Resort Scorecard

Snowsure


Beginners


Intermediate


Advanced


Snowboarders


Après Ski


Families


Base elevation: Voss Resort 220 metres / Myrkdalen 450 metres

Top elevation: Voss Resort 945 metres / Myrkdalen 1060 metres

Number of lifts: Voss Resort 11 lifts / Mrykdalen 8 lifts

Number of runs: Voss Resort 16 runs / Myrkdalen 20 runs

Access: Fly to Bergen. From Bergen it's only 90 minutes to Voss, and a further half hour up to Myrkdalen. Coaches, trains or hire cars cover the distance in no time.

Just as Queenstown is to New Zealand and Chamonix is to The Alps ... Voss is to Norway. It's the outdoorsy adventure Mecca, attracting a lively crowd of skiers and adrenalin junkies, in their low-slung trousers and fat skis. But don't let that put you off - the easily combined West Coast resorts of Voss and Myrkdalen are only a short and easy hop away from the UK, offer up hugely varied terrain for all levels (not always the case in Norway), are super-modern and well organised and the snow is just about as perfect as it gets. Voss plays host many large international ski competitions and World Cups, reinforcing its credentials as Norway's best resort ... so say us!

Voss is actually two resorts – and they are totally different in style, feel, attitude and terrain from each other. You'll need to ski them both, irrespective of where you choose to stay. Ski shuttle buses do the necessary shuttling between, or car hire is also a great (and affordable) option. The options are as follows:

Voss is the pretty lakeside town in the valley, but it's not a ski resort in itself. You can stay here, in Fleischers Hotel, and easily access the nearby resort by ski bus or via a lift from the downtown area. A stay in Voss affords you all the convenience and après-fun of a lively town.

Voss Resort is just up the road, and here there are cabins ideal for families and groups of friends…only a 10 minute drive from town.

The third option is to stay up at Myrkdalen, 40 minutes away up the mountain and above the treeline. This is a super-shiny, brand new ski resort with a wonderful hotel (and cabins), varied terrain and big ambition to become Norway's premier ski resort. Facilities are second-to-none and the luxury compelling. This is the future of Norwegian skiing.

We have had a long association with this region, perhaps simply because the west Coast is so accessible to us. As long ago as the 1800's British tourists were coming to Voss for the noble outdoor pursuits - fishing, rambling and the such - and it appears we built a lasting affinity the local population. In the 1960's skiing became a major focus and Voss became a mainstay for the larger mass-market tour operators for many years. However, they pulled out during the last recession and, quite frankly, their loss is our gain. Voss and Myrkdalen have improved as resorts markedly over recent years, yet the Brits had stopped visiting. It's time to head back...

Skiing in Voss / Myrkdalen

The sheer variety of the ski terrain is what holds your interest ... in both resorts. Voss Resort and Myrkdalen are in fact very different from each other, and have plenty to keep nervous beginners, improving intermediates and powder-enthused advanced skiers happy. Individually they are not to the largest ski mountains, but they combine to create something rather special.

Voss Resort is the larger, older and most fêted ski area, established in 1860. There are 11 lifts, 16 pistes and approximately 40 kilometres of trailed runs. But this only tells part of the story - it somehow feels considerably larger, perhaps because of the amount of terrain off-piste and also because of the excess of interest and variety. Voss packs a punch. There are the requisite beginner slopes and nursery areas - with reasonably long greens and blues bringing you all the way down the mountain. However, in our opinion, Voss comes in to its own for intermediates and advanced skiers ... it's heaps of fun to ski between the trees. Jaw-dropping views down to the Voss valley only add to the over-all experience.

Myrkdalen is a completely different proposition. Climbing up to the resort-dominating hotel the first thing you'll notice is the snow - it falls by the bucket load in Myrkdalen. Indeed, every year on the annual snowfall ranks amongst the highest of all European ski resorts. A huge amount of investment has gone in to the lift infrastructure on the mountain - with more on the way. 2014 saw the arrival of the new six-seater chair lift, Storhaugsekspressen, and brings it to a total of eight lifts and 20 slopes of wildly varying difficulty. All bases are covered - very gentle kids nursery area to some outrageously enjoyable off-piste terrain.

In both resorts the lifts tend to open at 9.30am and close at 4pm. Preparation is excellent - even in the afternoon, the slopes are still in good condition.

In Voss Resort, the Mt. Hangur cable car takes you up to a plateau area where the ski school is located. This is where some of the gentlest slopes are and it is also where you'll find the ski school.

In Myrkdalen, beginners will make their home on the easy slopes near the hotel base area. Heading up the mountain on the six person chair lift allows gentle runs back down to the base. Only the slopes on Finnbunuten are not suitable for beginners.

Mid-week it's quiet - so intermediates can clock off the miles in either resort with impunity. This is territory in which to focus on improvement - seek challenge and you'll find it. However, stay within your comfort zone and you'll cruise immaculately groomed wide pistes until your hearts' content. We suggest grabbing a set of fat skis for the day and dipping them in to the powder off the edges of the piste - there's fun to be had!

You'll have good fun, with some deep snow (Myrkdalen), tree-runs (Voss), moguls and varied terrain (both). In Voss, try the challenging runs from Floytesteinen and Stettafjell, as well as competition slopes down to Bavallen. In Myrkdalen, there are two interesting slopes beneath the six-person chairlift and then the deep powder snow on the Finnbunuten and the Krani is where you want to be.

With plenty of powder available, off piste is where it's at...

