Free skiing/off-piste skiing
Røldal is one of the top areas in Norway for free skiing/off-piste skiing, and in 2009 it was selected as the best free skiing resort in Norway by the Norwegian financial newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.
Everyone, from first-timers to the world's best freeriders, will find a suitable off-piste adventure. The mountains accommodate off-piste runs with up to 1,000 metres in altitude difference.
Each year, at the end of April, the Røldal Freeride Challenge wraps up the freeride season with one of Europe's most prestigious and spectator-friendly events.
Saudasvingen is perhaps the most popular run, in addition to Månedalen. Other popular runs include Mellomtunnelene, Histeinnuten and of course the final faces of Røldal Freeride Challenge. If you are willing to hike for half an hour, the possibilities are many.
You must always remember to consider the avalanche risk and wear proper equipment when free/off-piste skiing. If you do not know the area, always ski with someone who does or hire a guide.
Free/off-piste skiing is always at your own risk and responsibility. Skiing outside the groomed pistes is also considered free/off-piste skiing and is at your own risk too.
Alpine skiing and snowboarding
Røldal Ski Resort has one of the highest base stations in Norway (800 metres above sea level). The resort can accommodate all alpine needs, from first-timer to the adventure-seeker and hardcore racer. The entire resort is above the tree line, giving you plenty of opportunities and hardly any limitations.
The chairlift transports all guests to 1,000 metres above sea level. Up here, with breathtaking views of the valley, steep mountains and the rest of the ski resort, you will find a café, a beginners' lift and a great area for picnics and snow play. More experienced riders can make use of four more draglifts. The summit lift takes you all the way up to 1,300 metres above sea level, with kilometres upon kilometres of freshly groomed trails or untouched powder waiting for you.
In total, Røldal Ski Resort has six lifts and 12 slopes for all difficulty levels. The terrain park is situated near the mid-mountain café.
Tip from the locals: If you want the snow for yourself, come on weekdays.
For the children
Røldal's beginners' area is situated near the mid-mountain café, and is a safe environment with a dedicated lift for children and beginners. There is a long beginners' run from mid-mountain to the base area, giving even first-time skiers a great mountain experience.
If the weather is harsh, or the kids want a break, the free indoor climbing wall at the base area is a safe bet. Children's ski school and even child care are available with advanced booking.
All children under seven years of age ski for free when wearing a helmet. Helmets are available at the ski rental. All multi-day ski passes are variable, and can be used throughout the season.
Prices for the 2013/2014 season
Røldal offers Norway's largest variety of alpine equipment from Fischer. For the more experienced skier, try fat skis or twin tips. Snowboards are also in the rental stock.
Price example: Complete alpine package from NOK 200 per day.
Private and group lessons are available through Røldal Skiservice.
Røldal and neighbouring Seljestad (8 kilometres from the ski resort) have around 100 kilometres of machine-groomed cross-country tracks, including two floodlit tracks.
From week 8 to the beginning of May, a high mountain track is groomed to the summit of Røldalssåto, one of the most prominent peaks in the region.
Røldal and Seljestad are also linked with a trail through the spectacular Tjoaminne Gorge, which can also be enjoyed on alpine equipment.
Winter without skis
Røldal is a popular destination with skiers and snowboarders, but other activities are available with advanced booking. Skysstasjonen in the middle of Røldal is the base for activities. The focus here is on nature activities for small groups and families. All activities are tailored to groups, and Røldal takes pride in passing local traditions on to guests.
Where to stay
You find accommodation through Røldal Booking, for example a cosy cabin with ski in/ski out facilities.
If you prefer to stay in a hotel, try Hordatun Hotel, which is a newly built full service family hotel. Here you can also stay in your own apartment.
Cabins and camping can be offered at Skysstasjonen.
A free shuttle bus runs between the centre of Røldal and the ski resort during holidays and weekends.
Dining and nightlife
Hordatun Hotel, Skysstasjonen and Røldalsterrassen are the places to dine in Røldal. After-ski crowds gather at these places, as well as at Røldalsgarasjen, where the younger crowds party until late into the night.
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Getting to Røldal
Røldal is a small village in the municipality of Odda, in the scenic area of Hardanger. To the northeast of Røldal, lies the mountain plateau of Hardangervidda.
Travelling to Røldal by car requires good winter tyres.
From Oslo: Follow the main road E18 towards Drammen, drive over the bridge and turn right onto E134 in the direction of Haugesund. Follow this road for four hours through Kongsberg, Notodden, Vinje and Haukeli until you see Røldal at the end of the tunnels after the Haukeli Mountain Pass. Driving time: Approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes.
From Bergen: Follow the E16 and fv. 7 to Kvanndal, then take the car ferry to Utne. From Utne follow fv. 555 to Odda, then fv. 13 to Røldal. Travel time: Approximately 3 hours.
From Stavanger: Follow the E39 to Aksdal, then E134 to Røldal. For a scenic route, aim for rv. 13. Travel time: Approximately 3 hours.
From Kristiansand: Follow fv. 9 until you reach Haukeli, then turn left. Travel time: Approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes
Haukeliekspressen (operated by Nor-Way Bussekspress) travels daily between Oslo and Røldal.