Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Lillehammer?
Why visit Lillehammer for adventure?
Without the 1994 Winter Olympics Lillehammer might not even be on the map. It’s a small, cosy Norwegian town of approximately 25,000 inhabitants, two hours by train from Oslo’s main airport Gardermoen.
Today Lillehammer is a home and holiday destination for families, adrenaline junkies and weekend warriors in search of adventure on land, snow and water. With most activities easily accessible by public transport. As there are activities for all seasons and budgets, Lillehammer is the perfect hub for outdoor adventures, all through the year!
Outdoor Activities in Lillehammer
Making the most of SNOW
Lillehammer is the town of not one or two, but five ski resorts, all accessible with one single ski lift pass. The mountains here are not tall and angular like the Alps, but they have their own charm without the crowds of the Central European resorts. If travelling long distance is more your thing, there are hundreds and then again hundreds of kilometres of cross-country ski tracks criss-crossing the mountain plateau.
Getting to the ski resorts
The most convenient of the ski resorts to public transport is Hafjell, just 15 kilometres north from Lillehammer. Regular shuttle buses from Lillehammer run to the ski centre every hour. Cross-country skiers can take the gondola up to the top of the ski hill for access to the Nordic-skiing tracks, or the free Hafjell shuttle bus straight to the mountain plateau.
In the summer the ski resort turns in to a downhill bike park, which has hosted the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.
One day ski pass / adult: 370 NOK (approx. 50€)
Return on gondola / adult: 90 NOK (approx. 12€)
Find out more information about the five Lillehammer ski resorts on the Lillehammer tourism website, and check out also the Hafjell ski centre’s website for the latest news on the snow conditions. If you are up for some speedy biking, head over to the Hafjell Bikepark’s site.
Hiking in Lillehammer
If the Norwegian prices are making you cringe, the best, and one of the cheapest adventure activities to do in Lillehammer, is to pack your backpack and head to the mountains by foot.
Your accommodation doesn’t need to cost a penny either. According to the “Right of Access” also known as everyman’s rights, in Norway everyone has the unrestricted right of free access to the countryside. This means that you can pitch your tent anywhere for a night, as long as it is at least 150 meters from the nearest house or cabin, and not on a cultivated field or a lay-by.
Getting to the mountains
There are many alternative locations to start your hike from and it all depends on what you are planning to do. Getting to Hafjell and taking the gondola up to the top is one of the available options.
FREE! With priceless views.
DNT, The Norwegian Trekking Association has tons of route suggestions and information on their website.
Getting wet on the WATER
For kayakers, Norway is a paradise. While there are some local white water runs very close to Lillehammer, the better destination for experienced kayakers, and for those wanting to try out either kayaking or rafting is the Sjoa valley, just 100 kilometres north from Lillehammer.
Getting to the rivers
To get to the village of Sjoa, you can catch a bus from Lillehammer to the petrol station in the village. Alternatively, a train to the nearby town of Otta is also a good option. Both options take about 1,5 hours.
Kayaking with own equipment – FREE!
Rafting from 750 NOK (approx. 100€) per person.
Beginner’s 1-day kayaking courses from 1200 NOK (approx. 160€) per person.
There are several rafting companies in the Sjoa valley of which the largest ones are Sjoa Rafting and Heidal Rafting. Both companies also offer accommodation. For white water kayaking courses visit Sjoa Kajakksenter.
Best time of the year to visit Lillehammer for adventure?
It all depends on what you want to do. For snow-based activities the most reliable snow conditions are from January to March, but this winter we were already skiing in the end of October. For hiking and kayaking the season starts when the snow starts melting, but when it comes to the weather, June-August tends to be the most settled.
Alternatively you could do as us, and move to Lillehammer for all year around access to adventure!
Finally, the reason I love Lillehammer for adventure is because…
There is something to do in all seasons. For sure, in the dark autumn months before the arrival of snow I’d often rather head to warmer destinations, but still, you can easily hit the outdoors even then.
Originally from Finland, I’m an eternal nomad who couple of years a go got happily stuck in Norway after testing out the waters and what it would be like to live around Europe and the States. With a job in the travel industry and the passion to travel at all opportunities, I do get around and out of the country regularly, most of the time trying to smuggle skis, snowboard, kayak or a mountain bike on a plane.
Tips For Unwinding While Travelling
People often don’t get the most out of their travelling experiences, and often the reason is a surprising one. People slam themselves with unrealistic schedules and try to do too much in too short of a time, and this winds up deteriorating the quality of the experiences that you want to have. So we have come up with a quick little guide with the help of our friends to help you get that needed decompression on your vacation:
Here are three key ways to savor that vacation many times more than you normally would just by running like a chicken with its head recently cut off. Note that all of them require time, and while time is precious, that’s actually why it’s that much more important to use it wisely.
