Discover pristine natural beauty, from the deep blue fjords and vast wilderness of the Jostedalsbreen glacier to the sparsely-populated Arctic islands. Cosmopolitan Oslo is packed with museums and eclectic bars, but escape the capital to find remote villages of wooden houses nestled deep in the mountains. Visit in summer to make the most of never-ending days under the midnight sun.
Norway’s progressive attitude shines through in its clean, well-organised cities and open-minded people. If you love nature, Norway's dramatic mountains and crystal clear waters are hard to resist. Oslo is miles away - both in distance and character - from Bergen with its brightly-coloured waterfront houses, or the Arctic cities of Bod and Troms. Stavanger presides over fjords, mountains and sandy beaches.
Walk along the lively harbourside in Oslo to medieval Akershus Fortress. Cross the water to the Viking Ship Museum to see beautifully preserved Viking boats. Bergen's UNESCO-listed harbour is the starting point for fjord cruises, while the historic pilgrimage centre, Trondheim, boasts one of Northern Europe's finest cathedrals. Troms enjoys a spectacular waterside setting, along with 24-hour daylight in the summer months.
Rural Norway is a land of mountains, lakes, deep valleys and isolated farmsteads, ideal in summer for getting away from it all. In winter, skiing is a great way to enjoy the countryside, when the rugged peaks and waters of the world-famous fjords are the biggest draw. Head for the North Cape to see the midnight sun and meet the reindeer-herding Sami people.
Welcome to the birthplace of skiing, and a brilliant alternative to the Alps of central and southern Europe. Norway’s relatively small population of only five million ensures fewer crowds on the slopes and a natural untouched feeling on the landscape.
They have been welcoming tourists for 150 years, and it is known as the first skiing resort in Norway. It is also one of the largest with 34 kilometres of slopes. Considered to be a luxury place to ski, they also offer spas and a taste of the ‘good life’ – like wonderful restaurants and shops. Stay at the Vestlia Resort for a glimpse into ski luxury. Considered the gateway to the Hardangervidda, northern Europe’s largest mountain plateau, Geilo sits below the mighty Hallingskarvet range.
|Geilo ski season||Mid December to May
|Piste area||34 km|
|Resort height||1178 m|
|4* Vestlia Resort||4.5* Dr Holms|
|3* Highland Lodge||4* Bardola|
Located in the heart of Norway, and boasting sublime views of the Jotunheimen (Home of the Giants) National Park. Beitostølen is an idyllic mountain village surrounded by Norwegian pines – a beautiful unspoilt place, perfect for the whole family. The gentle slopes are great for children and beginners. The après ski opportunities, continental-style hotels and gourmet restaurants will not disappoint even the seasoned traveller. The Bergo Hotel offers comfortable rooms, sauna access, and great views of the Jotunheimen Mountains.
|Beitostølen ski season||December to May
|Piste area||21 km|
|Resort height||1100 m|
|4* Radisson Blu Beitostolen||3.5* Bergo Hotel|
Located just 20-minutes outside of Norway’s capital, Oslo Vinterpark is a small but well-equipped resort that has been one of Norway’s favourite resorts since the 1930s. They have an amazing snow park, including the only Superpipe open to the public in Europe. Oslo is the only capital city in the world that has ski slopes open 10am until 10pm (Mon-Fri), because all of the slopes are floodlit. Stay at the stunning Lysebu Hotel, which is reminiscent of a winter wonderland, close by to the slopes of Vinterpark.
|Oslo Vinterpark season||December to mid-April
|Piste area||9 km|
|Resort height||531 m|
|5* Lysebu Hotel|
Surrounded by the high mountains of Norway’s protected forests, Hemesdal sits between Bergen and Oslo. Bringing mountaineering enthusiasts in the summer and skiers in the winter months, this is year-round resort. This is Norway’s second biggest resort, with almost 50 kilometres of piste, brilliant nightlife and an après ski scene more likely to be found in the Alps. Stay at the stylish Skogstad Hotell, which has been serving the skiing world since 1905. Find the perfect run before heading off to the bar for an akvavit or two.
|Hemsedal ski season||November to May
|Piste area||47 km|
|Resort height||1497 m|
|4* Alpin Logde||4* Skarsnuten Hotel||3* Skogstad Hotel|
With 75-kilometres of piste area, this is the largest and most popular ski area in Norway. From steep and difficult black runs to languorous greens taking in the surroundings, this resort will test both advanced skiers and newcomers to the slopes alike. Snow is guaranteed due to the proximity to the Arctic Circle. There are four great snow parks, 30 restaurants, spas, bars and shops. Additionally, most of the accommodation has ski-in ski-out facilities, like the fantastic Park Inn Trysil, where you can ski right to the door.
|Trysil ski season||November to April
|Piste area||75 km|
|Resort height||1132 m|
|4* Park Inn Trysil Mountain Resort||4* Radisson Blu resort Trysil|
The picturesque city of Lillehammer played host to the Winter Olympics in 1996, putting it on the worldwide map for snow sports. Whilst Lillehammer is near five different resorts, it doesn’t have any slopes. You can get to Hafjell, Gålå, Kvitfjell, Skeikampen, and Sjusjøen all within an hour’s drive through the beautiful Norwegian countryside. Lillehammer itself is a wonderful town, with lots of culture including the largest open-air museum in Norway, great shopping and the beautiful Lake Mjøsa on your doorstep. Lillehammer is a stunning winter wonderland, and the ideal destination for those just starting out on their journey into ski.
|Ski season||December to mid April|
|Piste area||116 km|
|Resort height||200 m|
Just 15 kilometres north of Lillehammer, the Olympic resort of Hafjell is great for beginners due to its long, wide slopes. That said, there is also a lot for the more accomplished skier too, with a snow park with a half pipe and some fun red pistes dashing through beautiful Norwegian pine forest. One of the major selling points for Hafjell is the sun-facing slopes, great snow-sure conditions and long season times. Après ski is varied, but with Lillehammer being so close, you won’t struggle to find a great bar to cool down after the day’s skiing.
|Ski season||December to April|
|Piste area||44 km|
|Resort height||195 m|
Located in the picturesque Ringebu mountains, the very modern resort of Kvitfjell sits in the middle of a valley surrounded by excellent slopes catering for all levels of skier. Not to be missed is the ski cross course – Norway’s only permanent course – which snakes down 650m of banked corners and high-octane jumps. Also here you’ll find a fantastic terrain park, which with stunning views down the hill is a great place to spend an afternoon or two. Après ski is excellent, with taverns and traditional restaurants serving Norwegian cuisine.
|Ski season||Late November to April|
|Piste area||31 km|
|Resort height||200 m|
Bergen is the perfect combination of nature, culture and interesting urban attractions – all year around.
Pulpit Rock at Lysefjorden, Ryfylke near Stavanger, is one of the great tourist attractions in Norway.