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Travel Trade

This season – like last year and the year before – Hemsedal stands out as the undisputed victor in a recently published newspaper competition.

Published: 17 November 2017

The list of Norways top ski-resorts – published by the financial newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) – has become an much anticipated event in recent years.

The Newspaper bases it's scores on the following six criteria: elevator-systems, downward slopes, children's areas, off piste, terrain-parks and lunch-options.

With a whopping 33 out of 36 possible points, Hemsedal takes the gold yet again this year. 

It’s Thomas T. Kleiven – journalist, photographer and skiing-veteran – who’s ranked the Norwegian ski-resorts for DN. 

Kleiven says to Visit Norway that he’s experienced every centre on the list, plus several others. In DN he writes that Hemsedal – with it’s 20 lifts and 49 slopes spread over a mighty, mountainous terrain – offers a variation for riders that no other ski-resorts can match. 

"Hemsedal has a variation that no others have. They are basically good at everything. The reason being mainly location and commercially talentet owners," he says to Visit Norway.

Milder climate, higher income

Judging from last years season, the following weeks and months will be a lucrative period for Norwegian ski-resorts.

Despite an overall temperature-decline in recent years, hordes of both local and international visitors have flocked to the slopes, which through the aid of modern canon-technology relies less and less on natural snow-fall to stay open.

“The number of paid skiing-days have increased from 5.2 million in 2012 to almost seven million, and the business traded for 1.1 billion kroner last year. Almost a third of the population have been skiing or snowboarding during the last five years”, the article explains.

Photo: CH /

«Arctic Micro-experiences»

Skiing-expert Kleiven says there’s still a big difference size-wise from Norwegian ski-resorts and other winter destinations further south in Europe. 

Theres an incredible amount of Norwegian skiing-centres, more than 200. Most of them are small and pleasant, and offers a very different experience than you’ll get in Central-Europe, he says. But that’s not necessarily a disadvantage.  

"You don't have to go to a large resorts with several hundred lifts in Europe to experience a nice day of skiing. It’s more about the sensation you get in the slopes; who you’re with and how the nature looks and the emotional impact it provides," he says to Visit Norway.

Skiers enjoying a sunny easter day from the mountain top in Trysil, Eastern Norway
Alpine skiing in Trysil.
Photo: Ola Matsson

In general – Kleivens experience is that you’ll have a more “pure” skiing-experience in Central-Europe than in Norway. 

"What separates Norway from other skiing-destinations is the diversity of additional 'arctic micro-experiences' you can have. It can be the northern lights, whale-safari, norwegian food, cross country skiing and maybe trekking in particular," he says.

New Slopes

One element that's steadily drawing an increasing number of guests are the investments in innovation: from fresh downhill adventures to new lifts and an expanded food and entertainment scene off the slopes.

The winner of this years competition is only one among several resorts that are investing heavily to draw both new riders and maintaining it’s regular customers.

New features in Hemsedal this year includes so-called "Fun Slopes": a 750 meter long specialty-slope with jumps, bumps and roundabouts inspired by both ski-cross and terrain parks.

Other ski-resorts on the high end of this years list are also featured regularly in previous seasons. Trysil - Norways most visited snow-sport center - gets a full score on almost all the competitions criteria, except one.

“A lack of good off-piste features is the only thing keeping Trysil from being a complete skiing-destination."

Hafjell is awarded with the competitions bronze medal.

Dagens Næringsliv: The best ski-resorts in Norway

Here is DN’s full list.

1. Hemsedal

2. Trysil

3. Hafjell

4. Kvitfjell

5. Hovden

6. Stranda

7. Geilo

8. Oppdal

9. Myrkdalen

10. Gaustablikk

11. Voss

12. Norefjell

13. Narvik

14. Røldal

15. Oslo

16. Beitostølen

17. Skeikampen

18. Sirdal

19. Rauland

20. Tyin-Filefjell

21. Sogndal

22. Kongsberg

23. Bjorli

24. Sauda

25. Haukeli

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