The Cross-Country Area
The entire cross-country ski network surrounding the Norwegian metropolis of Oslo extends over 2,600 km through the snowbound forests here. Around 90 km of trails are floodlit, allowing cross-country enthusiasts to explore the routes after dark. All trails are regularly groomed, well signposted and free to use. Maps are available in most local bookshops and sport shops as well as from the Norwegian Hiking Association (DNT). Oslo is the perfect destination for combining a city trip with a winter sports holiday. Many access points to cross-country trails are conveniently accessible by subway from the city centre.
The winter sports facilities in Holmenkollen
The beating heart of winter sports within Oslo city limits is the winter sports hub at Holmenkollen, which includes the world-famous ski jumping hill, a biathlon arena as well as a ski museum. Every year, tens of thousands of fans flock here to watch world cup events in ski jumping, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined as well as biathlon.
The Most Beautiful Tracks
One particularly notable trail is the 11 km tour by Sognsvann Lake. This floodlit circular trail offers the opportunity for a warm rest in the Ullevålseter ski lodge after exploring the frozen landscape. In order to reach the starting point, take subway no. 6 from the city centre and alight at Sognsvann station.
Another circular tour starts at the Frognerseteren subway station. From there, you first head towards Tryvann and then on to Skjennungen. The Skjennungstua ski lodge, which is a great place to warm up and take a break along the route, offers some breath-taking views of the surrounding area.
However, the most impressive landscapes are definitely to be had on the 26 km floodlit tour from the Frognerseteren subway station to Sognsvann. Follow the signs to Tryvann and then continue on via the inviting Kobberhaugshytta to the Kikut lodge, both of which offer food and drink. On the way back, skiers cross Sognsvann Lake heading southwards. From the Bjørnholt estate, the trail then leads south east to Rottungen, before passing through Skjersjøen and Ullevålseter and finally reaching Sognsvann station.
- Offering 2236.94 miles cross-country trails, Holmenkollen Oslo is the largest cross-Country skiing area in Norway.
- The cross-Country skiing area takes you to an elevation of 1066 ft.
- Snow coverage is usually best during February, offering an average snow depth of 9 " at summit elevation and 10 " at the base.
Dining along the Tracks
Skiers can choose from over 40 ski and hiking lodges lining the trails here. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a hot drink in front of the open fire in one of these welcoming inns to warm up in the cold weather. The locals generally go for waffles with jam or “Brunost”, a kind of sweet caramel cheese. Tap water is free in all Norwegian inns, though the food is comparatively expensive. As a result, many Norwegians opt for a packed lunch.
Most trails start directly at subway stations and are therefore easy to access from Oslo city centre using only public transport.