Travel idea: 5 options for the winter break in Norway
Norway is a beautiful country all year round, but there is something extra special about it in the winter. Towns and villages are covered in snow and present a beautiful scenery to our eyes. The magnificent northern lights create an amazing, magic spectacle in the sky. People are warm and friendly and the tourist infrastructure is superb. Norway truly is a great alternative to Alpine resorts for all winter fans out there. We thought we might help you to decide what to do so here are five ideas on how to spend a winter break in Norway.
1. Skiing. The obvious one. Skiing in Norway is more popular than football. No wonder for a country with almost 6 months of winter. Whether you are into cross-country or downhill skiing there is something special for everyone. Over 2,000km of cross-country skiing tracks are within 30 minutes drive from Oslo so there is plenty to choose from. Downhill skiing is equally well represented. The place to go is Hemsdal, halfway between Oslo and Bergen, with 60km of marked runs, Hafjell 15km away from Lillehammer with 40km of runs and the biggest of all Trysil offering over 70km of well prepared runs. All resorts have great infrastructure: hotels, bars, restaurants, chalets and shops are open all skiing season which is from November until May.
2. Dog sledding. Not many people know that a sleigh pulled by huskies can reach up to 50km/h! Norway offers great opportunities to try this fascinating activity. Finnmark, in northern part of the country, allows to try dog sledding away from busy cities and civilisation. With a bit of luck, you will be able to experience the spectacle of northern lights too! Several family run businesses offer a variety of dog sledding options, from a short few hour trips to several days of sledding adventures.
3. Ice Hotel. Could there be a better combination than a session in the sauna and a nap in ice chamber? If this is something that tickles your fancy then look no further. Choose one of two ice hotels in northern Norway. Alta and Kirkness, two small towns are known for hosting ice hotels builts every year. Hotels are built entirely out of ice and inside the temperature oscillates between -7 to -4C. Guests are offered rooms with reindeer fur covered beds, a variety of local cuisine, saunas and bathrooms with hot running water.
4. Northern Lights Festival. The town of Tromso, located on a island inside the polar circle is the best bet to go if you want to see the northern lights spectacle. The town hosts a festival every year, usually in the beginning of February. It is worth mentioning that northern lights are not entirely predictable. Sometimes there are weeks with displays every single night, the other times, especially when it’s snowing heavily there is no display. So watch the weather forecast before setting off!
5. Ice wall climbing. The adrenaline junkies will find in Norway something for themselves too. The town of Rjukan in the southern part is famous for it’s icefalls which present a perfect opportunity for climbers. Plenty of walls with various levels of difficulty, climbing lessons on site, and professionally prepared Ice Park are ready and waiting. There is also a Climb Inn resort offering accommodation around the corner. What more could you possibly need?