Geilo is both a summer and a winter destination, although its claim to fame is as a skiing resort, the main season lasting from January to March. If you plan on doing a lot of skiing, it's best to purchase the Vinterlandkoret Ski Pass at the tourist office. This pass, costing NOK340 ($68/£34) per day or NOK1,415 ($283/£142) per week, is good for all five ski centers in the area, as well as the network of slopes in such nearby resorts as Ål, Uvdal, and Hemesdal.
Of the five different ski centers, our most preferred is Geilo Skiheiser (tel. 32-09-59-20), with 24km (15 miles) of slopes, many as good as those in the Swiss Alps, plus 130km (81 miles) of cross-country trails along with 18 lifts and a "ski-board" tunnel.
The favorite area for families is Vestlia (tel. 32-09-55-10), west of Ustedalsfjord. Other ski centers are found at Havsdalsenternet (tel. 32-09-17-77), which Norwegian young people have adopted as their favorite; and Slaatta(tel. 32-09-02-02), with its wide range of alpine and cross-country trails (though not as good as those of Geilo Skiheiser).
In all, Geilo, Norway's most popular winter resort, offers 18 lifts and 33 runs. All the ski centers are linked by a free shuttle bus service. Cross-country skiers will find a total of 220km (136 miles) of marked trails through forests, hills, and moors to Hardangervidda, Europe's largest mountain plateau.
In summer, mountain tracking is the passion. Some of the greatest hikes in central Norway are open to you, and the Geilo tourist office is most helpful in offering expert guidance and furnishing maps. There is a network of marked routes and pathways established since ancient days. Geilo cable cars take you to the top of the resort at 1,060m (3,477 ft.) above sea level. From that vantage point, marked trails split off in many directions.
When you get tired of hiking, you can always take up canoeing, cycling, or horseback riding. To go rafting and canoeing, call Dagali Rafting (tel. 32-09-38-20), which organizes trips in the Dagali and Sjoa areas around Geilo. Depending on the day of the week, trips begin at NOK325 ($65/£33), going up to NOK810 ($162/£81). On your own, you can rent canoes and rowboats at Fagerli Leirskole, Skurdalen (tel. 32-09-47-25).
For horseback riding, call Hakkesetstølen (tel. 32-09-09-20). You can ride the happy trails from June to October.
To go biking in the area, stop by first at the Geilo tourist office for a cycling map. On your rented bike, you can set out to explore summer roads leading into the surrounding mountains. Bikes can be rented in the center of Geilo at Intersport Geilo (tel. 32-09-55-80), costing NOK180 to NOK300 ($36-$60/£18-£30) per day.
Fishermen flock here to try their luck in the region's nearly 100 mountain lakes or stretches of river, which can be fished from June to September. A fishing license costing NOK80 ($16/£8) is available at the tourist office, and fishing boat rentals and tackle are available for rent through Fagerli Leirskole (tel. 32-09-47-25), costing NOK160 ($32/£16) per day.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.