Vemdalen Ski Holiday Resort
Made up of three separate ski areas - Vemdalsskalet, Björnrike and Klövsjö & Storhogna - that are all connected by a free ski bus, it's no surprise that Vemdalen is one of the largest ski resorts in Sweden. It's relatively low altitude (its highest mountain is only 1023m above sea level) but don't let that put you off; the skiing is widely varied, with some impressive vertical drops and several fast and modern express chairlifts.
There's enough to keep all levels of skier busy, too, with lots of wide open pistes on large hills, that are split evenly above and below the treeline. Björnrike, you'll find, has a minumum of two slopes at the top of each lift, providing both easier and more difficult runs to follow, and is also home to the longest chairlift in Sweden and the fastest 6-seater in Scandinavia, the Grizzly Express. Over in Vemdalsskalet, you'll be treated to lots of long, winding runs, for beginners to experts, over two large mountains. Klövsjo & Storhogna is particularly renowned for its elite-class black runs and family-friendly blues. Each ski area also boasts its own dedicated children's ski area, complete with snow gardens, play areas, beginner runs and much more.
Beginners are well-catered for in Vemdalen - all three ski areas have their own dedicated learn-to-ski areas at the bottom of the mountains, suitable for both adults and children. Once newbies feel more confident on their ski legs, they can progress to the plethora of wide, gentle runs that start from the very tops of the mountains, meaning that everyone gets to experience the fabulous views from the peaks. Längsvängen is fabulous green run in Björnrike, the longest run in the whole area, that begins from the top of the Blästerfjället mountain and curves all the way down into Björnidet, making it perfect for practising turns.
A majority of the runs in Vemdalen are long, sweeping blues and reds, making it a haven for intermediate skiers. The two slopes at the top of the Grizzly Express, Kodiak and Riket, are ranked in the top five slopes in the area, both coming in at over 2km each. There's a free ski bus, too, that takes you between Björnrike, Klövsjö & Storhogna and Vemdalsskalet, so skiers can experience a wider range of slopes than the ones in their base village.
Expert skiers are fairly limited when it comes to difficult slopes in Vemdalen - there are few black slopes and not too much in the way of off-piste. However, Klövsjö is home to the best advanced skiing in the area, with the Svartäshanget, Storslalombacken and Supersvängen runs offering challenging routes, usually with mogul fields. What's more, they're long and start right from the top of the mountain, and finish all the way back in Klövsjöfjäll Village.
Vemdalen's three ski areas offer a variety of prepared trails for both classic and skating cross-country styles. Head across the Swedish wilderness on tracks as long as 10km - stopping off in a warm cabin for a hot coffee and treats - and between the three ski areas on connecting trails. Vemdalsskalet, Björnrike and Klövjsö all have illuminated trails, too, and if you really don't want to go inside, Björnrike has routes open until 11pm.
Going off piste is said to be safer in Vemdalen than at many other resorts, but it's always recommended that you go with a guide. As well as being able to access unpisted slopes by just traversing from the tops of many of the lifts, you can also take a short hike to more mountainous areas - Vemdalsskalet is especially popular for its above-treeline, powder-field skiing. And because lots of the runs are tree-lined, there's infinite opportunities to try out some carving through the trees.
All the ski areas also have their own village, each with a unique look and feel, though all have claim to first-rate hotel rooms and well-equipped apartments that suit everybody's needs. The relatively young Vemdalsskalet, where most of our accommodation is located, is built around a charming square, with mountainesque Scandinavian architecture housing a nice selection of shops and restaurants. The other villages are blessed with pretty cabin-style huts that blend into the charming natural scenery (you may bump into a reindeer, if you're lucky), but don't be fooled by the façades, as you're bound to find a buzzing bar or two.
There isn't a huge amount of other facilities in Vemdalen, but if you're looking for something different to do you can head to the Storhogna M activity complex, which has restaurants, bars, shops, bowling alley, cinema, shooting simulator and gym.
Being a resort that's popular with families, the nightlife in Vemdalen isn't raucous or lively. There's fewer than 10 bars and clubs across the villages.
Vemdalen is proud of its local food traditions, with many of the restaurants sourcing first-class ingredients from nearby farms, forests, lakes and mountains. There's also bakeries, breweries and cheese factories nearby, too, so all the food you'll get, whether in the supermarkets or in the 15 or so cafés and restaurants dotted around the villages, will be fresh and delicious.
In resort there are many activities on offer including a swimming pool with spa, bowling, horse riding, horse-drawn carriage rides, climbing wall, helicopter rides, cinema, museum, and Santa visits.
Snow activities include dog sledding, reindeer safari, ice climbing, ice fishing, ice karting, snow scooters, snowmobiling / skidooing, cross-country skiing, snowshoe walking, Nordic walking, outdoor ice skating, kite boarding and kite skiing
A lovely first time ski area for families who want to avoid the crush of the Alps.
At a glance
- Resort height:
- Top station:
- Unspoiled, beautiful scenery
- Very good snow record from December to May
- Excellent for families
- Uncrowded pistes and lifts
- Superb Nordic and off-slope activities
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