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Mile after mile. Or maybe it's your first go?
Fairy-tale forests. White views.
Archaeological finds indicate that people in the Nordic countries have used skis for more than 5,000 years, which shows that the old saying “Norwegians are born with skis on their feet” isn't that far from the truth.
Skiing is considered Norway's national sport and it's our favourite pastime in the winter. At this time of year, the country turns into a ski paradise with a myriad of well-groomed trails.
Cross-country skiing is a good workout, regardless of your pace. No matter how fast or slow you make it up the hill ...
… you can enjoy a well-deserved lunch break at the top.
In Norway, you can go cross-country skiing almost anywhere. Still, some destinations have made it extra convenient and fun for ski enthusiasts – hardcore athletes, families and beginners alike.
Here, you can experience the best of Norwegian winter – both with and without skis. Join guided tours or a ski school, and rest your legs the following day. Maybe on a dog sledging trip or in a toboggan run?
The major alpine ski resorts in Norway also offer fantastic opportunities for cross-country skiing. They have an impressive network of groomed trails, which means you can easily combine different activities.
Several of the country's most visited cross-country destinations are easily accessible, located in the mountain areas of Eastern Norway.
In Lillehammer and the Gudbrandsdalen valley, you'll find no less than eleven popular cross-country areas! These include Venabygdsfjellet, Gålå, Rondablikk in the Kvamsfjellet area, Skeikampen and Sjusjøen, which is known as one of Norway's best cross-country skiing destinations.
In Hallingdal, more than 2,000 kilometres of groomed trails await, many centred around Geilo, Golsfjellet, Hemsedal and Nesbyen.
Hovden, Beitostølen, Trysil, and Oppdal also offer superb conditions for cross-country. And from the capital, you can take the subway straight to the fantastic Oslomarka forest.
You can also find ski trails in dreamlike terrain in Fjord Norway and Northern Norway.
In Fjord Norway, you can check out the lighted ski trails in Nordfjordeid, Voss Resort and Årmotslia by Myrkdalen Fjellandsby in Voss. Or take your skis up Mount Fløyen in Bergen for a cross-country experience close to the city.
North of the Arctic Circle, almost every small town and city offers networks of groomed trail. Go on a cross-country adventure in Alta, Harstad, Mo i Rana, Vesterålen, Bardufoss or the mountain resort Måselv Fjellandsby. If you want to try the ski tracks where the Norwegian cross-country star Vegard Ulvang grew up, Kirkenes is the place to go.
Combine a city holiday with ski adventures in Bodø and Tromsø, or visit Jakobsbakken in Sulitjelma, where the Norwegian national team sometimes go to train. Svalbard is also - unsurprisingly – a skier's white dream.
Who knows, maybe you'll get the chance to go on a ski trip while the northern lights dance across the night sky?
Norway is an incredible place to explore, with untamed mythical landscapes, mountains, valleys, and fjords. Before you enter the outdoors, get familiar with the nine simple rules of the Norwegian mountain code to help you stay safe.
Take only pictures, keep only memories
Norway is a country of outstanding natural beauty. Preserving this landscape, and its communities, and way of life, is essential for all of us.
Norwegians strongly believe that conservation is everyone’s responsibility.
Please strive to leave as small a footprint as possible. "Leave it as you would like to find it" is the mantra, regardless of where you are.
Conservation is all about quality of life. Not only for today, but for future generations as well.
Skiing is not just for professional athletes like Johannes Høsflot Klæbo and Marit Bjørgen. Although some put on their first ski boots as soon as they learn to walk, others try it for the first time as grown-ups. Everything is allowed!
And if you get hooked, the good news is that you don't have to wait for the winter to arrive …
Sun, summer – and skiing? Yes, it's actually possible!
Visit the trails at the Folgefonna glacier in Hardanger, Stryn Summer Ski Centre and Sognefjellet Summer Ski Centre.
Or head to SNØ outside Oslo – a huge indoor arena for snow experiences.
Here, you're guaranteed prime skiing conditions all year round!
Up for a challenge?
Every year, almost ten thousand ski enthusiasts participate in the 54-kilometre ski marathon called Birkebeinerrennet, which runs over the mountain between Rena and Lillehammer.
Norwegians are masters at creating a good vibe along the trails. Not only during Birkebeinerrennet but also during the many international competitions held around the country.
If you're inspired to embark on a long trip without the competition …
… try the Troll Trail!
One week. 170 kilometres on skis.
A young Petter Northug would probably call it a "children's race", but the week-long trip from Høvringen to Lillehammer is best suited for well-trained skiers.
However, this is just one of the routes where you can ski from place to place. And if you don't like planning, don't worry - several providers offer organised package tours.
But skiing holidays are not just about chasing kilometres. Treat yourself to a few nights in a mountain hotel and use it as a base for various day trips.
Or maybe you'd like to stay in a cosy cabin where you can start your skiing trip just outside the door?
Just remember the mountain code. Especially rule number two: Adapt the planned routes according to ability and conditions.
You can check the avalanche conditions where you are going in the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute’s avalanche map.
After a day of skiing, you should of course spend your afternoon like the Scandinavians: in wool underwear and with something good to drink by the fireplace.
Now it's your turn!
Find more information by clicking on the icons in the map.
Check out and read more about some of the best winter activity spots.