days are longer again. You can count on a lot of good snow and this even until June. Riksgränsen is a perfect ski area for those who like to go off piste. You can also go helicopter skiing here.

Good to know: how much daylight is there in Sweden in winter?

Skiing in Stockholm

Stockholm is not immediately the snowiest destination in Sweden (check Does it snow in Stockholm?) and yet you can ski there for most of the winter. International competitions are even held on the slopes at Hammarbybacken.

Skiën in Zweden: Hammarbybacken

There is a snow park, a green, a blue, a red and even a black slope. The slopes are good for barely 2 km, but skiing in Sweden with a view over Stockholm is a must try.

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23 January 2021

How much daylight does Sweden have in winter?

Hoeveel daglicht is er in Zweden in de winter?

There are a lot of people who wonder how dark it is or how much daylight there is in Sweden during the winter. Sweden is a lot more northerly than Belgium and the Netherlands so yes, the days are a lot shorter in the winter months.

Around March 21 and September 21, it is light for about the same length of time almost everywhere in Europe. Just as long, but not at the same time. After March 21, the days in the north lengthen much faster than in the south (viewed from the northern hemisphere). After September 21, the sun sets earlier in the north. From the beginning of May to the end of August, the days in Sweden are longer than ours. In winter you obviously have the opposite effect.

On a city trip in winter

If you book a city trip to Stockholm between November and February, keep in mind that the days are quite short. On this website you can see per day at what time the sun sets. I still remember a weekend in December when I took a picture of the setting sun in Stockholm around 2.30 pm. Then, in the middle of winter, in this part of Sweden there is barely about 7 hours of daylight per day.

Gothenburg is roughly at the same altitude, so the days will be about the same as in Stockholm. In Malmö the days are a lot longer, while they are of course much shorter further north. Sweden is a long stretched country and the situation varies from region to region.

The polar night

Above the Arctic Circlen there are times when the sun doesn’t rise at all. That does not mean that it is dark there all the time. However, you should not expect more than twilight. Fortunately, the snow lights up the days in the north.

From the end of August to March you can see the northern lights in Sweden, if you are lucky. With a lot of solar activity you can even see this natural phenomenon south of Stockholm. You have the best chance in and around Kiruna. Just as important, if not more important, is that you are in a completely dark environment. Especially on days when the northern lights are not intense.

Light therapy

In the north, the percentage of depression and suicides is quite high. This could be linked to the dark winter months. The lack of light affects people’s minds. As soon as there is a little ray of sunshine in winter when there is little daylight, you see the Swedes looking for the sun. The majority also take extra vitamin D tablets or eat a lot of fat fish in the winter. Some opt for light therapy.

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4 January 2021

How to travel to Umeå?

Hoe naar Umeå reizen - how to travel to Umeå

In February 2020 I went on a press trip to Umeå. I discovered a nice city. Big enough to give that city feeling, compact enough to instantly feel at home. Moreover, there is also a lot to do and experience in the surrounding area. Want to know how you can travel to Umeå? How far is it from Stockholm to Umeå? And is Umeå above the arctic circle?

Where is Umeå located?

Umeå is the largest city in Norrland and is located about 600 km above Stockholm. The city is located a few kilometers from the Gulf of Bothnia, Vaasa (Finland) is located on the other side of the water.

Umeå is the southernmost point of Lapland, depending on which definition of Lapland you use. You are north enough to have a good chance of northern lights. The city is located about 300 km below the arctic circle.

Travelling by plane to Umeå

There are currently no direct international flights to Umeå. With a stopover in Stockholm and thanks to the regular domestic flights, you can limit the waiting time.

Check the best prices for flights to Umeå.

From the airport to the center of Umeå

The airport is barely 10 minutes from the center of Umeå. You can use the taxis at the exit of the airport, but the cheapest is without a doubt the Airport bus.

Umeå airport bus

During peak times, a bus departs every 20 minutes and has several stops in Umeå. You can find the timetable and the price on this website. A ticket costs only a few euros. Tickets can be purchased through the ‘Ultra Vill Mer’ app. This app is also available in English. You can also buy a ticket from the vendor machine in the airport or from the driver on the bus (no cash).

Transfer in Stockholm

Transfer times are often limited in Stockholm. Because Arlanda has a different terminal for international and domestic flights, you may have to change terminals. Sometimes you also have to go through security for this. Check at the airport whether there is a transfer bus that can transport you between the terminals so that you can avoid the security check and thus save time.

By train to Umeå

This time I took a domestic flight from Stockholm to Umeå, but you could also perfectly travel by night train to Umeå. You can choose a flight that lands in Stockholm in the morning and then spend the day in Stockholm (use the lockers in Centralen for your luggage) or choose a flight that lands in the late afternoon / early evening and then immediately travel on with the night train.

Traveling with the night train in Sweden is quite comfortable. You get on the train in the evening and you arrive at your destination in the morning. You save a hotel stay and have a whole day on site.

Travelling by bus to Umeå

Flixbus, which provides daily long-distance bus journeys throughout Europe, also has bus connections between the main cities in Sweden.

The number of bus trips depend on the season. Timetables and more info can be found on the Flixbus website.

Book your bus tickets Stockholm – Umeå here (and from Umeå to Stockholm too, of course).

By car to Umeå

Umeå is located along the E4. Depending on the weather conditions, it’ll take you approximately 6 hours travel time from Stockholm.

More tips about driving a car in Sweden will follow soon.

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How to travel to Umeå
11 October 2020