Norway is a magical landscape with reliable snow conditions and unspoilt scenery. Skiing is the national sport of Norway and runs deep in their history and culture. Skiers have been enjoying the sport for over 4000 years in the country and have created some of the leading winter athletes. The ski areas aren’t as vast as the French, Austrian or Swiss mountains, but for what they miss out in size they make up for in epic terrain, lack of queues and the friendly atmosphere.
The sheer beauty of the Norwegian landscape makes a trip here truly unique and special, and the possibilities of off piste rival some of the largest European resorts. With plenty winter activities to enjoy a ski holiday in Norway is a great choice for families. Non-ski adventures include husky sledding, ice climbing, horse-drawn sleighs, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
With fantastic snow levels, Norway is a great choice for early and late season ski holidays as many resorts are open in November and operate through to May.
Explore Norway's top ski resorts:
Photo credit: Visit Norway
Find out more about skiing in Geilo
Photo Credit: Visit Norway
Find out more about skiing in Hemsedal
Find out more about skiing in Trysil
Find out more about skiing in Lillehammer
Or if you have the urge for something more off the beaten track, try sailing to one of these hidden gems and ski in the magestic Fjords of Norway.
Try something totally unique for your next ski adventure and upgrade your skiable country conceptions to include some truly life changing terrain. You’ve likely been to France, Austria, North America and skied the slopes of some serious big hitters, either that or your friends have and consistently remind you of how uh-mazing it was. Go bigger and better with some superstar ski facts on where you plan to conquer next, how about Hawaii for starters?
National Park Torres del Paine, Chile
Picture Hawaii and you’re probably seeing swaying palm trees, fire side hula dances and somewhat of a surfers paradise. But look beyond the tropical front line and you’ll also discover Mount Kea, Hawaii’s skiable White Mountain reaching 4205m high. Not for the faint of heart, this dormant volcano allows for some seriously high skiing, plus the lack of resort facilities mean only the adventurous need apply.
Rising up as an escape from India’s soaring summer temperatures, Gulmarg is a hill station of Kashmir which now boasts India’s most famed ski resort. High up in the Himalayas, this resort provides astonishing mountain views and also plays host to Asia’s highest gondola. With strong expectations of snow-sure seasons and the bonus of towering terrain, Gulmarg feeds the urge of those needing a completely new adventure.
Gulmarg ski resort, India
A cultural explosion and sensory wonderland, Japan is a popular destination for many reasons. No stranger to snow fans, Japan hosts in excess of 500 ski resorts, unparalleled scenery and pure powder. Rusutsu resort in Hokkaido is fast becoming one of Japan’s most popular resorts. Comprised of three skiable mountains and combining top class skiing with quirky Japanese conventions. Be sure to ski through the abandoned theme park for an unforgettable run.
Ski through a theme park in Rusutu. Photo from Japan Ski Experience
Powder lines in Niseko, Japan
Five hours drive from Johannesburg and sitting pretty in the Maluti Mountains lies Afriski. This snow coated South African wonder is best for skiing and snowboarding during June and July, meaning you can still get your fix outside of the typical ski season. All levels are catered for, from the top class tuition for beginners to Lesotho’s notable passion for adventure. Their après ski game is strong with unique drink challenges and the highest restaurant in Africa.
Afriski Mountain Resort
You might be inclined to head down under for beach fun, water sports, sizzling BBQ’s and a laid back lifestyle, but did you know that Australia also hosts some pretty awesome skiing? Snow fans and adrenaline junkies should head to the south west, stopping by New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania for a taste of Australian alpine life. Ski eucalyptus tree lined runs and experience a unique après the Aussie way. Popular ski resorts include Perisher, Thredbo, Falls Creek and Mount Buller.
Perisher, New South Wales
Hosts of the 2018 Winter Olympics, South Korea has been a favourite amongst ski stars for years; and now it serves a purpose to all wanting a winter adventure with a big cultural injection. Yongpyong in the Gangwan-do region is Korea’s largest ski and snowboard resort and quickly emerging as the most popular. The Rainbow slope comes equipped with plenty junctions and courses making it one of the best in Korea, whilst beginners can let loose and crash-free on the ultra-wide beginner slope.
Top of the Rainbow Lift at Yongpyong resort (Pyeongchang)
Chile offers a completely alternative ski/ snowboarding experience, with its diverse climate and lively Latin American culture. Chile’s snow coated resorts can be found high in the elevated Andean mountain range, providing ultimate dope slopes and views to die for. Get your thrills skiing steaming volcanoes before savouring their famous Chilean red wine to unwind.
Fresh powder in Portillo, Chile
DC Snowboarding in Chile
If you liked this blog, read our top 5 once in a lifetime ski experiences or top 5 hidden gems
For a powder-filled ski holiday next season try Canada or Japan
Whether you are enjoying the last of the winter snow in the Alps, or back in the UK for some spring adventures, Butta’s latest collection is the perfect inter-season wear. It’s that time of year when the weather is so unpredictable in the UK, one minute the sun is shining and then the next it’s chucking it down. If you’re like me and always get caught out by either wearing too many layers or just not enough, then Butta can save you this spring. Their 2015 collection was created and designed for active lifestyles and this erratic British climate.
