Sweden’s Vasaloppet Tour
Sweden’s Vasaloppet Tour
Sweden’s Vasaloppet Tour
Sweden’s Vasaloppet Tour
Sweden’s Vasaloppet Tour

Sweden’s Vasaloppet Tour


Trip Overview

Join us in the Swedish mountains at Sälen, home to 250km (156 miles) of prepared ski tracks and start of the 90km (56 miles) Vasaloppet - considered to be the oldest, longest, and the largest of the cross-country ski races in the world.

Skiing entirely on prepared ski trails the charming Dalarna region has something for everyone. Two warm up days around Sälen, exploring both the tracks and wilder mountain trails then progressing onto a four-day point-to-point tour along the route of the historic Vasaloppet. 

Highlights

  • Ski one of the most famous race routes in the world
  • Four nights in an historic hotel with spa facilities
  • 120km (75 miles) of reliable track skiing
  • Perfect introduction to track touring
  • Luggage transferred while you ski
  • Qualified BASI Nordic Ski Instructor
  • Single rooms available
  • Optional nights in Stockholm

Sweden is sparsely populated, and wild. In the northern parts of Dalarna or 'Holiday Country', as the Swedes call it, you find Vasa Country; consisting of three communities: Malung, Mora and Älvdalen, with it’s two long rivers, rolling hills, lakes and valleys. All three areas are in various ways involved in the Vasaloppet. As the ski track passes through their territory, daily life is somewhat influenced by the race and it's history.

Our Swedish Vasaloppet ski tour offers 120kms (75 miles) of relatively easy to moderate skiing over six days. This is the perfect introduction to classic ‘track touring’ allowing time to make improvements to your technique along the way. The Vasaloppet ski track is prepared, open and groomed every day throughout the winter. The ski style used is 'classic' cross-country ski technique entirely on prepared tracks. The rental equipment available is 'fish scale' skis or micro fibre ‘skins’.


Excellent! Loved Hotel Älvdalen. Good food, central location in town to walk around, hot tub. Our guide did an excellent job of catering to different skill set and speeds on trip and keeping everyone happy. My most memorable moment was skiing through a blizzard to a waffle house and having the sled dogs turn up!

Itinerary

  • house
  • airport
  • Your guide will meet you on the first evening in Högfjället, a settlement in Sälen’s national park, to brief you on the days ahead and answer any questions. We will be staying at the Gammelgarden Hotel, one of the oldest buildings in the area which dates back to the 17th century. Our traditional wooden built hotel has excellent facilities including a fine restaurant, Swedish style sauna, open fire, superb valley views and cross country ski tracks running past the front door. On arrival you can fully relax as we will spend four nights here. The hotel has cosy rooms all uniquely decorated and en-suite. The rooms are distributed in two buildings, one in "Lodge Style" with wallpaper and fabrics from Ralph Lauren, and the other with an emphasis on Dalarna with influences of the well known locally born artist Carl Larsson.

  • Today we plan to ski almost entirely above the tree line to reach ‘Hemfjällsstugan’, a characterful mountain cabin, situated on the mountain plateau at 810m (2656ft). We will be aiming to have our lunch here by the fire, but not before stopping also for morning coffee at Storfjällsgraven. From the trail head opposite our hotel we make our way up the valley, soon reaching open highlands, skiing past frozen streams and shallow valleys making a great circular tour around Mellanfjäcllet, 910m (2984ft). We have some good views across the Swedish mountain landscape as we traverse the mountainside. Experience the true charm, peace and tranquility of the Dalarna region on this mountain ski tour.

    Ascent: 347m (1138ft) Descent: 344m (1128ft) Distance: 14km (8.7 miles) 

  • Vasa Country prides itself in being Northern Europe’s largest winter paradise, offering not only cross country track skiing but 'off track' touring, alpine skiing, ice skating, dog sledding, winter fishing and even snow mobile touring! Sälenfjäll (Sälen mountain) is popular with locals, with the surrounding mountains offering over 200km (125 miles) of ski trails. Today we will explore the network of trails running straight past our hotel door. We will most likely do a really lovely loop around Vestra Kalven mountain, stopping to eat our picnic lunch at the gorgeous wooden cabin at Lindalen. Wafffles with jam and cream are a must! A true Swedish ski touring experience complete with mountain culture.

    For those renting skis locally you will collect the equipment in the morning and have plenty of time to get used to them. After your warm-up ski enjoy afternoon tea and sauna back at the hotel.

