skiing down from Gaustatoppen

Cross-country Skiing: Kvitavatn

8 days
Suitable for:
Age 14+
Activity level:
Activity Rating - Mixed
Trip code: 
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Winter Holidays
Group size:
Min age:

Enjoy off-track skiing in the beautiful Norwegian countryside 

Kvitavatn lies at nearly 1000m above the town of Rjukan, boasting superb views of Gausta (1883m), the highest mountain in southern Norway. There are endless skiing possibilities from the door, through forests, across the lake and through the magnificent Norwegian wilderness. Along with reliable snow, the quality and variety of routes both on and off track combine with excellent instruction to make this an ideal venue for all ability levels. 


  • Expert instruction from our first class guides
  • Excellent off-track and track skiing options
  • Welcoming mountain lodge accommodation in the heart of Telemark 

Key information

  • 7 nights lodge with shared facilities
  • 5 days guided cross-country skiing
  • Group normally 4 to 14, per leader
  • Travel by private bus 
  • Countries visited: Norway

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners included
  • All accommodation 
  • Transfers for group flights
  • Skis, boots and poles

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations 
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

Our base for the trip is Kvitavatn Fjellstoge, a modern lodge that is run by locals that uses local produce wherever possible. Our small group size allows us to support smaller hotels and restaurants that do not usually benefit from mass tourism, bringing a positive impact on the overall employment levels and economy in the region.

Our selection of alternative winter activities seeks to make the most of the natural environment in its pristine state, rather than changing it. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and dogsledding are best suited to remote wilderness areas and the development of these alternatives is key to the long-term survival of many mountain communities.

Our cross-country skiing holidays in general avoid large alpine ski areas, and are less dependent on snow cannons, graded pistes and ski lifts, creating significantly less environmental impact than alpine skiing holidays. Using skis that are longer and lighter than alpine skis, our cross-country day tours explore the magical scenery and tranquillity of the natural winter environments. Journeys further afield may utilise public transport and the local economy benefits from our groups purchasing supplies and ski hire directly.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here


  • Day 1

    Start Kvitavatn

    Start Kvitavatn.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Start of six days of cross-country skiing

    We prefer not to specify in advance where we will ski each day. This is to enhance the flexibility and adapt to weather and snow conditions and to some extent the ability of each group. The next few days is a guide. 

    Beginners will start on a flat area of land next to lodge where it’s safe to get a feel for the skis and the basic techniques. More experienced groups will head out into the local area, just to get our ski legs back.


    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Cross-country skiing around Kvitavatn

    There is an endless range of skiing possibilities with 80km of varied tracks through forests and open country, as well as a good selection of downhill runs. The off-track touring is excellent and takes us above the tree line where there is a vast expanse of wilderness to explore - the summit of Ornenipa can be reached and the Heddersfjell moors can be explored, both at around 1300m. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Venturing further afield

    By now beginners will have mastered the basics and the days are spent out exploring the rugged mountains and dense forest. More advanced skiers will venture into the stark wilderness above the treeline. Skiers of all abilities will fall in love with the sheer magnificence of the beautiful Norwegian winter landscape. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day

    Today is free, you can either venture out with new friends to ski in the area, or you may choose to take to some downhill skis, or explore the forests by snowshoe. 

    Ski tuition is provided for those who do not wish to take advantage of the free day on this day.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Full day out enjoying the Norwegian wilderness

    Back on the skis today for another day exploring all the beauty this area has to offer. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Final day on our skis

    A final day of skiing, this will be a full day out with a picnic lunch in the Norwegian wilderness. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Kvitavatn

    End Kvitavatn.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info



No visa required for British passport holders.



There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Breakfast, packed lunch and evening meals are included.

The food provided includes ample buffet breakfasts, from which you make up your packed lunch, and self-service 3-course dinner. Tea and coffee are available all day at no extra charge. Vegetarians are extremely well catered for. Beer and wine can be purchased at the Fjellstue but alcohol in Norway is expensive due to high taxes with 0.5ltr [approx 1 pint] of lager costing about GBP 6 so many visitors bring their own supplies.  However Norway's strict licensing laws mean that you have to drink these in your own room, and only alcohol purchased from the Fjellstue may be consumed in the dining room and other public areas.


