Åre Resort Guide
Insider tips from our team
Ten things we love about Åre
- It's the largest ski resort in Scandinavia. With more than 1,000 acres of terrain, there’s huge diversity for all abilities in Åre, from gentle, beginner-friendly slopes to off-piste for experts. After more than a decade of skiing here, we’re still discovering new spots to ski.
- Kids aged 6 and under ski for free. So long as they wear a helmet, children under seven can ski for free. This makes Åre a very affordable option for family ski holidays.
- Uncrowded, even during peak weeks. Very different from the popular resorts in the Alps, Åre has quiet slopes with rarely any lift queues. This makes the skiing feel safer, more enjoyable and means you can really maximise your ski time, no matter when you travel.
- Polite, English-speaking locals. With impeccably good English, Swedes are some of the most proficient English speakers outside of Britain and America. We find that the locals are always polite, helpful and good-humoured. This is particularly good for kids in ski school, but also helps with the little things like ordering a coffee.
- Superb and varied cuisine. Åre’s fantastic range of high-quality eateries is more varied than most ski resorts (they’re as good as you’d expect in a small city!), with everything from burgers and pizza to elk and reindeer on the menus.
- World-class non-ski activities. A genuine all-round winter destination, Åre has an eclectic range of non-ski activities. Alongside dog sledding, spas and splash pools there’s a chocolate factory, distillery and igloos.
- Close enough for a weekend. After a two-hour direct flight from London Gatwick, it’s roughly the same again by road. This makes Åre a good choice for short breaks and weekends, as well as stress-free weeks.
- Off-the-beaten-track excitement. Relatively under the radar for British skiers, Åre feels like a mini-adventure. Come in winter for dark nights and floodlit slopes, or visit from March onwards for long sunny days.
- Aesthetic appeal. With colourful wooden buildings overlooking Lake Åresjön, Åre wins points for prettiness. Inside, the cafes, restaurants, bars and hotels benefit from Sweden’s impeccably good taste and Scandinavian styling.
- Weekly ski clinics. Åre runs a regular weekly program of group tours and clinics. From off-piste tours to couloir clinics and freestyle workshops, they’re great fun, great value and can really enrich your ski holiday.
As Scandinavia’s largest resort, there are more than 1,000 acres of terrain to explore over three areas. Much of the skiing is tree-lined, with spectacular views of the lake as you descend. The top of the ski area is more exposed and gives great views, but it’s better to stay low if it gets windy or starts snowing.
The main ski area has the greatest variety of slopes, while the Björnen area has been designed for beginners and families. The Duved area is possibly our favourite, especially in a snowstorm, with rolling slopes and floodlit night skiing which stays open until 8 pm each evening.
Off-piste in Åre
One thing that really sets Åre apart from other resorts is its easy access to a vast expanse of off-piste terrain. Wide, open and relatively gentle, you don’t need to be an off-piste expert to enjoy it but, to discover the best of Åre’s off-piste, ask us about hiring a guide.
Kids in Åre
Families that visit Åre often comment on how convenient the resort is, with all the facilities you need (bars, restaurants, grocery shopping, ski rentals and ski school) all in one place. Åre Björnen and Duved are two areas that are particularly good in this respect.
Åre Björnen - Designed for children and families, this area has a superb range of beginner slopes and child-friendly lifts. The whole Åre ski system is easily accessed from here, which is great when you’re ready for more challenging slopes. You’ll find plenty of ski-in ski-out accommodation within easy reach of the ski school and ski rental. Good family options are Huset Björnen and Vargen Apartments, as well as the luxurious Copperhill Mountain Lodge with its award-winning spa and kids club.
Duved - Great for teens, the linked ski area at Duved and Tegefjäll offers sheltered skiing away from the main village. The slopes are often very quiet here, and the self-contained ski area allows the kids to explore in a safe environment. At the base of the slopes, Renen Hotel is moments from a button lift taking you to the slopes. The ski school and rental shop are just a few minutes walk away.
Valle, The Huggable Snowman - Little ones can meet the resort mascot, Valle, and join in with his Euro-pop dance routine. You’ll find him at 2 pm every day except Sundays at the ski school meeting point, as well on Fridays for the last day of kids’ ski school, and at children’s après ski activities.
Huså Tour - If your kids have already mastered the basics, this child-focused adventure is definitely worth considering. Ski as a whole family to the old mining town of Huså. Descend on a groomed run from the top of Åreskutan to Huså or, if you’re a family of experts, there’s an easy an off-piste alternative. Have lunch in Huså and enjoy the local runs before taking a snowmobile ride back over the mountains to Åre. Tours operate on Saturdays from February to mid-April.
Food & Drink
Earning itself the nickname ‘Little Stockholm,’ Åre has some of Sweden’s best après bars, and more than 60 restaurants. We’ve tasted our way around as many as possible. Here are some of our top recommendations.
On the mountain
Buustamons Fjällgård - A fantastic mountain restaurant that distils its own potent spirits. Serves hearty dishes and gourmet food. Near the ski school in Rödkullen.
Årehyddan - Head here for superb sandwiches, snacks and great views of the Åredalen valley. A great stop-off on Stjärnbacken.
Hummelstugan - Part way up Mörvikshummeln, this bistro serves an a la carte menu and has stunning views. Great for a long lunch.
Tott Hotel - Self-service buffet with rustic food for hungry skiers. Great value.
In the Village
Broken Åre - Popular place with a great atmosphere and excellent burgers. Try the enormous Mega Burger.
Liten Krog - Lovely little restaurant serving delicious pizza and tapas dishes. Popular, so book in advance.
