Welcome to the village of Åre, one of the best ski resorts in the world. However, there's much more to Åre than skiing.
Åre has a long history of tourism dating back to the mid 18th century. However, the first visitors came already in the 12th century. Thousands of pilgrims stopped by on their way to the grave of St Olav in Norway. You can follow in their tracks even today. St Olavsleden (St Olav's way) will bring you on a beautiful journey beside clear waters, through forests and mountains. Read more about St Olavsleden.
The early tourists visited for recreational purposes; Åre was famous for it's fresh air. In 1882 the rail road was finished and there had been much debate on which side of the mountain it should be drawn. There were important copper mines on the other side of Åreskutan, in Huså, but Åre was lucky. In 1895, the first hotel was built. Today you can find this by the square; Hotel Åregården.
In 1910 Åre took the first steps to becoming a winter destination when Åre bergbana, a funicular railway, was inaugurated. It runs 790 metres from the village square at 398 metres above sea level to Hotel Fjällgården at 556 metres above sea level. Åre bergbana is still in use during the summer and winter season with a capacity of 600 people per hour.
Åre has hosted several alpine world championships; the first time in 1954 and more recently in 2007. During the winter season, many high profile events are held in the slopes bringing the world's best skiiers to Åre.
But there is more to Åre than skiing. In 2005, a big NATO conference was held in Åre and the year after the village was home to a EU meeting focusing on the environment. Åre, with a population of less than 2000 people, has more than 30 000 beds to offer the tourism industry. The municipality of Åre has around half a million visitors each year.
The summer tourism has grown in the past ten years. Cycling, hiking and fishing brings many visitors to Åre during the light summer days. Åre bike park is the largest of its kind in Sweden and has been listed as one of the best bike parks in the world.
There are many events in Åre throughout the year, e.g. Åre extreme challenge is a multisport competition in early June and Västgård Game Fair is a fun weekend in late July. There is also a bike festival, ultra marathons in the mountains, fishing competitions and a lot of other things going on in the village of Åre and in the municipality. Regardless of when you visit, there will always be plenty to do and experience.