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Which Scandinavian ski resort is right for you?

Dreaming of a snowy break in Scandinavia this winter? We select five unique Nordic getaways, from an aurora-lit igloo stay to an Arctic heli-skiing hub and more.

Published 4 Apr 2021, 06:07 BST
Niehku Mountain Villa on the Sweden/Norway border is the perfect site for heli-skiing.

Niehku Mountain Villa on the Sweden/Norway border is the perfect site for heli-skiing.

Photograph by Mattias Fredriksson

1. If you’re after… new heights

Try Niehku Mountain Villa, Sweden
This retreat on Sweden’s Norwegian border used to be a roundhouse that served the iron ore mining train line. It now offers luxe heli-skiing breaks March to May amid the peaks and glaciers of the 6,867ft Kebnekaise, Sweden’s tallest mountain. Norwegian flies to Kiruna from Gatwick, from £140 return, where the onwards train journey takes two hours.

2. If you’re after… Northern Lights

Try Levi, Finland
Bask under the aurora in a lively Lapland ski resort, 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle: a place where the swirling colours of the Aurora Borealis can be seen from your bed in a glass igloo. Plus, extensive downhill and cross-country skiing, husky, reindeer and snowmobile safaris.

3. If you’re after… fine Scandi food

Try Trysil, Norway
Evenings in this cosy town a couple of hours from Oslo might include a torchlit sleigh ride to a tepee-like tent for a feast featuring reindeer, or to a log cabin in the forest for a moose fondue. Foodie Tysil is also Norway’s biggest ski resort (44 miles of runs around volcano shaped Trysilfjellet), so it’s easy enough to work off any cheesy excesses. 

The design of the main building at Arctic Bath was inspired by north Sweden’s former timber industry.

Photograph by Getty Images

4. If you’re after… a dip into nature 

Try Arctic Bath, Sweden
Stay in architecturally striking cabins floating (or frozen into) the River Lule. Along with an open-air ice bath, there are plenty of warm treatments and hearty local Sami dishes to sustain you at Arctic Bath. The only skiing on offer is a cross-country excursion.  From December 2020, SAS flies between Stansted and Luleå (an hour from Arctic Bath by train or car).

5. If you’re after… family fun

Try Hemsedal, Norway
This resort offers a quintessential Nordic village vibe where all runs converge on one point almost outside your door. It also packs in Norway’s biggest children’s ski area (free ski passes and helmets for under sevens), English-speaking instructors and a free bus to the main town. There’s good skiing for parents and older children, too. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the European ski season. For the latest advice, visit gov.uk

Published in the Winter Sports 2020 guide, distributed with the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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