Learn to cross country ski or develop your skills surrounded by the beauty of Rondane
There is really no better way to experience the tranquility of the Norwegian mountains on your own terms than on cross country skis.
This flexible experience offers a wonderful introduction to the freedom and adventure of cross country skiing. The week features six days of skiing, combining day tours from fixed location with point-to-point days and making it possible for even complete beginners to experience the thrill of a ski tour moving between locations!
If you already have previous experience of cross country skiing, the itinerary offers plenty of options to extend the minimum distances and increase the level of challenge.
Whether you're a complete novice or have previous experience, Rondane offers wonderful skiing and majestic scenery. Photo: MON.
Traditional Norwegian mountain hospitality along the way
During your tour, you will be staying at two traditional mountain lodges:
- Smuksjøseter, a remote and atmospheric lodge inaccessible by road during the winter.
- Putten Seter, once a mountain farm and now a cosy and welcoming lodge.
The mountain lodges are full of character and tradition and will be as much a part of the memories of your stay as the skiing! Photo: MON.
Both offer a traditional Norwegian welcome, with accommodation in comfortable rooms with en-suite bathroom. Sauna is also included - the perfect way to relax and ease those tired muscles after a day in the mountains.
The Norwegians know that food is an important part of any outdoor experience, and there is a focus on hearty, local cuisine throughout the tour. Full board is included, with breakfast and dinner served at the lodges each night, and packed lunch made from the breakfast buffet to maintain your energy levels and keep you smiling through the day!
A day tour to the Per Gynt cabin will be one of the many highlights of the week. Photo: Nature Travels.
Instruction available before your self-guided adventure begins
You can choose an optional instruction session (in the morning of Day 2) to get you on the way to developing your confidence and technique, and the rest of the tour offers the perfect opportunity to work on your skills. For those who would like additional guiding or instruction during the week, guided elements are available to add.
Well-marked trails and manageable daily distances make the wilderness of Rondane accessible even to beginners. Photo: Nature Travels.
You will be skiing on clearly marked trails between the cabins. Day tours can be as challenging or relaxing as you wish, and the minimum skiing distances when skiing point-to-point are very manageable (between 6-8km).
Your luggage is transported between the mountain lodges, so you never need to ski with more than a day pack.
A week filled with variety and adventure
The first "point-to-point" element of your tour takes you from Høvringen, where you collect your equipment, up to Smuksjøseter, minimum distance to ski 6km.
Depending on your travel plans, you can either do this on Day 2 of your tour, after spending a night at Smuksjøseter and having transfer down in the morning to ski back, or on Day 1 when you arrive (see under "Itinerary" for details).
You spend total three nights at Smuksjøseter, with day tour options including a trip to the iconic Per Gynt cabin. You can also choose to take a husky tour to experience the mountains by dogsled (available as optional extra).
A husky tour is an exciting activity to you can add to the week to experience the mountains in a different way. Photo: MON.
You then continue to your second accommodation location at Putten Seter (8km) for the next three nights.
During your time at Putten Seter, you have two days to explore the area as you wish:
- Go for a wonderful day tour (on skis or snowshoes) to the peak of Formokampen (1428m) for spectacular mountain views, either self-guided or with a guide (available as optional extra).
- Plan your own trips on skis or snowshoes in the area.
- Simply spend a relaxing day by the fire at the Lodge and soak up the atmosphere.
Snowshoes are a great alternative option for one of your day tours from the accommodation. Photo: MON.
Easily accessible from Norway's capital
The Rondane area is easy to reach, being just 3-3.5 hours by direct train from Oslo airport - no internal flights required! Transfers between the train station and the start/end points of the tour are included.
Depending your arrival plans and preferences, skiing between Høvringen and Smusksjøseter takes place on either Day 1 or Day 2. See below for details.
Day 1: Arrival
Arrive by train to Otta. Depending on your arrival time and preferences, you can do one of the following:
- Option 1: Have transfer to Smuksjøseter (approx. 45 mins). You will collect your ski equipment at Høvringen on the way so this is available for self-guided tour around the accommodation this day if you wish. Check in to your accommodation and enjoy the atmosphere of the Lodge. This option should be chosen if you are arriving in Otta in the afternoon or if you don't wish to be too active this day. If you wish, you can ski the last part of the distance or be "towed" on skis for a while behind the transfer vehicle.
- Option 2: Have transfer to Høvringen (approx. 30 mins) to collect your ski equipment then ski to Smuksjøseter. This option should be chosen only if you are arriving in Otta by latest mid-morning. Your luggage will be transferred all the way to Smuksjøseter. You should bring a packed lunch with you for the tour.
Check-in to your room at Smuksjøseter is from 15.00. A welcome dinner is served in the evening.
Accommodation: Rooms at Smuksjøseter; Meals: Dinner; Skiing distance: Flexible (Option 1) or min. 6km (Option 2).
Day 2: Ski from Høvringen to Smuksjøseter (or day tour from Smuksjøseter/optional dogsled tour as per Day 3)
Breakfast at the lodge, when you will also make a packed lunch to take with you for the day.
