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Mother and daughter tobogganing at Mount Hoven by the Loen Skylift in Loen, Fjord Norway
Mother and daughter tobogganing at Mount Hoven by the Loen Skylift in Loen, Fjord Norway
Tobogganing at Mount Hoven in Loen.
Photo: Bård Basberg / Loen Skylift
Tobogganing at Mount Hoven in Loen.
Photo: Bård Basberg / Loen Skylift

Fun things to do without skis

No skis? No problem! There are plenty of fun winter activities in Norway. From dog sledding and tobogganing to safari and steaming hot saunas – get the best tips here.

During winter, large parts of Norway is usually transformed into a snow-covered haven for people who enjoy the great outdoors.

It’s no secret that skiing is deeply rooted in our traditions, and it’s still a big part of the Norwegian lifestyle. However, there are many other fun things to do that don’t require skis, whether you’re travelling in the mountains, in a city, or along the coast.

If you are in Norway during your winter break, these are some of the best winter activities to try.

Be a musher for a day

Join a dog sledding tour and get to know our four-legged friends who’s eager to show you the white wilderness. Try your hand as a musher and steer your own pack of dogs for several days, or enjoy the view as a passenger on a one-day dog sledding trip.

You will often get the chance to feed and look after the huskies yourself, something that will appeal to dog lovers everywhere. Below you’ll find some of the most popular dog sledding offers.

Find your inner child on a sledge

There is no point in denying it: jetting down snow-covered slopes on sledges are as fun for adults as it is for children. And whether you want to try your luck in a frozen luge track or just cruise down a toboggan run, you’ll find many alternatives in Norway.

From south to north, several operators are ready to welcome riders on all levels. In addition to the offers below, many ski resorts and ski centres have their own sledge tracks that are prepped to perfection. Are you ready?

Stay on top of winter with snowshoes

Many of us wonder how it’s like to walk on clouds. Well, snowshoeing is probably the closest feeling we’ll get. With a pair of snowshoes, it doesn’t matter how deep the snow is – you can cruise through the white landscape without problems.

Join a guided hiking tour and experience the crisp winter air, snow-draped trees, and white mountains.

But don’t forget to take a break during your stroll in the mountains. In Norway, hiking trips go hand in hand with chocolate-covered wafer bars, oranges, and warm drinks.

Winter safari

Wait, what? Safari in winter? Well, of course! The Norwegian wildlife is unique in so many ways, and some experiences are even cooler as the temperatures drop.

Above the Arctic Circle, you can sign up for a whale safari and get close to Humpbacks and Orcas. Or maybe you’re a fan of shellfish? Then a king crab safari is just what you need. Not only will you be able to help fetch king crabs from the crab pots, as some tour providers host a delicious dinner afterwards! And there’s no need to say what the main ingredient will be, right?

You can also get a glimpse of the mighty musk oxen during winter. They reside in the Dovrefjell mountains of Eastern Norway, and they truly are a sight to behold. But don’t let their massive size fool you. These rugged animals are super-fast, so the safest way to observe them is from a distance on a guided tour.

Ice fishing – a hole lot of fun

Countless lakes and rivers and an impressive coastline mean outstanding opportunities to catch fish here in Norway. During wintertime, most of the lakes and fjords are frozen, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying your fishing luck.

Drill a hole, throw the line into the water, and wait. Nothing beats the exciting feeling you get when you’re waiting for a fish to swim by.

Remember to be careful, though. Listen to tour guides, and stay off the ice if you don’t know for sure that it’s safe.

Go on a relaxing sleigh ride

Imagine sitting in a horse-drawn sleigh underneath a sheepskin blanket. The horse pulls you through an idyllic village in a leisurely pace, and the only thing you can hear is the sound of the sleigh’s bells and the rhythmic beat from the horse’s hooves. Sounds good?

Many operators in Norway offer sleigh tours, and if you travel up north, you might even get the chance to be drawn by reindeer across the white plains of Finnmark. It’s not just an exciting activity, it’s a great way to get a taste of what life was like in the old days, when horses and reindeer were amongst our most faithful servants.

Watch Aurora dance

Imagine sitting outside in the dark, all snuggled up by the fire as the world’s most mesmerising lightshow begins.

Every winter, people travel far to experience the northern lights, and Northern Norway is a prime spot. You can travel by yourself, but we do recommend joining a guided tour. The guides are up to date on the weather conditions and can take you to the locations where you’ll have the best chance of watching the Aurora.