    Ascent: 420m (1377ft) Descent: 414m (1357ft) Distance: 25km (15.6 miles)

     

  • Today we make our way to Berga, a hamlet in Sälen valley and official start of the Vasaloppet at the VasaloppsArena. After photos and a look at the visitors' centre, we will start our 4-day point-to-point tour which will take us through the ‘taiga’ coniferous forests, villages, marshlands and lakes before finishing in picturesque Mora.

    After an easy first 3kms (1.8 miles) from the arena, the trail climbs 178m (583ft) to reach Vasaloppet’s highest point: 528m (1731ft) in the Spränsbackarna forest. This is the hardest climb of the tour. The trail then levels out and winds it’s way through the broad scenic marshlands of Valmyrsätra before reaching the frozen lake of Smågen and one of many simple lumberjack/log floaters' huts ‘Smågenkojan’. Until 1947 lumberjacks would overnight here during their working week. Today it makes the ideal place of refuge for lunch, marking 11kms (6.8 miles). From Smågen we climb easily over 4.5km (2.8ft) after which we are rewarded with 8.5kms (5.3 miles) of rolling downhill to reach Mångsbodarna. Mångsbodarna is one of three of the original 1922 race checkpoints. Here we can see water-powered saw and paper mills and the old school house. High quality timber and in recent years, sandstone, have been important worldwide exports. From here we will take a taxi back to Sälen. Tonight is our last night at the Gammelgarden Hotel.

    Ascent 368m. Descent 301m. Distance 24km.

  • We re-join the Vasaloppet trail back at Mångsbodarna, with an easy descent for about 3kms (1.8 miles) to the woodland settlement of Tennång. Darlana is well known in Sweden for upholding its traditions. Crafting the famous wooden horses, folk music, Midsummer celebrations and national costumes are all part of the local culture. The Dala wooden horse is decorated with painted ‘kurbits’ - characteristic folk art form patterns. This is the Swedish icon and is as Swedish as Swedish can be! It derives from the 18th century when foresters would sit by the fire in the dark winter evenings and carve horses for their children.

    Another climb and descent brings us to the farming village of Risberg where we have a shelter for a late morning stop. Risberg is home to many old wooden chalets and close to where Gustav Vasa is said to have spent the night in a bear’s den! To complete our day we have a final climb through dense Vasa birch and fir trees out of Risberg, and then easy trails around the shores of the beautiful frozen lake of Mellansjön. Here we head 300 metres (984ft) off the track to a woodland cabin where we can have our lakeside picnic lunch. We finish with a short ascent to the village of Evertsberg (with a chapel and altar, plunder from war taken from Lübeck, Germany, which is dated back to 1490). It’s here we pass the 47km (29 miles) check point indicating that we are now a little over half way to the finish. We meet our taxi which will take us 12 kms (7.5 miles) to Hotell Älvdalen where we will spend two nights.

    Ascent: 362m (1187ft) Descent: 361m (1184ft) Distance: 23km (14.4 miles)

  • We first travel back to Evertsberg, one of the larger villages on the trail, housing summer farmsteads and log cabins still used today. Traditional methods of fishing, hunting, architecture and music all help to make this wild region so rich and colourful. After a nice warm up, we soon find our trail begins to descend and roll nicely over the next 10kms (6.3 miles). Just before Oxberg, we arrive at the famous short climb originally known as the Sighing Hill. But after Sven-Åke Lundbäck’s 1981 Vasaloppet victory it was renamed ‘Lundbäck’s Hill’. A short descent into Oxberg, framed by it’s 18th century chapel, is where we will have our lunch break. Our afternoon ski undulates over snow covered pastures and rich woodland to reach the Gophus ski centre above the Österdaläven valley. It is here where Mora-Nisse, in 1945, made his famous last 're-waxing' of his skis which helped him recover nine minutes on the leader, Gunnar Wärdell, and win by just over a minute! Another 4kms and a final steady climb completes the day at the mountain farm of Hökberg - Hawk Mountain. We return back to Älvdalen for a second night and welcome sauna.

