And in a way that only Swedish, Danish and Norwegian cultures can do during dark winters – time spent indoors here is a tranquil and infinitely hygge joy, too. Roaring fires, home-cooked fare and beautifully snug guest rooms – you’re sure to find a new home-away-from-home in a Nordic hotel.
Do something different over the winter months and try these snowy destinations out for size – we’ve picked some of Europe’s most under-the-radar ski spots with hotels close by to cosy up in.
The hilly humps of the north aren’t the only place skiers can hit the slopes. While Skåne isn’t quite as epic as its alpine neighbours, it’s also not as crowded – but you can still feel the downhill rush in the region. SydAlpin Kungsbygget boasts six different runs, with family-friendly slopes for even the smallest of powderhounds.
Where to stay: Just over an hour’s drive away from the ski hub, Tomarp Farmhouse sits at the end of a gravelled road, delivering the epitome of Swedish hospitality to discerning travellers. Relax, indulge in fine dining and enjoy the splendid scenery offered by neighbouring Lake Råbelöfssjön.
The fjords may be famed for their luscious green life during summer months, but come winter you’ll discover a region of quiet and carefully maintained ski slopes with stunning backdrops. Just an hour from Bergen, it’s the ideal location for a weekend escape without the crowded trails. Voss Resort packs in everything you’d need from a ski resort – it’s fortunate enough to take on more than 540cm of snow a year, so those seeking powder galore are in luck.
Where to stay: If you’re not content with anything less than grand during your stay in Voss, make Fleischer’s Hotel your skiing base. The Fleischer family have been running the hotel since 1889: its founders would surely recognise the well-preserved rooms, towers and features today – and approve.
Värmland is a haven for ski lovers. Firstly, it’s home to Fortum Ski Tunnel, the longest in the world for skiing all year round. The largest in the region is Branäs resort, one of the most up-to-date alpine centres in Sweden, boasting 25 pistes ranging in characteristics.
With nine different descents, a designated snowboarding zone and a cross-country skiing stadium, Ski Sunne is a place for all ages and abilities. The resort hosts a ski school to master the mountains, as well as night skiing in some areas.
Where to stay: If you’re staying in Sunne be sure to check into Ulfsby Mansion, a beautifully preserved listed building from a period when great manor houses were built all over Värmland. The charming hotel is where smart travellers also go to eat – its kitchen holds a well-deserved reputation as one of the best in the region.