Cross-country Skiing: Kvitavatn

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£1,199
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4.5 / 5 from 42 reviews >
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Trip code: 
CXK
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Winter
Min age:
14
Group size:
5–24

Enjoy off-track skiing in the beautiful Norwegian countryside 

Kvitavatn lies at nearly 1000m above the town of Rjukan, boasting superb views of Gausta (1883m), the highest mountain in southern Norway. There are endless skiing possibilities from the door, through forests, across the lake and through the magnificent Norwegian wilderness. Along with reliable snow, the quality and variety of routes both on and off track combine with excellent instruction to make this an ideal venue for all ability levels. 

Highlights

  • Expert instruction from our first class guides
  • Excellent off-track and track skiing options
  • Welcoming mountain lodge accommodation in the heart of Telemark 

Key information

  • 7 nights lodge with shared facilities
  • 5 days guided cross-country skiing
  • Group normally 4 to 14, per leader
  • Travel by private bus 

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners included
  • All accommodation 
  • Transfers for group flights
  • Skis, boots and poles

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa's and vaccinations 
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Fly to Oslo; transfer to Kvitavatn

    Fly from Heathrow to Oslo with SAS; transfer by road to Kvitavatn (approx. 3 1/2 hours).

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Start of six days of cross-country skiing

    We prefer not to specify in advance where we will ski each day. This is to enhance the flexibility and adapt to weather and snow conditions and to some extent the ability of each group. The next few days is a guide. 

    Beginners will start on a flat area of land next to lodge where it’s safe to get a feel for the skis and the basic techniques. More experienced groups will head out into the local area, just to get our ski legs back.

    .

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Cross-country skiing around Kvitiavatn

    There is an endless range of skiing possibilities with 80km of varied tracks through forests and open country, as well as a good selection of downhill runs. The off-track touring is excellent and takes us above the tree line where there is a vast expanse of wilderness to explore - the summit of Ornenipa can be reached and the Heddersfjell moors can be explored, both at around 1300m. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Venturing further afield

    By now beginners will have mastered the basics and the days are spent out exploring the rugged mountains and dense forest. More advanced skiers will venture into the stark wilderness above the treeline. Skiers of all abilities will fall in love with the sheer magnificence of the beautiful Norwegian winter landscape. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day

    Today is free, you can either venture out with new friends to ski in the area, or you may choose to take to some downhill skis, or explore the forests by snowshoe. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Full day out enjoying the Norwegian wilderness

    Back on the skis today for another day exploring all the beauty this area has to offer. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Final day on our skis

    A final day of skiing, this will be a full day out with a picnic lunch in the Norwegian wilderness. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Return transfer to Oslo. Fly Oslo to London

    Return transfer to Oslo. Fly Oslo to London 

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Norway

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Norway

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Breakfast, packed lunch and evening meals are included.

The food provided includes ample buffet breakfasts, from which you make up your packed lunch, and self-service 3-course dinner. Tea and coffee are available all day at no extra charge. Vegetarians are extremely well catered for. Alcohol is available at the Fjellstoge, but be warned that alcohol in Norway is very expensive (due to high taxes), with 0.5 litre (approx. 1 pint) of lager costing about GBP6 (USD9.50), so many visitors to the country bring some supplies with them. 

Weather

Kvitavatn is located at almost 1000m and at this height snow can lie from November to May, with fresh snowfalls at any time. Average daytime temperatures in winter range from 0º to - 10ºC, though they can fall as low as - 25ºC. At Christmas and New Year daylight hours are limited, with about 6 hours of good light plus twilight. By mid-February this has increased to about 8 hours and by mid-March there are about 12 hours of good daylight. At all times of the winter you can hope for periods of clear bright weather and in February and March it can become surprisingly warm in the sun. Equally, at all times you need to be ready for the occasional stormy day. 

Is this trip for you?

At Kvitavatn we offer two grades of skiing most weeks except where stated, ranging from beginner grades to more advanced skiers. This varies depending on the week, please check the dates and prices section to ensure you are picking the right week.