Kvitavatn is located at almost 1000m and at this height snow can lie from November to May, with fresh snowfalls at any time. Average daytime temperatures in winter range from 0º to - 10ºC, though they can fall as low as - 25ºC. At Christmas and New Year daylight hours are limited, with about 6 hours of good light plus twilight. By mid-February this has increased to about 8 hours and by mid-March there are about 12 hours of good daylight. At all times of the winter you can hope for periods of clear bright weather and in February and March it can become surprisingly warm in the sun. Equally, at all times you need to be ready for the occasional stormy day. 

Is this trip for you?

At Kvitavatn we offer two grades of skiing most weeks except where stated, ranging from beginner grades to more advanced skiers. This varies depending on the week, please check the dates and prices section to ensure you are picking the right week.

For at least 4 of the 6 days skiing, you will be on full day tours, returning only at the end of the day's skiing. At Kvitavatn we offer the below skiing grades:

 Grade 1 Beginners Equivalent Activity Level - leisurely/moderate-level 2.  A week for complete beginners. Inevitably we start with the basics, including how to stop using the snowplough technique and how to turn. You will be on skis for at least 5-6 hours a day with a focus on tuition, getting comfortable on skis and building towards longer tours through the winter landscape.

Grade 2 Improvers Equivalent Activity Level – Moderate, level 3.  These weeks are ideal for those who have enjoyed at least one grade 1 holiday and grasped the basics. They offer tuition to refresh and improve technique and typically will ski a little further than Grade 1 weeks, and over more varied terrain. In some cases, these weeks are acceptable for newcomers to cross-country skiing. Beginners on these weeks should be very fit and proficient in sports that develop balance. Please contact us if you wish to book a Grade 2 holiday but have not skied before.

Grade 3 Intermediates Equivalent Activity Level- Moderate, Level 3.  A grade 3 week is ideal for those looking to push on, tackle some slightly steeper terrain and cover more ground each day. Typical groups will have a few weeks skiing behind them, be very comfortable with the basics and happy on longer day tours. There will still be tuition on these weeks, at the required level.

Grade 4 Advanced Equivalent Activity Level Moderate Challenging, level 4. Choose this level if you can tackle ‘ups and downs’ competently, manage a controlled snowplough descent, and if you want to ski at a lively pace. You should also be able to get up swiftly and easily by yourself after a fall. The mix of track and off-track skiing varies. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Kvitavatn Fjellstoge

The traditional-style Kvitavatn Fjellstoge consists of a main building with cosy lounge and a large dining room with free Wi-Fi. Standard accommodation is in good quality, single-sex (unless occupying the whole room) 3 or 4 bunk rooms with washbasin in a separate building (Arnes House). Shower, sauna, toilets and drying room are shared. A small number of stylish twin bedded rooms in an adjacent building (Odds House) with private facilities, are also available at a supplement.

Call for general departures:
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed April 2019
    Richard mackenzie

    Great holiday

    Had a great trip as a lone traveller I was a bit apprehensive on the food as dairy intolerant but the chef's were really good and the choice for me was really good. The only downside was that some people got jealous of the special desserts they made for me each day (as well as soya ice-cream) We had a great group and had lovely sunny weather although a bit hot on a few days Conditions were great the first 2 days then a bit warm Skiing was harder than a remembered but enjoyable Hardest bit of the trip was knowing what and how much to wear I packed lots of thin long sleeved items and a few bike tops which proved very useful. I found liner gloves were really helpful too

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just being out and about each day in the beautiful countryside

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mary and albert were great. Not sure they were too impressed by the groups skiing skills, but they changed and chose a good variety Evening films and entertainment were an added extra, and gave me some knowledge of the region

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Liner gloves really useful as well as a selection of hats Mary had a cap on which would have been helpful to take with me. Buff was also really handy,so have a few of these Accomodstion had a drying room which worked well

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • Reviewed March 2019
    Robert Dredge


