At the beginning of 2013 early in the season, we were a guest in Branäs, a small ski resort on the Norwegian-Swedish border.
Ski area Branäs is is situated in the Värmland province in the west of Sweden, close to the border with Norway.
Branäs is easy to travel from Stockholm or Oslo by airplane. It is easiest to travel by car. Branäs is easy to travel from Stockholm or Oslo by airplane. The journey from Stockholm took us about 5 hours by car (440km) where the road is also used by people driving onwards to nearby Trysil or Sälen. The distance from other cities is also reasonable with for example, with Gothenburg at 390 km, Karlstad at 170 km and Oslo only 220 km away.
Branäs Ski Center
The small Branäs is a compact resort village with two parts; Branäs By (Branäs Village) and Branäsberget. In Branäs By, in addition to the alpine ski lodge accommodation directly at the gondola, the village mostly consists of stugas, apartments which are either free-standing or combined by two or even four. Despite the different accomdations are all within walking distance to the slopes and lifts the area remains quite small and homely in atmosphere. The small ski center Branäs By has a restaurant downstairs in the ski lodge, where there is also the information center and a small convenience store. An adjacent building houses the ski rental, and a sports shop where you mainly find ski clothing, helmets and goggles.
Our accomdatie was located in Branäs By, an 8-person Stuga type 'Marden'. The 'Marden' stugas lay to the north of the village, with 4 combined together (2 doors on each side). The cabin was spacious with a large living room, 3 separate bedrooms and a loft with double bed. Besides a well equipped kitchen, small bathroom and toilet, there was even a small sauna in the apartment. The gondola and ski lifts were around a 2-3 minutes walk from our apartment.
The Ski Area
Branäs & Branäsberget form a combined ski area on either side of the mountain. The typical family resort has no enormous variety of slopes, but some nice green, blue and (light)red ski runs. The area has a modern gondola (one of the few ski areas besides Are in Sweden that has a Gondola) bringing you from Branäs directly to the summit. From the summit you will find four directions in which you can start branching off into a total of about 26 descents. Apart from the gondola, these slopes are connected by 16 ski lifts. Due to the popularity with families Branäs has a large baby slope area where the youngest or beginners in general can learn their first ski or snowboard skills. Branäs even a small fun park and a mini ski cross descent in this beginners area, ensuring that the kids will still think it's 'cool' to start off here.
Food, Restaurants & Apres-ski
As almost all guests in this area we mostly cooked our own food in our apartment. The best supermarket for groceries is the Coop located in Sysslebäck. Many of the guests in the alpine ski lodge had dinner booked in the lodge restaurant, where the menu consisted of simple local cuisine combined with typical Swedish classics like Swedish meatballs with mashed potato. In this same restaurant was also a daytime buffet lunch and apres-ski with live music in the Bar "Brants'.