    Ascent: 396m (1298ft) Descent: 568m (1863ft) Distance: 24km (15 miles)

  • With the end now in sight, our final ski day starts at Hökberg, where despite it's remoteness has increased in numbers of permanent house owners and farmers in recent years. We ski easy trails down and around Hökberget 'fell' where the hoof prints and evidence of elk can often be seen in the forest. Level trails bring us to Eldris, the final checkpoint of our tour. With just 10kms (6.3 miles) of easy skiing left to Mora, we can pause for a moment and reflect on the adventure we’ve had. During the Vasaloppet it’s here that the number of spectators begins to grow. Our last few kilometres wind their way into Mora to reach the town centre, Vassaloppets finish gate and Anders Zorn’s statue of Gustav Vasa. The name Mora comes from the old Swedish word 'mor' meaning 'thick forest and humidity'. Today though, after the 90km (56 miles) wilderness journey across the Vassaloppet trail, Mora will feel like a metropolis! It is the largest district in Dalarna and sits by the region's biggest lake, Silijan. It has a friendly town centre with some nice shops, cafes and is home to the Vassaloppet Museum and several Wooden Horse factories! Sweden’s most well known artist and art connoisseur, Anders Zorn, was born in Mora. His house/museum or just the tearoom is well worth a visit at the Zorn Museum.

    Ascent: 152m (498ft) Descent: 225m (738ft) Distance: 19km (11.8 miles)

    NB: departure to Stockholm is possible at the end of today if you have an early morning flight the next day. Please contact us for advice.

  • Today is departure day and the trip ends after breakfast. Trains returning to Stockholm take 3.5 hrs and are cheaper if arranged in advance. If you would like to stay on after the tour to explore the region then do let us know and we can book extra nights in Mora. We also recommend extra nights in Stockholm or Falun at the end of the tour.

    As mentioned above, it is possible to leave for Stockholm on Day 7 of your trip once you have skied to Mora. We normally arrive about 1430 hrs, and there is normally a train at 1630 hrs and also a later one. These times need confirming against the latest timetables.

    Falun is on the train route back to Stockholm (1.5 hrs from Mora / from approx. 90 SEK advanced ticket price) and grew up around the Great Copper Mountain, Kopperberget in the 17th century and since 2001 was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. You can visit the famous Great Pit and mine museum which is surrounded by the original colourful miners' cottages. Falun also houses the Dalarna Museum and a short drive away is artist Carl Larsson's Town House and Garden. The main town is also of interest architecturally with it's Kopparberg church and houses built with mining slag stone such as the Hammar's Patisserie built in 1776 - a great place for lunch!

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.

Accommodation

On all our trips we aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. We are painstaking in our research to give you the best option possible and one that is good value. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

Our trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. If you are travelling on your own your booking will be based on a twin bedroom sharing with someone of the same gender. 

However, on many of our trips single rooms are available on request for a supplementary fee. We recommend booking as early as possible to secure a single room as these are always limited in number. Please contact us for details. 

Gammelgarden Hotel, Högfjället

Hotel

The Gammelgarden Hotel is one of the oldest buildings in the area, much of which dates back to 17th century. Our traditional wooden built hotel has excellent facilities including a fine restaurant, Swedish style sauna, open fire, superb valley views and cross country ski tracks running past the front door. The hotel has cosy rooms all uniquely decorated and en-suite. We spend four nights at the Gammelgarden Hotel.

The rooms are distributed in two buildings, one in "Lodge Style" with wallpaper and fabrics from Ralph Lauren and the other with an emphasis on Dalarna with influences of the well known locally born artist Carl Larsson.

Hotel Älvdalen, Älvdalen

Hotel

We move on to Älvdalen town where we have very comfortable accommodation in the hotel of the same name. The hotel has an interesting theme and history showcasing guitars and music sheets connected to the production of Hagström guitars. In 1925 Hagström started the factory with the production of accordions in Älvdalen and later exported guitars worldwide. World artists such as Elvis, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie have all played on Hagström guitars. We spend two nights in Älvdalen

 

The hotel is very comfortable, and we will spend two nights of our trip here. There is a spa which is great for easing any muscles that require it. 

On a final musical note, we can report that famous artists such as Elvis, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie have all played on Hagström guitars. 

PS the town is also proud to be the home village of Princess Sofia who met her prince and has now joined the Swedish Royal Family as the wife of Prince Carl Philip.

 

Hotel Fridhemsgatan, Mora

Hotel

The hotel for our final night in Sweden is the Hotel Fridhemsgatan which is in the town of Mora, the end point of our journey. It has clean and colourful bedrooms with a traditional theme depicting the famous Dalarna wooden horses. It is within easy distance of the town centre, and also the lake side. It has a fitness area and a sauna. 

