Skiing enthusiasts, eager to find the ultimate snow fantasy, are heading for Northern Sweden, where not only can you ski as late as midsummer, but also as late as midnight! Welcome to the Arctic Circle, to Riksgränsen.
Riksgränsen is Europe’s northernmost ski resort. It is close to the border with Norway and is situated approximately 300 kilometers from the North Pole. The resort itself is rather small, with only one hotel, two restaurants, a spa, a small museum and a bar. The winter months and the surrounding darkness are not really welcomed by the locals. February, however, revives spirits as the first visitors start to appear. In the course of the following months, the sun lingers on and in June, it simply never sets.
As far as skiing goes, the mountains are not exceptionally high, usually averaging around 1,000 meters. However, there’s always plenty of deep snow, with no trees and consequently, a wide range of skiers are attracted. The more experienced among them might find the local slopes somewhat unchallenging, but if they get bored – even though the runs are open until 1 a.m. – they can opt for the big new attraction – heli-skiing. The ideal time to do this is at midnight, when the slopes are empty and the sun is touching the horizon. Local scenery, especially at this hour, becomes an impressive spectacle. Usually, the heli-skiing trips are led by an experienced local ski-instructor, who knows the terrain very well and makes sure everything goes fine.
After a tiring day or night on the slopes, you can indulge yourself in a calming spa or go for a comforting massage. Other popular activities involve fishing in the nearby lakes, or dog-sledding, and even plain walking in the almost untouched countryside can become an amazing experience.