Being this close to the arctic circle makes Christmas in Sweden magical. Ski your socks off, grab a glass of steaming glögg and get stuck into Swedish traditions in a land where - unlike home - Christmas is all but guaranteed to be white.
The certainty of snow isn’t the only thing that makes Christmas in Sweden delightfully different to the norm - Santa and Rudolph may well live in this neck of the woods but it’s Tomte the Gnome and Donald Duck who steal the scene here. Christmas Eve marks the main feast day rather than the 25th – look out for menus featuring ‘Julbord’ for a taste of typical Swedish Christmas fare.
Scandinavian hospitality is at its peak over Christmas, whether you’re working on a budget with a simple hotel stay or splashing out on somewhere with a spa. Family time is nurtured in these parts, where kids are treated like kings with activities, clubs and special menus. Most hotels will put on a slap-up supper on Christmas Eve, which is the main day of celebrations in Sweden.
Most ski resorts in Sweden open their doors in November, which means there tends to be a brilliant build up on the slopes come Christmas – so much so that some tourist offices have a ‘snow guarantee’ that the lifts will be running. Daylight hours are different in these parts, and around Christmas you get 4-5 hours with a more twighlighty atmosphere either side of that. Don’t see this as a negative: slopes are usually floodlit to ensure you won’t miss out on ski time and less light means more chance of seeing the awesome northern lights.
From guzzling glögg and gingerbread to exploring the great Scandinavian outdoors, there’s no shortage of activities over yuletide here.
Embrace the winter wonderland experience and set off on husky sled or reindeer sleigh, visit a real-life igloo or find the nearest log fire, tuck into festive food and join the rest of the nation watching Donald Duck on Christmas Eve.