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 atoboggan 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.
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 impressivecoastline 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.
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