Current as of: June 14, 2024 - 10:36

skiing down from Gaustatoppen

Norway Cross-country Skiing Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Norway
  • Programmes: Winter
  • 8 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 8 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 14+
  • Trip Code: CXK
  • Carbon Footprint: 9kg CO2e

Trip Overview

Enjoy track and off-track skiing in the beautiful Norwegian countryside

Discover the beautiful Norwegian landscape around Lake Kvitavatn, enjoying superb views of Gausta, the highest mountain in southern Norway. We’ll stay at a modern mountain lodge, taking advantage of the endless skiing possibilities from our front door: through forests, across the lake and around magnificent 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 trip for all abilities.

Norway Cross-country Skiing

At a Glance

  • Seven nights in a lodge with shared facilities
  • Five days guided cross-country skiing
  • Group normally 4 to 14, per leader
  • Travel by private bus
  • Option to travel by train to your adventure

Highlights

  • Enjoy expert instruction from our first-class guides
  • Experience excellent off-track and track skiing options
  • Stay at our welcoming mountain lodge in the heart of the Telemark region

Is This Trip for You?

Each trip departure has two grades of skiing, ranging from Beginner to Advanced. The specific grades vary depending on the departure (trips could be: Grades 1 and 2, Grades 2 and 3, or Grades 3 and 4). Please check Dates & Prices to ensure you are picking the right week for your skill level. Please contact us ahead if you prefer to assess which grade is more suitable to your physical conditions and ski experience.

Below is a guide to the different grades:

Grade 1 Beginners: Equivalent of Activity Level 2 (Leisurely/Moderate).

A week for complete beginners. 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 five to six hours a day with a focus on learning, getting comfortable on skis and building towards longer tours through the winter landscape. This grade is recommended to people who have not skied cross country before or only skied for a couple of days.

Grade 2 Improvers: Equivalent of Activity Level 3 (Moderate).

These weeks are ideal for those who have enjoyed at least one Grade 1 holiday and grasped the basics, including a snowplough and kick turn. They offer coaching 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 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 of Activity Level 3 (Moderate).

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 including snowploughing and kick turns, and happy on longer day tours. There will still be coaching on these weeks, at the required level.

Grade 4 Advanced: Equivalent of Activity Level 4 (Moderate/Challenging).

Choose this level if you can tackle ‘ups and downs’ competently, manage a controlled snowplough descent, execute kick turns on steeper slopes and 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.

Please note, for at least four of the six days of skiing, you will be on full-day tours, returning at the end of the day.

Group

There will be up to 14 people per leader.

Adult min age: 14

Min group size: 6

Max group size: 20

Itinerary

Norway Cross-country Skiing

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Start Kvitavatn

The tour starts in Kvitavatn. Take your time to settle into your accommodation before we start our skiing adventure tomorrow.

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, snow conditions and the group’s ability. The next few days is a guide. We will will start on a flatter area next to the lodge, where it is safe to get a feel for the skis and the basic techniques or rediscover our ski legs.  Later we will venture off track to learn, or refresh our memories, about  how to adapt our skills to this terrain.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3
Cross-country skiing around Kvitavatn

There is an endless range of skiing possibilities with 50mi (80km) of varied tracks through forests and open country, plus a good selection of downhill runs. The off-track touring is excellent and can takes us above the tree line, where there is a vast expanse of wilderness to explore – depending on the conditions the summit of Ornenipa can be reached and the Heddersfjell moors can be explored, both at around 4,265ft (1,300m).

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4
Venturing further afield

By now, beginners will have mastered the basics and the days are spent 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
Optional Free day

Today you can either venture out with new friends to ski in the area, or you may choose to hire some downhill skis, or explore the forests by snowshoe. Cross country skiing is also provided for those who want it.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6
Full day out enjoying the Norwegian wilderness

We’re back on the skis for another day exploring all the beauty this area has to offer.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
Final day on our skis

We enjoy 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
End Kvitavatn

The tour ends after breakfast. We’ll say goodbye to our mountain lodge, which may feel like a second home by now, and begin our return journey home.

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

Kvitavatn Fjellstue: classic style in an area of natural beauty

Norway Cross-country Skiing

With dreamy views of the Gaustatoppen, said to be the most beautiful mountain in Norway, Kvitavatn Fjellstue is the ideal place for a wintery escape. The main building, designed by Norwegian architect Ragnvald Bing Lorentzen, has two lounges with fireplaces and a large dining room. 

We stay in Arne’s House, which was originally built for the Royal Marines. It has shared four-bunk rooms (twin occupancy, single sex, unless your group occupies the whole room) with a wash basin. The shower, sauna, toilets and drying room are also shared. 

A small number of stylish twin-bedded rooms with private facilities are available in an adjacent building called Odd Elliassen’s House. The upgrade includes an additional cost.

Amenities 

  • Small cinema room 
  • Table tennis room 
  • Men’s and women’s saunas  
  • Drying room 
  • Laundry 

Worth knowing 

  • Please note that there is no railing on the mezzanine level in the bedrooms. For your own safety we would ask you to please not use the mezzanine level during your stay.

 

  • Odd Elliassen’s House is available for single travellers on request only, and at a different supplement for single occupancy. 

Single supplement from £ 470

Food & Drink

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 three-course dinner. Tea and coffee are available all day at no extra charge. Vegetarians are extremely well catered for. Beer and wine can be purchased at the Fjellstue but alcohol in Norway is expensive due to high taxes. Licensing laws mean only alcohol purchased from the Fjellstue may be consumed in the dining room and other public areas.

