Kids on Skis
Dog Sled
Horse Kiss!
Winter Family Adventure
Sledging: Venabu
Rondane Panorama
Winter Family Adventure: Sleigh ride

Family Winter Adventure: Norway


Family Winter Adventure

Our multi-activity holiday is for active families who want to enjoy a winter experience, from husky dog sledding to cross-country skiing.

Based in a family run hotel on the edge of the Rondane National Park with views to the mountains, Venabu is the perfect location to learn how to cross-country ski. We only run trips with small groups ensuring maximum fun & progress. Our family run hotel is something of a legend in Norwegian 'ski lore' offering skiing right from the hotel door.

As well as cross-country skiing you can enjoy a whole range of other winter activities. Experience a winter walk on snowshoes. Learn all about how to drive a team of sled dogs, race on the sledding hill and relax with a horse sleigh ride to a traditional wooden cabin or 'lavvu' with open fire.

Our trips run at New Year and Easter to benefit from the school holidays, while also introducing you to the seasonal celebrations in Norway. Find out how the Norwegians do things! For example on New Year you can enjoy the local concert in a mountain chapel, torch lit parade and celebration dinner while at Easter there is a large egg hunt and family quiz. 

WARNING - PARENTS: Be prepared to adopt the Norwegian way of doing things and 'relax'. This is without doubt a great week for unwinding!

Highlights

  • Learn to cross country ski with a BASI Nordic Ski School
  • Experience a winter wonderland on snowshoes
  • Learn all about husky dogs and join them on a ride
  • Horse sleigh tour to a traditional 'lavvu' with open fire
  • Two family yoga sessions
  • Unlimited time on the sledging hill!
  • Celebrate New Year Eve's or magical Easter in this special place
  • All meals included; breakfast, packed lunch and dinner. Free teas and coffees all day.
  • All equipment included; sledges, snowshoes, ski rental & grip waxes
  • No ski pass payment required, the tracks are free
  • Eco-friendly award winning 'sustainable' hotel
  • Bus transfer from Oslo to Ringebu on arrival day
  • Optional activities: sauna, gym, swimming, massage, board games, table football, pool, shuffleboard & darts
The trip offers top quality cross-country ski instruction which will have you gliding in style through a winter wonderland. Our hotel is situated in the middle of the Venabygdsfjell plateau, a snow-sure area with fantastic nature, a stable climate, great skiing trails and a range of other winter activities on offer. The perfect base! As an added bonus, there is sometimes a herd of reindeer in the vicinity, which adds to the wonderful Arctic ambiance of these wild mountains.

An excellent introduction into Nordic skiing. Clear instruction, a lovely hotel, great food and fantastic scenery.

- Chris UK Feb 2023

The trip was totally enjoyable, the group gelled from the moment we all met. The views were superb and our guide, Ewen, led us on some brilliant tours whilst giving expert tuition. The accommodation was excellent with a very friendly and homely atmosphere. The food was also excellent. It's hard to pick one particular "best" moment but trekking over a frozen lake has to be up there.

- Fran, UK - March 22

Enjoyed the experience of learning new things with a group of amazing people and from a brilliant instructor. The accommodation felt so relaxed and welcoming it was home from home. We could see the high quality and high level of care and attention that tracks and trails offer versus their competition and I was so happy to have booked with you.

- Gillian, UK - Feb 22

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. I do like smaller local hotels with character. For me a perfect hotel. My good intentions went out the window as soon as I saw the food. Loved it, especially the fish, oh yes and deserts! Adored the Venabu area and took to waxed metal edged skis really well. 

- Alan. England, 2019

Itinerary

  • Today you arrive at in Norway and take the train north to Ringebu where you will be met at the railway station. The train journey offers great views of the Norwegian countryside, and it is not uncommon to see elk foraging in the woods beside the train tracks. The trains are modern and comfortable and have drinks facilities and free wifi. This evening your host will greet you at your hotel and the evening meal will be at 1830hrs. With regard to your travel plans refer to the Arrival & Departure section which is under 'Trip Information'. 

  • You will begin every morning with a leisurely Norwegian buffet style breakfast. You can eat as much, or as little as you would like to fuel your energy levels for the adventure ahead. Today after breakfast you will meet your host at Venabu when they will run through the plan for the week. First up will be a fun activity in the snow to help your family to get used to the white conditions and Norwegian winter temperatures.
     
