Cross-country Skiing in Norway
Cross-country skiing is, perhaps, Norway’s favorite sport, and it is barely possible to imagine Norwegians without their favorite sports activity. There is a saying that “every Norwegian is born with skis on his/her feet.” The tradition of cross-country skiing is deeply embedded in Norwegian culture. That is to say, nothing that Norway is represented by a large number of top-tier athletes in this sport, along with such countries as Sweden, Germany, Finland, Canada, and Russia. Isn’t that a good reason to travel to Norway and rejoice at cross-country skiing? And our article will help you find the best resorts and routes for cross-country skiing in Norway!
Cross-country Skiing in Norway: Best Locations
Raudalen Alpinsenteret (Valdres, Oppland). Located in relative proximity from Lillehammer, this resort is usually not recognized as one of the best resorts for skiing in Norway. Yet, all experts agree on the fact that, while the resort maybe not be the best one for other types of skiing, it is perfectly one of the best spots for cross-country skiing in Norway. The total length of cross-country trails is 320 kilometers, offered by Beitostølen and Raudalen resorts. Besides, you can also take one of the few trails that lead to the Jotunheimen National Park, which offers breathtaking views.
Gaustablikk – Rjukan (Telemark). Even though the length of the trails does not exceed the modest 120 kilometers, the resort is worth visiting for cross-country skiing. Trails across the high plateau are pretty gorgeous for cross-country skiing. During your ski journey across the plateau, you will be able to relish the majestic views of Mount Gaustatoppen. Besides, the best trail of this route is actively groomed, which makes it a good destination for cross-country skiing in Norway. The snow here is very reliable, making the trails quite safe here.
Beitostølen Skisenter (Valdres, Oppland). Together with Raudalen, Beitostølen Skisenter appears to be among the best resorts for cross-country skiing, given the total length of trails exceeding 320 kilometers. The World Cup Arena for cross-country skiing is not only the best arena in Norway but also one of the best in Europe. If there are no events taking place, the public is able to access the trails.
Hovden (Setesdal, Aust-Agder). Setesdal, a valley in the Aust-Agder county, is home to one of the top trails for cross-country skiing. Considering that the trail starts right from the village and runs across the ski resort, it appears a complete paradise for skiers from all over the country. Besides, the skiers are able to take a chairlift and get to the peak without much of an effort. The entire length of the trail is 170 kilometers.
Kvitfjell (Lillehammer, Oppland). This resort is, perhaps, the best in the country and is suitable for all types of skiing. Yet, Kvitfjell offers wonderful opportunities for cross-country skiing, given the length of the trail to amount to the astonishing 600 kilometers! The trail starts at Kvitfjell, runs through Kvitfjell Vest, and ends at Gålå. On your way, you will have a chance to relish in the snowy Norwegian landscapes, supplemented by the beautiful local nature.
Oslo Vinterpark – Tryvann (Oslo). This trail spans 500 kilometers and is equally attractive to both locals and foreigners. The trail starts at the famous Holmenkollen Winterpark, located on the outskirts of Oslo. Starting right from the famous ski resort, you will get access to more than 500 kilometers of top-notch, groomed trails.
Geilolia-Kikut – Geilo (Hallingdal, Buskerud). The area around Geilo is definitely a paradise for cross-country skiers. In regards to this route, there are 170 kilometers of elevation trails and 50 kilometers of trails in the valley, varying from light to challenging. At the border of Geilo, there is a floodlit trail that runs through the valley.
Hafjell (Lillehammer, Oppland). This resort offers facilities for all types of skiing, but it attracts a great deal of attention from cross-country skiers. 300 kilometers of well-groomed trails with reliable snow are something that is appealing to any skier. The trails start at the mountain station, which you can reach by a gondola lift. Another way is to start the trail right from the local ski resort. What makes this site especially worthwhile for cross-country skiing is the varying nature of this region, whereas the trails run through both the mountain plateaus and deeply forested areas.
If you prefer alpine skiing, this article contains a list of top resorts for alpine skiing (though, some of these resorts also offer wonderful opportunities for cross-country and off-piste skiing as well).
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