Nordic in Norway: Venabu - Taking a pause on the tracks
Nordic in Norway: Venabu
Nordic in Norway: Venabu - Another fine day on the tracks
Nordic in Norway: Venabu - Skiing in tranquility
Nordic in Norway: Venabu
Nordic in Norway: Venabu - Perfect ski conditions

Nordic in Norway: Christmas at Venabu


Cross country skiing in Norway

Enjoy Christmas week cross country skiing in Norway, the true homeland of Nordic skiing. Venabu is the perfect cross country ski area, set on the edge of the Rondane National Park with views to the mountains. The trip offers top quality instruction which will get you gliding in good style through this stunning winter landscape. Our base is situated in the middle of the Venabygdsfjell plateau, a snow-sure area with fantastic nature, a stable climate and great skiing trails.

WARNING: Be prepared to adopt the Norwegian way of doing things and 'relax'. This is without doubt a great week for unwinding, whilst playing in the 'white stuff'.

Highlights

  • One of Norway's best cross country ski areas
  • Improve your technique with excellent Nordic Ski Instructors
  • Small groups ensuring maximum progress
  • Ski directly from the hotel doorstep each day 
  • Excellent and plentiful Norwegian style meals
  • No ski pass payment required, the tracks are free
  • All meals included, breakfast, packed lunch and dinner
  • Optional yoga/pilates/massage sessions for easing muscles
  • Free teas and coffees throughout the day
  • Use of the hotel sauna and gym

"We had such an amazing New Year week in Norway that we are doing it again"
This is a perfect opportunity to start the year with a healthy glow to your cheeks, and fresh mountain air in your lungs. With luck you may even see the Northern Lights - now that would be a fabulous start to the New Year.

Venabu offers 140 kms ( 87.5 miles) of prepared trails in varied mountain terrain, with summits up to 1400m (4592ft). The area lies to the north of the Olympic town of Lillehammer and immediately east of the main railway from Oslo to Trondheim.

Your BASI Nordic teacher and guide will carefully design your week to introduce and then develop the skills and technique required to tackle a variety of terrain. The skiing will be entirely on way marked tracks which are regularly groomed by the hotel staff, offering us daily 'insider' knowledge about the best areas to ski. As an added bonus, there is sometimes a herd of reindeer in the vicinity, which adds to the wonderful Arctic ambiance of these wild mountains.


Itinerary

  • airport
  • train
  • meet in
  • accommodation
  • This evening your ski instructor, who will be a fully qualified BASI Nordic Ski Instructor, will meet you at your hotel to have dinner with you. Due to the Norwegian tradition of eating early, normally around 1830hrs, we find that it is often more relaxing for your instructor to give you a full briefing the following morning over coffee.

    With regard to travel please refer to the Arrival & Departure section which is under 'Trip Information'. 

  • Every morning enjoy a leisurely beautifully displayed Norwegian buffet style breakfast. We will then head for the ski room to prepare for our day.

    We love the atmosphere in the ski/waxing room as everyone chats about the day ahead, and discusses which wax to apply to give the best performance. Be prepared for lots of tales of derring-do and adventures from the day before as we mingle with the other guests and the locals.

    With our skis ready for action we head for the tracks and a day of skills and thrills as we make the most of the stunning landscape around Venabu. With 140 kms (87.5 miles) of trails to explore we have plenty to choose from, and with a variety of terrain from birch woodlands, to plateau, and mountains, we can choose the best tracks for the weather on the day.

    We take a picnic lunch with us if the weather is good, and if it is chilly we may opt to enjoy lunch in the hotel lounge, where you can take advantage of the free teas and coffees. If you feel the need for extra energy for the afternoon ski you might indulge in the traditional Norwegian waffle, with jam and cream. After lunch we head back out for more fresh air and ski time, but our approach in the afternoon is usually quite leisurely as we like you to have time to relax and enjoy consolidating your technique.

    By mid-afternoon we are ready to head for our hotel, and the chance to relax in the sauna, or just enjoy the lounge area with its views to the mountains.

