With a breathtaking view of the glacier-carved Lapporten and one of Sweden’s largest lakes, torne träsk, you arrive in Björkliden where you are met by swarming activity. Eager children challenge the bunny slopes, competition skiers sharpening their skills, beginners negotiating their way to the slopes, telemark and off-pist enthusiasts psyching before heading for the peaks.
And in contrast to what many believe, the temperature is just right thanks to the warming Gulf Stream along the Norwegian fjords just over the mountains only 50 km away. “It is never bitterly cold here,” says Terje Pedersen, the event and function manager at Björkliden. “The average temperature lies around a comfortable -6°C in March.”
Björkliden has welcomed visitors from practically every corner of the world, and met both expectation and surprise. According to Terje, there is this notion about northern Sweden that is synonymous with barren Arctic landscapes. A depiction of a cold, inhospitable and inclement place. “What usually hits them first is the splendour, that it is so incredibly beautiful. And secondly, that they have the mountain tops to themselves, instead of sharing them with 30 000 other visitors”, says Terje.
Guests soon realize the grandeur of this little community. Here you find Sweden’s third highest vertical (538 meters), the country’s second FIS-approved downhill slope, Sweden’s highest mountain lodge, pistes for all levels and an abundance of activities to choose from.It is the perfect place to mix meeting with skiing, mountain tours, snowmobile and dogsled tours, all the while being captivated by breathtaking views over Torne Träsk and the surrounding mountain landscape.
Wintertime they are lit with the dancing northern lights. For many, their stay is an experience of a lifetime. One of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences is heli-skiing, skiing down after being left on a mountain top by a helicopter. From Björkliden, it is easy to access the expanses of over 100 mountain tops in both the alpine mountains of Abisko and Kebnekaise massive – an area equal to half of Austria’s available ski area with some of the world’s best conditions for heli-skiing.
Let’s turn our Björkliden focus towards summertime. This is when the midnight sun warms the mountains for 100 days, never setting. According to the magazine Golf World, Björkliden ranks among the top one hundred most beautiful and spectacular courses, offering the possibility to play golf during the light Arctic night. You can also bicycle along winding roads, or hike along well-marked trails.
There are both short day tours with wonderful lakes and waterfall excursions, and longer tours taking you from the mountains down to the Norwegian fjords. Helicopter tours can take you to exclusive fishing lakes with char, grayling and salmon trout. And when the autumn turns, you can join a guide on a hunting tour when the mountains are afire with autumn colours.
“Here we have people who know the mountains like the back of their hand, and are happy to take you out there. Flexibility is our strength. We arrange that little extra, things our guests find hard to believe are possible up here. Everything boils down to will. And that is something we have”, says Terje.
“Shopping and party places are things you can find anywhere. Discovering an untouched mountainside with 30 cm of powder is more of a challenge. But that’s exactly what we do have.“