    First the good. One leader was beyond outstanding and really showed empathy, knowledge and understanding and really took everyone to a higher level. The food and staff at the accommodation were exceptional. The accommodation itself a bit cramped but adequate. Overall accommodation was very good and not. problem. The ski hire equipment was very old and dated, but worked OK. Transfers were efficient and pretty timely. Now the not so good. As excellent as one leader was the other was beyond poor. No empathy, limited apparent knowledge of technique and minimal interest in teaching beyond follow me and catch up sometime, even if you fall and are struggling-you were left on your own which affected confidence of some less confident people.. Annoying that I was told in answer to specific request to fly from other than Gatwick that it was not possible( as were at least 2 other couples) on arrival in Oslo we waited for others to fly in from Manchester and Edinburgh. Petty but annoying-expectation that all may be required to buy own wax throughout the week . Surely at £1500 it could cover £50 a season for leaders to have this-in the event the good leader did wax skis when out if she saw it was needed. Quite. bit of pressure put on to attend the evening lectures etc-which were variable in relevance and quality.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Skiing with Ilse Alt

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ilse -as above beyond exceptional in all she did, attitude, patience, knowledge and ability to improve me, as well s enthusiasm for country and magnificent guiding. Other leader was simply indifferent at best and seemed uninterested and not up to the job.( a view shared by others). She showed no interest in teaching or looking at individuals.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check who is leading the group.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This really was a holiday of 2 halves. Early part really frustrating and unsatisfactory. Change of leader meant 2nd half was outstanding. Staff and food at resort should be commended.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Stella Thompson

    Off track cross country skiing at it's best

    This is some of the best off track cross country skiing you will ever find. A wonderful wild environment, with varied terrain and a variety of challenge, the best leaders you can ever meet and a great place to stay with a lovely friendly atmosphere. It is very special. I would have given up years ago if I hadn't come here and have been coached to steady improvement over the years. I have been on other holidays with other leaders, but no-one has ever come up to the standard of Ilse and Mary.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting high up on a bright day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The best

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you get the grade right for you!
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Louise Holstein

    XC Skiing Norway

    Really great trip thanks. Lovely location, excellent guides who were terrific hosts as well. I feel transformed physically and mentally after this fantastic break.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Ilsa's proud face as I skied down my first big slope

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing and inspiring

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Come ready to be tired and happy at the end of each day
  • Reviewed January 2019
    AnneFleur van Diem

    Fab Holiday!

    I loved everything about this trip. The accommodation was cozy and the beds incredible. The food was delicious, fresh and plentiful and the surroundings stunning as they only can be in Norway

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being on the plateau, in the high w8nds, snowshoeing through the wilderness. It was too dangerous to ski so Ilse and Mary took us out for a snowshoe instead and it was a brilliant hike.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The local guide for this trrip is simply incredible. A true coach, she knows exactly how to get the best out of people, always being patient and working with everyone individually, even in a group environment. She's very attentive and just a lovely person. She should be guide of the year as I have yet to meet anyone that would surpass her in guiding, teaching and general personality..

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go. You'll love it!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    stella thompson

    Cross Country Skiing at Kvitavatn, Norway

    This is an amazing place to learn to ski and to ski. The Fjellstue is friendly and has a great atmosphere and is perfectly set up for you to ski from your door, out into the wilderness. There is an excellent network of tracks, but the leaders offer mainly off track and with great skill and knowledge will take you away into the remote rolling hills, among the trees and above the tree line, offering fantastic guiding and tuition. I would have given up cross country skiing probably if I hadn't come here as the support and leadership is second to none. Perfect for both beginners and for those with experience and skills. I have been back for many years, as have many others who come here.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Doing two routes with Ilse that she had never done with groups for many years.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both leaders are superb

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you have never skied before go for a beginners group. Work on your basic fitness before you go!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Gold star
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Helen Flint

    Kvitavatn - Cross Country Skiing

    This trip had everything I was looking for, fantastic location with a 360degree mountain panorama, classic Norwegian lodge accommodation, healthy yet plentiful food and great leaders. The leaders were effective at developing our skills, in a fun way, yet appreciating we are on holiday. Once our skills were developed we were taken to some fantastic off the beaten track locations. I have never had so many 'wow' moments and taken to lunch spots to die for! The 'apres' ski was varied too, a combination of informative talks, films, a fun quiz and slide show of the weeks pics. Fantastic trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing to a high point up a frozen waterfall and having the most amazing, unspoilt views and no one else in sight!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing. Helpful, knowledgeable, patient, informative, caring, effective.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a range of clothing because it can either be really warm or really cold. Take a thermos Flask - hot drinks are essential. You don't need to take a lunch box as plastic bags and cling film are made available.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would really recommend this trip if you have never done cross country skiing before.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Melanie Gibbs

    The Best Holiday Ever!