  • Today you will transfer from your hotel to Ringebu station for the train journey to Oslo airport. Many of our guests opt to spend an extra night in Oslo to enjoy this cosmopolitan city. You could, of course, choose to begin with a night in Oslo at the start of your journey.

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.

Accommodation

We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, characterful, family run accommodation. In most cases we have known the management for many years, and it’s like visiting old friends. Our suggested accommodation is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured hotel and the one we intend to use below. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of similar standard.

The trip fee is based on two people sharing a room. All rooms are en suite with shower, and toilet, and are non-smoking. 

However, on this trip, single rooms are available on request, but will incur a supplementary fee of £145. We recommend booking as early as possible to secure a single room as these are always limited in number.

We have booked Venabu Fjellhotel for your Christmas weekt. The hotel is built in the typical Norwegian style, is family-run and offer a very relaxed and hospitable atmosphere.

The food is excellent and there is always a good selection of vegetables, salad and vegetarian options. We have opted for ‘self-made’ packed lunches everyday so we have complete flexibility with plans for our skiing day; lunches are made from the breakfast buffet, in the Norwegian tradition – a chance to experiment with all sorts of tasty sandwich fillings!

 

Venabu Fjellhotel

Hotel

Venabu always captures the hearts of those who stay there. It is a simple hotel built in typical Norwegian style, family-run and with a very relaxed and hospitable atmosphere. It is without doubt the 'atmosphere' at Venabu that our guests love. A true cross country ski hotel where everyone 'lives and breathes' Nordic skiing. The meals are a highlight of the week, copious Norwegian style buffets for both breakfast and dinner.

Facilities include a superb dining room, with views to the Rondane Mountains, a bar, saunas, dedicated space for yoga/pilates classes, a fitness room, and TV lounge. There is also a large ski waxing room with ski hire and shop, as well as a souvenir shop. All rooms are en suite with shower, and toilet and are non-smoking.

Rooms at the Venabu Fjellhotel come in two categories with the East Wing being the standard rooms (included in our price) or rooms in the newer West Wing which are larger, but normally have twin beds rather than a double bed. If you are interested in upgrading, for which there will be a supplementary fee, then do contact us for prices. 


  • Norway is easily reached with various international airlines offering direct flights from the UK and elsewhere in Europe to Oslo Gardermoen airport. Flights can also be taken to Torp airport, but please note you will need to allow enough time to transfer to Oslo Gardermoen for your train journey north.

    The train station at Oslo Gardermoen is located inside the airport terminal and is just a few minutes from the arrivals area. It makes connecting to your train for your journey to Ringebu very easy. On your arrival day a group transfer from Ringebu train station to your hotel is included in your trip cost, and also from your hotel back to Ringebu on your departure day. 

    Please ensure you book your ticket early as the trains can be fully booked and you will not be permitted to travel.

    Arriving

    If you are arriving at Oslo Gardermoen airport you will take the train north to Ringebu where your transfer will meet you and take you into the fabulous landscape that is Venabu. The train journey is a delight in itself offering great views of the Norwegian countryside. The trains are modern and comfortable and have drinks facilities, and free wifi.

    Tickets are easily purchased on line at Vy.no and if you book in advance there is a considerable discount with fares from around 249 NOK for the return journey. You can choose to collect them on the train which makes taking the train north very easy. You should aim to catch the 1429 hrs train from Oslo Gardermoen airport to Ringebu, arriving at Ringebu at 1652 hrs.

    It is also the possible to take a special bus to our hotel which leaves Oslo Gardemoen airport on Saturdays at 1400 hrs (once the SK804 flight lands from London at 1330 hrs) and goes directly to Venabu Fjellhotel. The cost of this is between 430 - 480 NOK one way. Children under 14 years are half price. Information for the bus platform number is available from 1340 hrs at the bus information desk in the arrivals area.

    Please contact us for any further details on this. 

    Departing

    The group transfer included in your trip fee will either meet the 0629 hrs or 1209 hrs train from Ringebu arriving at the airport at 0901 hrs and 1432 hrs respectively. All train timetables are published 3 months in advance. 

