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Beitostolen ski resort in Norway's Valdres region offers a choice of two ski areas, one with family-focused facilities on gentle slopes adjacent to the resort village, the other a short bus ride away and covering a handful of more challenging runs together with an extensive cross-country ski area.

Overview

The resort of Beitostolen is set in a tranquil spot overlooking Lake Oyangen at the upper northern end of Norway's scenic Valdres Valley, just under 40 km north of the small regional city of Fagernes and around 150 km drive west of Lillehammer. It's an area of lightly wooded modest-height hills and fjord-like lakes, with the more dramatic craggy mountains of the Jotunheimen National Park as a backdrop.

Beitostolen village centre has a handful of basic shops and bars plus a couple of comfortable low-rise hotels, surrounded by suburbs of attractive traditional-style cabins; the central base-area slopes are just across the quiet road that bisects the village.

Beitostolen is marketed as a 'Winter Park' rather than simply a ski resort, its surrounding countryside providing the terrain for a wide range of outdoor pursuits covering the full gamut of snowsports plus plenty of fun and relaxing activities too.

The resort is very family-focused, offering a separate dedicated children's ski zone and an easily accessible beginner/intermediate ski area right on the doorstep, perfect for families wishing to enjoy the slopes together. More experienced skiers and snowboarders also have a choice of a second more challenging ski area, covered on the standard Beitostolen lift pass, just a short ski-bus ride away at Raudalen across the valley.


Ski area

There are two separate downhill ski areas at Beitostolen, both covered on the same lift pass: the family-friendly Beitostolen Ski Centre & Winter Park immediately next to the resort, plus the small but challenging Alpine Ski Centre at Raudalen only 6km away on the steeper mountainside of Gyriklanten (1060m) on the opposite western side of the valley.

The local Beitostolen area covers mainly open and easy slopes that sweep down to the centre of the village, with some slightly steeper terrain housing a few mild red-grade pistes out to the sides; beginners start off in the central zone and can gently work their way up and out to the more testing slopes as their skills and confidence builds.

More experienced skiers and riders will find the terrain here very tame but there is a small snowpark with a basic selection of rails and jumps, and the highest sector of Knause gives access to a dedicated kite-skiing zone on a long plateau above the main slopes.

The separate 'Alpin' area on the craggier terrain above Raudalen is much more suitable for good intermediates, offering tougher red- and black-classified runs only; there are just a couple of pistes off each of the two parallel-running lifts, but there is some scope for off-piste too following fresh snowfalls.

The huge plateau beyond the upper lift terminals is a popular cross-country skiing area and Beitostolen is a host venue for the Cross-Country World Cup and Biathlon World Cup, with a total of 320km of world-class cross-country trails to explore, some of which extend into the Jotunheimen National Park; the circuit closest to the village is floodlit and open until 10pm most nights.


Off the slopes and apres ski

With its emphasis on building its status as a 'Winter Park' destination, Beitostolen offers a wide range of alternative activities aside from the classic snowsports of downhill and cross-country skiing: ski-joering (horse-drawn skiing) is popular here, as is airboarding and snow-rafting, the latter involving riding in an inflatable boat at speed down the slopes - think white-water rafting on snow!

Less unusual fun activities include a tobogganing/sledging run and snowmobile circuits, with special scaled-down machines available for children. Other more sedate ideas include horse-drawn sleigh rides, dog-sled excursions and evening trips into the countryside for a traditional meal in a lavoo, a traditional Norwegian tent similar to a teepee.

Off-slope amenities in Beitostolen village include a handful of small shops, a couple of restaurants, plus the leisure facilities at the centrally located Radisson Blu Hotel, which houses a 25-metre indoor swimming pool, sauna, wellness/beauty spa, fitness suite, and squash court.

Apres ski and nightlife is quite limited and relatively tame, although there are a couple of cosy pubs - Svingen and Arnolds - that have live music and dancing at the weekends. Many guests are content to chill in a quieter hotel lounge bar once their children have nodded off after the fun and excitement of the day.

// HIGHLIGHTS //
Apres Ski
4
Families
7
Lift System
5
Off the slopes
5
Off-piste
2
Resort Charm
5
Ski Area
5
Vertical drop
350m
Altitude range
750–1100m
Parks
1
Resort height
890m
Summit
1100m
Airport
Fagernes
Train station
Gol
beginner
40%
intermediate
40%
expert
20%