Cross-country Skiing: Venabu - New Year Special

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Traveller ratings
5 / 5 from 1 review >
Trip code: 
CYVS
Activity:
Cross-Country Skiing
Min age:
12
Group size:
2–16

Cross-country skiing in the Norwegian wilderness

Venabu is a popular cross-country skiing destination with skiers returning year after year. It is based in central Norway, on the edge of the Rondane National Park, looking down on the Gudbransdalen Valley, just north of Lillehammer. The landscape is dramatic and full of contrast, from spectacular gorges and snow-capped peaks to pretty fells and valleys that extend as far as the eye can see. Venabu is located on a mountain plateau in the heart of traditional Norway, next to the famous Gudbrandsdalen valley with brightly painted houses and ancient wood churches. The nearest wood church, in Ringebu village (20 min drive from Venabu) is dating back to the 13th century. There are usually two or three ski guides each week (depending on group size) to cater for different ability levels and you can even switch between groups mid-week. You can also try dogsledding, or go on a torch-lit horse drawn sleigh ride (pay locally). Extra children's facilities and activities are provided during February half-term. Over New Year there is a special eight night departure. Ski-Safaris (50% off-track) are available to all advanced customers from 25th February until the 25th March. We have included 2 ski-safaris per person per week in your holiday package, any additional ski-safari you may want to join will need to be paid for locally. Two yoga lessons are also included.

Key information

6 days guided cross-country skiing

Call for general departures:
020 8772 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.

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Venabu

    A private bus is sent from the hotel to Oslo Airport which collects all clients and transfers to Venabu (3hrs) in time for dinner. We have a brief introduction to the hotel and the ski room with briefing about the week's programme and equipment given to clients.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Morning tuition with our local instructors. The afternoon is free to practise on your own

    The first two days are usually to help learn the principles of walking and gliding on snow, and extra tuition is available on selected departures. Tuition is given by our local ski guide in the morning, followed by a short ski tour in the local area before returning for late lunch (at 2-3 pm). The late afternoon is free for own practise. Maps are provided so you won't get lost.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Cross-country ski tour with tuition.

    This morning we head out on another ski tour around Venabu, our guide will observe what you have mastered and see where techniques can be improved. During the ski tour there will be further tuition to help us improve on what we have learnt. The late afternoon is free for own practise and you can also book extra private lessons with one of the local instructors (paid locally). On one afternoon there will also be a group lesson with focus on hill techniques available (booked and paid locally).

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Ski tour with our instructors. Choose between shorter or longer tours. You can also ski independently.

    Another day of cross-county skiing, either independently or on one of our ski tours.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day for the snow shoeing or skiing independently

    Wednesday is a free day, when most clients choose to take part in the snowshoeing tour. Equipment is included and it is a great way to relax and enjoy the peaceful surrounds of the Norwegian forest. Alternatively you may choose to head out and ski independently. Remember maps are provided so you won't get lost.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    For the last two days of the week we ski out with our guides to explore the beautiful Norwegian landscape. Afternoons are free to travel further as your confidence grows.

    For the last two days of the week we ski out with our guides to explore the beautiful Norwegian landscape. Afternoons are free to travel further as your confidence grows.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Ski independently or with the group on one of our ski tours

    Ski with the group on one of our ski tours or ski independently.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Venabu

    After breakfast, we transfer to Oslo Airport.

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

All meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner - are included. The food is all traditional Norwegian. Breakfast is a continental buffet, with the highlight being the selection of tasty local cheeses. Cereals, porridge, fruit and eggs are also on offer. For lunch, you have the choice of a hot and cold buffet or making up a picnic lunch from the breakfast table to have whilst you take in the spectacular scenery. Dinner will either comply of a hot and cold buffet or a 3 course meal. Venison, herring, smoked salmon, plaice, mackerel and rakefish are often on the menu, as are mouthwatering desserts, such as cloudberries with cream or bread pudding with berry sauce. As an accompaniment to many hot dishes, Norwegians like to eat flatbrod (a crunch unleavened crispbread) traditionally made from oats and barley.

Weather

Is this trip for you?

This trip is run in partnership with our sister company, Headwater, who offer more flexibility so you can ski as much or as little as you like. Children may join these holidays as long as they can participate in the activities and please note if traveling on your own, a single supplement will be applied. On some weeks there is no single supplement. Insurance details are required at the time of booking. The hotel provides two ski guides to get you started.Instruction on the cross-country skiing technique and tours are available 5 days a week for all skiing levels. For the remainder of the week guided tours are offered at various levels so you can choose your preferred grade. The lessons and tours will be mixed with other clients from Venabu Fjellhotel Cross-country skiing is an increasingly popular winter pastime. Compared to those used for downhill, the skis are longer, thinner and lighter with bindings that allow you to lift up your heel. Most cross-country skiing is undertaken on prepared tracks (loipe) covering flat and hillier terrain enabling you explore the winter landscapes away from the confines of the alpine pistes. Venabu offers a range of skiing from beginners to intermediate and advanced. The area is one of the best in Norway for cross-country skiing, both for families and for those who enjoy a challenge. 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 4-5 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:
020 8772 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

Venabu Fjellhotel - 3 Star

The Venabu Fjellhotel has been run by the friendly Tvete family for over 50 years, and owing to its traditional charm and quiet location, is today very much a relaxing place to stay. There are 20 standard rooms housed within the east wing, or if you prefer you can upgrade to one of the 36 more spacious superior west wing rooms (additional charge). The hotel is fully equipped with its own ski waxing centre, saunas, bar, games room, TV room, craft shop and two sitting rooms with open fireplaces. The Scandinavian buffet and glorious panoramic views from the dining room are however, the highlight.

One yoga session is held most days either in the morning or in the evening, typically 5 days a week. You are entitled to two complimentary sessions during your stay. After this, additional sessions are payable locally.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 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

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  • Reviewed January 2017
    James Watson

    Into the wild at Venabu

    The trip started in earnest as soon as we viewed the hotel in it's isolated snowy darkness. We had an excellent meal on arrival with this hospitality continuing at a high level for the remainder of the trip. The skiing, partly on cut tracks and partly across the wilderness was excellent with a high level of continuing instruction. The snowshoeing , a Hogmany torchlight procession and a view of the Northern Lights were all enjoyable distractions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The night skiing with headtorches switched off was an incredible and surreal experience. Ingrid the leader from Finland making a sharp turn from the cut tracks to lead us off into the wilderness.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There were 3 group leaders who had different skills and personalities. The main thing they had in common was their ability to encourage us to undertake new adventures such as the night skiing and traversing frozen lakes on our skis. My skills increased far quicker than I would have thought possible due to the quality of the teaching.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have adequate warm clothing especially gloves and hats.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was a highlight with plentiful freshly prepared food of an extremely high standard.

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]

Call us on 020 8772 3936