- If you have chosen Option 1 for Day 1, you will be transferred back down to Høvringen (with instruction session there at 10.30 if booked as optional extra) and ski back to Smuksjøseter.
- If you have chosen Option 2 for Day 1, you will do a day ski tour from Smuksjøseter (and can also choose optional dogsled tour as per Day 3).
After your day of skiing, you can warm up by the fire or enjoy a relaxing session in the sauna defore dinner.
Dinner in the evening followed by your second night at Smuksjøseter.
Accommodation: Rooms at Smuksjøseter; Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner; Skiing distance: Flexible (min. 6km if skiing from Høvrningen to Smuksjøseter this day).
When skiing from Høvringen to Smuksjøseter (Day 1 or Day 2):
You will be skiing a short distance along a well-marked trail through the beautiful Rondane mountains to Smuksjøseter.
The minimum distance is 6km, with a height gain of total 130m. This is an ideal way to start your tour, but of course for the more experienced or energetic skiers, there are also plenty of trails in the area to extend the skiing distance if you wish.
Your main luggage will be transported, meaning you only need to ski with a day pack. Bring your packed lunch with you.
The route offers wonderful views over the surrounding mountain ranges of Jotunheimen, Dovre and Rondane.
Day 3: Cross Country Skiing Day Tour to the Per Gynt Cabin (and/or optional dog sledding)
After breakfast, set out for an iconic Norwegian day out - skiing on marked trails to the Per Gynt cabin (4km each way). This route is straightforward to do as a self-guided tour with relatively flat terrain, or you can also hire a guide, both for additional tips on improving your ski technique during the day and to tell you more about the area with its rich natural and cultural heritage.
The Per Gynt cabin makes for a wonderful day tour and, when open, serves waffles which are famous far and wide!
Return to Smuksjøseter for sauna and dinner.
Another wonderful activity option for today (or Day 2 if you have skied to Smuskjøseter Day 1) is to choose a dogsled tour. The huskies will meet you at the lodge for a 3-hour experience sledding in the surrounding mountains (two persons per sled).
Accommodation: Rooms at Smuksjøseter; Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner; Skiing distance: Flexible (min. 8km if going to Peer Gynt cabin).
Day 4: Cross Country Skiing from Smuksjøseter to Putten Seter
After breakfast, you ski to your second accommodation at Putten Seter, where you will spend the next three nights.
With the Rondane massif as a backdrop, the route today is 8km, with around 260m elevation gain. Novices should find that by now there's a noticeable improvement in your skiing technique and you'll be gliding along more efficiently than at the start of the week!
Putten Seter is an atmospheric spot, a former family farm now converted to a mountain lodge. Try some of their sour cream waffles on arrival to replenish your energy levels!
Dinner in the evening.
Accommodation: Rooms at Putten Seter; Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner; Skiing distance: Flexible (min. 8km).
Day 5 and/or Day 6: Peak tour to Formokampen or flexible tour days/rest days
You have two days to spend at Putten Seter, when you have the choice of an adventurous day tour or to take things as easy as you wish.
The peak of Formokampen (1428m) makes a wonderful day tour from Putten Seter. This can be done either one skis or, if you'd like a change for today, on snowshoes (available as optional extra).
Total distance is around 8km (2 x 4km) and the peak offers spectacular panoramic mountain views. From here you can see Norway's highest mountains, Galhøpiggen and Glittertinden. This tour can be done self-guided, or you can also hire a guide.
Alternatively, relax for the day and enjoy the hospitality and atmosphere of the lodge, or take a shorter ski or snowshoe tour in the surrounding area.
Accommodation: Rooms at Putten Seter; Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner; Skiing/snowshoeing distance: Flexible (min. 8km if doing Formokampen peak tour).
Day 7: Cross Country Skiing from Putten Seter to Høvringen and departure
Your last day of skiing brings you back to your start point at Høvringen, skiing on marked tracks down from the mountains (distance 6.3km, height difference 130m).
At Høvringen, return your ski equipment before transfer to Otta train station (approx. 30 mins) for onward travel.
Accommodation: None; Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch; Skiing distance: 6.3km.
Dates & Prices»
Start days flexible by arrangement from 6th February to latest start 14th April 2024.
|Per adult (based on 2 persons sharing)||GBP|
|Supplement for single occupancy (per adult)||GBP|
|Per child under 16 (sharing room with 2 adults)||GBP|
NB: Ski equipment is not included - see "Optional extras" below.
|Optional extras (see description below)|
|Cross country ski equipment (skis, boots and poles)/person/week||GBP|
|Instruction lesson (Day 2)/person||GBP|
|Guiding (pay locally)||From NOK|
|Dogsled tour/person (min. 2 persons)||GBP|
- Ski equipment (skis, boots and poles): Choose between backcountry mountain skis (which are slightly broader and shorter, with steel edges) or classic cross country skis (please specify preference and sizes on booking). You will collect your equipment on arrival on Day 1 and return on Day 7 at the end of your tour. Skis used are normally from Åsnes.
