Hemsedal

Ski Resort in Norway

Introduction

Hemsedal is a valley and small town in Norway with ca 2000 inhabitants. Hemsedal is scenic located in the middle of South Norway, right between Oslo and Bergen, it is the northern branch of the great Hallingdal valley. The town is surround by high mountains, similar to the alps, and has a river, Hemsila flowing thru the valley. Hemsedal is known for its alpine skiing area, which is the second largest in Norway, but is also a great place in summer with many activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, horse back riding and more.

With a huge beginners area, plenty of varied intermediate slopes and off-piste tree runs, Hemsedal has a great mix of skiing amid dramatic mountains. As always in Norway, the pistes are perfectly groomed and very quiet during the weekdays. You can choose to stay in a hotel up the mountain, or near the base of the slopes, where there are some apartments and cute little cabins. The town is a couple of kilometres from here but, wherever you stay, you can expect a lively week - this is the country's après capital.

Each of the accommodation options offers something a little different. In Skarsnuten you’re perched on the side of the mountain, with incredible views and a secluded ski lodge feel. Ski down to the base of the slopes and the resort village area has stylish apartments and traditional log cabins, all within a snowball’s throw of the ski lifts.

Hemsedal has a small village feel, but with sushi places, traditional Norwegian restaurants and some nice lounge bars, it's packed with great food and even better nightlife. A free shuttle bus can take you into the main town for even more eating and drinking options, plus a bigger supermarket if you're self-catering.

The ski school is as good here for beginners and intermediates as you’ll find anywhere in Norway. Plus, the harder runs and accessible off-piste make it a great place for aspiring experts. There's even a range of other activities available - from cross-country skiing to dog-sledding and snowmobile tours.


Hemsedal info card

Resort Altitude800m
Highest Lift1450m
Total Piste45km
Longest Run6km
Directions of SlopesN, N/W, W, S/E
Uphill Capacity28500
Total Lifts20
Chairlifts6
Drag Lifts12
Snow Parks4


Snow conditions in Hemsedal

The ski season here runs from December to April, with plenty of amazing runs to choose from on well-maintained surfaces. There are snow-making facilities available on 22 pistes offering 21 km of snow-sure slopes.


Skiing in Hemsedal

With a wide variety of ski runs available, there is something for everyone at Hemsedal, ranging from beginners to experts. There are a total of 49 slopes and 20 ski lifts, with the longest run stretching to 6 km.

What’s more, there are some excellent cross-country routes across the valleys and forests of Hemsedal, along with 90km of mountain trails.

Keen skiers and snowboarders will love shredding the slopes of Hemsedal as slopes open at 7:30am on Saturdays and nightskiing until 7pm is open 3 days a week.


Apres ski, restaurants and other activities in Hemsedal

One of the best après ski attractions in the area is Stavkora, where four residents DJs and a fantastic atmosphere await visitors. For something livelier, the Bart nightclub could be a fantastic option, as it offers six bars and a extensive drinks menu.

The Elgen Bar is another excellent option and offers awesome drinks, making it the perfect place to mingle with other wintersports fans. With many of these bars only a short walk from the village centre, everything is easily accessible.

Transportation - Get In

Hemsedal is a 3 to 4 hour drive from Oslo.


By bus

From Bergen you can take Sognebussen or Øst Vestekspressen to Håbakken (near the small village Lærdal), and from there you can take the corresponding Sogn & Fjordane Ekspressen to Hemsedal.

  • Airport Transfer Bus From Gardermoen Airport Oslo directly to Hemsedal on Fridays and Sundays during the winter.

By train

Another option is to ride the NSB train from Oslo or Bergen to Gol, which departs around four times a day. The trip is three hours from Oslo and 4 hours from Bergen and costs from 199 to 499kr. From the train station at Gol there is a bus picking up immediately after the train arrives and ending in Hemsedal town center, about 40 minutes later. The timetable. The trip costs NOK 46 for adults and 23 for children.

Transportation - Get Around

During the winter season there are busses going from town to the ski lifts which are free. There is also a good taxi service, but it is quite expensive. You can also walk, e.g., on the other side of the river which takes half an hour or more.

It is practical to have your own car, especially in the summer.

Parking is free of charge, except from the parking lot at Gravset, the main crosscountry area, in the wintertime.

Ski Area

Hemsedal offers a wide and varied range of skiing, suitable for both beginners and experienced skiers. Here you can ski both steeper red and black slopes, and gentle blue and green slopes.

There are also a number of snow parks, a large children's area and easily accessible off-piste skiing, all of which makes Hemsedal a popular ski destination among experienced skiers and snowboarders, as well as beginners and families with children.

In Hemsedal the slopes winds its way down from 3 peaks: Totten at 1450 metres above sea level, Tinden at 1345 metres and Roni at 1225 metres.  From Totten you can ski green slopes all the way down to the bottom of Hemsedal Ski Centre, covering 6 km and a vertical drop of 810 metres in one run!

The slopes meet in the base of the ski area, creating a natural meeting area with a good range of restaurants and bars.


