News from the snow
Geilo is one of Scandinavia's larger resorts. Located mid-way between Oslo and Bergen in the Upper Hallingal Valley. Known locally as the "Gateway to Norway's Roof", Geilo is situated on the edge of the Hardangervidad Plateau, the largest mountain plateau in Europe with miles of marked and prepared trails. A traditional Norwegian ski adventure would be a week or more on cross country skis, staying at tourist cabins along the way. The resort height at 1175m/3855ft is low in comparison with the Alps but due to its northerly latitude snow is guaranteed here from mid November through until early May. Geilo has been welcoming visitors since 1890, well before the opening of the Bergen Railway in 1909 but it wasn't until 1935 that modern day tourism really started to take off when one of Norway's first slalom races was held here and since then developments have continued. The first chairlift, Geilo Taubane, was installed in 1954 and it was in the 1950's that Geilo's first ski school started. Over the years many international ski competitions have been staged here including the Alpine World Cup in 1986 and 1990. Not surprisingly, with its 220km of cross-country piste the Cross-country Master World Cup was held here in 1993 and the world's largest cross-country ski race, the Skarverennet has been held here no less than 30 times. Set amidst beautiful scenery on the banks of Ustedalen Fiord, Geilo's ski lifts surround the mountain village on one side of the fiord with a second (bus linked) ski area at Geiblia on the other side. The resort is perfect for families with a host of different types of accommodation available, from secluded log cabins and budget self catering chalets to the exclusive five-star Dr Holms Hotel.
One of Scandinavia's larger resorts, Geilo is a modern resort but with a long history, having welcoming visitors since 1890. The village is well spread out with lifts emanating from four different points and slopes on both side of the valley. There is a second (bus linked) ski area at Vestlia.
From Havsdalen its possible to access the highest point in the area , Havsdalshovda which rises up to 1178m and is the only tree free area. From here there are slopes to suit all abilities including a cross-country track. Geilo itself has a good variety of terrain, the runs are not exceptionally long but they are varied with plenty of steep terrain. There is a floodlit slope for night time cross-country.
One uniquely Norwegian dish is reindeer steak which is shipped from the high Arctic to restaurants around the country. Geilo has a wide choice of cafés and restaurants with dining options ranging from traditional Norwegian delicacies to international cuisine and fast food. The Bifferiet is well recommended for great value steaks, including uniquely Norwegian reindeer steaks, while Hallingstuene serve a good selection of traditional specialities.