- Instruction lesson (Day 2): Recommended for novice skiers or those wishing to refresh their skills. Instruction takes place at Høvringen at 10.30 on Day 2 and takes approx. 50 minutes.
- Guiding: Booked in advance but paid locally on arrival. Possible during your days at Smuksjøseter or Putten Seter, subject to availability. Price given is minimum cost for guide services. Please contact us to confirm price for your chosen options. Please specify when booking which day(s) you would like guiding. This tour is self-guided and no guiding is required, but you may wish to choose to have guided elements for one or more days during the tour and arrangements are flexible (subject to availability). Hiring a guide is an ideal way to give you greater confidence for your tour, to improve your technique and also to learn more about the area. Days for which you may like to hire a guide are:
- Day 3 (for day trip to Per Gynt cabin)
- Day 5 or 6 (for day trip to peak of Formokampen)
- Day 4 (when skiing between overnight locations)
- Snowshoes: An alternative to use for day tours while at Smuksjøseter (for day tour to Per Gynt cabin) and/or Putten Seter (for the peak tour to Formokampen). Please specify date(s) required on booking. NB: Boots are not included or available to hire, but if you do not have your own winter boots suitable for use with snowshoes, it is also possible to use snowshoes with the boots provided as part of hired ski equipment if you are hiring skis for your tour.
- Dogsled tour: This 3-hour husky adventure is a perfect extra day activity during your time at Smuksjøseter on Day 3 (or Day 2 if you have skied to Smuskøseter Day 1). Minimum 2 persons required. Exact arrangements depend on the number of persons in the group, but for a tour with two persons, the guide will drive a larger sled at the front with one guest as passenger, and the second guest will drive own dogsled with smaller team behind, with an opportunity to change driver/passenger roles during the tour.
What's Included »
- Days 1-3: Accommodation in 2-person rooms at Smuksjøseter.
- Days 4-6: Accommodation in 2-person rooms at Putten Seter.
- Both accommodation locations have sauna (free to use) and all rooms have en-suite WC/shower. Bedding and towels provided.
Mountain lodge accommodation during the tour. Photos: MON/Nature Travels.
All meals from dinner Day 1 to lunch Day 7. Lunch is packed lunch prepared from breakfast buffet. Thermos is provided.
Additional snacks and light meals are also available to purchase at the accommodation.
- Ski touring map and information for self-guided day tours from the accommodation and when moving between overnight locations.
- Local transfers on arrival and departure between Otta train station and start/end points of the tour as per itinerary.
- Transfer from Smuksjøseter back to Høvringen on Day 2 if required (if not skiing this sesction on Day 1).
- Transfer of main luggage when changing overnight locations.
"Snow-cat" for transfer between Høvringen and Smuksjøseter. Photo: Nature Travels.
- Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey. See under "Getting There" for general travel information.
- Instruction/Guiding (available to add as optional extra - see itinerary for details):
- Introductory instruction session on morning of Day 1 or Day 2.
- Additional guiding/instruction during the week.
- Ski equipment (available to hire as optional extra).
- Snowshoe equipment (available to hire as optional extra if required).
- Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase locally).
Good To Know »
Guests should have general good health and fitness and be used to the outdoors. Some previous experience of skiing (e.g. downhill) or other winter activities is an advantage but is not essential.
No previous experience of cross country skiing is required. This tour is ideal for beginners wishing to learn cross country skiing. Guests with previous experience can extend the minimum distance and level of challenge with additional tours in the area.
Recommended minimum age 12 (for children of active families who are used to the outdoors - children under 16 are recommended to have some previous experience of skiing and winter activities and you should be confident that your children will enjoy an experience of this kind).
What makes this "Medium"?
Minimum skiing distances are short, and the itinerary offers flexibility to further reduce the level of challenge (by choosing optional transfer to Smuksjøster on Day 3 and taking a rest day on Day 6) if required.
Trails are well-marked and main luggage is transferred between overnight locations. Accommodation is comfortable with modern facilities.
As a self-guided tour, guests should have some independence and general confidence in the outdoors. This tour takes place in a remote area and weather conditions in the mountains can be changeable.
NB: Perception of difficulty is very subjective. What is hard to one person may be easy for another and vice versa, depending on factors including level of fitness, age and previous experience. Weather conditions/temperatures can also dramatically affect the actual level of challenge encountered.
For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "What's Included".
A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.
NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.
Preparing for your trip:
For further reading, we also have a number of general information articles to get you ready for your trip, covering a wide variety of topics from what to do on a city break before/after your tour, advice on packing, eyewear for winter and considerations for female travellers.
As a self-guided tour, minimum 2 adults are required for safety reasons.
This experience is ideal for groups - please contact us to discuss your requirements.
This provider has a written environmental policy. Accommodation during the tour is traditional, small scale and family owned.
Getting There »
See below for a summary of travel options. To learn more about how to travel to this experience, please get in touch!
Detailed information on travel will be provided in response to your enquiry. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.
NB: Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.
Fly to Oslo for direct train (3-3.5 hours) to Otta, from where transfer to/from the start/end point (approx. 30 mins) is included.