Snow Shoeing in Norway

Glide across snow-topped plateaus and along frozen lakes in the lands where wild reindeer roam.

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Gone are the days of strapping a tennis racket to your shoes, modern snowshoeing in Norway allows you to effortlessly navigate its varied terrain, all packed under a fresh blanket of snow.

Whether you’re heading out on an Arctic expedition or fancy a short trip into a winter wonderland, Norway’s national parks and miles of open wilderness were made for snowshoeing. These lightweight contraptions allow you to climb hills and descend into frozen valleys with ease so that you can admire the scenery as your legs move over the snow and ice.

Hit the snow dunes near Trolltunga to catch sight of the Folgefonna glacier, or head further north to Tromsø and Kirkenes to snowshoe across the Arctic tundra as the northern lights dance above you. Meanwhile, Stavanger in the south offers snowshoeing through silent-as-night forests and across mountain trails into spring.

Afterwards, warm up in one of the wooden mountain cabins, where a dinner cooked on the open fire awaits, then continue your quest to reach far-away-from-it-all places.

Here is a selection of our favourite places to snowshoe in Norway.

Hardangervidda Mountain Plateau

Europe’s largest plateau in Norway’s largest national park near Bergen sees you snowshoeing over frozen lakes and up into the wind-whipped mountains to reach heights of up to 5,646ft above sea level. You’ll be in amongst wild territory on an adventure that requires some stamina and strength.

Glide past endless snow dunes, keeping the Hardangerfjord and Hardangerjøkul glacier in the frame the entire time. Stay overnight under the stars or find a cabin with a roaring log fire, and keep your ear close to the ground for signs of reindeer, Arctic fox and snow owls.

Kvitåvatn

Just a few hours to the east of Oslo is Kvitåvatn, where every winter from December to April snow covers the lake, forest and mountains to create a huge playing field for winter sports. You’ll snowshoe with views over the mighty Gaustatoppen mountain, which stands proud at 1883m, and Lake Kvitåvatn down into the valley.

Go off-track into the forests, creaking over the fresh snow in your snowshoes, or head cross-country across open valleys. The area is just above the town of Rjukan and the reliable snow cover means you’ll not be disappointed. What’s more, with a variety of tracks that stretch over 85km, it’s suitable for all abilities.

Once you’ve hung up your snowshoes, try out the cross-country skiing, downhill skiing or ice climbing.

Tromsø

As the gateway city to the Arctic, Tromsø is located in amongst some fun snowshoeing trips for every level. As it’s located between islands, fjords and mountains, there’s all kinds of terrain to cover, and from December to May it’s covered in fresh, powdery snow.

Strap on your snowshoes and hop over to Kvaløya island, where you can climb about 400m towards the highest point for breathtaking views over the city and beyond. Or keep to flat and slightly hilly terrain to hone your skills in amongst birch and spruce forests as well as open valleys.

There’s also Tromsøya island nearby, where you’ll snowshoe on easy ground and with luck be joined by the Northern Lights above. The best part is that you can combine your adventure with tobogganing, dog sledding or whichever activity you fancy, and look forward to a hot chocolate by the fire on return.

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