Beginners

World-class, English-speaking instructors and great beginner runs make this an ideal place to learn. Once you’re ready to move up, there are green runs that start practically from the mountain peak and amble their way down – ideal for those just starting out. And since most of the accommodation is close to the slopes, you'll never have far to go when you need a break.

Intermediates

The grooming is spot on and the snow is incredibly consistent, so you'll have the best pistes imaginable - whether you’re taking it easy on a green, shooting around on the blues and reds, or even trying your luck on the black runs. You won’t tire of the terrain and it’s usually pretty quiet, so you'll have time for plenty of runs and lots of hot chocolate stops.

Advanced

As with the easier runs, the black slopes are groomed, groomed again and then groomed once more for luck. Combine this with incredible snow conditions (and some man-made) and you have steeps that you can really go for it on. There’s also some off-piste to be found, with guides and lessons available.

Cross-country skiing

Cross-country addicts will love Hemsedal - you can access the groomed tracks straight from most accommodations. The trails then head off in different directions, up the mountain, down to the valley and through the forest, so there's lots of exploring to be had. For those seeking a challenge, try out the high-mountain track which starts from Storelia and makes a circuit of the lakes beside Tinden.

Ski Pass


DAYCHILD
(0-6)
JUNIOR
(7-15)
ADULT
(16-64)
SENIOR
(65)
WeekdayNOK0.00NOK330.00NOK410.00NOK330.00
WeekendNOK0.00NOK330.00NOK410.00NOK330.00
Half DayNOK0.00NOK310.00NOK380.00NOK310.00
2-day passNOK0.00NOK650.00NOK810.00NOK650.00
6-day passNOK0.00NOK1465.00NOK1815.00NOK1465.00

Activities & Things to do


Winter

The best rated ski resorts in Norway (Dagbladet and Dagens Næringsliv 2010). 42 slopes and 22 lifts! The mountain scenery gives Hemsedal a decidedly "alpine" feel. It has the highest alpine point in Scandinavia, 1500 metres above sea level, and a vertical drop of 810 metres.

  • Hemsedal Skisenter is the second largest ski resort in Norway.

Variety and diversity characterises Hemsedal's network of pistes. The pistes are wide, well groomed and suited to all levels of expertise. Panoramic view and the descent from the highest mountain. There are green pistes all the way down to the base area, and more advanced runs.

Hemsedal on world’s top five to go boarding! The snowboard/terrain park is considered one of Europe's best, known for its high standard and challenges for all. Big jumps, fun boxes, half pipe, two quarter pipes, and rails for the thrillseeker. There is also a separate park for beginners.

The children's area is the biggest in Norway and covers an area of 70 000 m² Here you find several lifts, slopes, forest with trolls, bbq stations, restaurant, bar, sport shop, skirental, supermarket and even an outdoor kindergarten. The area is also perfect for beginners.

  • Solheisen Skisenter is a small ski resort located in Grøndalen, 8 km from Hemsedal Skisenter.

Here you find 3 lifts and 6-7 seven slopes. Suitable for families and those who want to ski in calmer area. Also good off piste possibilities.

Afterski and nightlife is comparable to or better than the big resorts in the European Alps.

If you would like to do other things then skiing, you can try snow mobiling, dog sledding, winter via ferrata, snow shoeing, ice climbing, paragliding and off course cross country skiing.


Summer

Hemsedal is an eldorado for people who like to stay active on their holiday. The mountains in Hemsedal offer great possibilities for activities such as hiking, biking and climbing.

  • Topp 20, Hemsedal's most popular hiking program. The brochure describes 20 scenic hikes to 20 different peaks in Hemsedal, everyone of them offering beautiful views. The hikes are graded from very easy green to difficult black. The shortest hikes take 1-1,5 hour up and down for people in normal shape, the longest hike is a day trip. The trails to the peaks are well marked, except for the black ones, where you do need to bring a map and compass with you. You can pick up the brochure at the tourist information, supermarkets, sport shops and accommodations in Hemsedal.
  • Biking, Hemsedal has 240 km of marked biking routes. There is a biking brochure with description of different trips in the area, which are also graded after the same system as the Top 20. The brochure can be picked up at the tourist information, supermarkets, sport shops and accommodations in Hemsedal.
  • Fishing, the Hemsila river, running through the valley of Hemsedal, is actually a quite famous river for fly fishing. The fishing season starts end of May/beginning of June and lasts until 15 September. You need a fishing permit and this can be purchased at the tourist office, sport shops, some supermarkets and campgrounds and at Shell petrol station in Hemsedal. With the permit you can fish in the river as well as in 18 lakes. The river has different zones, and in some of them you can only fish with a fly. A permit valid for 5 hours costs 120kr. A permit for 2 days costs 250kr, or 900kr for a permit that includes fly fishing zone in the river).