For at least 4 of the 6 days skiing, you will be on full day tours, returning only at the end of the day's skiing. At Kvitavatn we offer the below skiing grades:

 Grade 1 Beginners Equivalent Activity Level - leisurely/moderate-level 2.  A week for complete beginners. Inevitably we start with the basics, including how to stop using the snowplough technique and how to turn. You will be on skis for at least 5-6 hours a day with a focus on tuition, getting comfortable on skis and building towards longer tours through the winter landscape.

Grade 2 Improvers Equivalent Activity Level – Moderate, level 3.  These weeks are ideal for those who have enjoyed at least one grade 1 holiday and grasped the basics. They offer tuition to refresh and improve technique and typically will ski a little further than Grade 1 weeks, and over more varied terrain. In some cases, these weeks are acceptable for newcomers to cross-country skiing. Beginners on these weeks should be very fit and proficient in sports that develop balance. Please contact us if you wish to book a Grade 2 holiday but have not skied before.

Grade 3 Intermediates Equivalent Activity Level- Moderate, Level 3.  A grade 3 week is ideal for those looking to push on, tackle some slightly steeper terrain and cover more ground each day. Typical groups will have a few weeks skiing behind them, be very comfortable with the basics and happy on longer day tours. There will still be tuition on these weeks, at the required level.

Grade 4 Advanced Equivalent Activity Level Moderate Challenging, level 4. Choose this level if you can tackle ‘ups and downs’ competently, manage a controlled snowplough descent, and if you want to ski at a lively pace. You should also be able to get up swiftly and easily by yourself after a fall. The mix of track and off-track skiing varies. 

Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Kvitavatn Fjellstoge

The traditional-style Kvitavatn Fjellstoge consists of a main building with cosy lounge and a large dining room with free Wi-Fi. Standard accommodation is in good quality, single-sex (unless occupying the whole room) 3 or 4 bunk rooms with washbasin in a separate building (Arnes House). Shower, sauna, toilets and drying room are shared. A small number of stylish twin bedded rooms in an adjacent building (Odds House) with private facilities, are also available at a supplement.

Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

, Antarctica, Arctic, Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Dolomites, Germany, Greece, Iceland, North America, Norway, Patagonia, Russia, Spitsbergen, USA
Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed February 2017
    Helen Flint

    Kvitavatn - Cross Country Skiing

    This trip had everything I was looking for, fantastic location with a 360degree mountain panorama, classic Norwegian lodge accommodation, healthy yet plentiful food and great leaders. The leaders were effective at developing our skills, in a fun way, yet appreciating we are on holiday. Once our skills were developed we were taken to some fantastic off the beaten track locations. I have never had so many 'wow' moments and taken to lunch spots to die for! The 'apres' ski was varied too, a combination of informative talks, films, a fun quiz and slide show of the weeks pics. Fantastic trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing to a high point up a frozen waterfall and having the most amazing, unspoilt views and no one else in sight!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing. Helpful, knowledgeable, patient, informative, caring, effective.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a range of clothing because it can either be really warm or really cold. Take a thermos Flask - hot drinks are essential. You don't need to take a lunch box as plastic bags and cling film are made available.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would really recommend this trip if you have never done cross country skiing before.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Melanie Gibbs

    The Best Holiday Ever!

    A great way for a complete beginner to experience cross country skiing and make lots of progress in a short time. We were tutored for nearly 6 hours on each of 6 days so even a complete novice and scaredy-cat, like me, was able to have enough skill to safely negotiate different types of terrain within a couple of days. You WILL fall over, which is fun in the soft snow (although sometimes hard to get back up from) but does hurt a bit on the hard, prepared tracks. The scenery was fantastic, I never felt cold because we were active, and the company was incredibly friendly and supportive. We were with our group (14) for meals, warm up/down exercises and in the evening but we divided into 2 (ability) groups to ski, which worked well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved all of it, from first learning to snowplough through playing on the sparkling, crisp, virgin snow on the lake to touring and seeing the beautiful views from the higher terrain. Picking up speed on the prepared tracks and successfully cornering for the first time as well as traversing down through deep snow were thrilling (even though I am not a speed nor thrill seeker and would dread downhill skiing).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mary and Ilse were completely dedicated to making our holiday the best it could be. I was very impressed with the amount of attention we each received and their skill in coaxing the nervous as well as challenging the talented, so that everyone got the most from the experience. They were very professional, knowledgeable and great fun to be with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    What are you waiting for? Just do it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Kvitavatn Felljstoge is very efficiently and well run, comfortable but not luxurious. The staff are friendly and helpful and the food was very good quality homecooking and plentiful. There will definitely be something you like and can eat on the menu and you will not go hungry!
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Victoria Harris

