‘But isn’t it really expensive in Norway?’ says Everyone.
Well, yes it is, but not as much as you think, plus it’s guaranteed snow the week before Christmas!
In the mildest December that I can remember, three generations of the family headed out to Trysil, a 2 ½ hour drive from Oslo, for a short skiing break. It was my first time skiing in over a decade (and since knee surgery), it was my 5 year olds’ first year, and my 7 year olds’ third year.
If heading to the slopes with young kids, it’s pretty much essential to be able to ski-in ski-out, and staying in a family friendly hotel is an added bonus, therefore the Radisson Blu Hotel in Trysil was a great choice for us.
It made holidaying with a family a simple affair:- half board option with an eat-as-much-as-you can (very impressive) buffet, a large pool with a climbing wall in it, a small children’s area that played films (and where my two fell in love with the 1961 classic film ‘101 Dalmations’), a bowling alley and Sports TV area – with lots of Premiership football, yawn!
For the more stylish (and adult) there is a gorgeous bar with a large central communal table and fire pit accompanied by the all important Scandi lighting. It’s a lovely place to hang out for après-ski if you have a bulging wallet! In addition to this you have a French restaurant (included in the half board option), a spa, a Jacuzzi, sauna and surfing pool. An added bonus of the hotel is that you can literally ski-in ski-out, straight onto the piste from the boot room.
Even though we were there early season, the snow conditions were great (whilst friends of ours were mountain biking in Morzine as there was no snow there). The area has a varied choice of runs:- great beginner ski runs for brand new skiers, some fantastic blues and reds for the 7 year old (and the grandfather), and the blacks were smooth, steep, wide, empty and fun!
The whole area is family friendly, and children under the age of 7 go free on the ski lifts. The slopes were really not busy at all, and on some of our runs we were the only ones skiing. I can only imagine it’s because they have such a long ski season, the Norwegians wait a little later in the season to enjoy it. Perhaps this was the reason for being upgraded to a family apartment with a great view!
Last time I skied only very small children were wearing helmets and I genuinely can’t recall seeing an adult wearing one, now you look like an idiot if you don’t have one. Skiing is very much going the way of mountain biking as I saw lots
of people wearing back protectors, with some skiers even wearing full face helmets, not a bad decision if you enjoy hurtling down a snowy mountain!
I have only ever skied as part of a group of friends before, with lots of après ski, so skiing as a family is a very different experience (note:- early morning wake up, on the slope for the first ski lift (9am), afternoon in the pool, dinner at 6 and bed by 9). Nonetheless, it was amazing to watch my 5 year-old grasp how to turn on the slope, and to see my 7 year-old hurtle passed me with no fear, it was even more amazing to see how much they could put away at the buffet in the evening! It was the best holiday we’ve ever had as a family, and we are already talking about going back again this year.
One of the most lasting memories of our trip was the winter light, it was simply gorgeous. Its soft golden colour allowed for the most wonderful sunrises and sunsets, and the snow with its translucent blue colour made the quiet slopes all the more special. I am slightly in love with all things Scandinavian, and this trip has made me even more in love.
So, No. It’s not cheap a holiday, but was it worth it? Yes Yes Yes! (but visit duty free on your way!)