Planning Skiing in Sweden - request for information

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Paul_B

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Jul 14, 2008
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It's the time of the year when my summer holidays are over and I'm looking forward to a family ski trip over xmas break. Last year I had excellent advice about Norway and had a wonderful holiday as a result, thanks everyone who posted.

This year we're going to Are, Sweden. If anyone has advice, recommendations or general information I'd be very interested. Last year people were very helpful, especially since it was my first ski trip.

I think it's a bigger ski resort than Vestlia resort in Norway. Also good for families and beginners I think. They don't have have a good knife maker like the Oyo brothers where I went last year I think, but nothing's perfect.

There's a lot of online information but personal experience if others who've been there is very much valuable IMHO.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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I have been to Are only twice, did not like so much. More to follow why not.
Since my childhood, my family has spent a couple of times each winter in the Funasdalen area.
Several smaller villages, several mountain areas. Excellent crosscountry skiing on the mountain plateau.

Are: "THE" place to be seen ( and ski a little bit maybe). Expensive. Everything is expensive. there.
The slopes are rated as better, but as you are a newbie, that does not matter.
We went with our son to Are twice, he learned to ski there, but then we went to Funasdalen area again and again, until we moved to this place!
The Funasdalen area is very close to Roros in Norway, which is a very interesting old town. Well worth visiting!
 

Paul_B

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That doesn't sound good. It's already booked. Flight from Manchester then on to near Are. Could have flown direct from Edinburgh I think but the double flight worked out better for time of flights. Plus our son really likes the whole process of flying somewhere. Twice the excitement for him.

Anyone know when the ski season starts up there? Will there be much snow come end of December? I'm sure there will be since I think season starts end of October some years.

Last year Vestlia resort was warmer than north east England on the last year. +4°C ! The snow was practically scraped off at the top.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Well, there are ski resorts on both sides of the border, from South to North. Lots!

Are has the best downhill slopes, but imo the prices are a large snip higher mainly because of the "in ' factor.

You can still rebook.

Trust me, it is worth rebooking. I think I have visited the various places in Funasdalen 30-40 times, Are twice.
My parents loved skiing, caravanning, and trekking.
Christmas? Caravan in the Funasdalen area. Skiing. Ice fishing.
February Sports holiday ? Caravan in Funasdalen area. Skiing. Ice fishing.
 
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Paul_B

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Unfortunately resort and transport there has been booked. Expensive to get out of now. Would lose money.

Are you saying Are isn't very nice or it's ok but the other place is just significantly better?

Btw we're novice, downhill skiers. Two of us have one week of skiing (actually about 2 days skiing with the rest falling over a lot while learning to ski). My partner has skied a bit more in Austria and Bulgaria iirc. We've not got the time to learn another skiing discipline so XC is out.
 

SaraR

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Mar 25, 2017
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Unfortunately resort and transport there has been booked. Expensive to get out of now. Would lose money.

Are you saying Are isn't very nice or it's ok but the other place is just significantly better?

Btw we're novice, downhill skiers. Two of us have one week of skiing (actually about 2 days skiing with the rest falling over a lot while learning to ski). My partner has skied a bit more in Austria and Bulgaria iirc. We've not got the time to learn another skiing discipline so XC is out.
I haven't been to Åre myself, but it's a very popular place, so I wouldn't be too worried.
I assume that you have checked out the piste maps and found the areas most suitable for you. In my limited experience, it's usually easy to find a few slopes that are quieter and at a suitable level and then just enjoy those. Maybe you could take a few lessons and ask the instructor to show you around.

Why not rent a pair of cross-country skis for a day and go explore the prepared tracks? It's fun, gives your leg muscles something different and you get to see a different side of the place. You don't need to "learn a new discipline" just go out and give it a go. If you step out to let people pass and try not to ruin the prepared tracks nobody will mind.
 

Paul_B

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Our son will be 7yo then so it'll probably be too much for him to do XC. In fancied a go last year. The resort hotel was actually on a trail. A nice one around a lake.

Last year we learnt from scratch. We went on greens. The beginner slope and the other main green which started from the top if the mountain to the hotel. It was the longest slope at the resort too so we were happy just doing that a few times. Did my first jump on that run. Didn't mean to but I was hyper after surviving it. Landing wasn't good being on one ski but anything you can ski away from counts right?
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Åre is very nice, probably the best in Sweden, but expensive.
When we were there I thought both times the runs were more crowded. I guess it depends on when you go!
The children’s ( beginners) run is where my son had his first ski school lessons.
There are other activities there you might enjoy, some are Saame connected.
Fancy a ride in a sled pulled by a reindeer?
 

baggins

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Went to Are for my sisters wedding a few years ago. As Janne said, it's expensive, but everywhere in Sweden is expensive for Brits, lol! We had a great time there. The Skiing is great (this was early December), and there is plenty of other things to do in the area. Dog sledding, snow shoeing, cross country etc. We were self catering, so the food wasn't priced too bad, but stick to beer if you're drinking as wine and spirits are pricey. Are you hiring a car or getting the train/bus? I only ask as, if memory serves, the easier slopes are to the west of the town, not too far, but easier with transport.
 

Paul_B

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We're flying there from Manchester via Stockholm. Then I don't know the rest. I think we were thinking that it was like the Norwegian resort where you can ski from the resort hotel. I think the place we're booked at says that on their site. No idea about that. No doubt there's buses.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Oh yes, plenty of public transport. Which hotel?

