On a winter trip to Flåm in Norway, we spent a morning hiking up deep snow in the nearby mountains. Here’s my full account of snowshoeing in Flåm, Norway.
“I’ve never snowshoed before” I declared, as we climbed out of the van on the edge of one of the mountains near Flåm. “Shall I just pretend I’m skiing?”.
“It’s easier than skiing” our guide laughed. “You just need to walk like normal”.
He produced eight pairs of what looked like stocky skis, helping us lace ourselves into them when necessary.
“Let’s go!” He declared when we were ready. “300 metres up this hill, then we’re going off-piste!”.
I was the first person in the group to reach the “off-piste” trail, where the track turned sharply upwards and the snow depended considerably. Here goes nothing, I thought, and walked into the thick snow, hearing a soft crunching noise as I took tentative steps.
Remarkably, my shoes didn’t sink but stayed virtually at the same level as the top of the snow.
Step, step, step… I continued. It really was almost as easy as walking.
This blog post contains affiliate links. I was a guest of Widerøe airlines and visit Fjord Norway. All opinions are my own.
What’s snowshoeing in Flåm like?
Our group had piled into a small minivan, which was tackling the hairpin mountain bends with some gusto.
“We’ll stop for views on the way down”, our guide explained, before coming to a halt at the end of the road. This was the end of the road; the only way forward was to snowshoe.
Once we were strapped in, we marched forward purposefully, before taking the off-piste route up towards the mountain. It felt like it should have been more challenging, and every time I took another step up the incline, I marvelled at how my feet seemed to bounce off the snow as they took their grip.
“You wouldn’t believe how deep the snow really is”, our guide laughed as he took a shoe off. It rose far above his knee.
My partner Rich, who was in a deeper spot, promptly fell over and ended up waist-deep (for snowshoeing in Norway, waterproofs are essential!).
We journeyed uphill, through evergreen trees, following trails or making our own in fresh snow. With the plastic snowshoes attached to our feet, any fresh powder was our oyster.
“I think we all need a bit more energy,” our guide told us, producing a hot flask from his backpack and pouring cups of hot blackcurrant drink. “It’s popular throughout Norway”, he told us. “In the winter, we have it piping hot like this – it’s perfect for snowy activities. In the summer, we drink it cold!”.
“There’s also a chocolate I want you to try” he informed us, pulling out a biscuit that I already knew very well, thanks to my fiendishness for all things cocoa-based. “It’s a Norwegian kit kat. But ours came first, and it’s better, ok? Nobody can tell me otherwise!”.
The journey down was a little quicker, sped up even more by the opportunity to sledge.
I hadn’t used a sledge since I was about eight years old, and – without thinking too much about how my 30-year-old body could be a lot more prone to injury – I quickly took a seat, pushed off with my legs, and whizzed down the hill – straight into a pile of snow.
“It’s a Devon derby”, my trip mates informed me, referring to the fact that I’d sledged the furthest so far, Rich was still yet to go, and we live in Devon.
He took off from the top of the hill and – made it about a metre further than me. My sledging crown had been taken.
From here, it was a short bounce along a snowy path – with one zig-zag route that felt a little like skiing – to the road, which then led to the van.
We hiked for a total of an hour and a half, which was the perfect time to see the wonderful vista and enjoy the experience without getting too cold.
The transfer time took 25 minutes each way, making it an easy 2-hour 30-minute morning trip out of Flåm.
How to go snowshoeing in Flåm
Book snowshoeing Flåm experiences with Fjord safari. Taking place in January, February and March, there are 1-2 departures per day; book before 10:00 pm the night before to ensure your space.
Wear thick, warm clothes (I recommend waterproof skiing gear) and comfortable shoes – make sure that these are waterproof too.
All gear is provided, along with a warm drink, but you might want to take a bottle of water for the car.
Tips for visiting Flåm
I’d recommend taking the Flåm railway to the village. It’s one of the most beautiful railway journeys in Europe, offering epic landscapes from frosty windows.
Access Flåm railway by taking a train from Bergen to Myrdal and then changing.
To get to Bergen, fly from European destinations with Widerøe (which I was a guest of). They connect London, Aberdeen and a range of other cities to Bergen. It’s worth spending a few days in Bergen in the winter too!
I’d recommend staying at Fretheim Hotel in Bergen; a historic accommodation that’s built up along with the tourism industry in the village.
The hotel boasts elegant rooms with cosy beds and luxurious bathrooms with roll-top baths. Click here for availability and rates.
Are you ready for snowshoeing in Norway?
There are so many incredible things to do in Flåm; snowshoeing is just one of them!
So strap on your snowshoes and head out to the mountains!