    We then get ready for our first activity, a guided winter walk on snowshoes. If you've ever wanted to wander the forests and mountains in winter with snow crystals sparkling around your feet, taking in stunning views of wild open spaces and mountains then you will love our introduction to snowshoeing. Our walk will take you around to a view point and lunch spot where we will have an outdoor picnic.
     
    In this first afternoon you can then enjoy stretching and relaxing with the first of two family yoga classes followed by afternoon tea. Each day we have built in time in the afternoon to relax and use the other hotel facilities such as the sauna. The evening meal is served around 1830hrs. 
     
  • After breakfast today we meet with our host then head for the ski room to prepare for our day. With our skis ready for action we head for the snow once more for a morning of fun and learning on prepared ski tracks around the stunning landscape of Venabu.

    Our ski teachers know that we all learn at different speeds and it is our job to ensure that everyone makes the most of their week and progresses at their individual pace. Each ski day can be adapted to different levels of 'new to nordic' skier.

    Our instructor will lead you through achievable exercises introducing you to the art of 'classic style' cross country skiing, what we call 'diagonal stride'. Over the course of your three ski sessions we aim to give your family the confidence to progress on short tours from our hotel. 

    In the afternoon it's time to wrap up warm and head for a truly magical experience - a horse drawn sleigh-ride. Our destination is a traditional mountain cabin or 'lavvu' where we find an open fire to cook an afternoon treat.

    After dinner this evening we meet with our very own Musher (the person who drives the dog team) for a talk about dog-sledding. Mushers are also called 'drivers' and have often spent many years acquiring the art of controlling an excitable a dog team. Be prepared to learn the terms and driving language in preparation for tomorrow's dog sled ride.

  • Today is our second lesson of cross-country or 'nordic' skiing. No matter your age you can still master this original form of skiing. The word 'ski' is Norwegian and comes from the Old Norse word 'skid', which was a split length of wood. Cross-country skis are slender, lightweight and easy to use. For centuries in the Nordic countries, skis were for travelling in winter to enable hunting, and to keep contact between communities. On this trip you will learn the basic 'classic' technique on flat or slightly undulating ground so that you can propel yourself across the snow. Once mastered we will progress to longer journeys at a pace that is right for you.
     
    In the afternoon - let's go mushing! Traditionally, “mush” was a phrase used to order a team of dogs to start moving. It originated in France from the word “marche” which means to walk or move. “Marche” then developed to “mush” in English. The origins date back to ancient times when dog sledding was the only means of transport for moving from one country or region to another, but also for delivering mail and goods. Join the Musher and travel on a sled with a team of Nordic bred dogs, learn the voice commands which the animals recognise so that they can adapt their behaviour and pace whilst you tour across the winter landscape.
     
    In the afternoon we will provide a minibus transfer to take you to the nearest swimming pool (this is an optional extra). Alternatively you can enjoy relaxing in the hotel lounge by the fire, or experience the sauna.
  • Today you will meet our host for a Nordic style treasure hunt. Follow a map and find the clues for our festive New Year or Easter egg hunt depending on which week you have booked. Then at midday it's time for our second family yoga session. Time to stretch out and relax whilst also challenging yourself with a series of restorative poses. If you still have energy there's time today for self-ski practice, sledging time or more restful activities: such as relaxing in the sauna, booking a massage or hotel games.
     
    During our New Year Week we then join Venabu’s typical New Year’s Eve celebration where we attend a concert in the mountain chapel and enjoy a celebration dinner. At Easter we have a celebration dinner and family quiz.
  • Today we plan to put all our ski skills into practice and make a longer tour that can be adapted to suit everyone's level. The main trails are flat or gently undulating, and are the perfect training ground for beginner and improver skiers. There will be plenty of opportunities for learning new skills or practising along the way. Our instructors aim to ensure that you progress each day at 'your' level while maximising your enjoyment of the activity.
     
    If the weather is good we will take a picnic lunch with us, and if it is chilly we may opt to enjoy lunch in the hotel lounge, where you can take advantage of the free teas and coffees. If you feel the need for extra energy for the afternoon ski you might indulge in the traditional Norwegian waffle, with jam and cream. 
     
    After lunch you have free time as a family to choose what you'd like to do. You may want to head out for more fresh air and ski time, and if that is the case we have a leisurely few hours so you can put everything learned into practice.  But you may simply prefer to go to the hotel sledging hill or jump into the pool! Your host will join you this evening for a final farewell meal.
  • Today we say goodbye to your Venabu host and  you will transfer from your hotel to Ringebu station for the train journey home. Many of our guests opt to spend an extra night in Oslo to enjoy this cosmopolitan city. You could, of course, choose to begin with a night in Oslo at the start of your journey.