Butta's 2015 collection
If you’ve had your head under a rock the past few years and haven’t heard of Butta, this awesome company was started in 2011 with an aim to make eco-friendly waxes for skiing, snowboarding and surfing. With greener waxes this can help preserve the mountains and oceans that we love to ride. Last season we named Butta as our top British Brand for Winter 2013/14.
As well as continuing to fine tune and develop their existing wax range, Butta have now created a range of stylish, lifestyle apparel and accessories so you can take Butta on the road with you, whatever your adventure. Last month I went on an end of season snowboarding holiday to Tignes in France to test out the new Butta range. The sun was blazing throughout the week which meant it was too warm for a jacket so I had the perfect opportunity to try out The Crew Sweat.
Spring riding in the Butta Crew Sweat in Tignes
This jumper quickly became my favourite riding top as I abandoned my other hoodies for the rest of the week. The extra length is ideal for snowboarding as it doesn’t ride up your back, plus the longer length adds extra style! The sweater is fleece lined and the elasticated neck, sleeves and waist make sure that there are no cheeky draughts when you’re on a long chairlift. The jumper is also great for weekend adventures, whether it’s a walk in the woods, an evening stroll along the beach or camping at a festival.
If you like the sound of The Crew Sweat, you are going to love The Lumbersexual. This tall style, heavy weighted check shirt is also made with spring riding in mind. Both the Crew Sweat and Lumbersexual are unisex and come in multiple colours.
Left: Wearing The Snapback in Tignes after a day on the mountain. Right: Packing my snowboarding gear
The last item you need to complete your Butta ensemble is the classic Snapback. As everyone should, I always wear a helmet when snowboarding, but as you come off the mountain and hit the first bar at après, The Snapback is perfect for keeping that afternoon sun out of your eyes (as well as taming that helmet hair!) What I love about this collection is the high quality and versatility for the items. I can enjoy these clothes in the mountains and back at home. There’s no need to pack your Butta wear away between seasons as these garments look stylish throughout the year. They'll be the first items I'll pack when winter 2015/16 comes around! Check out Butta’s website for their full collection
Everyone loves tree runs, whether it’s a tree lined piste in a lush alpine area or off piste terrain through the sloping glades. As well as tree areas being one of the most beautiful areas in a ski resort, these places are the best spots to head for when it is a white-out. Tree cover offers protection from the elements which allows you to see the slopes and surrounding better and lets you to carry on with your day instead of retreating back to your chalet. Tree skiing is fantastic as it is accessible for all abilities. There are ski resorts with plenty of tree lined blue pistes which are great for beginners and leisurely skiers, then experienced skiers can head off piste to weave through the powder and trees. North America and Canada offer the most extensive tree terrain as the mountains don’t reach the heights of Europe’s peaks. Even though tree lines are often low in some of the top European ski resorts, there is still some amazingly fun tree skiing to be had!
Also, take a look at our Top 5 Black Ski Runs
Lovers of tree skiing will adore Serre Chavalier as the resort is famed for its great snow conditions, freestyle terrain and wide trees to weave through. Experienced skiers will be captivated by the ski area around the secret chairlift (aka the Aguillette) over Chantemerle because of the fun off piste and trees to ski through near the 2800m Aguillette red piste.
Chosen by Lucy, Senior Sales Expert
Find out more about Serre Chavalier
Both the runs into La Daille and La Fornet in Val d’Isere are great when the weather closes in and easy to access from the pistes (and get back to the piste from) for those who aren’t too adventurous. Perfect after a huge dump of snow for laps of fresh tracks through the trees.
Chosen by James, Head of Ski Product
Find out more about Val d'Isere
Whistler has some incredible gladed tree runs off the back of Crystal chair on the Blackcomb mountain. On Whistler mountain you can also ski the famous A-line downhill bike track through the trees which feels a bit like a wooded boarder cross course. Chosen by Laura, Digital Marketing Manager
Plus the off piste Million Dollar Ridge in Whistler is popular with locals; make sure you have a guide in these places as the routes are not on the map. Chosen by Christian, Senior Sales Expert
Find out more about Whistler
There are extensive alpine ski areas and exceptional natural freeride terrain in Chamonix. Over the back of the Tete de Balme chairlift there are some great off piste lines through the trees. Then at the beautiful Les Houches ski area there is lots more skiable tree terrain including Aillouds which is a long, wide, easy going run, plus the red runs down to Saint Gervais take you back through the trees. Chosen by Krystelle, Digital Marketing Executive
Find out more about Chamonix
The Stash in the Lindaret trees in Avoriaz is one of the great tree runs of the world. My tip is to stay skiers left and go all the way down to Ardent on a powder day. Unbeatable. When the trees get too tight, try and aim for the open glades and look out for the fun drops!
Chosen by AJ, Sales Director
Find out more about Avoriaz
Travis Rice shredding in fresh, hip deep champagne powder. Get us to Japan!
Find out more about ski holidays in Japan
Read a previous blog on Tree Skiing in France
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"Just home from Christmas in Val d'Isere... this was the best ski holiday I have ever been on. Val is stunning, the hotel fabulous, staff sensational and skiing out of this world. We booked through Iglu. They were fantastic. Peter had great ski knowledge, offered advice and went the extra mile. " - Pamela (Dec 2015)