Hot tip: If you plan on signing up for a photo tour – get expert advice on how to photograph the northern lights.

Hit the ice on skates

Norway has a long skating tradition and has produced many world champions over the years. And whether you are as elegant as Sonja Henie, as fast as Johan Olav Koss, or have trouble just keeping your balance, skating is all about having fun. Outdoor skating rinks are found in most cities and towns in Norway.

During winter, you can also go skating on a number of frozen lakes, rivers, and fjords. However, make sure the ice is safe before venturing out. Ask locals, look for signposts, or drill a hole and check the thickness yourself.

Skates can be hired at most manned skating rinks, but if you want to go skating anywhere else, you must bring your own equipment.

Heat up in a sauna

Norwegian winters can be really cold – but you can still find warm experiences to thaw your frozen fingers and nose.

New and stylish saunas are popping up across the country, all with spectacular locations! Enjoy the warm air below the northern lights, near the fjords, or even in the middle of the capital.

If you want to connect with your inner Viking, heat up before you go for a dip in the fjord or the snow! This is an invigorating experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and awake.

Kicksledding with a traditional spark

Spark, kicksleds, are genius when touring through the snow, and it's easy to learn how to use one. You simply just kick and slide!

In Norway, kicksleds are especially popular among children, and are well-used in areas with stable snow conditions. The villages Geilo and Hurdal in Eastern Norway even have kicksledding chapionships, which is great fun for the whole family.

You can rent kicksleds at many tourist offices and activity- and rental centres.

Biking on snow and ice

Fatbikes are made for cycling on snow and ice! The name refers to the bike's large wheels, which makes it possible to bike in the snowy, winter landscape.

Across the country, you'll find plenty of places where you can rent fatbikes, and you'll also find fantastic, guided fatbike tours.

Geilo, Lillehammer, Trysil and Nesbyen in Eastern Norway, and Alta in Northern Norway are some of the most popular places to go fatbiking.

Local weather and climate

In winter, the average temperature in Norway is -6.8 degrees Celsius, but the local conditions may vary quite a lot. Around Oslo, snowfall is common and the average winter temperatures are just below zero.

The lower inland areas of Finnmark, Troms, Trøndelag, and Eastern Norway often have very cold winters with lots of snow.

The inland areas of Northern Norway have an Arctic climate with snow and cold temperatures. However, the climate is usually much milder in coastal areas, thanks to the Gulf Stream. Strong winds occur frequently.

The coastal areas of Fjord Norway and Southern Norway also enjoy a milder climate, with temperatures around 0 degrees Celsius at sea level. However, much of the region is snowy and cold, which makes for good skiing conditions, especially in the mountains.

How to dress for winter in Norway

If you are heading high up or far north – or both, for that matter – dress warmly and in layers. Use wool rather than cotton or polyester, and make sure you can protect yourself from getting wet and being caught in the wind.

Wind chill factor will make you feel much colder than the temperature actually says, and this effect will get worse the stronger the wind. If you’re wet, hypothermia and frostbite may not be far away – unless you are well prepared and dressed.

Find winter activities all over Norway

Check out and read more about some of the best winter activity spots.

