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Are ski resort, Sweden

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The pearl of the Swedish mountains, Are (pronounced oar-rah) is famed for its challenging runs and legendary apres-ski. Are is fast becoming a major player on the international skiing scene, having recently been voted by Conde Nast as one of the top three ski resorts in the world. There are fantastic piste skiing, fun parks, amazing off-piste skiing, great nightlife and a whole host of activities like snowmobiling and husky dog sledging to try your hand at. Thanks to the cold Swedish climate and low humidity, snow is virtually guaranteed from early December through to May.

Are is split up into four distinct areas - Duved, Are village, the high zone and Bjornen (the bear); each with its own character and possibilities for skiing. Along with these areas there are also possibilities for off-piste skiing on the whole of the backside (north) of the mountain and through the birch forests in the wilderness between the pistes. Duved is a separate village, covered on the same lift pass, which is secretly known as the local’s favorite. Although relatively small compared to it’s big brother of Are, Duved has everything one could wish for in a miniature ski resort – from great cruising reds, tree-lined blues to fun parks with death-defying jumps and rails. In the peak holiday times of New Year, half-term holidays and Easter; Duved is the place to ski in order to escape the crowds. Are village is where all the action happens - it has a large purpose-built finishing area for the world cup races, challenging reds and black runs that snake right into the village square and the home to the fastest and longest lifts, including the gondola which takes up to 80 passengers and an eight-person chairlift.

The high zone is typically defined as the ski area above the tree line and the home to the best skiing, views and slopes that typify Swedish mountain skiing. Due to its exposed and rocky nature the high zone does not open fully until the middle to late January and often closes when there is a gale blowing. The possibilities for skiing here are endless and with its open nature it is also possible to sample some off-piste powder skiing. Björnen is almost a separate resort and home to family, child-friendly skiing; with endless tree-lined blues, play parks and cozy cafes where a warming hot chocolate awaits. A great place for some cruising and an ideal base for children, who would be frightened of the supercharged nature of Are village.

Apres-ski (or after-ski as it is known in Sweden) is phenomenal! Swedes go mad for the after-ski sessions in lively bars that have great bands that play from 4pm-6pm. There are at least three places that have this kind of lively after-ski and there are a multitude of other bars that offer a more relaxed, fireside type of relaxation after a long day’s skiing. There are also many other non-skiing activities such as snowmobiling, paragliding, ice driving on the frozen lake and husky-dog sledging. In the evenings there are also at least 20 restaurants that provide everything from pizzas to five-star gourmet meals.

The whole valley of Are has over 30 000 hotel or apartment beds, so there are many choices of accommodation - from budget hotels, self-catering apartments, whole chalets to rent or luxury hotels. The main hotels are centered in and around the village of Are, but chalets are springing up all around the valley, particularly in Björnen.


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