The ski resort of Geilo in Norway stands 800 metres above sea level, and has one of the highest ski lifts in the world, stretching 3,887 feet. Geilo is positioned three and a half hours from Oslo, and has good road and rail links to the village. Set amidst amazing scenery just off the banks of Fjord, Geilo is at the heart of Norway’s “Winter Wonderland”. Maintaining its reputation as an excellent family resort, Geilo has seen visitors from Europe and beyond since early 1900s. The resort remains unspoilt, with true Norwegian character firmly intact.
The Thon Hotel Vestlia and Thon Hotel Highland are two hotels I have stayed at and can reccommend, but there is also numerous lodging houses, and the famous Holms Ski Bar. Although primarily a ski resort Geilo also offers sleigh rides, wildlife adventure tours, ski orienteering, tobogganing, snow shoe walking, dog-sledging, kite-skiing, night-skiing, snowboarding, freestyle snowboarding and much more.
Geilo’s reputation as one the worlds top skiing resorts lies mainly in its ability to cater for family holidays. With over 10,000 families visiting the slopes each year, Geilo also offers excellent tuition in packages which is referred to as the “Family Starter Pack”. The Family Starter Pack includes tuition for your entire family for a day. This means, that not only can your whole family learn together, but is also means that families with no skiing experience, can go along and after the first day, they will be able to ski on their own.
Geilo has also increased its reputation amongst Snowboarders in recent years beating off Lillehammer, Voss and Hemsedal in its bid to host the Norwegian Snowboarding Championship. With four sides of mountain each dedicated to snowboarding and skiing, Geilo is now able to call itself Norway’s first skiing location to offer 5 runs dedicated to snowboarding. With 110 runs in total, Geilo has 14% expert allowing experienced skiers to enjoy themselves on the slopes too, whilst maintaining the rest of its facilities for intermediates and beginners that account for a larger number of their yearly visitors.
Geilo also offers exceptional value for money with weekly family packages including accommodation, bed and breakfast. The element that stands out the most about Geilo is the way it caters for families, with crèches, family diners, and especially their Christmas bonanza which includes Santa visiting the slopes with his reindeer on Christmas day, and the time leading up to Christmas. Geilo never fails to be fully booked for Christmas so make sure to book early, with so many families choosing to bring their children along to experience Christmas within this winter wonderland.
Although Geilo offers amazing family packages, it would be unfair to say that Geilo is limited to family holidays. Geilo has hosted very serious world sporting events, as well as being the training ground of the Norwegian national snowboarding and skiing teams.
Geilo is available from August/September all the way through to late March and is also considering investing in “Avalanche Technology” which generates snow from water to provide 24/7/365 skiing. If you have never been to Geilo then I would recommend that you give it a go, although the family image may put certain people off visiting the slope I would suggest that checking it out for yourself is the best thing to do. From their website it is clear to see that consistent snowfall, and a good variation in the difficulty of runs, Geilo is a facility that can genuinely cater for everyone; from beginner to professional.
It has many great options for accommodation, and with good travel links as well their really is no excuse for not hoping on a plane and going to Geilo today. With thousands of people on the slopes, from different countries and different backgrounds Geilo is suitable for families and teenagers alike. With well-known DJs playing at local club venues Geilo is also becoming very popular amongst those teenagers who would have previously seen Ibiza as the only place to be seen on holiday.