The Secret Traveller’s Guide to Skiing Oslo
- 10th November 2013
Oslo nestles on the shores of a tranquil fjord of the same name and is surrounded by snow-capped hills and forests. It has a diverse fabric of architecture, ranging from modern palaces of glass and steel like the Opera House to the medieval fortress of Akershus. Through this, parks stretch like extensions of the wilderness beyond, making the city feel much smaller and less urban than it really is. It’s easy to see why the city is referred to as the “World’s biggest village”.
There are 5 ski resorts within half an hour of the city center, the largest of which is Oslo Winter Park Tryvann. Here 6 lifts service 14 runs that wind down through forests of evergreens. There are breathtaking views of the fjord and surround countryside and for those who want to brave the subzero temperatures of the night the hill’s main drags are floodlit until 10pm.
Winter Park is also home to the biggest freestyle terrain park in the Oslo area and boasts two halfpipes, the largest of which staged the first World Snowboard Championships and the annual Arctic Challenge snowboard contest. With walls of over 22 foot it is no place for the fainthearted.
If you’re looking for a more mellow winter sports experience there are 2,600km of groomed trails for cross-country skiing within easy reach of the city. These snake through forests and majestic glittering glades and have a network of cabins offering overnight accommodation as well as traditional pastries and refreshments. 90km of these trails are also lit by night for the truly adventurous cross-country skier.
Back in the city, there’s no end of restaurants and bars in which to warm up and replenish the batteries after a hard day on the hills. But beware, as food and drink are far from cheap, with a small beer costing anything from £7 up.
Oslo’s most trendy quarter is Grunerlokka, in the northwest of the city. Here bars and clubs jostle for space with über cool clothing stores, and purveyors of Scandinavian design. The Nighthawk Diner, on Seilduksgata, is straight out of 50s America, with its original chrome and red vinyl cubicles, bar and hearty but gourmet American cuisine. If burgers aren’t your bag try the fine Italian restaurant Villa Paradiso, just down the road on Grüners Gate, where the wine list is extensive and the food delicious.
Oslo also has a its fare share of museums, theatres and parks to satiate ones cultural appetite. This year the city’s most famous son Edvard Munch celebrates his 150th birthday and to celebrate the Munch Museum is putting on additional events and activities around the city.
Oslo seamlessly combines the best of the great outdoors and the luxuries and style of Nordic urban chic. Visit once and you’ll wonder why you ever went on a conventional ski holiday.
bmi regional flies six times a week direct from Aberdeen to the Norwegian capital Oslo. Fares start from £137 one way including taxes and charges and can be booked at www.flybmi.com.