This trip is mostly based around Lillehammer, scene of the 1994 Winter Olympics and 2016 Winter Youth Olympics. This is a golden opportunity to get a feel for the thrill of Olympic-style skiing and other activities. Norwegians are obsessed with winter sports and we want to share this exhilarating outdoor sport with you. This week of skiing, bobsleighing and dog-sledding can be tailored for all experience levels, from beginner to professional. It's suitable for small groups, families and individuals who want to experience the Norwegian winter and try out different types of skiing and winter sports.
Season: Winter, November – Mars. Duration 9 nights/10 days. Variations with more/less activities, more/less nights can be tailored.
Price: per person from: NOK 23 000 (approx. € 2450/ $ 2900)
Includes: 9 nights upper end hotel accommodation with breakfast; Rental car and train tickets day 1-7; 3 outdoor dinners; sauna; ski pass Hafjell & Kvitfjell; 3 hours of private ski guiding; cross-country & alpine ski rental (clothing not included); half-day bobsleigh experience; northern light hunt on dog sled; silent whale watching & northern lights exploring; Up Norway Self-Guided Itinerary & digital travel guide.
*Price based on 2 people sharing one guest room. Lunches and dinners will be recommended or arranged at additional cost.
DAY 1: Adventure starts in lillehammer
Arriving in Norway in the winter deep freeze might give you a shock to the system, but we'll provide you with the necessary know-how to enjoy our snowy climate. Travel sustainably direct from Oslo Airport to Lillehammer (1,5 hours North), and pick-up your rental car which will take you from place to place over the next few days.
Lillehammer has a long history with the Winter Olympics, dating back to 1994; in 2016 it was also part of a bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in Oslo (it eventually went to China). The city remains a key centre in Norway for training and education in winter sports because of its Olympic facilities.
DAY 2: Alpine skiing IN HAFJELL
Your first day of skiing begins with a demanding Olympic event – alpine (downhill). A experienced guide who knows what it takes to become an accomplished skier will slowly introduce the technique on a gentle slope before moving at your pace to more demanding ones. Lunch will be served with a view over Jotunheimen National Park.
We can't get enough of Alpine skiing, and that's in no small measure down to the "afterski". This "phenomenon" means walking directly into the bar in your ski-clothes, and dancing and singing on the tables.
DAY 3: HiGH SPEED ADVENTURES
Now you're ready to tackle one of the most challenging but exciting Olympic events, the bobsleigh. In the hands of a professional driver, you will have the opportunity to take timed runs down narrow, tight turns on an iced track in at high speed, pulling some major G force.
We recommend a late lunch in Gaiastova, at the top of Hafjell ski resort, before clicking on your skis again and heading for the now floodlit slopes. Pure winter magic!
DAY 4: A sore body needs to heal
Doing nothing is an art, and today we recommend you enjoy a day without preset plans. Maybe you want to spend the morning in bed? Stroll around discovering the charms of Lillehammer? Or maybe take a swim in the hotel pool...?
Lillehammer City Center is unique with its charming trading environment, rich cultural life and its warm atmosphere. The old wooden buildings make the pedestrian street the city's main arttraction. Lillehammer beeing a training base for soo many there are exciting specialty shops with sports equipment to be found here.
Staring into a fireplace under a blanket with a book on your lap is a wonderful and typical Norwegian way to end the day, while the wind whips the snow off the roof.
DAY 5: cross-country skiing
After four nights in Lillehammer, it's time to move on to Kvitfjell and a local mountain ski lodge. For your pleasure, a crazy Norwegian will have spent the night prepping fresh ski tracks. A cross-country skiing introduction course is offered on request. Lunch can either be the traditional picnic with sliced bread, oranges and Kvikk Lunsj (the Norwegian KitKat), or you can grill hotdogs on a campfire and drink hot chocolate – the highlight of any cross-country ski trip.
And what we do after a whole day of skiing outdoors? First we enter the sauna to heat up, then we run outside and roll in the snow! It's an incredible experience when your body reacts to this extreme cold with the crystal clear air under the moon and stars. Those who dare will not regret it...
DAY 6: downhill at Kvitfjell
After a healthy breakfast it's time to jump into the ski boots (as the Norwegians say) and hit some new slopes.
Kvitfjell means white mountain, and this ski area is an arena built for the Olympics back in 1994, but which has gained a worldwide reputation among alpine enthusiasts. During 1994 Kvitfjell arranged downhill and Super-G, and has later been the venue for multiple World Cups. As you are now getting more comfortable, the skiing experience gets better and better.
Up here in Norway, we go from outdoors directly to the pub or dining table, still in our ski outfits and wool underwear. Local dinner is served at the mountain lodge, then you can relax in the lounge or hit the wellness department.
DAY 7: ARCTIC-Bound: Time for Northern lights
It is time to catch the train back to Oslo airport. The flight to Tromsø – the Paris of the North – takes two hours (yes, Norway is long). Stepping off the plane, you'll find yourself above the Arctic Circle. No city in Alaska nor Canada is this far north.
Tromsø is the Northern Lights capital with a long winter season providing a fantastic base to see the lights. The dark does not stop us from doing anything. Why not start your stay in Tromsø with a cable car tide to Mount Fløya for a spectacular city view? If there are no Northern Lights, the city lights are still worth seeing. While up at Fløya, try a burger with a local flavour: reindeer. Overnight at a harbourside hotel in the city centre.
DAY 8: HUNTING THE LIGHTS ON A SLED
Spend the morning at leisure. When the afternoon comes it is time for a unique Nordic adventure: chasing the Northern Lights from a dog sled. We will invite you for a dog-sledding experience where you choose whether you want to drive or be the passenger. You will be introduced to Northern Lights photography and enjoy outdoor dinner in a camp before returning to the city.
DAY 9: Silent Whale Watching and Northern Lights exploring
Today's adventure begins at the docks. Experience the Arctic night and Northern Lights in the fjords on board a beautiful traditional two-masted sailboat. Sail away from the artificial lights to get the best view of the real lights. This trip takes you out of the beautiful Kaldfjorden – through the feeding grounds of humpback and killer whales, and sea eagles. Hydrophones are used to amplify the song of the whales who roam the area.
If you dare, you are welcome to enjoy floating in the freezing water (wearing protective clothing, naturally). Hot drinks and a light meal are served onboard. The eco-friendly, utterly silent cruise gives you a unique sense of proximity to the surrounding nature and wildlife.
DAY 10: LOOP BACK TO Start
10 days of diverse winter adventures are over. Domestic flight back to Oslo.