Learn to ski with Crystal in Norway
Crystal Ski, the UK’s largest tour operator is reintroducing three top Norwegian resorts to their programme for the 2013/14 ski season.
These holidays are especially well-suited to families and beginners, as you will be able to read in our forthcoming features on skiing in Norway over the next few days.
The three resorts in the new Crystal Ski programme are Geilo, Hemesdal and Beitostølen, as we reported in an earlier story here.
Crystal are also introducing direct flights from Gatwick to the regional airport at Fagernes at the heart of Norway’s winterland region (rather than flying directly to Oslo), thereby providing easier access to some of the nation’s main skiing areas as well as keeping transfer times to a minimum.
Flying into Fagernes is really good news – there’s no hassle at the airport; no waiting for luggage; and those with young families will especially appreciate the swift, easy transfers. It’s just 45 minutes by bus to Beitostølen, up a wide valley with none of the sick-inducing hairpin bends of the Alps! The transfers to Geilo and Hemsedal are a little longer.
If you’re a beginner, there are special excellent-value ‘Learn to Ski’ packages available. These include equipment hire, lift pass and tuition, and you can book them on selected dates. For instance, equipment hire, lift pass and tuition costs just £199 in Geilo (that’s a saving of over £160), for holidays departing on 5 January 2014.
There are also some further special limited offers, including free and reduced kids’ places and ‘2for1’ lift passes for certain dates and destinations.
Crystal’s three Norwegian resorts are small by Alpine standards but each one offers sufficient mileage for a week, and Beitostølen (the smallest of the three resorts) is linked by ski-bus to a second resort Raudalen, with some surprisingly long reds and blacks and even a FIS World Cup run.
Our Content Editor, Teresa Fisher, travelled with Crystal Ski to the ultra-family-friendly resort of Beitostølen (900m-1,176m) earlier this month to investigate. She was accompanied by her two sons. It was their first time to Norway, and they all simply loved it! You can read all about their stay here.
Crystal is also returning to Hemsedal (640-1173m), the biggest ski area in Norway, with a remarkable six-month ski season from November –May, and an excellent snow record. Across its 42 downhill pistes (served by 20 lifts), it offers a huge diversity of terrain, some convenient slope-side lodging and excellent children’s nursery slopes. There are over 200km of marked cross-country tracks and it is also known for its lively après-ski scene.
Geilo, their third resort, is a traditional ‘chocolate-box’ village, with 40 pistes (20 lifts) to suit mainly intermediate and beginner skiers. There are two ski areas, on either side of the valley, connected by ski bus, several snow parks and 220km of cross-country trails. Geilo is also a stone’s-throw from Telemark, the eponymous home of the ‘telemark’ or ‘free-heel’ style of downhill skiing (where, as with cross-country skiing, your ski boot is attached only at the toe).
Admittedly, if your idea of a perfect skiing holiday is clocking up as many kilometres of pistes as possible, all at breakneck speed, Norway might not be for you.
However, if you wish to savour a whole new ‘Nordic’ alpine experience, to enjoy some leisurely family-oriented skiing or perhaps to try your hand at some other snowsports (telemark, cross-country, dog-sledding, etc), in our view, you’d be hard pushed to beat Norway!
To find out more about affordable Norwegian family holidays for the 2013/14 season, contact Crystal Ski on 0871 231 2256 or visit their website.
Other related stories:
Crystal Ski returns to Norway
Affordable skiing in Norway
Learn to Ski with Crystal in Norway
End of season celebrations in Norway
Let there be light
What are the Northern Lights?
World’s largest winter sports week for disabled skiers
Dog-sledding with an ex-Paralympian skier