Geilo, A luxurious Ski village amidst the Norwegian Mountains

Geilo, The Ski Destination

1222 Finse was home base for filming the scenes at the beginning of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, where many locals starred as extras. A small station town, where we waited for an hour before we could board our next train to Geilo.

Geilo

As starved as I was, the aroma of steamy hot dogs, and Norwegian cakes took no time to lure me inside the cozy crowded station cafe. When in Europe, finish every meal with a cup of espresso! After a short wait, we boarded our train to Geilo, and Enroute crossed glorious snowscapes one after another. What a fairy tale sight!

In a valley between mountain ranges, and Oslo and Bergen on each side – lays Geilo. It is one of the best known skiing areas in Scandinavia, also popular for hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, glacier walk and more. Geilo is also famous for having some of the most luxurious and expensive holiday cabins in Norway. Additionally, Geilo has 3 lakes, Slåttahølen, Vestlefjorden, and Ustedalsfjorden.

Geilo is located in the municipality of Hol in Norway, in the valley of Hallingdal, with around 2,300 inhabitants. The Bergen Line facilitated Geilo’s development as the first skiing resort in the country, and it is still one of the largest. A small town at the foot of Hallingskarvet and Hardangervidda national parks, but more famous for its mountain ski resorts in Buskerud.

Skiing History

Everyone ski’s here, from a child to an adult! Age is no barrier, as Skiing is the lifestyle quotient for those staying in Geilo. At an elevation of 2605 Ft, the ski season does not end here until early may.

I arrived here in summer, August so to say. This is that time of the year, when Geilo shines for it’s hiking and mountain biking opportunities. Although I missed the Snow, and the Skiing scope, I was offered with downhill biking and fishing possibilities. Having said that, anytime to visit Geilo is the best time. First, this quiet town will absorb you in it’s loving vibes, and then it will throw an exciting surprise at you with its innumerable activities.

Ski Season and other activities

The ski season in Geilo is from late October until late April. Geilo offers skiing all the way down to the centre of town, hence there is no need to take long routes between the ski slopes and the village. Take a stroll in the village centre, go shopping, try a Norwegian speciality in one of many restaurants or visit one of the many festivals and events.

There are downhill slopes and cross country trails available for all experience levels. Due to Geilo’s high altitude, the winter is stable with lots of snow. Geilo has numerous small ski centres that make up one resort, which goes by the name Geilo Skiheiser. All the ski hires offer free helmet rental for children, an excellent safety measure initiation. One of the most famous hotels in Norway is Vestlia Resort, which is on the door step of Geilolia ski centre.

Geilo Skiheiser has 39 slopes, and its spread over 33 km accessed by 20 lifts. There is also an extensive cross country system in Geilo, offering 220 km of tracks, including 5 km under floodlight. Skiing options include alpine skiing, cross country skiing, telemarking, snowboarding, dog sledging, toboggan, ski orienteering, and evening skiing most evenings. Another activity that has become very popular is ‘kiting’, which would be skiing or snowboarding whilst attached to a ‘kite’. Guess what, the area around Geilo has been rated among the best in the world for this activity. You will occasionally see paraglider’s floating down from the top of the slopes, if you are visiting during the summer months.

Around the Town

Geilo is a small town, and the centrum mainly consists of two large wooden buildings, much like a shopping mall. In one is a tourist information, Co-op supermarket, café Capri restaurant, newsagents, undercover parking, and a police station. In the other is an Inter sport, supermarket, newsagent, and Geilogrillen.

Down the road there is a small cinema, library, and school. Behind the building is a floodlit prepared cross country track, and a biathlon shooting range. You can hit Geilolia Summer Park, if you want to entertain yourself with activities such as downhill biking, canoeing or climbing.

Santa, Skiing and Luxury Cabins in the Wood

The village is technically split between the Slatta village which is the main area, and the quiet Geilolia.

The luxury resort Vestlia, and the Forest Cabins are located in Geilolia, however the ski runs are a few miles away. Although for a small town, you will find a large choice of hotels, cabins and apartments here.

The Rallarvegen route from Finse to Flåm is Norway’s most breathtaking bike route and extremely popular in the summer months. The closest airport is Geilo Airport, about 25 km away, while the closest International airport is Fagernes Airport.

If you choose to stay in a cabin over Christmas, you’ll have your own Christmas tree, personalised snow fall and a chance to get a little visit from the big man himself. Couldn’t ask for more, right ????

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