 


  •  

    Arriving in Salen

    To reach the start of the tour we recommend that you travel to and from Stockholm Arlanda Airport. From Arlanda we travel by train and bus to Hotell Gammelgården, Salen.

    The train station at Arlanda (Stockholm) Airport is inside the airport called 'Arlanda C' on the timetables. Tickets for the entire journey, for both the train and bus can be booked with one payment at Swedish Rail. You are going From: Arlanda C To: Sälfjällstorget. Sälfjällstorget must be spelled correctly with the 'double dot' above the 'a', so we suggest you copy and paste from here. Sälfjällstorget is one stop BEFORE your hotel, and you must stay on the bus to the Gammelgarden, Salen stop. Your ticket will cover this extra stop. NB: be aware there are other Gammelgardens on this route - you are going to Salen.

    NB: The following information is to be updated for 2019 once timetables are published. But in 2018 the latest train leaving Arlanda Airport to arrive in time for the welcome meeting leaves at 12:05 hrs arriving at 1756 hrs. If you are unable to make this connection then we recommend that you either consider arriving a day earlier and enjoying time in Stockholm beforehand or you take the next connection leaving at 14:06 arriving at 19:55. Full details with any updates will be sent to you with our Joining Instructions.

    Bus times from from the train stops at either Mora or Borlange can be found at (Dalatrafik) The bus stops directly outside Hotell Gammelgården (bus stop Gammelgarden, Sälen). Please note that you can only book your bus ticket on the train website. We have given the link to the bus times in case you are on a later train which will not go beyond Mora or Borlange and you then need to investigate bus times. We urge you to keep it easy and aim for the train at 1205 hrs from Arlanda C, or the next one at 1406 hrs.

    We realise that this can make quite a long travelling day, (5/6 hrs) so you may which to begin your holiday with an over night or two in Stockholm first, or stay at Arlanda Airport Hotel OR Arlanda Connect for an early start where buses run to/from the terminal.

    Travelling back to Stockholm

    NB: The following information is to be updated for 2019 once timetables are published. But normally trains returning to Stockholm from Mora take approximately 3.5hrs and again are cheaper if arranged in advance. Prices start from 330 SEK and they depart from 08:34 arriving in Arlanda at 11:52. There is no need to take a bus on the return journey, as it can be done entirely by train.

    If necessary it could be possible to travel back to Stockholm on the afternoon of the final ski day. We normally arrive in Mora early afternoon and you could consider trains leaving later the same afternoon. This would allow for early flights from Stockholm airport the next morning. Please contact us to discuss this.

  • Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. As we will be travelling in the mountains, you must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you to take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip for whatever reason. NB: The insurance referred to below should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed that your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    For ease of reference the clause relating to Insurance as set out in our Terms and Conditions is given below:

    Insurance: It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, cost of repatriation, and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. For tours taking place outside the United Kingdom you must ensure that your insurance covers rescue from the mountains, including helicopter rescue. It is the right of the leader to make a decision to call for helicopter rescue if such assistance is needed. Costs incurred by you, the client, due to an evacuation, rescue or other emergency event shall be your responsibility. Any subsequent costs incurred for expenses not limited to but including such costs as hotels, food, transport etc shall be borne by you, the client. You are responsible for ensuring insurance cover is adequate for the particular needs of your chosen activity. You must be fully aware of the implications involved in arranging your own travel insurance and understand the limitations and exclusions of the policy. By agreeing to our Terms and Conditions you are authorising Tracks and Trails Ltd or the person employed to lead the trip for Tracks and Trails Ltd to instigate rescue and/or helicopter evacuation procedures without previously obtaining the permission of the company issuing your insurance policy. We reserve the right to cancel your booking at any time if we are not satisfied you have the necessary insurance policy covering your activity. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip then please contact us for specific details. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres, except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m. You must bring all insurance documentation with you at the time of the activity. We also recommend your insurance covers you for trip cancellation and baggage loss/damage. Tracks and Trails Ltd are unable to accept responsibility for the loss or damage to any client equipment or luggage.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • For this tour you will be using 'classic' track skis, and can use either fishscale or 'skintec' skis. Ski rental can be arranged locally and will normally be on 'fishscale' or micro fibre 'skintec' skis. We would only recommend ‘waxing’ skis if you are bringing your own and are already comfortable with the technique. Rental is possible from a shop close to our starting hotel for approximately 800 SEK per person. Please advise us if you wish to hire skis, poles and boots.