Åre Crêperie & Logi - sweet, savoury and vegan options with a local twist.
Beefalo - Steak and sushi restaurant with a great bar in the centre of Åre.
Supper - Come here for great for cocktails and Latin American food.
Werséns Brasserie & Bar - French flavours, Swedish classics and good pizzas, with hot stone meals served in the cellar.
Vinbaren Åre - A classy wine bar serving delicious food.
Fjällpuben - A fine-dining restaurant run by two well-known Swedish chefs.
Bars and clubs
Best après bars (or ‘after ski’ as the Swedes say)
Restaurant Fjällgården - A popular venue with a party atmosphere from 3pm onwards. Good for live bands.
Timmerstugan - Fun après bar with a superb location next to the VM-6 lift (a short stumble from the village centre).
Verandan Åre - Right in the village centre with regular live bands and DJs.
Best evening bars
Most of the après bars continue into the evenings, or Bygget is another good option:
Bygget - One of the best nightclubs in town, Bygget starts to fill up after midnight.
What to drink and nibble
Gluhwein - Known more commonly as glögg in Sweden, you can buy it in most bars.
Fika - (pronounced fee-ka) the Swedes love their coffee and cake so much that they’ve given it a name. One our favourite places for Fika in Åre is The Bahnhof Café (next to the railway station), Gradda (by Brunkulla Apartments) and the Åre Ski Inn.
Alongside classics such as dogsledding, night skiing and snowmobiling, the resort's unique attractions include Northern Europe's longest zipline and Sweden's largest waterfall.
Dog Sledding - A must-do for the full Scandinavian experience. There are several dog sledding centres just outside Åre with a few offering hotel pick up. From taster sessions to overnight trips.
Chocolate Factory - Taste, buy and browse around 30 flavours of chocolate, caramel and truffle. See it being made, learning how the artisans take inspiration from local berries. Located 1.8 miles east of the main village in Björnänge.
Water Park & Sauna World - Ideal for all ages, including families with little ones, this complex has hot tubs, adventure pools, water slides and six different sauna experiences. Located at the Holiday Club Resort in central Åre.
Tännforsen Waterfalls & Igloos - Experience Sweden's largest waterfall along with a spectacular igloo village. Made entirely from snow and ice, you can enter the igloos where the rooms are furnished with ice sculptures and reindeer skins.
Europe's Largest Zipwire Park - Fly at speeds of up to 70mph as you travel over trees, streams and ravines on a series of ten zip lines. Located next to the ski area, the longest wire is 350-meters long.
Ice Driving - For something completely unique, get behind the wheel on an ice-covered lake. Available for all abilities from complete novices to seasoned rally pros!
Snowmobiling - See Åre's wild landscape from a different point of view, plus have all the fun of driving a snowmobile! Driving license needed to drive the snowmobile. Ages 8 and up.
Snowshoeing - For a more peaceful way to explore the area. You can join a guided tour or rent your own.
JumpYard - The newest attraction for kids in Åre (opened autumn 2020), the JumpYard activity centre features trampolines, foampits, a climbing wall, SkyRider zipline and a Ninja course.
The ski school in Åre has an excellent reputation and caters for all ages and abilities, from three years to teens and adults. Ask our experts about arranging and pre-booking your group or private ski lessons - call us on 01273 224063 for more details.
Ski coaching, tours and clinics
Alongside piste-skiing lessons, Åre runs a weekly coaching programme of specialist clinics. Offering excellent value, these group sessions are led by expert local guides and instructors, and include priority access for all lifts. To secure your place on one, ask our team to book in advance for you (all prices are on request).
Off-piste intro - Join a local guide for a morning’s introduction to off-piste. Learn about essential safety and ski techniques within a group of eight (max). Courses run on Tuesdays at 9.30am. Minimum age 12.
Ski touring (randonée) - Get away from the lifts for a full morning as you learn the basics of ski touring and explore off-piste. All equipment is provided, and you’ll need to be a physically fit, experienced skier (minimum age 16). Tours run 9.30-12.30 on Wednesdays and Fridays.
The Backside - Ski Åre’s classic off-piste run, and one of the best-known in Sweden. Start by skijoring (being towed) uphill before skiing 1,000 metres of vertical as you descend to the Kabinbanan valley station. Tours run 9.30-12.30 Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from Feb onwards. Min age of 16, with up to eight people in a group, off piste experience required.
The Couloirs - Discover Åre’s little-known couloirs, which often collect some of the resort’s best powder. Be prepared for steep, sometimes technical, off-piste. Min age 16, with no more than eight people per group. Tours run 9.30-12.30 on Thursdays.
Early Bird - Be the first of the day to ski the freshly-groomed runs in the Åreskutan high zone, before they’re open to the public. Take the Kabinbanan lift up between 7.15 and 9am, while everyone else is only just waking up. Runs on Tuesdays and Fridays from February half term onwards. Available for 12 years and up, red level and over. 60 people max per group.
Snow Park Intro (skiers only) - Learn the basics of jumps and rails and how to enjoy the park safely. Runs Tuesdays 09.30-12.30, minimum age 8, max. 10 people per group.
Ski Guide - Join a local guide for a full or half day and discover Åre's best skiing, best restaurants and local secrets. Groups sizes are eight people max, so you can agree on a programme between you.
Off-piste Guide - Leave the lifts and groomed runs behind and discover Åre’s best off-piste skiing. Spend a full or half day with a guide, who can help fine-tune your technique. Each experience is tailored to the ability of the group (eight people max).