Northern Sweden: A Winter Wonderland

Brought to you by General Snus.
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Brought to you by General Snus.
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There may be no place in the world more aptly referred to as a "wonderland" than the northern wilderness of Sweden, where forests and ice lakes stretch for miles and reindeer rove in herds. Downhill skiers searching for some of Europe's best powder won't be disappointed by resorts like Åre, which offers 880 meters of vertical skiing, or Riksgränsen, where the powder stays fresh through June.

But some say that cross-country skiing is the best way to experience this natural wonderland, and Sweden boasts an extensive system of interconnected mountain trails that are perfect for longer skiing tours. It's possible to spend days enjoying breathtaking scenery from remote mountaintops while tackling vast expanses of pure, untouched terrain. Sweden's Härjedalen mountain range, in fact, boasts the world's longest prepared system of tracks, with over 175 connected miles.

What to expect? Dramatic panoramas steeped in peace. Crisp air. Spring days that are long and sunny, and moments of silence that will stay with you long after you've retired your equipment. Some skiers are even lucky enough to catch a flash of the region's northern lights.

In terms of accommodations, there are plenty of mountain huts along Sweden's trails. Jukkasjärvi’s famed ICEHOTEL is a one-of-a-kind experience. The hotel is rebuilt every winter (after melting each spring) and is completely constructed from ice and snow. The doors are covered in reindeer furs.  An ice sauna and an Absolut Ice Bar, complete with vaulted ceilings and plenty of warming libations, help take off the chill, ensuring that you'll be ready for another day of skiing Sweden's pristine powder.