    The cost to return the skis from Mora to Lindvallen ski rental will be between 200-600 SEK per person. The price varies as the taxi cost is in accordance with the number in the group needing this service.

  • This trip requires a minimum of 4 clients to book before it can be guaranteed to run. We take a maximum of 7 guests on this point-to-point tour.

  • We grade this trip as Intermediate, for skiers with previous track cross-country skiing experience. On our first two days we will spend time finding our ski legs before beginning our point-to-point journey. 

    Expect to ski on a mixture of both flat and rolling terrain on prepared trails. You should already be at a level where you are confident about controlling your speed and direction, and have a good ‘snowplough’. You should be able to cope with skiing under control on a variety of terrain both uphill and downhill, and be confident about tackling corners while skiing downhill. All our trips include quality instruction, but for these trips you need to have a good ‘kick and glide’ to be able to travel competently and at a steady pace. You should have a good level of fitness to ensure that you are comfortable with longer days in winter weather, which may include snowfall and cold winds. You should be happy to ski on a variety of snow including perfect fresh tracks, AND tracks less than perfect which may be ‘firm’. On our point-to-point trips you will be expected to carry a small daypack. Time on skis will be 5-6 hours per day covering approximately 15-25 km (9.4-15.6 miles) per day with an occasional longer day.

  • You will only need to carry a day sack whilst skiing and your main baggage will be transferred every day between accommodation points. Luggage will be mainly transported in cars and small vans so we would ask that you keep both size and weight of luggage to a respectable limit of around 15kg (33lbs), and only one bag per person. It is worth noting that you may be required to carry your own bag up and down stairs at your accommodation.

    Team safety items 

    Please note that you may be asked to share in the carrying of a safety item such as a survival bag or snow shovel. This will be passed around the group each day so that you may only have to help out on one of the ski days. 

  • There are currency exchange facilities/banks in Stockholm Airport or you can obtain Swedish Kroner prior to your arrival. In our experience you only really need a very small amount of cash. Credit cards are accepted in all hotels, shops and restaurants for everything – including individual drinks. But if your bank charges you per overseas transactions then we would recommend you have Kroner in cash. £1 = 11 SEK and a coffee in Sweden is approximately 25 SEK. Stockholm City Terminal train station has a left luggage store available if needed which also takes ski bags.

     

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. You can read our full policy here.

  • Due to the specialised nature of many of our holidays, we co-sell a number of our trips with 'partner' companies. Our partners are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our own ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer to our guests. By encouraging our partners to sell our trips it means that your chosen holiday may reach its 'minimum' number earlier, allowing us to guarantee the trip and to give you the go-ahead to book your travel arrangements.

    There may be occasions when our partners have helped to book your accommodation and organise the logistics for your trip. On these occasions your hotel may have recorded your room reservation in the name of our partners. 

    We guarantee that any partners with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails. The price will be the same, though occasionally our partners may be operating in a different currency. Your itinerary and the items that are included, or not included in your trip fee will also be the same. 

    We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. If you have any questions about this policy please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. 

     


Prices may vary depending on date.

2019

Sun 03 Feb - Sun 10 Feb
Code: VAS1 19
Price: £1795 Book
Sun 03 Mar - Sun 10 Mar
Code: VAS2 19
Price: £1795 Book

What's Included

  • Full board accommodation (breakfast, packed lunch, dinner and thermos refill) based on two sharing
  • Taxi transfers as part of the itinerary
  • Luggage transfers daily (1x bag per person)
  • The fees and expenses of a qualified BASI Nordic Ski Teacher/International Mountain Leader
  • Single rooms available
  • Tracks and Trails memento - a gift to take home!

Excellent! Loved Hotel Älvdalen. Good food, central location in town to walk around, hot tub. Our guide did an excellent job of catering to different skill set and speeds on trip and keeping everyone happy. My most memorable moment was skiing through a blizzard to a waffle house and having the sled dogs turn up!

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Grade: Intermediate

READ GRADE DESCRIPTION

At a Glance

From Price £1795
Holiday Type Cross Country Skiing
Duration 8 Days
Group Size 7
Minimum Age 17
Maximum Altitude 528m ((1731ft)
Countries Visited Sweden
Meet In Högfjället, Sweden
View all Cross Country Skiing Holidays

The Race Start: Vasaloppet

The History of the Vasaloppet