    Wild and wonderful

    Just back from an amazing way to spend New Year. I was slightly hesitant that skiing may not be my thing but it's so accessible to get involved even for the complete novice. What great fun...I've never fallen over so many times and my knees are still bruised but it was worth it! The lodge and the couple running it were so hospitable, the facilities simple Scandi 'hygge' and there was nothing more pleasant than a hot sauna to warm up in at the end of a day in the cold. As a veggie, I was also pleased with the care and attention to providing protein rich options for dinner - the food was hearty and wholesome.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As an absolute beginner, staying upright on a small slope was an amazing feat. Snowshoeing up to the top of the plateau and seeing the wilderness for miles around Spending New Year in the snowy wilds and with such great people!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Illse and Mary were really great at coaching us in less than favourable conditions and keeping the options open to all abilities and inclinations for activity. They also provide evening 'entertainment'..but I will keep the content a surprise!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely take the advice of others and pack a bottle or buy supplies in the duty free at Oslo when you land. Drinks are available at the Lodge with high Norwegian tax added! I packed way too much, inside the lodge is super warm and cosy so a t-shirt is fine. Cosy boots useful for traversing between lodge and sleeping hut as are some sort of mini-crampon overshoe as it can be an ice-rink out there! Bring an extra towel you can use in the sauna...bikini's too if you don't fancy going native. A flask and sit mat are essential but you can borrow one if you forget them. Extra snacks are good to pack for when you need a burst of energy out on trail Hiking clothes are perfect unless you're extra sensitive to cold. I just wore merino long johns with trousers over the top and a couple of merino base layers, a wind proof top and a lightweight hard shell.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't deliberate - if you like snow, then this is for you! :)
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Tania Banotti

    Cross county skiing in Norway

    Kvitavaatn is a great location. Frozen lakes, forest the mountains and the Hardanger plateau right in front of the lodge where I stayed were beautiful..

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probabaly day 3 when I thought I had finally cracked the whole cross country skiing lark. I hadn't but it was fun trying.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mary our English guide was endlessly patient. Learning cross country skiing is bloody hard and frustrating at times!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring slippers as the Norwegians ALWAYS take off their shoes when they enter the lodge from outside so it's preferable to wandering about in your socks. Bring wax earplus because you share a room with 3 other people and there can be snorers amongst the group....
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Nick Ball

    Late season skiiing - Kvitavatn

    This being my first holiday in Scandinavia, not having skied for a few years and booked at the last minute I had some trepidation over what to expect. What I got was a very enjoyable holiday, great cross country skiing routes both on and off piste and great group and tour leader to share it with.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After a few days struggling with cross country skis it started to come together and get more enjoyable - the views down over Ryukan and from the higher points on the skiing routes were stunning. Also great were the off-piste routes weaving in and out of the trees in the deep snow.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mary was superb - very patient and great instructor. The slide show of photos taken throughout the week on the last day was very interesting!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cross country skis are a different animal to downhill skis and more tricky to master - I spent the Monday and Tuesday falling over a lot and trying to re-acquaint myself with skills I thought I already had on downhill skis such as snowplough turns and traversing an incline. Level 2 on cross country skis with no previous experience is doable but hard work for the first few days although it did did start to come together after that. Also as mentioned in other reviews do buy wine or beer at the huge duty-free on arrivals at Oslo airport as it costs more at the lodge. Bear in mind you cannot drink your own alcohol in communal areas - only stuff you have bought at reception which at the time was cans of Tuborg, cans of a sweet Norwegian cider, a few local beers and various wine bottles between 200-300 Kroner.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I went fairly late in the season (mid March) and it was starting to get a bit slushy and icy on some of the popular routes - there was some fresh snow during the week but mainly on the last day (typical!). Hours of sunlight is not a problem as most people will want to finish for the day by mid afternoon and head to the sauna and tea and coffee (available all day). There is a rest day with options to do downhill skiing (the Gaustablikk ski centre is next to the lodge) but given the icy conditions our group gave it a miss and most opted to go on some of the shorter cross country skiing trails around the lake or take the bus into Ryukan to look around.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Paola Cassotti

