Åre, Sweden Travel Guide

All About Scandinavia’s coolest mountain resort

Åre, Sweden is a one-of-a-kind ski town nestled between a mighty chunk of mountain, a mythical lake, an expanse of wilderness highlands and the broad Swedish sky. It is a worthy dream destination to add to your skiing and snowboarding bucket list, and we’ve got the full scoop.

Åre’s ski season generally runs from December thru May. Its modern network of 41 lifts includes a tram, two gondolas, two eight-seaters and multiple six packs. Line-ups are rare and the slopes offer ample room to soar. |  SkiStar

Åre’s ski season generally runs from December thru May. Its modern network of 41 lifts includes a tram, two gondolas, two eight-seaters and multiple six packs. Line-ups are rare and the slopes offer ample room to soar. | SkiStar

Dasher and Dancer, maybe. Real reindeer, definitely. |  SkiStar

Dasher and Dancer, maybe. Real reindeer, definitely. | SkiStar

Åre’s vertical rise of just under 3,000 vertical feet makes it comparable in continuous, top-to-bottom rise to Snowbasin, UT and Mammoth, CA. It is slightly less than Vail, CO and slightly more than Breckenridge, CO. |  SkiStar

Åre’s vertical rise of just under 3,000 vertical feet makes it comparable in continuous, top-to-bottom rise to Snowbasin, UT and Mammoth, CA. It is slightly less than Vail, CO and slightly more than Breckenridge, CO. | SkiStar

Located about 220 miles (350 km) south of the Arctic Circle in the Scandinavian Mountains (also known as the Scandes), Åre is distinctive and modern, with deep roots in history. Travelers started coming here in the 1800s for the fresh air. Downhill skiing took off in earnest in 1910 with the opening of the Bergbanan funicular in Åre’s town square, which ferried skiers and sightseers from Åre’s town square up the lower flank of Mount Åreskutan to an alpine plateau called Fjällgården.

Today, the Bergbanan still runs—but now Scandinavia’s largest ski area fans out from the historic core. From the windswept and scenic summit of Mount Åreskutan, the slopes drop nearly 3,000 vertical feet (890 meters) to the colorful lakefront town below. Broad, well-groomed pistes offer a slice of heaven for intermediates and novices, as well as fun for experts into racer-style carving. Up high, two in-bounds alpine bowls deliver more diverse expert offerings – and the adjacent backcountry is abundant in excellent and challenging steep and deep terrain. Back in bounds, multiple terrain parks deliver action for jibbers of varying levels, and night skiing and riding are a regular affair.

Åre’s funicular, the Bergbana, has been ferrying sightseers and skiers up Mount  Å reskutan since 1910.  Lisa Johansson |    Åre 2019

Åre’s funicular, the Bergbana, has been ferrying sightseers and skiers up Mount Åreskutan since 1910. Lisa Johansson | Åre 2019

Daylight hours are short here during December and January, but the action keeps rolling after dark.  Daniel Berhnstahl |    Åre 2019

Daylight hours are short here during December and January, but the action keeps rolling after dark. Daniel Berhnstahl | Åre 2019

The ski resort at Åre is owned by SkiStar AB, Scandinavia’s premier ski resort operator. SkiStar is a publicly-traded company with mountain resorts, lodgings and related businesses in Sweden, Norway and Austria.  Jonas Kullman |    Åre 2019

The ski resort at Åre is owned by SkiStar AB, Scandinavia’s premier ski resort operator. SkiStar is a publicly-traded company with mountain resorts, lodgings and related businesses in Sweden, Norway and Austria. Jonas Kullman | Åre 2019

Åre is composed of four resort centers and three ski areas, but the main attraction is Åre By, (Central Åre). This is Scandinavia’s alpine heart, with a great culinary scene, a big array of both family-friendly and wellness activities, an ever-present zest for the outdoors – and pulsing nightlife. Peopled by Olympians, artists, X Gamers, mountain guides, master craftspeople, moose farmers, acclaimed chefs, rugged pioneers, ice driving experts, chocolatiers and modern mountain hipsters, Åre is innovative, welcoming and full of life.