Stay Inside For One Day:
Believe it or not, you don’t have to spend every waking moment of every vacation out there tramping around checking items off of a list. Whether you realize it or not, this is a lot like work, and can be very stressful.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a day to do next to nothing. Casinos online are an excellent way to pass the time in a fun fashion, or any other sort of game that catches your fancy. Also, get your food ordered in for once. Get a reset. The rest of your vacation will be 1000% better.
Treat Yourself to a Nice Meal:
Go out and find the restaurant wherever you are where you most want to go. If you’re in a group, vote on it, but make sure everybody’s happy to go there. If you’re alone, this is that much easier. Either way, pick an excellent restaurant. Go there and absolutely take your time, meaning don’t even think about leaving that place less than 2 hours after you’ve gone in. Enjoy every aspect of the meal slowly, contemplating the ambience and the flavors of what you are eating. It’s a small thing, but it’s a big thing at the same time.
Watch The Sun Rise or Set:
This is especially something to do if you can find a great lookout point. One thing that really works is to go to the lookout point, and just chill with a camera, even your phone’s camera, and take pictures every 5 minutes or so and document the sun going up or down until it’s done.
It’s incredibly relaxing, and you will take with you a serious series of souvenirs that are eminently shareable with friends and loved ones. You can even turn the whole thing into one big time-lapse photo. And the act of calmly and quietly observing one’s environment is in and of itself so relaxing and rewarding in surprising ways.
Tips For Hitting The Orlando Area For Holidays
Planning on visiting the famous theme parks in and around Orlando soon? This is definitely something everyone should do at least once in their lifetimes, whether as a couple, with the whole family, or even solo. Here are some pro tips to make the experience the absolute best one possible:
Don’t Leave Anything for the Last Minute:
You have to understand that this is an extremely popular destination for tourists, so much so that if you don’t have things planned out beforehand, you could be shut out of a lot of things you actually wanted to see, because they actually fill up to capacity well in advance sometimes. Especially, make very sure to get your theme park tickets before you go. Doing so will save you so much potential headache and stress.
Think Carefully about When You Want to Go:
Orlando is in a particularly hot and humid part of this Earth, but it’s not that way all year round.
If your schedule permits, you may want to consider going during March and April. This is a great time because the summer heat hasn’t started slamming the area yet, and because it’s still during the school year, the place isn’t packed with tourists.
The second best time of the year to go would be September and October. The temperatures will be roughly the same as in March and April, and prices will be even lower and crowds even less. The one caveat is that this is technically in the middle of Florida’s hurricane season, and while Orlando is quite a ways inland, there still exists some risk, albeit a minor one.
November through the beginning of March is an excellent time to go for weather (although as of this writing it went below freezing in Orlando for the first time in 30 years, this is a very rare event; usually things in Orlando are quite balmy, even in the absolute dead of winter). The problem with this time of year is that a lot of people are on vacation, especially during Christmas break, Presidents’ Week, and Spring Break. This means crowds and marked-up prices everywhere.
Lastly is the summer. Unless you are a gecko or an iguana, you probably won’t like Orlando in the summer very much, as the heat and especially the humidity go practically off the charts. If all people concerned are very cold-blooded, this may be an option for you. The other downside is that people tend to come here despite the heat in the summer because that’s when their kids have their summer break from school.
What is Your Dream Vacation When You Have Won the Lottery?
For everyone that buys a ticket for a lottery draw anywhere in the world, the dream is always to win and win big. We all have things we would buy and stuff we want to do when we won the lottery and among that list is to take a dream vacation. But what are the types of dream vacation you could enjoy with all those millions in the bank?
Ultimate safari in Africa
Africa is the second largest continent in the world and takes up a massive 22% of the planet. That means there is a lot to see across it and the ultimate safari would include the most important sights. From scaling Mount Kilimanjaro to seeing Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World there are so many things to do. You can visit one of the oldest prehistoric sites in Olduvai Gorge or the larger unbroken volcanic caldera at Ngorongoro Crater. Then there’s the wildlife – elephants, giraffe, lions and so much more to see during the 29 day private tour across Southern Africa.
Jet tours with National Geographic
If you want to see the most amazing natural wonders, there’s no-one better to do it with than National Geographic experts and this is something you can do for just around $80,000 a person. This 24 day adventure takes you from the Iguacu Falls in Brazil to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to Easter Island and lets you see the most amazing places in the world while learning about them from the ultimate experts.
Luxury Antarctica Cruise
For the adventure fans, there’s nowhere more fascinating that Antarctica and a luxury tour of the frozen continent is a great way to see the most amazing sights while still enjoying all the best conveniences. Spot the penguins and elephant seals who are unafraid of human visitors while seeing the amazing icebergs floating through the glasslike seas.
Silk Road private train
The Silk Road is associated with some of the most famous figures and events in history from Alexander the Great to Marco Polo. Now you can take a private train and explore the 4000-mile length of the ‘road’. Stop at historic spots, see amazing modern towns and villages and enjoy the amazing scenery while recreating a route that brought many of the luxuries we take for granted today from the Far East in the first place.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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