    A great way for a complete beginner to experience cross country skiing and make lots of progress in a short time. We were tutored for nearly 6 hours on each of 6 days so even a complete novice and scaredy-cat, like me, was able to have enough skill to safely negotiate different types of terrain within a couple of days. You WILL fall over, which is fun in the soft snow (although sometimes hard to get back up from) but does hurt a bit on the hard, prepared tracks. The scenery was fantastic, I never felt cold because we were active, and the company was incredibly friendly and supportive. We were with our group (14) for meals, warm up/down exercises and in the evening but we divided into 2 (ability) groups to ski, which worked well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved all of it, from first learning to snowplough through playing on the sparkling, crisp, virgin snow on the lake to touring and seeing the beautiful views from the higher terrain. Picking up speed on the prepared tracks and successfully cornering for the first time as well as traversing down through deep snow were thrilling (even though I am not a speed nor thrill seeker and would dread downhill skiing).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mary and Ilse were completely dedicated to making our holiday the best it could be. I was very impressed with the amount of attention we each received and their skill in coaxing the nervous as well as challenging the talented, so that everyone got the most from the experience. They were very professional, knowledgeable and great fun to be with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    What are you waiting for? Just do it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Kvitavatn Felljstoge is very efficiently and well run, comfortable but not luxurious. The staff are friendly and helpful and the food was very good quality homecooking and plentiful. There will definitely be something you like and can eat on the menu and you will not go hungry!
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Victoria Harris

    Wild and wonderful

    Just back from an amazing way to spend New Year. I was slightly hesitant that skiing may not be my thing but it's so accessible to get involved even for the complete novice. What great fun...I've never fallen over so many times and my knees are still bruised but it was worth it! The lodge and the couple running it were so hospitable, the facilities simple Scandi 'hygge' and there was nothing more pleasant than a hot sauna to warm up in at the end of a day in the cold. As a veggie, I was also pleased with the care and attention to providing protein rich options for dinner - the food was hearty and wholesome.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As an absolute beginner, staying upright on a small slope was an amazing feat. Snowshoeing up to the top of the plateau and seeing the wilderness for miles around Spending New Year in the snowy wilds and with such great people!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Illse and Mary were really great at coaching us in less than favourable conditions and keeping the options open to all abilities and inclinations for activity. They also provide evening 'entertainment'..but I will keep the content a surprise!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely take the advice of others and pack a bottle or buy supplies in the duty free at Oslo when you land. Drinks are available at the Lodge with high Norwegian tax added! I packed way too much, inside the lodge is super warm and cosy so a t-shirt is fine. Cosy boots useful for traversing between lodge and sleeping hut as are some sort of mini-crampon overshoe as it can be an ice-rink out there! Bring an extra towel you can use in the sauna...bikini's too if you don't fancy going native. A flask and sit mat are essential but you can borrow one if you forget them. Extra snacks are good to pack for when you need a burst of energy out on trail Hiking clothes are perfect unless you're extra sensitive to cold. I just wore merino long johns with trousers over the top and a couple of merino base layers, a wind proof top and a lightweight hard shell.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't deliberate - if you like snow, then this is for you! :)
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Tania Banotti

    Cross county skiing in Norway

    Kvitavaatn is a great location. Frozen lakes, forest the mountains and the Hardanger plateau right in front of the lodge where I stayed were beautiful..

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probabaly day 3 when I thought I had finally cracked the whole cross country skiing lark. I hadn't but it was fun trying.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mary our English guide was endlessly patient. Learning cross country skiing is bloody hard and frustrating at times!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring slippers as the Norwegians ALWAYS take off their shoes when they enter the lodge from outside so it's preferable to wandering about in your socks. Bring wax earplus because you share a room with 3 other people and there can be snorers amongst the group....

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros  Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros  Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros  Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Trips you might also like

Cross-country Skiing: Kamben

12 reviews

Enjoy the well-marked cross country skiing trails around Kamben in central Norway 

Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
8 Days from £1,499
Guided (Excl. Flights)
View More Details