    Picture perfect

    Excellent cross country holiday with so many different routes to choose every day, on the tracks and off. We had amazing weather and looking back at pictures, I still can't believe I was there. Plenty of good food and good company.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Skiing off piste on untouched snow and reaching high spots with breathtaking views. Simply amazing. Every day I thought it could not get better but it did! Thinking already to return next year!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Learned a lot in a week from both leaders. Different teaching styles but both Ilse and Mary clearly have a passion for what they do every day. Contagious!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Follow trip notes. I had everything with me and I was glad! Drinks are not that more expensive and in a week I spent very little as all else is included.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Shared accommodation is charming but can feel crowded.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Alexander Dalton

    first time skiing of any type

    first time skiing of any sort so everything was new to me! Enjoyed it immensely [apart from the classic 'third day 'when everything ached and nothing worked!!] By the end of the week the last 3 days comprised quite a lot of of track skiing and suddenly I was managing to stay upright, turn and stop going down hill! The enjoyment was enhanced by the generally superb weather, mainly clear blue skies and sunshine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The fourth day [Thursday] everything suddenly started to come together. On Wednesday night I had gone to bed fully expecting to be hardly able to move certain parts of my body on Thurs am, but not only were there no real aches, when we got going I actually felt like I was starting to cross country ski!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Ilse and Mary were supportive, instructive and very helpfull.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Anne Moody

    Off track ski ing in Kvitavatn

    We had a fantastic week of brilliant sunshine. We were largely off track ski ing and the area is wild and beautiful. Once off track we rarely saw another skier. We saw more animal than human tracks. We warmed up outside every morning to the amusement of the locals and then stretched in the evening before taking a sauna.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit of the 'Eagle's Nipple' on skis.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mary and Ilse were fantastic. Experienced knowledgable and patient they couldn't do enough for us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Even if you have never been on skis if you are reasonably fir you will be off track skinning in a couple of days.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Anna Stone

    Great holiday

    Fantastic holiday - lovely hostel (the nightly sauna I am still missing), outstanding instruction/leaders, and a great group of people

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ilse's instruction

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both were excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go! A few hints for packing though: the flight times are great, but the day of the trip out means no planned lunch break - so take something with you (though you can pick stuff up at oslo airport). DO pack gaiters, a sit mat, a thermos (even if you don't want a tea or coffee when you are out skiing, a warm drink goes down well). You really don't need much cash - the hostel takes cards now, and you can run a tab.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food is great and plentiful at the hostel. The daily stretching sessions, and then sauna visits were great, and beneficial, at the end of the day.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Richard Parry

    Cross Country Skiing: Kvitavatn

    This Exodus trip cannot be faulted...it was absolutely brilliant! The organisation from start to finish was smooth running; the location was perfect, providing on and off track skiing in beautiful Norwegian countryside; the accommodation was spotlessly clean and comfortable, with amazing views towards the mountain; and the food was simply delicious! In fact, we loved it so much, we're going back this year!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing people of all ages and ability getting out to enjoy xc skiing; also, seeing Ilse (our group leader) effortlessly perform Telemark turns!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ilse was fabulous! She is an excellent coach, who showed a high level of care towards us all, whilst helping us to progress our xc skiing skills throughout the week, at our own differing levels. She has a great sense of humour and is good fun to spend time with. As newcomers to xc skiing, our enjoyment of this trip was definitely enhanced by her and the way that she led the week.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it! If you are new to xc skiing, this would be an excellent introduction and would give you plentiful opportunity to explore on/off track, in beautiful surroundings. Equally, it is a fabulous place for the more experienced skier.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You might want to plan a few days, on your return, to rest!

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 0208 772 3936