Usually we do not travel to places we have already been because there are so many interesting places we have not been yet. This is not the case with Åre. This is because it is closest big ski resort and also, as here we feel very comfortable.
I agree that it is always different, but at this time it really was. At first we were there five of us. Our family grew last year by a new member - baby boy came to us in November. So, everything we did, there was a baby factor to be considered. Our drive from Stockholm to Åre was half a hour longer, because we made one additional stop to feed the baby and change the diapers. Overall the 650 km long drive with the 2,5 months old baby was easy, he slept almost all the time, only last 30 minutes was a bit noisy.
This time we were here not at the year end. This gave us more space at slopes and almost no time spent in lift queue. And of course the prices of the chalet were lower. We had the beautiful ski chalet in Åre village – Slalomsvängen 29, just 100 meters from World Cup slope, from the slope it was possible to ski up to the house. The chalet had three bedrooms, kitchen, living room with the fireplace, sauna, it was perfect for a family like us.
The weather was soft this time. First two days it was about 0. We saw at least a little bit sun on two days. But snow was better than we ever have had here in Åre, it was real powder, almost no icy slopes this time.
We were in Åre for a week, this gives us six skiing days. The price for 6-day ski pass for adult costs 1590SEK and for youth 1280SEK. The ski pass allows skiing in four areas - Åre, Åre Björnen, Tegefjäll and Duved. We were skiing mostly in Åre ski area, because we believe that there are best slopes. Our absolute favorites are two slopes near Rödkullen. One quick slope comes down directly from Rödkullen lift. For an other good ride you need to go up with the Rödkullen lift, and then ski on the Ripvägen until the Ulladalsliften, which take you up. And then you just ski down on the Längsvangen to the Rödkullen café without breaking.
At one day we also were in Tegefjäll and Duved. Those last two areas are connected to each other, but not to Åre. To go there from Åre you need to take a ski bus or a car. As ski bus interval was one hour we decided to take a car, although this is less comfortable - you need to take other boots, etc.
We had Cobra MicroTalk MT 725 two-way radios with us and they were in excellent use. This radio is using PMR 446 frequencies to communicate. One of us always stayed in the house with the baby. The coverage was so good, that we could communicate between the house and the slopes in all Åre area, also, even from Tegefjäll it was possible to talk.
The prices here in Åre are high as expected in Scandinavia. The guliash soup at the Rödkullen hill restaurant cost 69SEK, spaghetti Bolognese 79 SEK and a daily offer (which was at that day smashed potatoes with meat balls) 59 SEK. We realized at the second day that it is time and money consuming to buy the frozen pizza from the supermarket for 20SEK (suitable for three) and heat it quickly for the lunch. As our house was just 100 meters from the slopes it was very wise to have quick lunch at the house.
There are two supermarkets in Åre - Konsum and ICA. Then the slopes are closed, all skiers run to those shops to fill the shelves with the food. So did we, because appetite is really good after spending a day on slopes. I believe we do not lose the weight here because we definitely eat more than we do at home.
At the end of January the lifts are open from 9AM until 3PM (but already in the beginning of February the time will be 1,5 hours longer). We went to the slopes after 10AM and finished then lifts were closed. After visiting the supermarket and having a dinner we had a sauna every day. And later, after the sauna we played the board game World Wonders. This was a good play. There are also several Afterski activities in Åre (honestly less than we saw in Mayrhofen, but still), but we were not interested in those. We enjoyed spending our evenings together with children in the Chalet.