Dog sledding
In pairs, you will take turns mushing (driving a dog sledge team) a team of 5-6 dogs. You will experience the dynamics of the dog-sledge team and will… Read more
Dog sledding in Bolterdalen - Green Dog Svalbard
Would you like to experience the sound of silence as you travel into a perfectly beautiful Norwegian winter landscape with your very own sled dog… Read more
Dog sledding with Beito Husky Tours
Experience true Arctic wilderness! An experience for life and a special way of travelling in the Arctic! Together with our local and knowledgeable… Read more
7-day Dogsledding Expedition to the East Coast of Svalbard - Arctic Husky Travellers
Dog sledding on wheels throughout the summer, until the snow arrives! Read more
Dog Sledding on wheels
The best way to experience the beauty and endlessness of the Arctic landscape is on a dogsled. During this time, the light has returned from the long… Read more
Arctic Dog Sledding - Svalbard Husky
Try dog sledding with our friendly huskies and Alaska Malamutes in a fantastic mountain landscape at Sjusjøen, 30 min from Lillehammer. Read more
Dog sledding at Sjusjøen Husky Tours
Dog sledding is an authentic winter experience where you can steer your own dog sled or enjoy the trip as a passenger. This dog sledding trip is for… Read more
Dog Sledding Day Trip in Bodø, Northern Norway
Experience nature in a new and exciting way. Learn how to manage your own dog sled team. Read more
Dog sledding near Hovden
Care to try? We have slopes for everyone. Perfect for families and friends, birthday parties and companies / Team building. Read more
Dog Sledding Tours in Sjodalen-Jotunheimen
Ice fishing
Fishing on Mjøsa (Norways largest lake), Eina, Ihle and Landåsvatnet, check the links below to see details for each fishing area. Clarion… Read more
Ice fishing near Clarion Collection Hotel Grand
Fishing near Sillongen - Perch fishing on Ihle (Sillongen, Eriksrudtjern, Kauserudtjernet, Helsettjernet, Slomma, Steffensrudtjernet) - Trout fishing… Read more
Ice fishing near Sillongen
When you stay at Gjøvik Hostel Hovdetun you are just a quick drive from a lot af good fishing spots, like Einavatnet, Ihle and Landåsvatnet. Right… Read more
Ice fishing near Gjøvik Hostel Hovdetun
Ice fishing near Quality Hotel Strand Just a stone's throw from Strand Hotel you can fish for trout and pike in Mjøsa, Norway's greatest lake with… Read more
Ice fishing near Quality Hotel Strand
Ice fishing possibilities near Sveastranda Camping: - Pike and Perch on Mjøsa, Norways largest lake with more than 20 fish species. - Perch and Trout… Read more
Ice fishing near Sveastranda
With ice fishing in Skjækra you are also blessed with magnificent scenery with its proximity to Blåfjella-Skjækerfjella National Park. Alone or with… Read more
Ice fishing at Skjækra
Fishing possibilities near Lyngstrand Camping From Lyngstrand Camping there is no more than 30 minutes to any of the ice fishing lakes in Region… Read more
Ice fishing near Lyngstrand Camping
Fishing near Fjordtitt Being located right by the Eina Fjord, Fjordtitt is great for Perch- and Pike fishing the entire year. Some other good fishing… Read more
Ice fishing near Fjordtitt
Vatsfjorden and Rødungen are among southern Norway's best fishing lakes. The ice is normally safe in January, but always ask advice from local experts… Read more
Jigging Ål in Hallingdal
Ice fishing for arctic char, trout, grayling or pike. We have cabins with sauna on the mountains at the fishing lakes. Neiden mountainarea has water… Read more
Ice fishing
Welcome to ice fishing adventures at Adventure Camp Mehamn! Read more
Ice fishing - Nordic Safari
Join us at the Ustedalsfjord on a quiet day where we drill holes thru the ice. Ice fishing is for the whole family. It's never good to know when… Read more
Ice fishing - Vinternatt
Ice skating
The skating rink in Arendal is open from November to March, and the rink is perfect for speed skating, bandy, ice hockey and playing on the ice. Read more
Arendal artificial ice rink
Vingnesvika ice skating track is suitable for all, and welcomes schoolchildren and recreational exercisers as well as tourists. Read more
Vingnesvika ice skating track
In Hallingdal Feriepark you can go iceskating during part of the winterseason. The rink is located behind the activity… Read more
Ice Skating Hallingdal Feriepark
Which other places than Rjukan can you go ice skating in the rays of a sun mirror? Read more
Ice skating
Outdoor ice skating at Frogner stadion, open in the winter season. Read more
Frogner Ice Skating Rink
The Spikersuppa ice skating rink in the middle of Oslo city centre is open and free for everybody. Read more
Spikersuppa Ice Skating Rink
Saunas in Norway
If you want to end the day with a warm and good experience, you can visit the two floating saunas on Kvitåvatn with a magical view towards… Read more
Floating saunas at Gausta
Customised wood-fired sauna by the lake Hestehagedammen with view of the lake. Enjoy the peace and the heat and pamper yourself to an unforgettable… Read more
Grønsand Forest Sauna
Heit Sørfjorden Sauna offers a steaming sauna and a fresh bath in the fjord! Enjoy the view of the fjord, mountains, and glaciers from the… Read more
