Hemsedal's wooded mountains are often referred to as the Scandinavian Alps with the highest lift-served slopes in Scandinavia. The ski area is split across three peaks above 1,000m and all are interlinked by 52km of piste. Whilst the Hemsedal ski area is not as big as some of its European counterparts it's still plenty big enough.
You can ski back to the main town on the banks of the river Hemsila or there is a mid-mountain village, built in 2003-4 that host most of the accommodation and the whole place is ski in, ski out. Hemsedal is a very family friendly ski resort, yet at the weekend the bars can get pretty raucous. When it comes to après, the party often starts up on the mountain and carries on back down in town.
Skiing in Hemsedal
With 52km of empty pistes and a very respectable 830m vertical descent, Hemsedal has more than enough skiing for a weekend or even week-long break. The majority of the terrain is suited for intermediates to explore at their own pace with 20 lifts serving the resorts 50 pistes.
Beginners will revel on the wide green runs and families will love the largest children's area in Norway at the base of the resort. Lift passes are free for children under 7 years old. So perfect for getting their first ski legs at the same time as saving a few bob.
For advanced skiers, the real joy lies in the off-piste with bags of mellow powder to explore, the more challenging routes are best enjoyed with the help of a guide. The off-piste is a real draw to the area and the family-friendly nature of the resort means it's untouched powder for far longer. There's also a floodlit snowboard park and 2 smaller parks to play around in.
Après ski in Hemsedal
For a small resort, the après scene in Hemsedal packs a real punch. Whilst mid-week it may be a quaint and quiet place, at the weekends the resort ramps it up a gear with boisterous après up in the mountain village before the party makes it's way back down to town. The resort is predominantly on the single street so it's not hard to see where the lively action is - which also means you can easily avoid it as well. Depending on how you see your evening going.
What we like:
- Almost empty slopes, even during peak season the slopes don't get crowded
- Quality and reliability of the snow is fantastic, with the season starting in November, Christmas skiing is a joy here
- Lively après scene, especially at the weekends
- Family friendly resort with plenty of activities for children, they even get Skistar goody bags on arrival
- December has short days - 7 hours of daylight means it may be dark for breakfast but you'll be skiing by 9am and they use the floodlights to keep the slopes open in the evenings
- By February you have 9 hours daylight which is similar to France
- In March you're looking at 12 hours of daylight which is more than the UK