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Discover Norway: Where to try winter sports in Bergen

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Discover Norway: Where to try winter sports in Bergen
The Kvamskogen mountain plateau, located east of Bergen, is a popular winter sports area. Photo by Rune Haugseng on Unsplash

Bergen, in western Norway, may not have the same winter sports pedigree as some other destinations in the country, but it does offer a great variety of activities – if you know where to look.

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From skiing on breathtaking slopes, easily accessible from the city centre, to skating on ice rinks and frozen lakes, Bergen's natural beauty and winter sports facilities make it an excellent destination for snowy adventures.

READ MORE: The best things to do in Bergen on a winter's day

Whether you're a local or a visitor, don't let the winter weather keep you indoors - with the proper clothes, the winter weather in the region is usually manageable.

Venture out and immerse yourself in the exciting world of winter sports that is often only a short bus ride away from Norway's second-largest city.

Skiing (relatively) close to the city centre: Fløyen, Kvamskogen, Eikedalen…

We're starting with a skiing spot closest to Bergen's city centre (a 5-minute funicular ride from the Old Town) – the Fløyen ski trail, a beloved destination for skiing enthusiasts.

Spanning approximately 5 kilometres, this cross-country trail offers excellent snow conditions throughout the winter season.

The Fløyen ski trail is one of Bergen's most frequented ski routes, and on sunny days, you can even extend your journey to Rundemanen mountain or embark on a challenging trek called Vidden, over the mountain plateau between Ulriken and Fløyen.

If you're looking for a challenging skiing adventure, head to the Kvamskogen mountain plateau, situated east of Bergen. It offers both downhill and cross-country skiing at 1,300 meters above sea level.

During the season, you can also hop on a dedicated ski bus to Eikedalen Ski Centre (regular buses are available from the main bus station), which provides a combined 15 kilometres of slopes for skiing and snowboarding, with eight lifts at the disposal of visitors.

Totland, a mere 7-minute bus ride from Nesttun (located some 10 kilometres south of Bergen's city centre), is another fantastic choice for people looking for a conveniently accessible cross-country skiing experience.

There, you can enjoy groomed trails covering a round trip of 9.8 kilometres, with the highest point of the Livarden mountain reaching 683 meters.

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Ice skating in Bergen

There are a number of great ice skating locations in Bergen for both beginners and enthusiasts.

Bergen boasts four skating rinks: Bergenshallen, Slåtthaug, Åsane Arena, and Iskanten.

If you don't skate frequently, rental skates and equipment are available at most locations.

During extended cold spells, numerous lakes in the Bergen region freeze over, offering a unique outdoor skating experience.

The municipality conducts regular ice measurements on 12 bodies of water to ensure safety.

Skansedammen, on the way to Fløyen, is a popular spot, providing captivating city and fjord views while you skate.

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Voss gondola

Voss offers a plethora of winter sports options, including skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating, and more. Pictured is a gondola in Voss. Photo by Barnabas Davoti on Unsplash

Day trips from Bergen

To explore even more winter sports opportunities near Bergen, consider day trips to Voss or Myrkdalen.

READ MORE: Five great day trips from Bergen

Voss, located just a short distance from Bergen, is a year-round magnet for visitors, known for its exceptional skiing facilities and outdoor adventures.

You can reach Voss by bus, train, or dedicated ski buses during the winter season. Voss Resort is one of western Norway's largest ski centres, featuring 11 lifts and 24 varied slopes.

Furthermore, it offers 18 kilometres of groomed cross-country trails, ensuring ample opportunities for skiing and snowboarding.

Located just 25 minutes from Voss, Myrkdalen is celebrated for its consistent snowfall, making it one of Norway's most snow-sure areas.

With nine lifts, 22 varied pistes, and 28 kilometres of cross-country trails, Myrkdalen is also an excellent option for winter sports.

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Borrowing equipment for free (or a small fee)

If you're itching to hit the slopes or explore Norway's winter terrain but don't have the money for skis or other equipment, fear not.

READ MORE: How to have a fulfilling social life in Norway without breaking the bank

Bergen offers options to rent equipment for free. Below, we've outlined a few resources to help you secure the necessary equipment without breaking the bank.

BUA: BUA, a national non-profit organisation, is on a mission to ensure that all children and young people in Norway have access to diverse activities. They offer free or cheap equipment rentals, and much of their inventory comprises new gear. With five locations scattered throughout Bergen municipality, BUA aims to make equipment rental convenient for residents and visitors alike. Remember that you'll usually need a Norwegian phone number to rent equipment from BUA. Additionally, some fees may apply for rentals to people over 20.

Bergen Student Sports Team: This organisation provides free equipment loans to its members, extending the opportunity to students and non-students alike. Whether you require hiking boots for a scenic trek or other apparel for your outdoor adventure, they have you covered. Membership is open to everyone; you don't have to be a student to join.

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