Winter experiences in Trøndelag

The snow crackles underfoot, the roses are back in your cheeks and the birch trees are covered in white frost. With snow-covered plains accompanied by the blue light that creates a magical atmosphere in the mountains, Trøndelag is the best destination to experience the authentic Norwegian Arctic winter. Add an extra dimension with a musk ox safari or ice-fishing!

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Oppdal Ski Center. Foto: Marius Rua/Buckethaus

Musk ox safari

To get close to an animal like the musk ox makes you forget the time and place. To see the mighty animals dressed up in their heavy winter coat, often covered in a flurry of snow, is a dream come true for a hobby photographer. It can be difficult at first to determine if it is actually an animal or a landscape that you see.

It is rare that the musk ox comes towards people, but at the same time it is a curious animal who likes to control what it is surrounded by, so there is always a sense of excitement in the air whilst watching the animal. The musk ox can have a weight of 400 kg and run up to 60 kilometres an hour.

Whilst there used to be a large musk ox stock in Norway – thirty- to one hundred thousand years ago, you’ll find today there are only about 220 animals remaining, and the whole flock is at Dovrefjell. In other words, it is really an exclusive experience you can get if you are taking a trip on the musk ox safari at Dovre.

The guides from Kongsvold Fjeldstue or Oppdal Safari gladly take you on a trip into Dovrefjell to look for the mighty musk ox. The tours take anything from five to seven hours, and along the way you may be lucky enough to see, amongst other things, reindeer and grouse.

Dovrefjell. Foto: Oppdal Safari

Take a ride in the World Heritage Site of Røros

When the mountain town of Røros is decorated with snow, there isn’t a more beautiful place on earth to be. The narrow streets with the mighty slag heaps in the background, and the church, the buzzing life of the centre, merge into one big idyll, where you as a guest are offered the best of the best.

Both skiing and ‘sparkstøtting’ (kicksledding) are common means of arrival into the city – a kicksled is called a ‘spark’ in Norwegian. Kicksledding is a special type of sledding which involves two people – one sitting and one pushing forward by kicking the ground by foot. Both are common means of arrival into the centre, but it is extra cosy to sit under a shaggy sheepskin and go on a discovery trip around the town by horse sled. While the bell sounds half meditating, the torches on the sled blow lightly in the wind, and you glide almost silently through the streets, among shops, cafes, galleries and private homes.

Røros town. Foto: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / visitnorway.com

Dog sledding

Dog sledding is a wonderful experience, where you get close to nature and also get a good sense of speed. Whether you are sitting on the sled or standing behind and controlling, it is fascinating to have the great interaction with both the dogs and the surface. If there are dogs that love both, and are good at it, it is time to up the tempo and drag the sled over the snow as fast as they can. A couple of quiet calls from the tour guide make them turn left or right, and they will not continue until they calm down and run at a lower tempo. Snow, wind and sounds get even closer when you glide across the snow behind the four-legged horsepower. We almost want to say that no matter how long you travel, you would like it to be “a bit longer” when it is over.

Whether you are a bunch of friends, a family, or a small business who wants an exciting natural experience, dog sledding is a great recommendation.

Dog sledding is offered at Røros, in Meråker, in Røyrvik and at Steinkjer.

 

Chasing the northern lights

The northern lights can sometimes be so beautiful that you almost cannot believe what you see before your eyes. When the green light, which is sometimes tinged with purple and blue, paints the sky above in the most amazing shapes, it appears that the most clever lighting architects could have directed them. 

If you are lucky enough to experience the northern lights, it is important to have your camera at hand. Sometimes the colour display lasts for a short while, while other times it can last for several hours in infinite forms and strengths. 

In recent years, the northern lights have been extra strong over Trøndelag. From October to April, both local photographers and visitors have had wonderful conditions for taking spectacular photographs of the northern lights. Several of the summits in Bymarka and several of the coves along the fjord north of Trondheim, have become popular destinations among the photographers when they embark on the search for the northern lights.

Northern lights above one of the wilderness cabins at Børgefjellfoot. Foto: Bernartwood / trondelag.com

Diving in Flatanger. Foto: Søderholm – Steen / trondelag.com

Fresh seafood from the Trøndelag coast

Trøndelag is famous for its good fishing, and the same applies to the quality of the fish hauled from the ocean. Crayfish, mussels and scallops have followers among some of the best restaurants in both France and Asia, which serve raw goods from Trøndelag to their diners.

If you visit Trøndelag you should take the opportunity to eat some first class seafood dishes. For example, you can get these at Strandbaren at Stokkøya in Åsfjord, at Frøya Hotell, Frøya, with Ola at Ansnes Brygger, Hitra; Ørland Kysthotell at Ørlandet, and at several of the best restaurants in Trondheim.

‘Kiting’ at Røros

Røros is one of the most popular places in Trøndelag to ‘kite’, which means to stand on a board on the water, or skiing on the snow, and using the power of a kite to gain momentum. You will really get to know the natural elements when the wind makes full tension in the pull, and you know that the speed increases and you turn the way you want, when you pull the rope.

Storwartz outside Røros centre, has extremely good wind conditions. At Storwartz you will find large, flat areas, but also some hilly terrain that is more suitable for intermediates. Kiting at Storwartz works in all wind directions. Since such a large part of the area is flat, it is especially suitable for beginners.

Oppdal Ski Center. Foto: Marius Rua/Buckethaus

Go skiing!