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment. 

Accommodation

We aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, characterful, family run accommodation. In most cases we have known the management for many years, and it’s like visiting old friends.

The trip fee is based on a family room, or double room with an extra bed in the room. If you are travelling on your own your booking will be based on a twin bedroom sharing with someone of the same gender. All rooms are en suite with shower, and toilet, and are non-smoking. 

Single rooms are available on request, but will incur a supplementary fee. We recommend booking as early as possible to secure a single room as these are always limited in number. Please contact us for details.

Your accommodation will be at the Venabu Fjellhotel which is built in the typical Norwegian style, are family-run and enjoy a very relaxed and hospitable atmosphere. Venabu Fjellhotel is now Eco Certified, receiving an award from the Norwegian Government which recognises the work the hotel is doing to towards becoming a sustainable destination. 

The food is excellent and there is always a good selection of vegetables, salad and vegetarian options. We have opted for ‘self-made’ packed lunches everyday so we have complete flexibility with plans for our day; lunches are made from the breakfast buffet, in the Norwegian tradition – a chance to experiment with all sorts of tasty sandwich fillings!

Venabu Fjellhotel

Hotel

Venabu always captures the hearts of those who stay there. It is a simple hotel built in typical Norwegian style, family-run and with a very relaxed and hospitable atmosphere. It is without doubt the 'atmosphere' at Venabu that our guests love. A true cross country ski hotel where everyone 'lives and breathes' Nordic skiing. The meals are a highlight of the week, copious Norwegian style meals for both breakfast and dinner. Venabu is now Eco Certified, receiving an award from the Norwegian Government which recognises the work the hotel is doing to towards becoming a sustainable destination. 

Facilities include a superb dining room, with views to the Rondane Mountains, a bar, saunas, dedicated space for yoga/pilates classes, a fitness room, and TV lounge. There is also a large ski waxing room with ski hire and shop, as well as a souvenir shop. All rooms are en suite with shower, and toilet and are non-smoking.

Rooms at the Venabu Fjellhotel come in two categories with the East Wing being the standard rooms (included in our price) or rooms in the newer West Wing which are larger, but normally have twin beds rather than a double bed. If you are interested in upgrading, for which there will be a supplementary fee, then do contact us for prices. 


  • Norway is easily reached with various international airlines offering direct flights from the UK and elsewhere in Europe to Oslo Gardermoen airport. Flights can also be taken to Torp airport, but please note you will need to allow enough time to transfer to Oslo Gardermoen for your train journey north.

    The train station at Oslo Gardermoen is located inside the airport terminal and is just a few minutes from the arrivals area. It makes connecting to your train for your journey to Ringebu very easy. On your arrival day a transfer from Ringebu train station to your hotel is included in your trip cost, and also from your hotel back to Ringebu on your departure day. 

    Arriving

     
    If travelling by train then you will need a ticket from Oslo to Ringebu where you will meet a private taxi car/ small bus to take you to Venabu (this taxi is included in the trip price). The train journey is a delight in itself offering great views of the Norwegian countryside. The trains are modern, comfortable, have drinks facilities, and free wifi.
     
    All train timetables are published just 3 months in advance. Tickets are easily purchased on line at Vy.no and if you book in advance there is a considerable discount. You can choose to collect tickets on the train or have them sent to your phone which makes taking the train north very easy.  The taxi transfer, from Ringebu station to the hotel which is include in your trip fee, corresponds with the 1429 hrs train from Oslo Gardermoen (Lufthavn) airport to Ringebu, arriving at Ringebu at 1654 hrs.
     
    Note: In summer 2023 the railway bridge at Ringebu was destroyed by floods, and the train for the section north of Lillehammer to Ringebu is now replaced by a bus service. Until further notice there are no trains travelling north of Lillehammer. So at Lillehammer you will transfer to a bus for the remainder of your journey to Ringebu, at which point you will be collected by the hotel. It is crucial that you book your ticket (which will include the section by bus) as soon as they are available. The buses replacing the train are very busy.
     

    Departing

    Trains are expected to depart Ringebu at 0629 hrs, arriving at Oslo airport at 0901hrs, and a second train leaving Ringebu at 1209 hrs, arriving at 1432 hrs. A transfer to the train leaving at 1209 hrs is included in your trip fee.

