“A top resort for novice instruction” enthused a reporter. Per Bye (+47 3209 0650) is recommended (“the instructors speak good English”), and Geilolia Snosportskole, located by Geilolia Skisenter, is another excellent ski school. “No arrogant show-off instructors here – just honest, nice and well qualified people who actually want you to get better,” was how one reporter summed it up.
Learn to kiteski in Geilo
Not content with one claim to fame as a cross-country centre, Geilo is also known as the European capital of kiteskiing. To take part in this action-packed sport you can use alpine skis, a snowboard, or Telemark skis. You need an open snowfield or frozen lake, and the Hardangervidda Plateau is ideal for this. Courses are offered for all levels, including learning how to control your kite before finally launching it for the first time. A medium-strength wind is best for beginners, but before long you should be able to cope with stronger winds. You can then perform high jumps, travel fast and have loads of fun. Geilo is a past host of the Kiteskiing World Championships and the Kiteskiing World Cup. Book lessons through either Kiteskiing Hardangervidda Kitesenter (+47 99 15 41 39) or Geilolia (+47 32 09 55 15).
Fabulous for children – and everyone speaks English
The much-praised Trollklubben Barnehage, in the Geilolia area, offers excellent and friendly childcare in warm, log cabin surroundings, and cares for children from newborn to seven years. It’s highly flexible and you can leave children here from one hour to the whole day with lunch.
Geilolia Snosportskole is the smaller of the two ski areas and a five-minute bus-ride from town. The Ski School at Vestlia is said to be friendly, although the skiing in this area is limited for better intermediates. The resort holds a weekly treasure hunt on green runs. Geilo has its own children’s terrain park, which is excellent for beginners. It includes a half-pipe, jumps, box rails and a fun box.
Children love the tobogganing at Bobland, which makes a fun alternative to skiing. They learn to steer, stop and turn their toboggans and, after practicing on a dedicated run, they can qualify for the resort’s own toboggan licence. Another interesting activity for kids is an ‘extreme safari’ that promises close-up encounters with the local wildlife- lynx, arctic fox and reindeer.
The Ustedalen Hotel is just one of a number of places that are extremely well equipped for families. A large staffed playroom is provided with art materials, Lego and other fun things to give parents a chance to relax after skiing. For older children there are pool tables and table tennis. Most of the hotels in Geilo have indoor swimming-pools.