Forget about the Alps! Norway is thé perfect destination for winter sports in Europe. It has high mountains, good infrastructure, a longer snow season and smaller crowds. Here are the 5 best destinations for winter sports. They are easily accessible by train, so you can travel more comfortably and more sustainable.
Whether you’re into ski, snowboarding, cross-country skiing or dog-sledding, Norway probably has the perfect travel destination for you. With the snowy season normally ranging from November to April/May, you can have a skiing holiday both for Christmas and Easter. Here are our 5 best winter destinations.
By train: 4 hours from Oslo (direct)
Dombås is situated in the northern end of the Gudbrandsdalen Valley, and is surrounded by the peeks of the Dovre Mountain Chain. Our hostel Trolltun (“Troll Garden”) is conveniently situatuated at the foot of one of the major slopes of the Dombås Ski Centre. You can literally start skiing from the door of your room or cabin. Dombås is also home to the Bjorli Ski Centre. Visit the hostel.
By train: 5 and a half hours from Oslo (direct)
Voss is located in Western Norway, close to the historic city of Bergen and the famous fjords. Voss is a famous ski resort and there are numerous ski slopes in the area. Our hostel in Voss is located next to a beautiful lake, and is in walking distance from to bus to the ski centres. The hostel is locally known for its organic breakfast. Visit the hostel.
By train: 3 and a half hours from Oslo (direct)
Geilo is one of the most famous destinations for winter sports in Norway. It lies halfway between Oslo and Bergen, and is surrounded by the mountains of the Hallingskarvet and Reinskarvet, and the plateau of Hardangervidda. There are lots of ski slopes, and our hostel is surrounded by cross-country tracks as well. The hostel manager, Svein Inge, is also an expect on local folk music, so make sure to ask him to play something for you. Visit the hostel.
By train: 2 hours from Oslo (direct)
The location of the legendary Winter Olympics of 1994, Lillehammer (also known as Lillyhammer) is a vibrant town in Eastern Norway, and is during winter transformed into the Norwegian capital of winter sports. The four main skiing centres in the area are called Hafjell, Kvitfjell, Skeikampen and Sjusjøen. There are endless possibilities for cross-country skiing, and Sjusjøen is the perfect place for dogsledding. Our hostel in Lillehammer is located at the same building as the station – quite practical! Visit the hostel.
By train: 1 hour and 20 minutes from Oslo (direct)
Kongsberg (“King’s Mountain”) is the closest skiing destination to the capital. It has slopes for all levels, and has a total of more than 10 kilometres of slopes, with 4 lifts. The ski centre at Kongsberg is especially known for being an eldorado for snowboarders, as it has a freestyle arena with rails and halfpipe. Our hostel in Kongsberg lies close to the center of town. Visit the hostel.
Our HI hostels in Norway wish you a warm welcome, all year round!
Text: Robin Van de Walle
Photo top: Hafjell Alpinsenter / Esben Haakenstad