The Swedish mountains provide the backdrop to the city of Östersund that lies on the eastern shore of Storsjön lake (‘the Big Lake’). And yes, the locals will tell you tales of the monster in the lake.

Östersund’s real claim to fame however is that it is a regular venue for the biathlon World Cup, hosting the IBU World Biathlon Championships in 2008 that put this small, action-packed city deservedly on the world map. Östersund is the only city in the northerly county of Jämtland and top class ski resorts are within a couple of hours’ drive.

Östersund is known as ‘the Winter City’ because it caters for just about any activity on snow or ice. Downhill and cross-country skiing, trip skating, ice-fishing, horse and dog sleds, snowmobile safaris and many other winter sports activities are all on offer in and around the city. In fact they are a way of life of here.

The spectacular ‘Medvinden’ is a 50-km long, long-distance skating track out on Storsjön that is ploughed and preened daily for your enjoyment. If you don’t bring your own skates you can rent a pair at the Winter Park – a lakeshore winter paradise, especially for the kids, with ice castles, ice sculptures, a huge skating rink, restaurants, cafes and deck chairs to lounge in when the heat of the sun returns in springtime. The activity arena, events, shopping etc are within comfortable walking distance and there is accommodation across all prices classes. Don’t miss out on the local restaurants and eateries’ specialties, particularly the moose and salmon.

The airport is just 15 minutes from the city centre.

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