Åre - Winter capital of Northern Europe
Skiing in Sweden? Why not in Åre?
Switzerland’s, France’s and Italy’s ski offer attracts tourists from all over the world, but Sweden also has a lot to boast of. In its central part there is a little village, reviving during the winter season like a great resort. It’s Åre, one of the largest ski resorts in Scandinavia that has been working on its reputation for over a century. Ski season lasts from late December right through to early May, and the pistes are designed for skiers of all levels. Additionally the Swedish resort of Åre has a great après ski offer, so there’s no wonder why it has gained such popularity.
Skiing in Åre
The resort is situated at an altitude of 372 meters and embraces five ski areas: Tegefjäll, Duved, Rodkullen, Åre By and Bjornen. They are linked together by modern lift system, so there’s no need to use the ski bus, which nevertheless is readily available, numerous and always on time. Åre has a very diverse terrain - beginners have at their disposal more than 50 km of easy pistes where they can improve their ski abilities, while those more experienced can choose from a plenty of red pistes to display their skills. Here skiers benefit from 42 lifts, nearly 100km of pistes (18 km of green, 40 km of blue, 36 km of red and 5 km of black pistes) and the slopes extend almost to the top of Åreskutan (an altitude of 1420 m). Cross-country skiers will be equally satisfied - there are more than 500 km of trails waiting for them. The best are in Duved and Bjornen.
Here pistes are also well-prepared for those who like to ski at night – 7 km of very well-lit ones are waiting for them. Also, there are 4 snowparks for freestyle, including a large half pipe. Apart from the snow, tourists are lured by the beautiful surroundings of lake Åkersjön.
Ski-pass prices for the season 2012/2013
And what about the financial aspect when it comes to the witer fun? Despite the fact that Sweden belongs to the Union, we pay here in Swedish kronas. Adult skier for one day of skiing will pay 390 SEK, youths (8-15 years) and seniors (over 65 years) - 310 SEK, while children under the age of 7 can use pistes for free. 7-day pass costs 1995 SEK for an adult and 1595 SEK for youth and seniors. However, two-week passes costs, respectively, 2655 and 2125 SEK.
Passes give skiers the access to all pistes, lifts and the free use of ski busses.
Camping Card Scandinavia – don’t go on road without it
There’s no problem to come here with your camper and instead of looking for a hotel, find a nice campsite. In this field Sweden has much to offer – there are about 600 campsites here. But remember about one thing, which is buying Camping Card Scandinavia. It’s a kind of insurance against damage to property or accident of the owners of the document. The card is free, you pay only for a stamp that is valid until the end of the year (it costs about 125 SEK). It’s a very useful document, valid in many European countries.
One of the places highly recommended on the forums is Camping Ristafallet (321 Rista, Undersåker) and it’s easy to understand why, just take a look where it’s located. Near the Ristafallet waterfall and the river Indalsälven, next to the old, even ancient forest – the magic lingers in the air. Additionally, if you decide to spend the whole week here, you pay only for six days, during this time you have a kitchen, a nice bathroom and a play room for kids at your disposal. You pay 160 SEK per day (the price includes shower), and the access to electricity is charged 30 SEK per day.
In another, equally good place the prices are pretty similar. We’re talking about Fångåmon Fiskecamp (Fångåmon 511, 83010 Undersåker). It has 12 camper pitches with the access to electricity, there is also a well-equipped kitchen, laundry, drying room and a news-stall. The bathrooms are adapted for disabled people. The town itself is intimate and quiet, it’s perfect for relaxation. At the same time it is easy to get to Åre from here.
Apres ski offer in Åre
Tourists in Åre have such a wide selection of spending free time, that it will surely be hard to try all the options during your stay. You can snowmobiling on the fresh snow to your heart’s content, or choose a more sedate form of entertainment and catch fish under the ice. On the other hand, those who have their heads in the clouds can do it literally - gliding in the air above the treetops. Thanks to the Tyrolean line they can glide between the peaks with a pretty good speed (even 70km / h). You can also visit the elk farm in Duved. We can get there by a barking dogsled, and right on the farm you can feed or stroke elks.
Åre differs from other Swedish ski resorts, for example with the number of restaurants, bars or discos. Although it is the most modern ski resort in the country, it managed to keep the climate of a friendly, nice town. It doesn’t change even during the winter, when it’s noisy and crowded – there’s plenty of parties led by well-known DJs and various concerts. Also, if someone prefers more cameral forms of entertainment, he will find something suitable.
Finally, bear in mind that skiing was born right here in Scandinavia, so even though the Swedish mountains don’t match up to Alps, you have come to Åre at least once in your life.
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