The World Cup resort of Are in the north of Sweden’s Jamtland is a small, traditional and pretty town with one or two more modern hotels but mainly typical colourful wooden buildings, and more accommodation strung out along the picturesque valley. There are four large ski areas all on the single lift pass to make for Sweden’s most extensive ski area. Pistes are above and below the tree line and although there is some quite challenging runs higher up, it is generally best suited to intermediates, beginners, mixed ability groups and families. It is also well suited to a relaxing mixed activity break with reindeer sleighrides, dog sledding, a reindeer centre, paragliding, floodlit tobogganing, snowmobiling on the frozen lake and the village itself is quite well served with shops and 17 restaurants in the main village, and a good selection of bars. Typically the Swedes offer smiling service and genuine courtesy, but Swedish visitors do like to let their hair down off the slopes and some of the bars and clubs do get surprisingly lively of an evening, and the after ski fun starts as early as 1500hrs.
|Opens||Nov – May|
Snowmaking ensures that the season stretches from November to May, but recent seasons have seen decent natural snowfall – particularly later in the season. The weather can be quite changeable and at times prone to strong wind. The higher zone, well above the tree line, offers some extensive off-piste skiing when natural snowfall permits and there is also heli-skiing available locally. The higher lifts do not usually open until January, and when they are closed – such as when weather affected – then there is not really enough to keep the ore energetic advanced skiers amused for very long. There is night skiing five nights of the week between January and March. ginners have a good choice of easy terrain which are served by specific lifts at both Are and Duved. The majority of runs are blue cruisers through the trees and are well connected to ensure you do ski different parts of the mountain. Experts and advanced skiers will find nine black runs over the whole four centres, although some of them do tend to be reds which become blacks. The World Cup downhill run and the Slalom piste are worthy of their ranking. Off piste skiing is good when the conditions permit. There is guided snowcat skiing off the back of the mountain. The ski school is reported o be great, with attentive English speaking instructors. The resort is well set up for family skiing and boarding, although the early season weather is not always as settled as the Alps. Children are well catered for with their own kids tuition half days programme based from Rodkullen which does require a bus ride from both Duved and Are. Cross country trails are not only extensive (there are over 200km) but the countryside around the huge frozen lake is attractive and ideal for both the strenuous and not as active cross country fans.
|Accommodation & Apres Ski|
Accommodation is plentiful and varied to offer everything from back packers hostel to family apartments and upmarket hotels. The bigger hotels include the Hotel Sunwing which also includes apartments. It has a pool and jacuzzi and three saunas; the Renen is also by the lifts and offers a ski bus into the village and has both hotel rooms and family apartments, and has an outdoor children’s play area. The Diplomat’s skiers bar has half price drinks between 3 and 5 each day. With 17 restaurants there is no shortage of choice. The local trout and salmon dishes are widely available and highly recommended, and fondue and hot stone style cooking are a must. Plenty of nightclub and pub action and drinks are not as ferociously priced as Norway. (2000 price about £3.00 a pint for beer).