Sights & Landmarks

There are quite a few things to see in Hemsedal:

  • Skogshorn (Located in Lykkja). One of the most known landmarks and mountains in Hemsedal. In summer there is a marked track to the peak.
  • Rjukandefossen (Located at Tuv). A powerful and impressive double waterfall dropping 18 meters down a narrow ravine. The waterfall is a popular spot in summer and used for ice climbing in winter. There is also a suspension bridge in the area.
  • Hydnefossen (Located close to Torsetstølane). This large waterfall plummets 140 meters from Veslehorn mountain. Also a popular ice climbing spot in winter. The waterfall is best seen from the mainroad (r52), after Ulsåk towards Gol.
  • Hemsedal Bygdatun (Located at Ulsåk). This museum is a restored coutyard from ca 1730. There are guided tours during the summer.
  • Hydalen (Located in Grøndalen). Hydalen is a nature reservoir and one of the most beautiful areas in Hemsedal, rich in flora and fauna.
  • Ulsåkstølen (Located in Lykkja, under Skogshorn),  +47 922 31 413Ulsåkstølen is a popular summerfarm for families. Here the children (and parents) can see animals such as rabbits, goats and pigs, experience the summerfarm life and taste products made at the farm. In the wintertime the farm is a cafe for crosscountry skiers.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Norway is generally expensive for overseas visitors. Expect to pay at least two times the price for a beer in Hemsedal as in the Alps.

The afterski starts in Skistua on the slopes around 4, and continues at Hemsedal Cafe in town from around 7. Be there early to make sure you get in.

Beer can be bought at the supermarkets on weekdays from 8AM to 8PM and Saturdays from 8AM to 6PM On Sundays it is not allowed to sell alcohol in the supermarkets. Wine and liquor can be bought at the "vinmonopol" (wine and liquor store) in Gol, 30 km from Hemsedal.


Eating out

Most people stay self-catering or half board but, if you do choose to eat out, you can expect some very high-quality meals. Norwegians love their food, so the 25 or so restaurants around Hemsedal, whilst expensive, are all of a very high standard.

• Kjokken Kroken – Cosy and romantic, this is ideal for a special gourmet meal. The menu includes international fare, but the traditional Norwegian dishes are a must-try.

• Hollvin  Take your pick from a mixed of pizza, pasta, burgers, grilled meats and Mexican dishes. There's an informal ambience and the prices are reasonable.

• Hemsedal Café  If you fancy something different, and like a sociable meal, head here for one of their Kleberstein evenings - cook you own food at the table on a hotplate made of soapstone.

• Big Horn Steakhouse  A proper American-style restaurant that gets especially busy on the weekends. Dive into huge steaks or sharing plates with chicken wings, onion rings and more. Save room for a Rockslide brownie with caramel and pecans.

• T-Krokken  A burger bar that's popular with families and young people. It's almost worth going for the milkshakes alone - they even offer alcoholic milkshakes, like cookie dough with Jack Daniels.


Mountain restaurants

• Skigaarden (Green 11 piste) – You’ll be spoilt for choice in this huge, modern restaurant, which offers everything from fresh pizza to hearty stews over several stylish storeys.

• Fjellkafeen (top of Hollvinn Express chairlift) – Treat yourself to a tasty elk burger or fresh waffles and hot chocolate to warm up after a morning on the slopes. There’s live music on weekends too.

• Brygga 11 (Hotel Skarsnuten) – Head up Roni mountain to savour the most incredible sunsets over the resort – plus enjoy the beautiful décor and varied à la carte menu.


Nightlife

The small village of Hemsedal is surprisingly full of exciting nightlife - that's why it's known as the après (or afterski, as it's called in Norway) capital of Norway. You can either head to the base village or the actual town of Hemsedal - 2km away - for a range of bars, pubs and clubs open until the early hours.

 Stavkroa  This is Hemsedal's biggest and most popular spot, where the music pumps and ski boots thump on the tables. Throughout the week they host various themed nights, with live music and DJs.

• Skistua  It may not be the biggest, but Skistua is definitely one of the most famous afterski venues in resort, offering a fantastic atmosphere and live rock 'n' roll music every weekend.

Shopping

Hemsedal is not the largest city, but has some good shops:

  • Hemsedal Sport3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre at Rampa Shopping Centre),  +47 32 06 03 50Large selection of ski- and snowboard equipment in winter and fly fishing, hiking and more in summer.
  • Totten Sport3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre at Hovtun Shopping Centre),  +47 32 06 00 67Complete assortment, summer and winter.
  • Finbeck & Fia3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre at Rampa Shopping Centre), +47 32 06 06 90Shoes and clothing for men, women and youth. Brands such as Diesel, Gant, Elisa Cavaletti, Timberland, and Zdar.
  • Spekter3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre),  +47 32 05 96 37Women and men's fashion. Clothing for children and youth. Brands such as Vero Moda, Only, David & Goliat, and Reimatex. Cheap towels and bed linnen.
  • Stugu Husflid3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre next to the tourist office),  +47 32 06 0633Handcrafts from Hemsedal and Hallingdal
  • Hemsetunet garn gaver & souvenir3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre),  +47 32 06 05 88Souvenirs, gifts, cards and Norwegian trolls.
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