Tracks and Trails / Cross Country Skiing / Nordic Countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway / New Year in Norway

New Year in Norway

cross country skiing in Norway

Perfect tracks!

A fabulous way to start 2019! A week of cross country skiing in the wonderful landscape that surrounds the mountain community of Gålå. The terrain surrounding Gålå. is home to a vast network of groomed ski trails making it popular with both cross country ski racers, and recreational skiers. With access to 230 km of ski trails there is more than enough to keep you occupied! And if skiing by day is not enough there is also an illuminated trail where you can enjoy some evening skiing.

Our hotel sits at the top of the mountain overlooking the lake of Gålåvatnet where the Peer Gynt spectacular theatre performances take place each summer. From the lounge you can enjoy a drink while taking in views of the alpine summits of the stunning mountains of the Jotunheimen and Rondane National Parks.

  • Improve your technique with top instructors
  • Small groups ensuring maximum progress
  • Ski from the hotel doorstep
  • Ideal terrain with stunning mountain views
  • Cosy mountain top hotel with sauna and pool
  • Excellent and plentiful Norwegian style meals
  • New Year's Eve celebration and fireworks!



Trip Departure date End date Price Status
GAL1 Sat 29 December 18 Sat 5 January 19 £1695 Trip Closed


Trip Grade - Intermediate 

This trip is aimed at skiers who feel confident to just get on their skis and go. You should be able to control speed and direction and enjoy doing both uphill and downhill. We aim to ski up to and beyond 20km per day, and will be out on skis for up to 5 hrs per day.

Perhaps the thing we love most about Gålå is the feeling of being high above the lake and enjoying the views to the Jotunheimen and Rondane National Parks while skiing beautifully groomed tracks. We can normally ski straight from the door of our hotel, well, actually you might have to walk 20 metres, to get to the trails. It really doesn't get much more convenient than that! The area around our hotel offers access to several hundred km's of trails with the possibility to ski in different areas each day.

Gålå lies to the north of the Olympic town of Lillehammer and immediately east of the main railway from Oslo to Trondheim. In this respect it is easily accessible by train, direct from Oslo airport. In other words a perfect base for an excellent week of nordic skiing.

On New Years Eve our hotel will serve an aperitif, followed by a 5 course dinner, then a midnight snack and a celebration with a large firework display at midnight! What a great way to start 2019.

Ski Conditions

Our hotel sits at around 1000 metres and the skiing ranges from 800 metres of altitude to 1150 metres. We regularly ski in this area and so far we have only been met with good snow conditions. King Bore - 'King of Winter' from Nordic mythology says he can't promise anything, but in Gålå they begin to prepare the tracks as soon as they have enough snow in December and continue until mid-April or after Easter. Gålå also has a small downhill lski area which means that we sometimes make use of the ski tows to save our legs on the climb back to the hotel, and it does mean that if you feel the urge you could if you wanted do a day of alpine skiing. However, the overall 'feel' of Gålå is one of being a great cross country ski area, rather than an alpine resort.


Day 1 Arrival

Today you arrive at Oslo Gardermoen airport and take the train north to Vinstra where your transfer will meet you and take you into the mountains to the tiny community of Gålå. The train journey offers great views of the Norwegian countryside, and it is not uncommon to see elk foraging in the woods beside the train tracks. The trains are modern and comfortable and have drinks facilities, and free wifi.

Tickets are easily purchased on line at NSB and if you book in advance these are with a considerable discount at around £45 for the return journey. You can choose to collect them on the train which makes taking the train north very easy. All train timetables are published just 3 months in advance, please note the times given below are based on current timetables and can change upon publication by a few minutes.

The train station is within the airport building and you should aim to catch the 1429 hrs train from Oslo Gardermoen airport to Vinstra, arriving at Vinstra at 1712 hrs. You can, of course, take alternative trains both on the arrival and departure days but this may incur a supplement if it requires a special journey by the hotel taxi. Please ask for details if this is the case.

Day 2 - 7 Ski time!

Each morning our day begins with a leisurely breakfast served Norwegian buffet style which means you can eat as much as you like. There is no excuse not to 'fuel up' for the day ahead. We then head to the hotel ski room to wax our skis and prepare for a day out in a winter wonderland.

Even if you have never used 'waxing skis' before you will be guided by your Instructor and will soon relish the fast performance of a ski that is well waxed. A waxing ski is the traditional type of ski used in Norway, and precedes the new 'skin' and 'fishscale' skis which you may have previously used in the Alps. We love the atmosphere in the waxing room as everyone chats about the day ahead, and discusses which wax to apply to give the best performance on the day. 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 230 kms 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. As this week is for 'intermediate' skiers we expect you to be able to get on your skis and 'go'. As with all our ski holidays there will be an element of coaching each day with the aim of improving your ski technique to allow you to get maximum enjoyment from the the hills and valleys of Gålå. If downhill skils are something you wish to work on you can even take the small button tow in the downhill area and just concentrate on flying down the hills!

Each day we take a packed lunch with us, and will take time to stop for a few breaks during our ski journey. The normal pattern is to leave around 0930-1000 hrs, ski for approximately 20 km's, then return mid to late afternoon to enjoy a sauna, and swim before dinner. Or you can simply sit in the lounge and take in the views to the mountains.