Do the reindeer sled trip. I recall we did a whole day Saame experience, a sledge out to a kind of Saame settlement, where they talked about their culture, coked food and so. Then a trip back.
Those reindeer are quick I can tell you!
I have previous experience with reindeers, so the leader (Saame, nor r.deer) selected me to stand and drive my son and another (unknown) person. Scary.

If you do, listen to the 'click' their hooves produce, and see how they run. Cool, they splay out their toes so the feet/hooves are the size of a small dinner plate.

Unfortunately, one of the top rated restaurants in the World, will close in December this year..
Maybe you have heard about Faviken and Magnus Nilsson the chef?

He was on my list, but will not happen......
 

Paul_B

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Hotel club Are I think. A modern hotel with a cool water slide in na spiral outside the building into a really fancy pool. It has rivers, shaped pools and vegetation between them. Rooms look nice too.

Looking at the map it looks to be opposite the main road from one of the main slopes/ lifts.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Found it. Holiday Club Åre. Yes, central and close to the skiing. We stayed in the hotell higher up the slope. Skied to the front door but an uncomfortable walk ( slippery, salty,) to the center of Åre.

Better to be in the center.
 

Paul_B

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Oh that sounds better. Although some reviews of the place called it ugly, I think I like the modern look. Certainly the view with the water slide outside the building.

Last year had a slide like that too. You climbed up steps in a poorly insulated tower attached to the outside of the building to get to the top. There was even holes to the outside. You got very cold if there was a queue at the top but a 4 story slide was fun. It's probably thinking of that place that made my partner choose this one. The holiday isn't just skiing and with a young child a swim and a slide after dinner is just enough before bed.

It's too early to get excited, should not have started this thread so early! Thanks for the information everyone.
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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It is ugly. I guess some councilors got a lifetime membership to the sauna.......

When I searched online, I got quite a few bites ( 10-20 years ago) where local people expressed their negative views.
Big, square, concrete. Not something that blends in into the beautiful mountainous area and lake.....

Well, it is there, the facilities seem to be wonderful, so it is to be enjoyed!

And you need to try some real Swedish food. Not chickening out like in Norway!
Promise!
:)

I would give the restaurant a miss though I think....
Arty farty.
Plenty of eateries there, according to TripAdvisor.
 
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Paul_B

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What did I miss in Norway? I can't remember the recommendations from last year.

What are your swedish food recommendations for this year? All I remember of swedish food from my visits to the one decent food serving pub / restaurant in the town of I think Hedemora is stodgy. I mean no offence by that but it was food that is good for cold weather. Some meat with lots of vegetables and potatoes IIRC. A heavy meal that digests slowly and will keep you going in the cold all day. Actually nice. We were given two plates for the meal and for the vegetable side dishes.

Whereas the food given on another visit was in a works canteen. A bit closer to any canteen in the UK.

I was also driven past a few outdoor shops with large signs giving the names of big swedish outdoor brands. But never got to go shopping in them until back at Gothenburg. Cheaper in the UK.

Glad I wasn't driving. It takes a bit of confidence to drive off the main roads onto the roads leading into towns and villages. Clear if snow leads to completely compacted snow covered. In the UK that would stop traffic completely. It's obviously the tyres but a lot of uk drivers aren't used to driving on snow. It's what you're used to I guess. Plus locals slow right down just before junctions not brake last minute like in the UK and wonder why you have skidded over the line of the junction.

Anyway we're not over there to drive. Once in the hotel you can't see what the outside looks like. Inside it's nice from the photographs. Pool is amazing. Son likes that sort of thing.

Swedish meatballs! Are they really representative of swedish cuisine and what would you recommend as accompaniments?
 

Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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When I was in sweden meatballs were served with potatoes lignonberry jam and cream gravy. That seems to be the accepted way. A bit like the way you get fish and chips in the UK.
Our meatballs were elk meat.
Do take the lignonberry jam it's not as wierd as you might think. ..... think of cranberry sauce with your Xmas roast.
 

Paul_B

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Jams with meat I find perfectly acceptable. A big fan of cranberry and my dad once made a really nice Rowan berry jelly for eating with meats. We helped pick them on a track above a valley in the forest of Bowland. It had a lot of Rowan in full berry.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Swedish traditional cuisine reflects what was produced in that geographical area. Lots and lots of fish, game, the usual meats, root veg, potatoes. Yes, stodgy like all countrie’s cuisine.

But today, most decent restaurants are into a more modern cooking, using locally sourced ingredients. ( like so many all across Europe)
Lots of fish, wild and domesticated meats, fruits, veg, cooked in a ‘light’ way.

Meatballs? The ones you get served in the vast majority of ‘standard eateries’ including IKEA are low grade factory made ones, similar to what the population can buy in the freezer section in the shops.
IKEA must specify a specially low grade quality. Drop one from the plate and it bounces straight back! Ten times!!

Meatballs are traditionally served with boiled potatoes, (or potato mash, or pressed (boiled) potatoes,) brown sauce ( or cream sauce), boiled lingonberry sauce (= preserve) or ‘raw preserved lingonberries’.
To that either sweet and sour pickled gherkin or salt cured gherkin ( the more traditional way).

The meatball was either made from pure beef mince, or a mix of beef and pork. If the man / men in the family hunted, deer or moose meat could be used.

A real meatball dish is light years from what you get in IKEA.
I used to eat it on our visits there, but I think they have lowered the quality, (at least in the US IKEA shops) to an unacceptable level.
 

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