Sweden appeals most to those who want an all-round winter holiday in a different environment and culture. Standards of accommodation, food and service are good, and the people are welcoming, lively and friendly, but most of the downhill areas are limited in size and challenge.
Holidaying in Sweden is a completely different experience from holidaying in the Alps. Although virtually everyone speaks good English, menus and signs are often written only in Swedish. The food is delightful, especially if you like fish and venison. And resorts are very family-friendly. It is significantly cheaper than neighbouring Norway, but reporters still complain that eating and drinking is very expensive.
Days are very short in early season. But from early February the lifts usually work from 9am to 4.30pm and by March it is light until 8.30pm. Most resorts have some floodlit pistes.
On the downside, downhill slopes are limited in both challenge and extent, and the lift systems are dominated by T-bars. There’s lots of cross-country and backcountry skiing.
Après-ski is taken very seriously – with live bands from mid- to late afternoon. There is plenty to do off the slopes: snowmobile safaris, ice fishing, dog-sled rides, ice climbing, saunas galore and visiting local Sami villages.
The main resort is Åre, Others include Sälen (big but fragmented), Vemdalen, Riksgränsen, Björkliden (both above the Arctic Circle) and tiny Ramundberget.