Cross Country Skiing Sweden

It’s the second week of February and I find myself eating my breakfast at Walles Hotel in the mountains in central Sweden in a small ski resort called Bruksvallarna – an Eldorado for cross country skiing in Sweden. The area is better known as the Nordic Ski Centre, the longest interconnected system of cross country ski tracks in Europe, spanning an enormous 300 kilometres of prepared ski tracks. On top of this, there are over 450 kilometres of marked trails up in the mountains. This place is both hedonistic and Spartan at the same time. Its vast expanse is mind boggling and there is enough breathing room to avoid bumping shoulders or jostling for place out on the tracks. My mind drifts back to reality as I finish up my breakfast and head out for the day’s cross country skiing adventure in this Swedish winter wonderland.

Cross Country Skiing Sweden | Photo: Björn Arnemo
The Nordic Ski Center is an Eldorado for cross country skiing in Sweden and has the longest interconnected system of cross country ski tracks in Europe. Photo: Björn Arnemo

Cross Country Skiing Sweden at its Best

The Swedish ski resort Funäsfjällen, as the area is collectively called, aims to have the cross country ski tracks prepared by 10AM every morning, weather permitting. Today is no exception and I am already eyeing the perfectly prepared tracks from my breakfast table. A fancy digitalized program provides information on which ski tracks are newly prepared and when others will be completed. Tracks suiting both classic cross country skiing and skate are prepared, it’s just a matter of choosing which one suites your fancy. The cross country ski network also connects the different Funäsfjällen destinations:  Ramundberget, Fjällnäs and Tänndalen.

The opportunity of cross country skiing in Sweden along prepared tracks above the tree line in open mountainside is pure, unadulterated luxury, especially if the weather as it is today. Blue skies, bright sunshine, a frosty morning and a fresh layer of snow blanketing the surroundings. This is a Swedish winter heaven. I planned that today’s cross country skiing should be a little easier than yesterdays. I am planning to head to the little restaurant Ösjöstugan, in a cabin in Ramundberget, famous for serving delicious Swedish waffles. I need this type of recovery after yesterday’s sweat inducing session, which involved steep climbs up Mittåkläppen. The climb was worth every step though as the sun set over the valley filling every snow heavy corner with nuances of orange to pink undertones.

Cross Country Skiing Sweden | Photo: Björn Arnemo

From the 1930’s to Today’s Swedish Elite Skiers

Before continuing the adventure of my cross country skiing in Sweden it’s worth painting a background picture of the region. Ski tourism in Funäsfjällen really kick started in the 1930’s. The Nordberg family had a farm that offered rooms for rent in the 1930’s. An example dating back to this era still remain with the quant Fjällgården hotel, together with the areas of Ramundberget and Bruksvallarna, that still possess an air of antiquated quaintness, despite the recent construction of newer cabins in the area. Perhaps the reason that the area feels like the backcountry and forgotten in time is the fact that the road ends here. This is literally, the end of the road, where wilderness meets reindeer territory. Ramundberget serves as the source of a multitude of paths and winter trails that lead to stops such waffle cabins, old shielings or even more ambitious goals for skiing (Nordic style), such as the Helags and Sylarna mountain ranges.

Ramundberget happens to also draw elite and big name cross country skiers in Sweden from late autumn. Preseason training starts as early as October and by November it’s not uncommon that fresh, natural snow is being skimmed up by skiers.

Cross Country Skiing in Sweden | Bruksvallarna, Funäsfjällen

Cross Country Skiing & Swedish Waffles

I enjoy skate style cross country skiing and today I head to the first stop, along a 7 kilometre stretch towards the Össjöstugan waffle cabin. I’ve timed the morning to perfection and I am the first one out on the ski tracks. The ploughing machine has prepared a perfect corduroy patterned track and classic cross country ski tracks that look like a trains rails lead the way to my right. The breeze is at my back and I am in a good flow. I reach the small quaint, typically Swedish cabin in no time and the smell of freshly brewed coffee and crispy waffles served with cloudberry jam greets me as I enter.

Cross country skiing in Sweden doesn’t get better than this, sitting with my face to the sun and tucking into my warm, crispy waffle. I start chatting with two other skiers from Stockholm, kitted with the latest slimming performance outfits and a change of clothes in their backpack resting at their feet. They have been cross country skiing from Fjällnäs, approximately 20 kilometres away via the Långbrottfjället mountains. They know the area well and use the Nordic Ski Centre to the full, hopping on and off the ski bus between the different cross country ski tracks.

I happen to also bump into a retired elite cross country skier, Mikaela Sundbaum, taking a break from running the ski school in Bruksvallarna and tucking into a waffle for lunch. She tells me that she loves cross country skiing in Sweden and finds it to be her calling teaching others how to appreciate the sport. She teaches both newbies and experienced skiers alike and upon noticing my skate skis, mentioned how skate has grown in popularity in the last two years. “It’s all about energy efficiency” she says as she packs up and heads out again, gliding like the wind and making me wonder if I should enrol in her ski school.