    The private airport bus leaves every Saturday at 0915 hrs from hotel and returns to be at the airport to arrive no later than 1300 hrs the following Saturday.

    Please check all travel arrangements with us before you book your flights and trains. You can, of course, take alternative trains both on the arrival and departure days but this may incur a small supplement if it requires a special journey by the hotel taxi and is out with the hours of the group transfer.

  • You must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity, including helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip. The insurance referred to should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    The insurance clause set out in our 'Terms and Conditions' is below:

    Insurance: It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, cost of repatriation, and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. For tours taking place outside the United Kingdom you must ensure that your insurance covers rescue from the mountains, including helicopter rescue. It is the right of the leader to make a decision to call for helicopter rescue if such assistance is needed. Costs incurred by you, the client, due to an evacuation, rescue or other emergency shall be your responsibility. Any subsequent costs incurred for expenses, not limited to but including such costs as hotels, food, transport etc, shall be borne by you, the client. You are responsible for ensuring insurance cover is adequate for the particular needs of your chosen activity. You must be fully aware of the implications involved in arranging your own travel insurance and understand the limitations and exclusions of the policy. By agreeing to our Terms and Conditions you are authorising Tracks and Trails Ltd, or the person employed to lead the trip for Tracks and Trails Ltd, to instigate rescue and/or helicopter evacuation procedures without previously obtaining the permission of the company issuing your insurance policy. We reserve the right to cancel your booking at any time if we are not satisfied you have the necessary insurance policy covering your activity. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip then please contact us for specific details. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres (9840ft), except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m (10,877ft). You must bring all insurance documentation with you at the time of the activity. We also recommend your insurance covers you for trip cancellation and baggage loss/damage. Tracks and Trails Ltd are unable to accept responsibility for the loss or damage to any client equipment or luggage.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • Winter temperatures in Scandinavia are 'according to the locals' warmer in recent years than previously which is why we now run trips in the months of January, and February, as well as March and April. Even in January when the daylight hours are short we find that we have more than enough time for skiing. We have never yet had guests feeling they were losing out in terms of ski hours by booking in January or February. There is a special pleasure to starting your ski day in the sunrise, and skiing back with the sunset. 

    Historically temperatures in December have averaged -8°Celsius (17.4°F), in January -9.7°Celsius (14.5°F), in February -9.2°Celsius (15.4°F), in March -6.6°Celsius (20.1°F), and in April -2.3°Celsius (27.9°). 

    We have found over the years that these temperatures have not been unpleasant nor have any guests had problems dealing with the weather as it is generally a 'dry' cold, and of course this helps create great snow and therefore great ski tracks. If we do experience a cold snap where temperatures drop then we ensure that everyone is appropriately clothed and kitted out for the ski day. In this respect energy snacks and a thermos with a hot drink are a great comfort! 

  • King Bore - 'King of Winter' from Nordic mythology says he can't promise anything, but in Venabu they begin to prepare the tracks as soon as they have enough snow in December and continue until mid-April or after Easter. Venabu has a good reputation as a 'snow sure' venue, and we have found that to be true. It offers 140 kms ( 87.5 miles) of prepared trails in varied mountain terrain, with summits up to 1400m (4592ft).

  • Your instructor will help you organise your ski rental at Venabu. We use 'classic' style cross country track skis for this trip. You can choose to bring your own, however, do check with us first to ensure they are suitable and the correct type of ski and boot.

    At Venabu we do things the Norwegian way, and our hire skis from the hotel are all fitted with NNN bindings (New Nordic Norm Bindings) and are 'waxing' skis with metal edges which are more effective for snowploughing and control of speed. This is a great opportunity to learn the art of 'waxing' and your instructor will provide daily waxing sessions to ensure you get the best out of the skis. Grip waxes are the traditional way of travelling on skis, and give greater glide than 'fishscales'. Your Instructor will explain anything you need to know.

    The total ski hire is 660NOK for 6 days and payment is made directly to the rental shop at the hotel, credit cards are accepted.

