Riksgränsen Ski Resort Guide
Riksgränsen is known in Sweden as the country’s most legendary ski area and is found in the Swedish Lapland where the top ten highest mountains in the country can be found.
As it is located 125 miles (200km) north of the Arctic Circle it is the ideal place for skiing under the bright midnight sun and appreciating the Northern Lights.
Its proximity to Norway also makes it the only place in Sweden where it is possible to ski into the neighbouring country and back on every turn.
The resort is 87 miles (140 km) from the airport at Kiruna (KRN), which offers several daily flights from Stockholm, and 37 miles (60km) from the airport at Evenes (EVE) in Norway, from which you can then reach Riksgränsen by road or rail.
During the early 1900s the village’s inhabitants had to move away from the area as there was too much snow!
This makes Riksgränsen a skier’s paradise with its endless opportunities for backcountry skiing, heliskiing and after hours skiing under the mesmerising light of the midnight sun in the month of June.
The resort is also popular for the winter launches of cars by various European manufacturers, which use the snow-covered roads and frozen lakes to winter test their cars.
Geology enthusiasts will also be able to visit nearby Kåppasiåkkagrottan, the country’s largest cave.
Accommodation options include Hotell Riksgränsen, not far from the ski lift, with half-board and full-board options available, the comfortable and clean Meteorologen Ski Lodge, and a range of apartments.
For those willing to splash out a little more, travel a couple of hours from the resort to Jukkasjärvi and you will find Icehotel, one of the most unique hotels in the world as it is remade out of snow and ice every winter.
Otherwise, pamper yourself with traditional therapies from the local Lapland region in the Relaxen Spa and Sauna.
Visitors will also find a good-sized supermarket called ICA Nära (Swedish supermarket chain) selling ski equipment and some range of food and drinks.
On the slopes
As the Swedish Lapland winters are harsh, Riksgränsen opens its pistes at the end of February until May or June, with the best months for powder snow being March and April.
The resort has 6 ski lifts and 29 pistes, including Nordalsfjäll, where the annual Scandinavian Big Mountain championships are held every May.
There are pistes for all abilities, including 4 Beginner Runs and 11 Intermediate Runs and families will find the wide slopes and the many layers of soft snow ideal.
Even though there is only 1 Black Run, advanced skiers will enjoy the freedom and challenge offered by the 13 marked off-piste areas.
Night skiing is a highlight of the skiing experience in Riksgränsen in the month of June, where the sun shines on the slopes 24 hours a day.
You can ski from 10pm to 1 am and catch the last drinks in Grönan, the main bar of the area closing at 2.30 am.
Nightlife in the area will please both fine diners and explorers of the local cuisine, whilst those looking for live music parties or a friendly game of pool will not be disappointed.
Grönan, located in the basement floor of Hotell Riksgränsen, is the main bar/club of the area and is open from 4pm to 2:30 am. Here you can enjoy a game of pool, live music gigs or parties, which usually get going in the early hours of the morning. Meteorologen Ski Lodge is the quieter alternative with its extensive wine list. In the months of April and May you can also find outdoor entertainment in the terrace of bar Pelikanhyllan with its amazing views.
During the day skiers can enjoy refreshments in Nordalskiosken, or in Café Lapis offering pizzas, alcoholic and soft drinks. The more formal dining options can be found in Hotell Riksgränsen and include the Meteorologen Ski Lodge for trying local dishes of the area and Restaurant Laplandia for those who want to taste a modern twist on Swedish cuisine.
The options for snow adventures are endless. Heliskiing, snow and avalanche courses, dog sledding, off-piste and snowmobile tours are all available in this remote corner of Sweden.
Another attraction in the area seeing the Aurora Borealis from the nearby Abisko National Park, considered to be the best pace in the world from which to see the Northern Lights.
A chairlift will take you up to the viewing area between late November to late March where you can enjoy the views and great local cuisine.