Transport

Airport transfers are on a private bus provided by the Fjellstoge.

Weather & Seasonality

Kvitavatn is almost 3,280ft (1,000m) above sea level; at this height, snow can lie from November to May, with fresh snowfalls at any time. Average daytime temperatures in winter range from 0C to 10C (32F-50F), though they can fall as low as -25C (-13F). At Christmas and New Year, daylight hours are limited, with about six hours of good light plus twilight. By mid-February, this increases to about eight hours and by mid-March there are about 12 hours of good daylight. In winter, you can hope for periods of clear bright weather and in February and March it can become surprisingly warm in the sun. Equally, you need to be ready for the occasional stormy day at all times.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Hotel: Kvitavatn Fjellstoge
Recommended arrival time: You can arrive at any time today. There will be a welcome briefing in the evening, but if you miss it the leader will update you separately
Airport: Oslo Lufthavn Gardermoen (OSL)

Getting to the start hotel

Exodus provides one group arrival transfer from the airport, which is timed to coincide with the arrival of a chosen flight from London, UK. Due to the remote location of the hotel, we strongly recommend you join this transfer. You may join at no extra cost, provided you can be at the airport before the transfer leaves. Speak to your sales representative for the group arrival transfer times or to arrange a private transfer.

If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Room accommodation details 

Please note that there is no railing on the mezzanine level in the bedrooms. For your own safety we would ask you to please not use the mezzanine level during your stay.

Catching your return flight

There’s a group departure transfer to the airport for customers who Exodus booked onto a chosen flight to London, UK. We highly recommend you join this return transfer. Please speak to your sales representative if you wish to join or to arrange an alternative transfer.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Small rucksack to carry the items you will need during the day (20 litres recommended).

Outdoor/winter clothing as follows:

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers (pants), ideally in a breathable fabric
  • Gaiters
  • Warm fleece (two thin fleeces that can be layered over one another are better than one thick one)
  • Warm hat or balaclava
  • Two pairs of gloves, so you can change them during the day if they get wet
  • Good-quality base layers top and bottom, are essential

You will be skiing in mountain weather so extra layers will be needed from December to the end of February. In March and April, the days are usually warmer and sunnier so fewer layers may be necessary; however, windproof outer layers are essential throughout the season.

Other essentials:

  • Flask for tea/coffee, which you can fill up for free
  • Sunglasses
  • Ski goggles (if you have them)
  • High-factor sunscreen
  • Knife and plastic bags or containers for lunch
  • Large capacity water bottle
  • Sneakers/comfortable shoes for the evenings
  • Sit mat to use when picnicking
  • A small head torch (flashlight) may be useful in December and January

Christmas and New Year: It is common for Norwegian hotel guests to dress smartly for the evenings over the festive period. While this is entirely optional, you may like to bring some smarter clothes for the evenings.

Optional Equipment

If plan to do the optional snowshoeing, you will need to bring walking boots with you.

Practical Information

Visa

Norway

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Norway. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

Vaccinations and Health

Norway

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, rabies (bat lyssavirus) and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

If you’re a UK citizen, please note that your UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are still valid and offer the same cover as the Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC) in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

Norway's time zone: Europe/Oslo (UTC +02:00)

Electricity

Norway's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins) and F (two round pins) – 230V, 50Hz

Norway Cross-country Skiing

Money

Norway's currency: Norwegian krone (NOK)

ATM Availability

ATMs are available at Oslo Airport and in nearby Rjukan [only reachable by public transport on some days]

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Cards are accepted at the lodge.

Wax for skies

You will be expected to buy and apply wax to your skis, you will be shown how to do this. The wax required depends on the outside temperature, with costs around 90 kroner (US$6.90-US$ 10) for one pot. You will also need a synthetic scraper and a cork for applying and removing the wax.

You may wish to share this waxing kit, which can be purchased from the Fjellstoge reception.

Skis also need to be returned cleaned and wax-free. Failure to do this could result in a cleaning fee of 45 kroner (US$4.35). Solvents for cleaning are available locally.

Optional Excursions

  • Downhill skiing at Gaustablikk ski area: Around 430 kroner (US$40.84) per day for a ski pass
  • There is also a public bus to the nearby town of Rjukan and Vemork, the Norwegian Industrial Worker’s Museum on some days during certain winter weeks.

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a reasonable starting point, we suggest a contribution of 165-220 kroner (US$23.50-US$31.50) per person for the leader.

People, Places & Planet

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a ‘total approach’ to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company.

Our base for the trip is Kvitavatn Fjellstoge, a modern lodge run by local people using local produce wherever possible. Our small group size allows us to support smaller hotels and restaurants that do not usually benefit from mass tourism, bringing a positive impact on the overall employment levels and economy in the region.

Our selection of alternative winter activities seeks to make the most of the natural environment in its pristine state, rather than changing it. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and dogsledding are best suited to remote wilderness areas and the development of these alternatives is key to the long-term survival of many mountain communities.

Our cross-country skiing holidays in general avoid large alpine ski areas, and are less dependent on snow cannons, graded pistes and ski lifts, creating significantly less environmental impact than alpine skiing holidays. Using skis that are longer and lighter than alpine skis, our cross-country day tours explore the magical scenery and tranquillity of the natural winter environments. Journeys further afield may utilise public transport and the local economy benefits from our groups purchasing supplies and ski hire directly.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.