For a country with such a rich history of skiing – it is here that the predecessors to modern skis were first developed – its no surprise that’s there are some great resorts to visit. These resorts offer so much more than just downhill skiing however, with cross country and a multitude of other snowy activities forming a huge part of the Norwegian offering. As a result, Norway is a great family destination and a holiday here is a real all-round winter adventure.
The skiing itself may not be as extensive or vertiginous as in the Alps, but the snow quality here is usually excellent and the wooded slopes are fantastic for when the weather is bad. Much of the terrain is better suited to beginners and intermediates, but there are definitely some challenging slopes and if you’re prepared to click in to a pair of touring bindings, the Norwegian mountains are some of the best in the world for ski touring or split-boarding.
If you’re looking for the most variety of terrain, then head to the likes of Hemsedal, Lillehammer, Oppdal, Trysil or Voss, where you’ll also find the best lift systems, most reliable snow conditions and largest number of floodlit slopes (vital if you’re heading there in mid-winter). Note that many lifts, even at these resorts, will be surface drag-lifts or T-bars, so bear this in mind if you’re a snowboarder. All of these resorts also have extensive networks of cross country trails, many of which are floodlit and groomed daily.
For a traditional Norwegian experience you can stay in a cabin out in the woods, which most resorts will offer as part of their range of accommodation. Otherwise, a lot of resorts have fantastic family-friendly hotels located right at the foot of the slopes. These are a great option if you’re travelling with children and often prove to be excellent value.
On the theme of value, getting to Norway is usually pretty cheap and there are a lot of flights heading across each day from the UK. Accommodation and lift passes are also decent value, but food and drinks here are notably expensive, especially the latter. This is where an all-inclusive or full board hotel option comes into its own as you won’t have to pay the sky-high prices in resort. Top tips for saving money would be to take packed lunches and to buy your drinks at duty free on the way in – prices are significantly cheaper.