When you think of skiing in Europe, does your mind turn to Switzerland, Austria and France? Those alpine destinations are deservedly famous for their winter sports, but there’s another destination you may not have thought of – Norway. As you might expect from a country this far north, there are many skiing enthusiasts in Norway, and facilities here are good. This Scandinavian country has numerous ski resorts, and all of the other vacation amenities you could want. On top of everything Norway is home to one of the world’s finest natural phenomena – the Northern Lights. The show is breathtaking in wintertime! Here are some of the top ski destinations in Norway.
Lillehammer is the most well-known of the Norwegian ski areas, largely due to the 1994 Winter Olympics which were held here. This is also the oldest destination for skiing and winter sports in the country. Lillehammer is located by the end of the largest lake in Norway, Lake Mjosa. The region has spectacular terrain for downhill skiing, and many other winter sports are available here, too. Nearby Nordseter and Sjusjoen have some of Europe’s best cross-country skiing, so whichever form of the sport you enjoy, this is a good vacation choice.
Trysil Ski Resort
If you stay in this town, you have unique access to the ski area. The entire system of ski lifts is connected together, and you can reach any of the downhill ski runs from almost any of the housing areas in town. For those staying further away, there is a ski bus to the resort. Located in an inland area, the Trysil Ski Resort gets fine, dry snow. This generally ensures a good winter, with snow until early May. There are also over 60 miles of groomed tracks for cross-country enthusiasts.
Geilo Ski Area
This Norwegian ski resort has a long history, becoming a popular destination for winter sports over a century ago, back in 1909. The charming town is in the center of Southern Norway, with a beautiful setting between two different ski areas. Snowboarders have a choice of three terrain parks, and there are often excellent conditions for kite skiing, for those who want to try a more exotic adventure. The town’s unique atmosphere, the excellent skiing, and the wealth of off-slope activities make this a popular destination.
Hemsedal Ski Area
The area around Hemsedal is sometimes referred to as the Scandinavian Alps. With a nickname like that, it’s no wonder that this is one of the best ski areas in Norway. With snow normally from November to May, this is one of the largest ski resorts in the country. It has terrain parks for snowboarders, express chairlifts, and a beginner’s area. Aside from skiing, Hemsedal also has other winter activities, like horse drawn sleigh rides, dog sledding, and snow scooter rentals.
Jotunheimen Ski Resort
Cross-country skiers will find Jotunheimen to be a paradise. The site has more than 190 miles of groomed cross-country trails. The tracks wind through alpine slopes with magnificent views, and there are routes suitable for all levels of children and adults. Conditions are usually perfect in February and March, and often the season stretches well into spring, too.
Off-the-beaten path in Norway
We can agree that Norway is wonderland when it comes to winter activities. However, there are other great ways of staying entertained, too. If you’re not that into skiing, you can always hunt the Northern Lights. This spectacular natural phenomenon can be seen perfectly up north, in the Svalbard Islands. You can never be 100% sure to see the Aurora Borealis, but the best time of the year is in late autumn, and wintertime when it’s pitch black between 6pm and 1am. In December, the weather dries up. There’s plenty of snow for tourists to enjoy, and high chances of seeing the Lights.
This natural light display will surely exceed all your expectations. It’s like a beautiful glowing rainbow happening at night. If you’re looking to plan a winter vacation but you’re not sure where to go, a Northern Lights holiday to Norway’s best ski resorts is an excellent choice. Plenty of amazing activities await for you, and with a bit of luck, you might just see the lights, too.