Dalarna County is a county or län in middle Sweden. It borders the counties of Uppsala, Jämtland, Gävleborg, Västmanland, Örebro and Värmland. It is also bordered by the Norwegian counties of Hedmark and Trøndelag in the west.
Known for generations for its leather, Malung is still the place to go for leatherwork in the middle of Sweden. More stores are a little outside of the town, but it's easy to find them, just follow the main road north. A fairly small place with two super markets supermarket, off licence and a few shops, it's a reasonable hours drive from Sälen, making it a good stopping point for the evening to get an early start on the slopes.
On the southern end of the town, the hembygdsgård, or Outdoor Museum, can be found. During the summer months, various events can be found here including the folk dancing the area is famous for.
Great little pizza place in the Swedish style, a little out of town. One of the rare places in Sweden offering deep dish as well as thin-crust pizza.
Much like Branäs, Romme Alpin is about five hours drive north of Gothenburg. Also like Branäs, there is little there other than skiing. The slopes are better than Branäs, though the apres-ski is more limited, and there are a series of efficient, but officious staff who collect up skis from outside the building at 5 pm regardless of if they are rented or owned, which can be an unpleasant surprise. The slopes have a lot of snow machines and a real effort is made, even in a mild winter to offer decent snow, but the difference between the two visits is marked.
Accommodation is more limited near the slopes, being focused on the resort hotel. We stayed in a nice cabin on both occasions, but it was about ten minutes drive from the slopes.
The second-largest Ski resort in Sweden, beaten only by Åre in the north. Sälen has four separate areas, all included in the same ski-pass. The area around Sälen does have one or two other privately run ski resorts, so it's worth double checking any bookings you make for accommodation or rental that they are near one of the four Ski Star Sälen locations.
A free bus runs regularly between the four resorts and several are collected by gentle green slopes & button lifts. Perfect for skiers and the DOMs granted to any Snowboarding doing it will last longer than the ski trip.
Friendly and helpful staff, even during the busiest periods, it is a good place to stop for a coffee and refuel before getting back on the slopes.
In the Experium centre, Majkens offer a buffet of pasta and pizza for a reasonable price. The tables have been reduced and made further apart to accommodate the Covid restrictions, and the food is good and plentiful with a varied salad bar.
A good option for a group with lots of carbs to keep you going all afternoon.
All over the mountain, little kioks offer hotdogs, hot drinks and beers.
Huts with well-equipped fire pits can be found on all of the hills. They fill up fast over lunch, so either get there early, or have a late lunch
The largest of the four ski areas in Sälen Ski Star resorts. Lindvallen has 42 slopes, although half are Blue or Green and most Swedish Blues would be considered Green in the Alps.
There are three chair lifts, otherwise, it is a button or T Bars, but the Chair lifts are well placed at the bottom of the three 'villages' that make up Sälen meaning whatever route you choose, you can reach the top in a Chair Lift. All three villages are worth a visit, though from our experience park in Gustavstorget rather than Experiumtorget or Söderåstorget as it is central, and has the later opening, though Gustavstorget has better shopping. (Technically there is a fourth village, Sälfjällstorget but that is only served by button and T-Bars.)
Lindvallen also has a number of 'crossing' runs, so you can start at the top of one run, and cross through ending up at the bottom of another section, which is fun.
The trees are fairly close-packed in Lindvallen, and so there is less option for going off-piste unless you are very confident.
The main Chair Lift Gustav Express, is open till 18:00 most days, and give access to a well lit red, Green, and Blue run to the bottom. The green being easy, but long and winding with a lot of fun bumps and jumps built into the edges. Below the Gustav Express, an 'unofficial' luge has been carved into the snow between the two runs which is really fun, but often busy and often full of younger kids who are not moving as fast as you may wish so evenings are often better for this space.
Perhaps the second largest of the areas in Sälen, Tandådalen has 26 slopes and two chair lifts. There are a few endpoints that will require you to take a T-Bar or Button lift back up, which can be a frustration as the runs down to those sections are great.
Tandådalen also has the most black runs of any of Sälens locations, with seven in total, though half were closed when we were visiting. The most obvious is a simple wide run from the top of one chair lift to the bottom. It's reasonably steep, but its width offsets that a lot.
Broadly divided in two between Tandådalen and Östra Tandådalen, (which is a surprising distance to drive away) they are connected at the top by a button lift, which has a few, primarily red, runs between the two ends points.
Both sides are fun and have a good spacing of trees meaning it is easy to go off-piste through powder, ducking between winter pines.
Six of the runs are lit in the evenings, though it's worth keeping an eye as you head down, as some of the runs that branch from lit routes are not lit and may end up at a lift that finished at 15:30.
Slightly smaller than Tandådalen, Hundfjället has 23 slopes and forms something of a Y shape across two mountains served by two Chair Lifts (East and West Express). A third lift services a pair of steep black runs that start at the back of the mountain restaurant.
East Express (and the various button lifts that bring you to the same point) is the 'beginner' slopes, Greens and Blues. It has also got some of the most off-piste fun forest areas of the four locations.
West Express tends to have a much longer queue, which can be a frustration, but it is also the only chair lift in Sälen that only serves red runs. At the top of this hill, you have seven different reds, all running through forests, to take to get to the bottom and the West Express or East.
Both East and West can also lead you into the Troll Forest, Trollskogen, which is a really fun area for kids with huts and noises. The problem, as a snowboarder, is it is quite flat so you need to build decent speed to make it through, which can cause annoyance with the parents as you zip by, but for several runs, there is no other way to get to the bottom of the mountain other than taking the Trollskogen.
By far the smallest, with only nine slopes, Högfjället has a small run with arches and towers for children, a lot of button lifts, and a very long T Bar to the top of the main slope. The main slope is blues and greens however on both sides, if you go far enough you get some really fun off-piste powder. Facing the slope, the right side offers a shrub forest of powdery snow to run through, running parallel to the green number 9.
On the left, following the six a short way, and you will see a wide vista of snow to explore.
Nothing here is very challenging, but it has some fun options, a nice BBQ place, and is relaxed.