Norway in the winter is a veritable paradise for skiers and snow-lovers. However, this enduring season of Norway is also commonly linked to boredom and depression. But in fact, winter can be quite magical and fun in this country. Also skiing does not necessarily have to be at the top of your list. There´s something for everyone here: winter walks, dog-sledding, and snow scooter safaris are just some of the activities that can be done to feel the joy of cold breeze.
Explore Oslo and Bærum in Winter
Photo : Wikimedia /janovebrenden.no The name of this interesting town comes from the ironworks (Bærums Verk) that was built by Paul Smelter in the 1600s to produce cannon shells.
Oslo Guidebureau offers guided walking tours in Oslo in the winter season for easy goers, with a different route and theme for each day of the week. The tours are conducted in Norwegian and English. Tickets can be bought directly from the guide – at a cash-only cost of 380 NOK for whole family.
Monday: Oslo - Architectural and Multicultural Contrasts
Tuesday: Discover Detective Harry Hole's Oslo
Wednesday: Edvard Munch and Henrik Ibsen
Thursday: City Hall and Oslo Concert Hall
Friday: Oslo Cathedral and Kvadraturen
Saturday: 1000 years in Oslo
Sunday: Vigeland - His Museum and Park
Alternatively, Bærums Verk offers around 50 shops, workshops, galleries and restaurants for exploring. In an industrial historical setting dating back to the early 1600’s, trade, craft, history and culture are intertwined and form the basis for activities and cultural experiences such as glassblowing, design, specialty shops, sculpture park, historic outfield and a modern trading. Trade city Bærums Verk has received numerous national and international awards for innovation in the development of shopping centers. Trade Bærums Verk is located at the entrance to the pocket valley, not far from Sandvika.
A More Exotic Norwegian Experience: Dog Sledging
Photo: Snow Danzer Finnmarkslopet, dog sledge race. The prince of Norway running a sledge
Dog-sledging is just one of Norway's exhilarating outdoor pursuits: you'll travel a long distance very quickly, with dogs as your faithful companions - meaning no engine noise and no exhaust. Once out on the trail the only sounds you will hear is the breathing of the dogs and the padding of their feet as they walk. Dog-sledging tours are available throughout Norway, and tours of various distances are available. The most exciting part is ability to take charge of your own team of dogs without a prior experience. The dog-sledging centers usually provide professional instruction.
Korketrekkeren – tobogganing
Photo : Jay Hawksean The traditional toboggan is made of bound, parallel wood slats, all bent forward at the front to form a sideways 'J' shape.
If you are not a ski person, try this enjoyable snow experience. Take the local metro to the top of the toboggan run, and get an adrenalin rush going down at great speed. When you get to the bottom of the run, you simply get on the metro again to reach the top!
The toboggan run is located right next to the original bobsleigh run, built for the 1952 Olympic games. It is lit up in the evening, and don’t be surprised to find that adults are just as eager as children when it comes to this rather original form of activity.
Snow-Shoeing and Snow Golf in North
Snow golf' is a sport based on golf but played over snow (or ice) instead of grass.
Snow-shoeing is also a popular activity in Norway's ski resorts. Nothing quite beats the magical feeling of donning a pair of show-shoes and striding out on the prepared, flattened snow paths for a guided showshoe hike by torchlight. In Hemsedal, snow golf is available during the winter season, on a nine-hole course, which is smoothed to putting perfection by grooming machines. Playing on "the whites" is also a bit easier than on "the greens" since the holes are slightly larger!
Kingcrab Safari in Finnmark
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Rajit Chatterjee The guide hands out dry suites, to put on top of our clothes, and the guests jump in the Barents Sea. They float around in the cold water, don’t get wet.
Come face to face with the red king crab in the Barents Sea outside the coast of Finnmark. You can go on a Kingcrabsafari by snow mobile or by boat. The king crab can grow to 2 metres and gain a weight of 15 kg, so you are guaranteed to see and taste the biggest and freshest crabs in the world! At the end of the trip you can eat fresh crabs for lunch in the restaurant near the fjord. You too can join the professional divers under water if you have a divers’ license. But most guests are content with seeing the big monster from ashore or a boat as it is surfaced and put into the boiling pot.
Nordic Way Ice Fishing Safari
Ice fishing is the practice of catching fish with lines and fish hooks or spears through an opening in the ice on a frozen body of water
Ice fishing for Arctic Char and Trout has long roots in the arctic. Mormyschka or pilks with flies or bite are the fishing equipment used in this activity. Adventure Camp Mehamn is made for serving as a Base Camp for nature adventures and the fishing experience. The advantage of the nature at Nordkyn Peninsula is that it is short distances to the lakes. You are also guided for ice fishing tours to some of Norways best Ice fishing lakes. An alternative is to live at the camp and rent all the equipment you need for organizing your own ice fishing tour. Adventure Camp rents out service for Ice fishing: Ice drill, snow shoes, cross country skis or snowmobile and all you need for ice fishing. Another destination for the activity is Ramfjord campsite, which is located approximately 30 min from Tromso. Having changed into cold-resistant clothing, you will head for the ice cap on a snow scooter. After enjoying fishing for about an hour at a fishing spot with holes in the ice, you will return to the campsite, where you can taste the fish you caught. Ramfjord is also known for being a great northern light viewing spot and a Sami people habitat.
Photo : Tomoyoshi Ice skating in Oslo and other cities is a popular activity and there are great ice skating rinks where you can ice skate for free during the winter months
Do you want a more challenging winter sport? Visit the skating rink "Spikersuppa" nearest to you. Rinks are usually open in the evenings.
If the waters and lakes freeze over, it is also possible to go skating in the Oslo forests. Make sure the ice is safe: It should be at least 10 cm (4 inches) thick. Popular waters for skating are Sognsvann, Bogstadvann, Nøkkelvann, Østensjøvannet and Maridalsvannet. After skating, do not forget to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate!