Åre (pronounced "aura") is Scandinavia's world-class ski resort, stretching 10km along Åresjön (Lake Åre), covering a total of 1,080 acres across 4 adjacent ski areas all offered under one lift pass and served by a complimentary shuttle bus service. The resort opened back in 1882 for tourists to sample its clean air. Today it is an eye-catching mix of old and new architecture interspersed with pistes across a snow-blanketed wilderness.
Host to the Alpine World Ski Championships in 2007 it attracts extreme freestyle skiers and families alike. It has some great tree-lined runs opening up to spectacular views of the frozen lake below. Off the slopes, Are Village has a great buzz with a wealth of bars, shops, superb restaurants and nightlife - it could easily be a hip suburb of Stockholm.
It’s certainly not the Alps, but that really is part of the appeal. Everything it does is executed in a quirky, yet cool way. The resort has its own distillery - Buustamons, set piste-side on the mountain, so you can stop off on your way home down the slopes. Below it is the Åresjön frozen lake that has been used for everything from an aircraft landing strip to an overspill car park! There's a Chocolate Factory too. Fairly normal, you might say, but the difference is they add their own twist with local flavours like cloudberries.
This is one of the best places in the world to sample winter beyond just the downhill slopes. Cross-country skiing, ice-skating, sleigh rides, ice-fishing, dog-sledding, snow-shoeing, snow-mobiling, tobogganing, ice-driving, zip-lining, snow-kiting, even moose kissing - whatever you fancy, you can try it here!