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We review the welcoming ski resort of Hovden. Hovden is southern Norway's largest ski resort, set in the attractive Setesdal Valley and within easy reach of Oslo.


Overview

Hovden has been offering the classic Scandinavian ski experience since 1968, when the chairlift to the summit of 1183-metre Nos was constructed. Today Hovden Ski Centre has slopes for every level of ability, with some that are floodlit for evening skiing (a boon in the short days of mid-winter).


Ski area

There is a total of 34,2 kilometres of groomed runs, a vertical drop of 420 metres, two four-person express lifts, five ski tows and one two-person lift, all with a capacity is 9000 people an hour.

There's also some very acceptable off-piste skiing to be had; there are regular courses for skiers wishing to learn off-piste skills and these guided adventures for up to six skiers last from one to three days and can be adapted to each group’s needs. For the summit trips (minimum one day) you must have your own randonnée skis or snowshoes.

Boarders will find a decent range of natural kickers and features on the mountain along with some good off-piste options and the "Bukkerittet" terrain park is considered one of the best snowboard parks in Norway with a good range of rails, boxes, big jumps, funboxes and various other jumps.

The LAGG Ski School at the Hovden Ski Centre offers expert instruction for every skill level in alpine skiing, snowboarding, freeride, terrain park and off-piste technique, as well as cross-country skiing.

The Hovden Ski Centre is a modern and well adapted facility for the whole family with a popular children's area "Tusseland" with easy descents, special children's pistes and platter lifts and a magic carpet.

At the bottom of the hill there is a ski carousel as well as a toboggan run and recreation area providing a good view of the pistes, in addition to a kiosk and a small lounge.

Free ski pass are available for children up to and including the age of six if they wear a helmet.


Off slope and apres ski

Non-ski activities include snowshoeing, ice skating and dog sledding over the fells. Hovden is also excellent for ice-climbing. There is also a spa and indoor and outdoor pools at Aqualand.

Dining options include the Hovdehytta Bistro which offers a a la carte menu plus light meals, tapas, daily specials and a separate children's menu; Hovdestøylen Restaurant which is popular for pizza (take away available) and the Wednesday steak evening; the Hovden Mountain Lodge Restaurant which focuses on local food and traditional dishes; and the large and popular Restaurant Snøkrystallen ("Snow Crystal").

The apres-ski scene tends to focus around the Offpiste Bar which has live music every Friday and Saturday and a popular sun terrace.

Other options include the bar at the Hovden Høyfjellshotell which is open every day from 1pm and has great views of Hovden town and the Hovdehytta Bistro
// HIGHLIGHTS //
Apres Ski
6
Families
10
Lift System
8
Off the slopes
8
Off-piste
8
Resort Charm
8
Ski Area
6
Vertical drop
420m
Ski area
34
Parks
1
Resort height
763m
Summit
1183m
Airport
Oslo, Bergen
beginner
29%
intermediate
26%
expert
44%