Outdoor activities are becoming more and more popular in Sweden – as evidenced by the top winter holiday destinations of Swedes.
According to a survey carried out by Sifo and commissioned by state bank SBAB, the Abisko, Kebnekaise and Karek national parks – all in Lapland – are the favoured choice for 21 per cent of Swedes taking their winter holidays.
The area is now the third-most popular choice for winter vactions in the country, according to the survey.
“Abisko has Sweden's oldest and slowest lift, that takes skiers up our home mountain Nuolja. It is known as the country's best and most accessible off-piste,” Jenny Engström, press officer with the Swedish tourist association (Svenska turistföreningen) told news agency TT.
“Kebnekaise and Sarek get a lot of visitors who want to go out on the tundra or trek on Sweden's highest peaks using climbing skins and skis,” said Engström.
Engström says that an increased interest in outdoor and hiking activities during summer months has inspired enthusiasm for the alternative Lapland winter skiing activities.
“We are generally seeing a trend of people wanting to learn and try out new activities on their holidays,” said the tourism press officer.
Although the three Lapland destinations are different geographically and in terms of activity, the one thing they do have in common is that they are more meditative than popular ski resorts, she says.
However, Åre in West Jämtland and Sälen in Dalarna continue to top the overall list of most popular mountain destinations. Ski resorts in these areas remain well-visited even during non-holiday periods, according to Linda Morell, head of marketing and communication with Swedish ski travel company Skistar.
“By the end of last year a lot of reservations had already been made in Åre and Sälen as well as other destinations, and in the last few weeks a lot of last-minute bookings have come in as southern Sweden has stayed relatively snow-free,” Morell told TT.