Oppdal ski centre has been ranked among one of the best ski resorts in the country for several years, but both north and south of the region there are beautiful and family-friendly resorts with varied slopes. Both for those who feel like getting a buzz at high speed, and those who need to sharpen their technique and focus more on the frequent turns than speed.

Grong and Meråker in the north of Trøndelag, Vassfjellet outside Trondheim and Hummelfjell outside Røros, are among the most visited. Here you will find pipes, mogul slopes and other elements that snowboarders gladly seek, and there are also good conditions for off piste skiing.

Cross country skiing, seek “MUST GO HERE” trails 

Trøndelag is paradise for skiing trips. In the winter season you will find ski trails near virtually every small town, and some of the trails are also lit up in the evening.

Some of the highlights can be found if you visit Grong and Oppdal, which have stunning scenery. The same goes for Røros, where you can actually put on your skis right in the centre and start skiing immediately.

Oppdal. Foto: Marius Rua

Summit trips, Randonnée is a form of skiing across mountainous terrain using equipment specially designed for walking uphill as well as skiing downhill

Oppdal is a great starting point for summit trips and randonée skiing. Both in Storlidalen and Innerdalen are summits that have relatively easy accessibility, and with great conditions during the descent. It gives a very special sense of freedom to ski down a mountain side in untouched snow, where you are the only one who marks the track.

In Storlidalen you can combine the summit and skiing trip with a stay at ‘Bortistu Gjestegård’, which is the perfect base to stay for excursions in the area. The conditions for freestyle skiing in Storlidalen are generally safe from January to March, but nevertheless, check local conditions carefully before heading out.

Namdalen. Foto: Marius Rua/Buckethaus

Ice fishing

Snåsa lies about 130 kilometres north of Trondheim, and boasts more than 2000 small and large fishing waters in the municipality. A large number of these can also be fished when the ice has subsided. With a fishing license you have access to all the waters, and thus it is just letting loose with a rod, hook and warm clothes.

There is something almost meditating about sitting or lying beside the hole and gently tugging the hook to try to catch the fish’s interest.

The three most popular waters with regard to ice fishing are Grønningen, Langvatnet and Heggsjøen, all of which can be reached by car. Here you can fish both trout and char. The largest trout caught during ice fishing so far was about 5 kg, and it was caught in Langvatnet.

The Golden Road

Guests along The Golden Road in Inderøy (about 1,5 hours north from Trondheim) offer food, art- and cultural experiences, where both tradition and innovation are taken into consideration. Visit farmhouses, look behind the scenes and enjoy fresh food made from old recipes and crafted products. The best way to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere is to stay one night at a nostalgic farmhotel.

 

 

 

 

Fuglekassehytta Vestigården. Foto: Ellen Homstad

Christmas Market Trondheim. Foto: INBOVI

Exotic Nordic Christmas markets

Expectations are half the delight! The traditional Christmas markets in Trøndelag provide the opportunity to discover the typical Norwegian Christmas spirit. With Christmas comes a lot of rituals that you often feel you have to go through to get in the right Christmas spirit, which for many means food and a good time. And Christmas traditions vary from culture to culture.

Trøndelag’s largest Christmas market takes place in the heart of its 1000 year old regional capital Trondheim. The main square fills with old-fashioned stalls, local specialties and handcraft, and the giant lavvo (tipi) invites you with traditional local food and live music for a cosy stay. The focus is not on liquorice and candyfloss, but handcraft, baking and Christmas decorations made from old patterns and recipes.

 

Historical Christmas market in Røros

Røros is another place you will discover strong traditions surrounding the Christmas market. When the historic mining town is covered in snow and the narrow streets are filled with stalls, it’s hard not get into the Christmas spirit. The air is filled with the sound of pleasant conversation (often in a variety of languages) about the high-quality goods. The local church, Berg stadens Ziir, hosts a concert every evening, while the activity in the streets lasts well into the night. Combine your visit at the Christmas market with a dog-, reindeer- or horse sledding experience and relax in the new spa area at Røros hotel afterwards.

Røros town. Foto: Fredrik Bye

Kveldsutsikt i Børgefjell nasjonalpark. Foto: Bernartwood / trondelag.com

Reindeer activities

Driving with reindeer takes place either on skis (being pulled by the reindeer) or sitting in a pulk sled pulled by one or more reindeer. Whether you go with skis or a pulk sled, it can be a really cool experience. If the reindeer is in good shape, it can get good speed, and that may be more than enough for it to hang on around on the track

At Røros, Rørosrein is located just outside the centre. Here you can participate in driving of reindeer, lassoing and feeding, which are all fun and different experiences.

In the bilingual municipality of Snåsa in the north of Trøndelag, there is also a considerable amount of Southern Sami people. At Saemien Sijte (South Sami Museum and Cultural Centre), both big and small can try driving with reindeer.

Kicksled trip at Røros

Røros is one of the safest places in Norway when it comes to having great winter experiences. A great way to experience the very special wooden house town in the middle of the mountains, is to rent kicksleds and take the runners, venturing into the narrow centre’s streets.

You will not ‘kick’ for long before you feel like a native, both because it is easy to master, and because of the fact that a kicksled in the winter is as a bicycle is in the summer. Kicksleds are parked outside cafés and shops, and both young and old use them as they would any other type of vehicle.

If you want a little extra speed, you can drive down Kjerkgata, but be extra careful of other kicksled users and pedestrians, so the trip doesn’t end with a crash.

Røros is also a fantastic place for shopping, and it might be wise to have a kicksled to put all the goods on when you return to the hotel.

Røros. Foto: Marius Rua

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