    The return airport bus leaves Venabu every Saturday at 0915hrs from hotel and aims to be at the airport by 1300 hrs. The return journey is a supplementary cost of £55.

    Please ensure you book your ticket as the trains can be fully booked and you will not be permitted to travel.

    Please check all travel arrangements with us before you book your flights and trains. You can, of course, take alternative trains both on the arrival and departure days, but this may incur a small supplement if it requires a special journey by the hotel taxi and is out with the hours of the group transfer.

  • When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:

    Mountain Rescue Insurance

    It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.

    Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance

    You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.

    COVID-19 Insurance

    As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.

    Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.

    All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions

    If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • Winter temperatures in Scandinavia are 'according to the locals' warmer in recent years than previously which is why we now run trips in the months of January, and February, as well as March and April. Even in January when the daylight hours are short we find that we have more than enough time for skiing. We have never yet had guests feeling they were losing out in terms of ski hours by booking in January or February. There is a special pleasure to starting your ski day in the sunrise, and skiing back with the sunset. 

    Historically temperatures in December have averaged -8°Celsius (17.4°F), in January -9.7°Celsius (14.5°F), in February -9.2°Celsius (15.4°F), in March -6.6°Celsius (20.1°F), and in April -2.3°Celsius (27.9°). 

    We have found over the years that these temperatures have not been unpleasant nor have any guests had problems dealing with the weather as it is generally a 'dry' cold, and of course this helps create great snow and therefore great ski tracks. If we do experience a cold snap where temperatures drop then we ensure that everyone is appropriately clothed and kitted out for the ski day. In this respect energy snacks and a thermos with a hot drink are a great comfort! 

  • King Bore - 'King of Winter' from Nordic mythology says he can't promise anything, but in Venabu they begin to prepare the tracks as soon as they have enough snow in December and continue until mid-April or after Easter. Venabu has a good reputation as a 'snow sure' venue, and we have found that to be true. It offers 140 kms ( 87.5 miles) of prepared trails in varied mountain terrain, with summits up to 1400m (4592ft).

  • Your instructor will help you organise your skis at Venabu. We use 'classic' style cross country track skis for this trip. You can choose to bring your own, however, do check with us first to ensure they are suitable and the correct type of ski and boot.

    At Venabu we do things the Norwegian way, and our hire skis from the hotel are all fitted with NNN bindings (New Nordic Norm Bindings) and are 'waxing' skis with metal edges which are more effective for snowploughing and control of speed. This is a great opportunity to learn the art of 'waxing' and your instructor will provide daily waxing sessions to ensure you get the best out of the skis. Grip waxes are the traditional way of travelling on skis, and give greater glide than 'fishscales'. Your Instructor will explain anything you need to know.

    Please make a note of your equipment hire on our booking form. We will need to know your height, weight, normal shoe size (your everyday shoe size and not your personal adjustment for wearing boots) and the measurement of your height from the floor up to your armpits for ski pole hire.  

    There is no charge for the ski hire nor the use of the ski tracks in Norway, and therefore no ski pass is required.

  • Your safety while skiing is our top priority. All skiers are requested to adhere to the Code of Conduct published by the International Ski Federation, or FIS. The aim is to make you, the skier, aware of how to avoid risks, take responsibility and act thoughtfully while on the cross-country ski tracks. 

    • Respect for others
      A cross-country skier must ski in such a manner that he/she does not endanger or
      prejudice others.
    • Respect for signs, direction and running style
      Trail marking signs must be respected on any trail marked with an indicated
      direction. A skier shall proceed only in that indicated direction and ski in the
      indicated running style.
    • Choice of trails and tracks
      On cross-country trails with more than one packed track, a skier should choose
      the right-hand track. Skiers in groups must keep in the right track behind each other. With free
      running style, skiers shall keep to their right-hand-side of the trail.
    • Overtaking
      A skier is permitted to overtake and pass another skier to the left or right. A skier ahead is not obliged to give way to an overtaking skier, but should allow a faster skier to pass whenever this is possible.
    • Encounter
      Cross-country skiers meeting while skiing opposite directions shall keep to their
      right. A descending skier has priority.
    • Poles
      A cross-country skier shall make the utmost effort to keep his poles close to his/her
      body when near another skier.
    • Control of speed
      A cross-country skier, and especially going downhill, shall always adapt his/her
      speed to personal ability and to the prevailing terrain and visibility and to the
      traffic on the course. Every skier should keep a safe distance from the skiers ahead. As a last resort, an intentional fall should be used to avoid collision.
    • Keeping trails and tracks clear
      A skier who stops must leave the trail. In the case of a fall, he/she shall clear the trail
      without delay.
    • Accident
      In case of an accident, everyone should render assistance.
    • Identification
      Everybody at an accident, whether witnesses, responsible parties or not, must
      establish their identity. 
  • When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you will encounter and accommodation you will be staying in. 