Åre is a town that likes to have fun.  Lisa Johansson |    Åre 2019

Åre is a town that likes to have fun. Lisa Johansson | Åre 2019

The wilds are always close at hand in Åre.   Marcus Lofvenberg    | Unsplash

The wilds are always close at hand in Åre. Marcus Lofvenberg | Unsplash

This is the place to step into a 1,000 year old church moments before riding a thoroughly modern cable car. Or to celebrate a winter wedding in a glittering party-cave sleekly carved under a frozen waterfall. To experience the culinary bounty of Sweden’s own Tuscany, rendered in char, cheeses, cloudberries and aquavit, then enchant your children with a herd of real reindeer. Or to savor coffee and fresh-baked Swedish treats with your mountain guide in a snow-crusted café atop Mount Åreskutan before skiing Scandinavia’s most extraordinary backcountry steeps. And most of all to have a very good Swedish time.

Also awesome: A single-day, full-price, all-access adult lift ticket costs only €47.5 (currently just shy of $55 USD). As always, multi-day passes, lift/lodging packages and other deals bring the per-day lift price even lower. Info links below.

About 4,500 year-round residents live throughout the Åre Valley, with less than half in Central Are. The destination is dynamic, distinctive and rich in amenities, including 70+ restaurants and bar, and 30,000+ overnight guest beds. The Åre Valley hosts more than 800,000 guests per year.  Niclas Vestefjell |    Jämtland Härjedalen Tourism

About 4,500 year-round residents live throughout the Åre Valley, with less than half in Central Are. The destination is dynamic, distinctive and rich in amenities, including 70+ restaurants and bar, and 30,000+ overnight guest beds. The Åre Valley hosts more than 800,000 guests per year. Niclas Vestefjell | Jämtland Härjedalen Tourism

These are the Teddybears, a hard-driving Swedish metal/pop/punk/reggae band, firing up the Åre night during the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in February 2019.  Jan M Lundahl |    Åre 2019

These are the Teddybears, a hard-driving Swedish metal/pop/punk/reggae band, firing up the Åre night during the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in February 2019. Jan M Lundahl | Åre 2019

Åre may be remote but it is the 50th most visited mountain resort in the world, making it more popular on a global scale than well-known Colorado destinations like Steamboat and Beaver Creek. It is a great place for families.  Niclas Vestefjell |    Jämtland Härjedalen Tourism

Åre may be remote but it is the 50th most visited mountain resort in the world, making it more popular on a global scale than well-known Colorado destinations like Steamboat and Beaver Creek. It is a great place for families.
Niclas Vestefjell | Jämtland Härjedalen Tourism

“Experience the culinary bounty of Sweden’s own Tuscany, rendered in char, cheeses, cloudberries and aquavit.”

Getting to Åre:

Åre is located about 386 miles (620 km) northeast of Stockholm. The nearest city to Åre is Trondheim, Norway, located about 100 miles (160 km) due east. The Trondheim airport (TRD) is served by several major airlines, including KLM and Norwegian Air International. There also is a local airport, Åre Östersund (ORD) which is served throughout ski season by EasyJet from London Gatwick, Bristol and Copenhagen, as well as by BRAflyg from Malmö. Public transportation in the Åre region is robust, therefore visitors who arrive by plane often take an airport transfer to their lodgings. Many guests also travel to Åre by train.

Trip Planning Resources:

For more information, and to launch your own bucket list ski trip to Scandinavia’s coolest mountain town, see

Åre’s history runs deep. This postcard dated 1904 shows structures that still stand today.   Wikimedia Commons

Åre’s history runs deep. This postcard dated 1904 shows structures that still stand today. Wikimedia Commons