After enjoying the last crumbs of the waffle from my plate I strap on my skis and head out in the tracks towards Fjällnäs and Sweden’s oldest fell hotel.

Swedish waffles | Photo: Jonas Kullman
Do not miss out on the Swedish waffles... | Photo: Jonas Kullman

Fjällnäs – The Oldest Fell Hotel in Sweden

I head along the ski trail, marked by the quintessential red crosses that indicate mountain passes. This is an epic trail marked with some breath-taking panoramas over the Norwegian mountainside to the west. It’s worth taking your time as the scenery is something that you want to have imprinted in your mind for a long time to come.

The last two kilometres to Fjällnäs hotel are steep downhills and the lactic acid burns in my thighs and I feel like Bambi on ice as I try control my descent down and around the curves. The yellow, timber hotel called Fjällnäs is Sweden’s oldest fell hotel and has been receiving tourists and plenty of skiers since the 1800’s, coming to enjoy the untouched and rugged wilderness. The authentic old world charm can still be felt in the hotel, but freshened up of a modern touch and possibly one of the best wine cellars and restaurants in the world of mountain hotels.

I cap the evening off with a wine toddy in front of the open fireplace. It was a tough choice between this, and spending the evening at the Mii Gullo Spa down by the lake. Complete with a sauna, outdoor hot bath, chill room and fireplace. It really makes a perfect way to relax and unwind after yet another perfect day cross country skiing in Sweden and the white winter wonderland that Funäsfjällen is.

Gastronomic Experiences at Restaurant Tusen

If you plan on visiting Ramundberget it is well worth taking a detour and stop for lunch at the Tusen restaurant during your ski session. Situated at 1000 meters with a birch tree façade, the restaurant draws its design inspiration from a circular Lapp cot with panoramic views of the mountain landscape. The cuisine steps away from traditional skier’s food to a more daring and wild approach, with dishes ranging from reindeer, arctic char and venison. 



Cross Country Skiing, Nordic Touring


Winter, Early Spring




From a few kilometres to multiple day tours.


Take a warm jacket for rest stops and extra gloves and a beanie/hat. Take refreshments/water and something light to eat. Don’t forget sunscreen for late winter when the sun’s rays reflect extra bright off the white snow.


Nordic Ski Centre in Funäsfjällen is Europe’s largest connected ski track system. It is part of one the areas in Sweden that is assured of snow, with some areas already preparing tracks in October.

Over 300 kilometres of tracks are prepared for classic and skate skiing. There are 450 kilometres of extra trails, 10 rest stop cabins and over 30 wind shelters. Real time digital information of tracks are available.


Restaurant Tusen & Fjällnäs.


Fjällnäs, Sweden´s oldest mountain hotel
Ramundberget mountain hotel
Walles högjällshotell, Bruksvallarna


Härjedalens Fjällmuseum (mountain museum) in Funäsdalen with its exhibits and displays of the area’s history, together with stories of local mountain farmers, the Sami (the indigenous people of Sweden) and miners who lived and worked in the area.

The peculiar prehistoric beasts at the Musk ox Centre in Tännäs.


Bruksvallarna is a part of the Nordic Ski Centre encompassing the whole trail system in Funäsfjällen and are ambitious in terms of producing skiing opportunities early in the season. They save snow from last year to be able to open the tracks as early as possible – often in late October, early November. Other ski resorts with early snow for XC skiing is Östersund (snow guarantee from Nov 1st), Vålådalen – a mountain station with training facilities in the south Åre mountains and Storhogna in Destination Vemdalen.

Ski areas in Jämtland Härjedalen with early snow:
Bruksvallarna, Destination Funäsfjällen

Vålådalen, Åre
Storhogna, Vemdalen


In Gällö, some 40 km east of Östersund, Mid Sweden 365 opened in the autumn of 2017. The world´s longest ski tunnel of 1,4 km is an arena with minus four degrees for skiing all year round. There are special areas for biathlon, waxing tests and ski cross. The tunnel was formerly a military warehouse situated in the mountain.


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Røros: The Unesco City

Røros lies across the border from Funäsfjällen in Norway, approximately one hour’s drive from Fjällnäs. It has been classified as a UNESCO City of Heritage for its outstanding cultural significance, together being a fantastic summer and winter destination. The town square is over 350 years old and one of Europe’s oldest timber constructed towns. The town itself is a lively and eclectic mix of boutiques, artists, café’s and restaurants. In February each year a market is held, the Rørosmartnan, which is Norway’s biggest winter market and folk fest, brimming with life, traditions and cultural exhibitions. Outside the town centre is also a network of cross country ski tracks for both classic and skate skiers.

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