    You require clothing that allows freedom of movement, and mobility. Warm leggings or trousers that are made of a stretch fabric are best. Layers are ideal for your upper body as they allow you to adjust your temperature. Alpine ski clothing is not appropriate as it is too bulky, too warm, and restricts movement.

    Equipment

    This trip uses metal-edged ‘classic’ style track skis. If you are bringing your own skis they must fit in the tracks, so should be a maximum of 66mm at their widest point. You can use track skis which are 'waxing', 'fishscale' or 'skintec'. You can also use track skis without a metal edge, or half metal edge. If in doubt about the suitability of your own skis please contact us.

    Skis, boots, and poles - can be hired at the start of the trip. The cost of hire is indicated in 'Trip Information'. If you are intending to hire you must inform us as soon as possible as equipment must be booked in advance. The type of ski supplied by the hire shop is provided in the 'Ski Rental' section of the Trip Information page. 

    • Wax Cork and Ski Scraper - only if using 'waxing' skis, these can be bought at the hire shop
    • Ski ties - to hold your skis together, useful but not essential
    • Waxes - if required, these will be supplied by Tracks and Trails
    • Rucksack - 25 to 30 litres with waist and chest strap. You need space to carry your kit, and an item of group kit
    • Rucksack waterproof cover or liner to keep contents dry
    • Water container - 1 litre, drink tubes and bottles stowed on the outside of your rucksack usually freeze in winter
    • Whistle

    Clothing 

    • Waterproof jacket - essential, this must keep you dry during a day of continuous snowfall or at least as dry as any waterproof jacket ever keeps you!
    • Waterproof trousers - in case of heavy snowfall
    • Waterproof walking boots for non-ski activities
    • Trousers - lightweight, windproof and warm 
    • Thermal top - long sleeves
    • Thin fleece - long sleeves
    • Waistcoat - fleece/wind stopper 
    • Gloves x 2 (one thick and one thin)
    • Over-mittens for colder days can be useful
    • Warm hat
    • Sun hat
    • Head/ear band 
    • Duvet jacket (or second warm layer)
    • Scarf or 'Buff' for neck
    • Socks - 2 or 3 pairs

    Comfort

    • Lip salve
    • Sunscreen - essential
    • Sunglasses - essential
    • Goggles - or Nordic Ski Visor
    • Snack bars/chocolate
    • Tissues - we recommend biodegradable bags to dispose of rubbish
    • Anti-bacterial hand wash

    Personal First Aid

    • Personal medication 
    • Blister plasters (e.g. Compeed)
    • Painkillers/anti-inflammatory
    • Glucose tablets/Energy gel
    • 2 x Rehydration sachets - eg Dioralyte
    • Throat lozenges
    • Antiseptic cream/spray

    Documentation 

    • Mountain Rescue/Ski Insurance documents - compulsory
    • Passport
    • Credit card
    • Cash - Norwegian Kroner

    Additional Items

    • Slippers for use at accommodation
    • Clothing for use at accommodation
    • Loose clothing for the yoga classes
    • Hair dryer if required (it is not standard for Norwegian hotels to provide one)
    • Travel Kettle if required (it is not standard for Norwegian hotels to provide one)
    • Swimwear for the pool and sauna
    • Camera/ Book/Music
    • Toiletries – soap/shower gel; not all accommodation supplies these
    • Ear plugs - if room sharing
    • Small thermos for hot drinks
    • Short gaiters for snowy days
    • Head torch - plus spare batteries for skiing home in the twilight

    **Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**

    Leaders are all first aid trained and carry their own first aid kit

  • On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit and safety of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person. 

    If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed in such a way that no one is over burdened. 

    Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.

  • For each of our trips a minimum number of guests is required before we can confirm that your trip will go-ahead. The minimum and maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page. 

    We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.

  • When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. This trip has a single supplement of £150.

  • We go to great lengths to work with first class ski instructors who are passionate about their work. 

    Your ski instructor will be a BASI qualified, or equivalent, Nordic Ski Instructor. BASI is the British Association of Snowsport Instructors and is one of Europe's leading examining boards for those choosing a career in snow sports. For some countries your ski instructor will hold the national qualification required for the country you are visiting. All are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation.

