Winter Adventures & Activities in Norway
In case you haven’t heard (it’s the one thing Norwegians are happy to boast about), Norway is the birthplace of skiing. With hundreds of resorts to choose from you will find something for everyone. But Norway isn't just about skiing.
The more North you go in Europe, the more snow-sure the conditions become, and Norway is about as Northerly as you can go on the mainland. One of the big winter activities in Norway is naturally skiing, and some of the biggest resorts in Norway can be found in Geilo, Hemsedal, Voss, Trysil, Myrkdalen, and Hafjell. Fjord Tours offers a SkiTicket to several of these destinations.
Many Norwegians can ski before they walk, and we have even heard that some are born with skis already on their feet. The Norwegian winter wonderland offers thousands of kilometers of prepared ski tracks. You can find these in all of the main ski resorts but also in and around the towns and villages through forests and fields all over the country where conditions allow. Go as far or as short, as fast or as slow as you feel like, and become a true Norwegian.
We can't lie, balancing on cross-country skis can be extremely challenging and it is not going to be for everyone. If you want something a little more sure-footed, snow-shoes are a great way to explore the snow-covered landscape. Most ski rental stores will have snow-shoes available to rent with some hotels and resorts offering guided trips. There are several snow-shoeing adventures you can do in Norway, have a look here.
When the temperatures drop cold enough and the ice on the lakes is thick enough, Norway transforms into an ice skating adventure playground. Locals are eager to get out on the ice and clear the snow to make huge rinks and tracks. You’ll find small ovals, hockey rinks, or huge pathways crisscrossed over the frozen lakes.
While skating across the ice, you might even see a dedicated fisherman patiently sitting above small holes in the icy fjords and lakes ice fishing. It’s fun when they are biting but you must wrap up warm for the long haul.
Sitting on a wooden sled pulled by a team of eager huskies or standing on the runners and shouting encouragement is an exhilarating experience we highly recommend. You see parts of the landscape that are otherwise inaccessible from deep snow-filled forests to frozen lakes. You are usually kept warm on the sled by wrapping up in reindeer blankets and drinking gløgg (warm mulled wine). Check out some dog sledding adventures here.
There is an element of the dukes of hazard to this experience but tearing around a frozen lake in a car fitted with studded tires is incredibly fun. Drift, slip and slide, your way around the track as you rev the engines to their redline.
There are not many places in the world where you can experience the thrills (hopefully no spills) of an Olympic bobsled, but Norway is one. Just North of the 1994 Olympic host city Lillehammer, you can find the bob track. Here you can experience up to 5G as you hurtle 120km/h down the icy gauntlet under expert supervision.
Snowmobile trips are mainly on offer in Svalbard, Finnmark, and North Troms. The flat terrain of Finnmark is ideal for fast driving, while the slopes of Troms require more technical handling. In Svalbard, you can join some quite long excursions in extremely varied terrain. You can also experience snowmobile adventures and several other winter adventures in Tromsø.
Exploring majestic landscapes, skiing virgin snow from the summit to the sea, ski touring in Norway is exceptional. Ascending mountains on alpine or telemark skis has become an increasingly popular activity for Norwegian skiers. The world's biggest Alpine Ski Touring Festival is held every year in early May, at Turtagrø Hotel in the mountains of Hurrungane near the inner Sognefjord. The area has been a popular meeting place for mountaineers since the late 1800s.
Closer to the coast, the steep Sunnmøre Alps surround the Hjørundfjord and offer the exciting opportunity to ski from 1500m above sea level to the fjord in just one run, if the snow conditions allow.
There are loads of opportunities for some great winter fun in Norway. Check out all our winter activities here!