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NORWEGIANS’ 11 FAVOURITE WINTER ACTIVITIES

Winter activities in Norway .
Photo: Mina Bondevik / Robin Tiller / Appetite / Opplev Trøndelag / Fjord Norway
Winter activities in Norway .
Photo: Mina Bondevik / Robin Tiller / Appetite / Opplev Trøndelag / Fjord Norway

When it comes to having fun in the snow, Norway is the undisputed king of the hill! Here are our best tips for both energetic and relaxing winter experiences.

    The winter is many Norwegians’ favourite season. Which isn’t so strange when you think about it: The outdoorsies love the many ways they can play in the snow, and the more indoor types can withdraw to art galleries and restaurants. Here are some of the top things Norwegians love to do in winter.

    Please note that the selection of accommodation, restaurants, and activities may be restricted due to the coronavirus situation. Before you leave, be sure to get the latest travel advice from the Norwegian authorities and destinations, and check the opening hours and rules of individual tour providers.

  1. 1. See the (northern) light

    Who doesn’t dream of seeing the northern lights dance across the Arctic sky? We know we do. But part of the magic is that we never know for sure when Aurora will put on a show. No matter, though – the winter light is magical in itself. Especially in Northern Norway, where the sun stays just slightly above or even below the horizon for months. Which doesn’t mean that it’s pitch dark all the time, but rather that the sun illuminates the clouds and sky in a beautiful colour palette. Not to mention the starry skies …

    The winter light up north is the perfect backdrop for wonderful outdoor experiences. Maximise the chance of seeing the northern lights on a guided tour or try dog sledging, snowshoeing, or whale watching.

  2. 2. Freedom on alpine skis

    We Norwegians love the freedom we get from plunging down a steep hill on skis. Luckily, the alpine resorts are working hard to prepare effective infection control measures and recommendations to ensure that this year’s season is as safe and pleasant as possible.

    Find your favourite among Norway’s best ski resorts or take the family to one of the country’s many child-friendly ski destinations. At fnugg.no you can find the latest updates on snow depth and ground conditions.

  3. 3. Cross-country skiing – hit the tracks!

    Do as the locals – get your hands on a pair of skis and poles (new, second hand, rented or borrowed – anything goes) and set off on a cross-country skiing adventure! With seemingly endless mountain areas, plateaus, and huge networks of ski tracks, Norway is like a massive cross-country skiing paradise. Sign up for a skiing class to get the hang of the technique or join a guided skiing trip.

    Make your skiing holiday special with a couple of nights in a gorgeous mountain hotel or rent a cottage. Find an overview of groomed ski tracks at skisporet.no and learn more about the country’s top cross-country skiing areas.

    Thanks to the indoor skiing facility SNØ, located just outside of Oslo, you can try both alpine and cross-country skiing any time of year.

  4. 4. Norwegian style workation

    Had enough of working from home recently? Pack your laptop and go somewhere new and exciting! Get your work done next to a fjord, on a mountain top or on an island far out to sea. Not only is a workation an opportunity to work to live, rather than live to work – it is also a great chance to mingle with the locals.

    Once you have logged off for the day, you can go skiing, hiking, surfing, or whatever makes you tick. Hire a guide to show you around, or ask your new Norwegian friends to take you.

    There are several coworking facilities all over Norway, so you don’t have to worry about being isolated. You can also try coliving, which means that you work and live in a community. Unless you want to have more time for yourself of course – in that case, just rent a nice place where you can work in peace and quiet. Perhaps you’ll bring a few colleagues, your partner, or even the whole family?

  5. 5. Plan a romantic weekend break

    When we feel the need to get away with someone special, we know exactly what to do. Norway is full of love nests: remote lighthouses and fancy tree houses, grand manor houses and gorgeous boutique hotels. Many of these are situated far from the crowds in the cities and have been built to blend in with the surrounding nature.

    Why not surprise your partner with an unforgettable night? Maybe in a glass igloo, a lavvo tent, or a Mongolian yurt? The glamping season lasts all year!

  6. 6. Experience “skrei” fishing

    Norway is built on fish, and especially the migrating Atlantic cod called skrei. If you’re into fishing, you should join us in Northern Norway between January and April, when the skrei enter the Norwegian coast to spawn. Go on a guided fishing trip, rent a boat, or fish from land in a picture-perfect Arctic landscape. You are almost guaranteed to get a giant cod on the hook! At the end of March, come and watch the spectacle that is the World cod fishing championship outside of Svolvær in Lofoten.

    Stay in a fisherman’s cabin (book early) and enjoy creative varieties of Arctic fish dishes in restaurants. Local food doesn’t get more local than this!

    You can also combine your fishing adventure with guided summit hikes, exciting museums, and visits to quaint fishing villages.

  7. 7. Winter without skis

    Believe it or not – not all Norwegians are born with skis on their feet. Most of us still love some snowy fun, though. So if skiing isn’t your thing either, you’ll find endless opportunities for other snow-based activities. Glide through a winter-wonderland behind a dog sledge or on a sleigh ride, try ice fishing, or experience nature up close on a snowshoe hike. There are also numerous ice rinks and toboggan runs all over the country.

    Many of the country’s largest alpine centres also offer organised outdoor activities for those who want to combine downhill or cross-country skiing with other fresh winter experiences.

    Feeling cold? Heat up in one of Norway’s hottest saunas!

  8. 8. Expand your cultural horizon

    Don’t really enjoy to be cold? We understand! Luckily, you can spend your entire holiday in Norway indoors – for example in an art museum, a gallery, or an experience centre. Take the kids to cool, interactive science centres, or spend a few hours in one of Norway’s many fine folk museums. Read more about art and culture in Norway.

    If you want to go outside for a bit, though, Norway is also a treasure trove of impressive street art and cool sculpture parks. Wrap up warm and get a big dose of art and crisp winter air.

  9. 9. Taste some new flavours

    From first-class seafood and some of the world’s best cheeses to a selection of pretty … quirky dishes. Yes, we do love to eat, and a feast of flavours awaits in Norway’s many restaurants.

    Or maybe you want to try some at home? Check out our recipes for Norwegian waffles or “boller” (sweet buns), or find out more about Norwegian food and drink.

  10. 10. Give snowkiting and ski touring a go

    Thanks to our majestic mountains and long, snowy winters, Norway is a like an enormous playground for snowkiting and ski touring. Join the kite trend and sweep across snow-covered plains, or experience the unbeatable feeling of racing down through untouched powder snow. Both offer a powerful encounter with nature.

    You’ll find courses and guided tours in many places, both for beginners and for experienced enthusiasts.

  11. 11. Find the festive spirit

    December is Christmas time! In Norway, we are looking forward to streets lined with decorative lights, lots of Christmas concerts, and last but not least, heaps of yummy seasonal food.

    Check out our list of charming Christmas markets and top Christmas destinations.

  12. Want more tips for a Norwegian winter break? Check out this wild and beautiful winter journey from Bergen to Flåm and the magical season in Hardanger.

Get inspired

Take advantage of top offers

See our selection of companies that work hard to make you happy all through your trip.

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