Day 8 Departure

Today you will transfer to Vinstra station for the train journey to Oslo airport. For the return journey we are awaiting clarification of train times, but it is anticipated that you can take either the 0613 hrs or 1151 hrs train from Vinstra arriving at the airport at 0901 hrs and 1432 hrs respectively. The group transfer included in your trip fee will be timed to catch the 1151 hrs train. If you wish to take the early train the taxi cost is 500 NOK. If there are other guests also taking the early train you will be able to share this cost. Please check all travel arrangements with us before you book your flights and trains.

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.

New Year at Venabu for 'Intro Plus' skiers 

We also offer a week of fabulous skiing at New Year in Norway at Venabu. For 2019 this week is dedicated to skiers who have done just a few days and feel ready for a great week of skiing and coaching. Or it may be that you have done quite a lot of cross country skiing previously, but feel a little 'rusty', and you want to refresh your skills in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. Details of our Venabu week here.


Gålå is a tiny community and only has one hotel, thankfully it is lovely and very comfortable with excellent cuisine and a spa. The Wadahl Høgfjellshotell is situated in the mountains of Gudbransdal and has wonderful views of the peaks of both the Rondane and Jotunheimen National Parks.

It is a family run mountain hotel and is located in the heart of one of Norway's top cross-country skiing areas. The rooms are all en-suite, with telephones and televisions. The hotel has a good swimming pool, a bar and excellent, modern conference facilities. Free WIFI is available in most hotel rooms and public rooms.

If you wish a room with a view of the lake there is a supplementary charge of £100 per person. If you wish a single room the supplementary charge is £175. Availability depends on early booking.


Included: The price includes full-board accommodation (breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner) for 7 nights, based on two people sharing in our very comfortable hotel, which has fantastic food and great facilities, including a sauna. The rooms quoted are based on a mountain view, if you wish a lake view there is a supplement per person of £100. Single rooms may be available on request for a supplementary payment. However, these are limited in number and we recommend that you book early if you wish to be sure of a single room. Please contact us for details. It includes 6 full days of instruction by a fully qualified BASI Nordic Instructor. It includes a transfer from Vinstra station to your hotel on arrival and on departure. If your transfer is outwith our planned transfer times a supplement may be incurred.

Not included: Insurance, flights, train fares between Oslo and Vinstra, drinks, ski hire approximately 775 NOK for 6 days. Optional extra activities such as alpine skiing, use of any alpine lifts, dog sledding or biathlon training.

Further Information

Upon booking, a full list of the necessary suitable clothing will be provided. This itinerary is dependent on the weather and snow conditions and your instructor will make any changes necessary to ensure you get the best out of the trip. We expect you to be an 'intermediate' skier for this trip. In other words you are happy to get on your skis and 'go', are able to control speed and direction and are happy with uphills and downs.

There are currency exchange facilities/banks in Oslo Airport or you can obtain Norwegian Kroner prior to your arrival. Credit cards will be accepted in the hotels. Oslo airport has a left luggage store available if needed, which is at the east end of the arrivals hall.

Ski Rental

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 the correct type of ski and boot and are suitable. At Gålå we do things the Norwegian way, and our hire skis from the hotel are 'waxing' skis which provides a great opportunity to learn the art of waxing. 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'. Don't be confused by all of this, just ask your instructor! We are always delighted to help you enjoy the whole Nordic experience. If you wish to bring your own skis then do feel free to chat with us. If you own 'fishscales' or 'skintec' skis it is quite acceptable for you to use them, but please note you may find them slower than the 'waxing' skis. However, on any days when the waxing is tricky you may find you have the advantage!

Your instructor will help with organising the ski rental on the morning of your first ski day at Gålå. The total ski hire is expected to be 775 NOK for 6 days. Please make your payment directly to the rental shop at the hotel (credit cards are accepted). To ensure we get the correct sizes equipment hire is arranged in advance. Please make note of your equipment hire on our booking form. We will need to know your height, weight, normal shoe size (you must give us your everyday shoe size and not your personal adjustment for wearing boots) and the measurement of your height up to your armpits (for ski pole hire).

Minimum Numbers

This trip requires a minimum of 4 clients to book before it can be guaranteed to run and we take a maximum of 8/9 clients per instructor. By keeping the group numbers small you will get the very best of instruction during your week allowing you to make as much progress as possible.

Getting there

Norway is easily reached with various international airlines offering direct flights from the UK and Europe to Oslo Gardermoen airport. Flights can also be taken to Torp, but please note you will need to allow enough time to transfer to Oslo Gardermoen for your train journey north. The train station at 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 Vinstra very easy. Please see the notes under 'Arrival Day' with regard to train times. We aim to provide a transfer from Vinstra to your hotel on arrival and departure, but this is based on one collection for everyone arriving for the holiday and taking the 1429 hrs train from the airport. 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. On our departure day we would aim to have the group transfer taking the 1131 hrs train from Vinstra arriving at the airport at 1432 hrs. It is possible to take a train at 0613 hrs arriving at 0901 hrs, however, this early morning transfer may incur a supplement. Please contact us if you wish to confirm details.

Our Partners

As our niche trips such as New Year in Norway are of a specialised nature we work with our partner companies to attract sufficient clients to reach the minimum number of participants to allow these trips to go ahead, meaning you are more likely to have your chosen holiday 'guaranteed'. Tracks and Trails in these instances may, in collaborating with our associates, make use of their guiding services. If you have any queries with regard to this please contact us.

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