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Ice fishing in Sweden

IJsvissen Granö Beckasin

It appeals to my imagination: ice fishing. I don’t have tons of experience but was able to do it twice already and would like to tell you more about it. The first time I went ice fishing was in Finland. It was not a success. The catch was zero. In February 2020 I had the opportunity to go ice fishing in Sweden. Wondering how we did then?

Drilling a hole in the ice

Handboor ijs

I was staying in Granö Beckasin and took part in the snowmobile tour. On the way we stopped on a lake and the tour guide took out a giant drill. I immediately recognized it from that time in Finland and after the tour guide’s demonstration I started drilling my hole in the ice. It seems simple but you do need some muscle power! For those who prefer a bit of laziness (or for even thicker ice, of course), there are motorized drills in addition to the hand drills. After a while I had a hole where I could put my fishing rod in. Now it was mainly about keeping that hole open and ensuring that it could not freeze up again.

Gat maken in het ijs om te ijsvissen in Zweden

Sea fishing vs. ice fishing

You should know, I am a North Sea wreck diver. Time on board, between the tides, was sometimes spent by fishing. I had no talent, but I sometimes caught a few mackerels. Yet you cannot really compare it with this ice fishing. A much smaller fishing rod is used for ice fishing and you don’t need a boat. You always ice fish with a nylon line. It is “waterproof” and will therefore not freeze. As I saw the tour guide doing it, I carefully moved my rod up and down. My patience was tested because the fish didn’t bite.

Gat in het ijs

Bite!

I was just exchanging my fishing rod (a bit disappointed) for my camera when I heard the other lady of the group shouting that she had caught a fish. The fish just met the minimum size. Obviously, we shouldn’t expect a big fish lunch that day. In the end we caught just enough fish to provide everyone with a small appetizer, haha. Fortunately, the tour guide was prepared and had had taken sandwiches with cheese (and ham – for the non-vegetarians) for us.

IJsvissen
Vis gevangen bij ijsvissen

Dress in layers

Because you have to sit still for a long time to go ice fishing, you should dress warmly enough. Make sure you are not sweaty from the activity you did before, because you will get cold quickly that way. Because we combined it with a snowmobile trip, we had received extra warm clothing from the organization. Thick gloves and a hat are also indispensable.

Have you ever gone ice fishing in Sweden? Curious about your experiences!

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Ice fishing in Sweden
28 January 2021
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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
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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
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