Heit Sørfjorden Sauna
Saunas with a view really are something special and on the island of Træna on the Helgeland coast there are two of them. The island is situated 33… Read more
Saunas on Træna
Welcome to a sauna experience with us at Hurdalsjøen Hotell! With us, saunas are part of the daily routine for our guests - whether you are… Read more
Saunas at Hurdalsjøen Hotel
Soria Moria Sauna in Dalen, Telemark Read more
Soria Moria Sauna
See the northern lights
Sleigh rides
A ride in a horse-drawn sleigh under a starry sky is guaranteed to put you in a romantic mood, particularly when it is followed by a tasty meal and a… Read more
Horse drawn sleigh Ål in Hallingdal
We provide a pickup service at all the hotels or at any prearranged place and take a leisurly tour lasting around 45 minutes. We supply lovely warm… Read more
Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride - Geilo hestesenter
A wonderful area for ski activity – in the middle of Røros town centre. A favourite for families with children. Reached easily on foot from… Read more
Aasgjerdet Alpine and toboggan run
Storefjell Ski- and Toboggan Centre is located right next to the Storefjell Resort Hotel. The ski centre has three lifts and eight slopes of varying… Read more
Storefjell Ski and Sledding Centre
The only bobsleigh and luge track in Scandinavia. Wheelbob available throughout the summer season. Read more
Lillehammer Olympic Bob- and Luge Track
Full speed down Oslo's most popular toboggan run. Read more
Toboggan run: Korketrekkeren
The centre has a family friendly ski tow with a separate sledding slope, park with jumps and rails, a warming room, ski rental and immediate access to… Read more
Storefjell Ski- and Sledding center
Hallingdal Feriepark had its own toboggan hill! Near the cottages the kids can have a great time sledding for hours.  You can rent sledges… Read more
Toboggan in Hallingdal Feriepark
Come to Rjukan and try the longest sledge-hill (with lift) in Norway. Read more
Tobogganing is not an Olympic sport, but has become one of Lillehammer's most popular activities. Read more
Tobogganing in Lillehammer Snow Park
Airboarding is the perfect activity for all extreme sport enthusiasts who love going fast! The speed increases and increases and at some point you ask… Read more
Located in the Bergsjø area, Skarslia is perfect for families. Skarslia offers fantastic sledding hills, well-prepared downhill slopes for… Read more
Skarslia Ski- og akesenter (ski and sledding)
Come and experience the Norwegian winter on snowshoes in Aurland! Read more
Snowshoe hike to Stegastein viewpoint
Arctic footsteps in the snow. Our guide will give you a lesson in the use of snowshoes and take you up into the unspoiled mountain ranges above… Read more
SnowhotelKirkenes - Snowshoe walking
Anyone who masters the art of walking, can use snowshoes. Modern snowshoes do not require specific skills; after a while you hardly notice them! Take… Read more
A snowshoe adventure
Join us on a guided snowshoe tour in the beautiful hiking terrains around Mokk Farm. Snowshoes are easy to walk with, and provides an experience… Read more
Snowshoeing at Mokk Farm
Welcome to winter paradise. Our area can offer you untouched snow, traditional mountain farms, deep forests and amazing fjord view. With a pair a… Read more
Snowshoeing in Valldal - The Adventure Valley
Is it your dream to experience untouched snow, magnificent fjord views, deep forests and mountain farms? Try snowshoeing as a special way of doing… Read more
Snowshoeing with guide Geiranger - A taste of winter
Would you like to try something new or find an alternative activity for skiing and walking? Read more
Snowshoe rental at Slaatta
Experience the region's most fantastic view of fjords and mountains on Keipen. From 950 NOK. Read more
Local favourites - snowshoe trip to Keipen
Join us for a two- three hour snowshoe walk in the Lyngen region and enjoy wonderful views of the pointed Jægervasstindene/Lyngen Alps. The guide will… Read more
Snowshoe walk in Lyngen - Svensby Tursenter
Snowshoes gives you the opportunity to explore our beautiful winter landscape on foot Read more
Snowshoeing- rental and guided tours | Pellestova Hotel
Bulder & Brak in Årdal take you on a guided snowshoe trip to Paradisjuvet which gives you a view of the majestic Sognefjord. Read more
Snowshoe hike to Paradisjuvet
SNOWSHOE HIKING Let’s go on a Norwegian snowshoe adventure! Try hiking in deep snow and enjoy amazing views of frozen fjords and mountains.… Read more
Snowshoe Hiking Skjolden
Winter safari
Experience the whales in a fantastic winter light from October to April on one of our winter safaris. Whale Safari Andenes has 30 years of experience… Read more
Whale safari from Andenes - Winter (big boat)
We pick you up your hotel and transport you to Snowhotel Kirkenes. Read more
Snowhotel Kirkenes - King crab safari
Wild, beautiful, white, rough, musk ox, Dovrefjell National Park, landscape, ski / snowshoe, memories for life. Sleeping in a tent/cottage or snow… Read more
Photo safari with guide, winter season.
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