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horse sleigh ride in Geilo.
Photo: Emile Holba
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About Geilo

Geilo is a village with varied activities and events all year, located halfway between Norway's two main cities, Oslo and Bergen. Geilo is a well-known ski resort in Norway, but has plenty of other activities to offer its guests. The town has a population of about 2,500 inhabitants.

 

Key facts about Geilo

Geography:

District: Hol
County: Buskerud
Mountain district: Hallingdal

Altitude: 798 metres above sea level.
Hallingskarvet Mountain Plateau: 1,933 metres above sea level.

Nearest cities: Oslo (220 kilometres) and Bergen (239 kilometres).
Airport: Fagernes (1 hour and 45 minutes by car from Geilo). 
Oslo Gardermoen (232 kilometres).

The Bergen Railway: Geilo station in the village centre, approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes train ride from both Oslo and Bergen.

 

Skiing:

Slopes (downhill): 40 close to the town center, 20 more in the municipality

Cross country trails: 550 kilometers

 

National parks:

Hallingskarvet and Hardangervidda

 

 

History

It has been more than 100 years since Geilo welcomed its first ski tourists. As early as 1867, the first English tourist, Lord Garvagh from London, came to the area around Hallingskarvet. In 1880 his son had the well-known Lordehytta built at Folarskaret on Hallingskarvet.

Modern ski tourism began in 1935, when one of the country’s first slalom races was organised in Geilo. That was the beginning of the exciting development that has brought about today’s modern, all-round sports resort.

Some of the greatest events that have marked the development of Geilo have been the opening of the Bergen Railway in 1909, the establishment of an active ski school in the 1950s, the first chair lift, Geilo Taubane, which opened in 1954 and Norway’s first piste preparation machine in 1972.

Geilo’s first hotel, Gjeilo Hotell (now Geilo Hotel), was established in 1880. Later came Haugs Hotel and in 1909 – the same year as the opening of the Bergen Railway – Dr. Holms Hotell.

 

When to visit

Skiing: The first downhill slope opens in september/early October. Main season from late November until the end of April. Cross country skiing from November to April/May. Skiing in the higher mountains is usually possible until mid-June. 

Hiking: July to September are the safest months if you are planning a hiking trip in the mountains. In the lower areas there are hiking opportunities from May to October. 

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