    In the majority of cases your instructor will also be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. International Mountain Leaders are not only qualified to ensure the safe management of the group, but are also a source of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and traditions of the area which you are visiting. 

    Please note your instructor has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. 

    You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page. 

  • For this trip where you are centre-based, in other words where you are staying in the same accommodation all week, you are welcome to bring whatever luggage you require. However, please note that not all the hotels we use have elevators. This means you may need to carry your luggage to your bedroom and this might involve climbing several flights of stairs. We would suggest that luggage with wheels is generally a good idea.

  • On this trip your lunches are included in your trip fee. In Norway it is traditional to make up your own packed lunch from the breakfast ingredients. Breakfast is normally a buffet with a large range of food on offer with more than enough interesting items to prepare a tasty sandwich. You will be supplied with paper to wrap them in. You can also ask to have a thermos flask filled with a hot drink. On some of the days at Venabu we may return for a late sit-down lunch in the restaurant, although this will depend on our ski plans for the day. 

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card. 

    On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will often only accept payment in the local currency in cash.

  • Food

    We encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for traditional food. 

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance which will make you ill then the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.

    If you are vegetarian his is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet contact us

    If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness.

    We request that you do not CHANGE your dietary requirements during the trip as we will have pre-ordered your meals.

    Water

    The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel or mountain hut is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water.

    Due to rising temperatures in the summer months some mountain huts are having to restrict water usage. Which may mean that you are unable to shower in some mountain refuges.

    At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly.

  • A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for the country you are visiting, paying attention to your citizenship. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.  

    We ask that you carry a paper copy of your passport with you on your trip. We suggest keeping your passport in your rucksack, and a paper copy of your passport in any luggage you might have. If your trip is without luggage transfers then keep a paper copy somewhere in your rucksack, separate from your original document. 

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    Plug, Socket & Voltage by Country

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera. 

  • There are various outdoor and indoor activities available at Venabu Fjellhotel. You can use the sauna for free, and the hotel gym. Massages can be booked as extra. If you want a day out you could ask the hotel to arrange a transfer to Ringebu station and travel to the Olympic town of Lillehammer for the day.  Please note that optional activities are not included in your trip fee, and can be booked and paid for directly with the hotel. Many of our guests find that the only optional activity they find time to do is to relax for hours by the lounge fire enjoying the free tea and coffee facilities! 

  • Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your  departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.

    For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance.

    If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number. 

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

  • Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case. 

  • We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. In this respect due to the specialised nature of our holidays, we co-sell a number of trips with 'partner' companies. All the trips being sold by Tracks and Trails are organised by Tracks and Trails, but you may find guests from other companies on your trip. Partners are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards. By encouraging other companies to sell our trips it means your chosen holiday may reach its 'minimum' number earlier, allowing us to guarantee the trip and to give you the go-ahead to book your travel arrangements. We guarantee that companies with whom we work will offer the same price package. If you have any questions about this policy contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. 


What's Included

  • Full-board accommodation based on a family room or double room plus additional bed
  • All meals; breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner
  • Host to organise daily itinerary
  • Three half days of cross-country instruction with qualified BASI Nordic Instructor
  • All equipment inc. sledges, snowshoes, ski rental & grip waxes
  • Guided snowshoe tour
  • Horse sleigh ride to a traditional 'lavvu' with open fire
  • Husky dog sledding and talk
  • Free use of the hotel sauna, gym plus 2 yoga classes
  • Free use of the ski trails, no pass required
  • Treasure Hunt or Easter Egg Hunt depending on the season
  • New Years Concert or Easter Celebrations depending on season
  • Hotel activities: table football, pool, board games, shuffleboard and darts
  • Transfer from Ringebu station to your hotel on arrival and on departure
  • The transfer from Oslo Airport to Venabu

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Venabu Fjellhotel - massage
  • Any alcoholic drinks and beverages
  • Train travel from Ringebu to Oslo, and Oslo to Ringebu if not using the hotel bus
  • Swimming Pool Entry: 4-14 yrs 70 NOK, adults 140 NOK, towels 35 NOK
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Grade: Beginners

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At a Glance

From Price £1595
Holiday Type Family
Duration 7 Days
Group Size 3-8
Minimum Age 7
Maximum Altitude 1200m (3936ft)
Countries Visited Norway
Meet In Ringebu, Norway
View all Family Holidays

Nordic in Norway: Venabu

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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