Vemdalen is a ski paradise for the Whole Family
It is idyllic and child-friendly with some of Sweden’s best slopes.
Vemdalen is a small, picturesque town of 929 inhabitants, located in the municipality of Härjedalen, 80 miles southeast of Östersund Airport. The skiing itself is spread over three different resorts in the area—Vemdalsskalet, Björnrike, and Klövsjö/Storhogna—each with their own special character.
Together they form Sweden’s third-largest ski resort after Åre and Sälen. Vemdalen boasts a total of 42 lifts and 58 slopes, so there’s plenty to explore. Best of all, the lift pass is valid in all resorts, so you can try out several during your ski trip.
Vemdalsskalet, or Skalet for short, is the main resort in Vemdalen and it offers the largest range of skiing options, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. All starting from the square in Skalet, surrounded by cozy wooden houses. The skiing takes place on two different mountains, Hovde and Skalsfjället.
Hovde is located directly above the square in Skalet and has slopes perfect for both the smallest skiers and speed freaks who love the breakneck pace of black runs. Three efficient chairlifts take you quickly back to the top for another run.
Skalsfjället, or just Skals, offers a couple of really steep slopes for those who like a real challenge, but there are also slightly wider blue runs along with a snow park suitable for anyone who enjoys jumps and more playful skiing.
A fantastic slope runs from the top of Hovde down to the bottom of the Väst Express chairlift. The slope starts out as a red run before it flattens out slightly and changes to blue just as it opens up. Here, you can really practice your carving turns and feel the g-force on every turn.
A long, undulating blue run on Skalsfjället invites you to swing dance on two skis. There’s plenty of space here and a lot of peaks that won’t upset your stomach when you speed over them.
A genuine skier’s hotel inspired by the classic buildings of the Swiss Alps, both inside and out. Located on the square in Skalet, it’s perfect for hitting the slopes quickly in the morning.
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A lovely brewery pub is located on the ground floor of Vemdalsskalet’s mountain hotel. Sink into one of the comfortable Chesterfield sofas and relax with one of the many locally brewed beers or drinks after a hard day’s skiing.
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This Italian restaurant serves dishes made from Italian ingredients, prepared by Italian chefs. The fresh pasta hits the spot after a long day on the slopes. Take the opportunity to buy delicacies imported directly from Italy.
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Après-ski and nightclub
The top floor of the Vemdalsskalet hotel is home to a lively après-ski venue, many concerts with big-name artists, and of course a vibrant nightclub. Here, you can also recharge your batteries at the food court before hitting the slopes the next day.
Björnrike is the perfect family setting for those who want to stay close to the skiing action and enjoy a slightly slower pace on their vacation. Best of all, you’ll find some of the longest slopes in the Swedish mountains here—they’re great for taking big, carving turns—spread out over three different mountains, which means there is always something new to discover.
At the rapid Grizzly Express six-chair lift, you will find the Kodiak red run, which many connoisseurs hail as one of the very best in Sweden. Here, you can ride the fall line for 1.25 miles over a perfect slope—if you have the thighs for it, of course!
Björnrike’s best oven-baked pizza can be found at Bageriet. They also offer freshly brewed coffee and hearty sandwiches. When the skiing day is over, the après-ski with live music begins, followed by evening entertainment featuring bands or DJs on Fridays.
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Right next to the small village of Klövsjö, voted the most beautiful in Sweden, are the two interconnected resorts of Klövsjö and Storhogna, both with their own unique character. Klövsjö boasts slopes that challenge even Sweden’s best skiers, while little Storhogna offers up a slightly slower pace. Together, the two form the largest ski area in Vemdalen, which means more room for ski maneuvers.
The black run, aptly named Svartåshanget (“Black Sea Slope”), is the steepest slope in Vemdalen with a maximum gradient of 38 degrees. It is certainly one of the most challenging slopes in Sweden. Make sure you warm up properly before taking it on, both you and your thighs will need it.
This cozy café and shop down in Klövsjö village serves freshly baked bread and cakes from its own stone-oven bakery along with handmade chocolates from its in-house chocolate workshop. It’s well worth a stop along the way for a coffee or lunch!
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Text by Tobias Liljeroth