    Please make a note of your equipment hire on our booking form. We will need to know your height, weight, normal shoe size (your everyday shoe size and not your personal adjustment for wearing boots) and the measurement of your height from the floor up to your armpits for ski pole hire.  

    In Norway there is no charge for using the ski tracks and you do not need to buy a ski pass.

  • On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit and safety of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person. 

    If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed in such a way that no one is over burdened. 

    Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.

  • After we have processed your booking we will send you a comprehensive clothing and equipment list that is appropriate to your trip and activity. There will be some items on this list that we strongly recommend and others which are suggested. Our list is based on our experience of what is needed for any particular trip, but it is not the definitive article! If you have items you like to use then do bring them, but be aware of over-loading your 'day' rucksack with items that are heavy and therefore making the trip more challenging.

    Please contact us if in any doubt about what to bring.

  • Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. This trip has a single supplement of £145 or £240 if booking a double room as a single. 

  • We go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation.

    Please note your guide/instructor has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. 

    For our walking, family, and snowshoeing trips your guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. For our running trips your guide will be an International Mountain Leader, and an experienced mountain 'trail runner'.

    If you have booked on a cross country ski trip you will be with a fully qualified professional BASI Nordic Ski Instructor or equivalent. BASI is the British Association of Snowsport Instructors.

  • Venabu is one of the most idyllic locations for learning or improving your cross country skiing. It is ideal for those of you who are just starting out, those that have done a few days cross country, and those wishing to improve and progress, perhaps with a view to joining our long distance point-to-point journeys.

  • For this trip where you are centre-based, in other words where you are staying in the same accommodation all week, you are welcome to bring whatever luggage you require. However, please note that not all the hotels we use have elevators. This means you may need to carry your luggage to your bedroom and this might involve climbing several flights of stairs. We would suggest that luggage with wheels is generally a good idea.

  • On this trip your lunches are included in your trip fee. In Norway it is traditional to make up your own packed lunch from the breakfast ingredients. Breakfast is normally a buffet with a large range of food on offer with more than enough interesting items to prepare a tasty sandwich. You will be supplied with paper to wrap them in. You can also ask to have a thermos flask filled with a hot drink. On some of the days at Venabu we may return for a late sit-down lunch in the restaurant, although this will depend on our ski plans for the day. 

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card. 

    On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will only accept payment in the local currency in cash.

  • Food

    On our trips we encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for the traditional food of the region. 

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free.

    If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet please contact us. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.

    If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness.

    Water

    The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water. At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly. 

  • A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required for visits to countries outside the EU, such as Norway. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.  

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera. 

  • Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your  departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.

    UK residents should obtain and bring with them the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance. Also note that if/when the UK leaves the European Union that the EHIC card may no longer be valid. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number. 

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

  • Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case. 


Prices may vary depending on date.

2019

Limited availability Book

What's Included

  • Full-board accommodation; breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner based on two people sharing
  • Six full days of instruction by a fully qualified BASI Nordic Instructor
  • Free use of the hotel saunas
  • Use of grip waxes as required
  • Free use of the ski trails, no pass required
  • Transfer from Ringebu station to your hotel on arrival and on departure
  • Tracks and Trails memento; a gift to take home

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Train fares between Oslo and Ringebu
  • Any alcoholic drinks and beverages
  • Ski hire (approximately 660 NOK for 6 days)
  • Yoga/pilates classes at Venabu Fjellhotel: 150 NOK per session
  • Optional extra activities
  • A full board option with a sit down lunch not a packed lunch is available for an additionla £40 per person for the week
  • This trip is based on using the standard hotel rooms however you can upgrade to newer/larger rooms for an additional £70 per person in a double

Return to Search Print Trip Notes

Grade: Beginners

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At a Glance

From Price £1895
Holiday Type Cross Country Skiing
Duration 8 Days
Group Size 9
Maximum Altitude 1200m (3936ft)
Countries Visited Norway
Meet In Ringebu, Norway
View all Cross Country Skiing Holidays

Nordic in Norway: Venabu

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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