Voss and Myrkdalen are the pick of Norway's resorts for off-piste skiing - a great place for aspiring intermediates to develop their powder technique or for fat-ski aficionados to get their fix. Because the ski mountain is usually deserted during the week, you can create some perfectly symmetrical tracks in the easily accessed deep powder and then spend the rest of your week pointing them out to your lift companions. Not that we did this. Honest. Only once the Norwegians descend over the weekend will they be lost in the melee.

In both resorts, hiring a guide for the day makes all the difference. They know where to go and how to do it safely.

The uncrowded slopes in Voss are ideal for beginners to learn and gain confidence. Snowboarders at intermediate level can enjoy the fun park with half pipe, big jump and boarder cross. Advanced? See the 'Off-Piste' section. You know you want to.

This is our theory - the 'radical' extreme backcountry skiers of yesterday all grew up, decided to settle down, moved to Voss and then started a family. They have therefore created a resort to suit their needs - great for the kids, great for them! Facilities for children are front-and-centre and everything is done to encourage them to get out on their skis as soon as they can walk. In fact, before. Everything has been thought through for families and kids are welcomed with long green runs, mascots, play areas, magic carpet lifts in safe areas and ski races.

At Voss Resort, you will find three different skiing areas for children of different skiing abilities. Two of the areas, Badnakrokjen and Grebbesbakken, are free.

Myrkdalen offers activities for children at weekends, during the holidays and on request. There is a large children's area and slopes specially designed for the little ones, with their own lift and moving carpet. The accommodation is kid-friendly and really popular with Norwegian families.

In Voss you can have a quiet time or a riotous bonanza. The difference between weekends and mid-week is marked, belying the local trade which heads to Voss from Bergen and Oslo on a Friday night. But it all depends where you stay.

The town itself has more than 100 shops, and cafés, pub, restaurants, piano bars and lively nightclubs. Après ski gets going after 4 pm each evening with the most popular bars being Tre Bror, The Minigolfen Pub and Café right on the lake shore and Fredrik's Bar in Fleischer's Hotel.

If you are staying in one of the cabins at Voss Resort - its quiet. There is a small bar, but most evening will be spent in the cabin.

At Myrkdalen the hotel complex has three restaurants, a couple of bars, and even a nightclub. But you are out in the sticks and post-ski revelry is only what you choose to make it. Having said that, the hotel effortlessly creates a light-hearted and fun vibe - great for kids and adults alike.

In Voss Resort, the Mt. Hangur cable car takes you up to a plateau area where the ski school is located. This is where some of the gentlest slopes are and it is also where you'll find the ski school.

In Myrkdalen, beginners will make their home on the easy slopes near the hotel base area. Heading up the mountain on the six person chair lift allows gentle runs back down to the base. Only the slopes on Finnbunuten are not suitable for beginners.

Mid-week it's quiet - so intermediates can clock off the miles in either resort with impunity. This is territory in which to focus on improvement - seek challenge and you'll find it. However, stay within your comfort zone and you'll cruise immaculately groomed wide pistes until your hearts' content. We suggest grabbing a set of fat skis for the day and dipping them in to the powder off the edges of the piste - there's fun to be had!

You'll have good fun, with some deep snow (Myrkdalen), tree-runs (Voss), moguls and varied terrain (both). In Voss, try the challenging runs from Floytesteinen and Stettafjell, as well as competition slopes down to Bavallen. In Myrkdalen, there are two interesting slopes beneath the six-person chairlift and then the deep powder snow on the Finnbunuten and the Krani is where you want to be.

With plenty of powder available, off piste is where it's at...

Voss and Myrkdalen are the pick of Norway's resorts for off-piste skiing - a great place for aspiring intermediates to develop their powder technique or for fat-ski aficionados to get their fix. Because the ski mountain is usually deserted during the week, you can create some perfectly symmetrical tracks in the easily accessed deep powder and then spend the rest of your week pointing them out to your lift companions. Not that we did this. Honest. Only once the Norwegians descend over the weekend will they be lost in the melee.

In both resorts, hiring a guide for the day makes all the difference. They know where to go and how to do it safely.

The uncrowded slopes in Voss are ideal for beginners to learn and gain confidence. Snowboarders at intermediate level can enjoy the fun park with half pipe, big jump and boarder cross. Advanced? See the 'Off-Piste' section. You know you want to.

This is our theory - the 'radical' extreme backcountry skiers of yesterday all grew up, decided to settle down, moved to Voss and then started a family. They have therefore created a resort to suit their needs - great for the kids, great for them! Facilities for children are front-and-centre and everything is done to encourage them to get out on their skis as soon as they can walk. In fact, before. Everything has been thought through for families and kids are welcomed with long green runs, mascots, play areas, magic carpet lifts in safe areas and ski races.

At Voss Resort, you will find three different skiing areas for children of different skiing abilities. Two of the areas, Badnakrokjen and Grebbesbakken, are free.

Myrkdalen offers activities for children at weekends, during the holidays and on request. There is a large children's area and slopes specially designed for the little ones, with their own lift and moving carpet. The accommodation is kid-friendly and really popular with Norwegian families.

In Voss you can have a quiet time or a riotous bonanza. The difference between weekends and mid-week is marked, belying the local trade which heads to Voss from Bergen and Oslo on a Friday night. But it all depends where you stay.

The town itself has more than 100 shops, and cafés, pub, restaurants, piano bars and lively nightclubs. Après ski gets going after 4 pm each evening with the most popular bars being Tre Bror, The Minigolfen Pub and Café right on the lake shore and Fredrik's Bar in Fleischer's Hotel.

If you are staying in one of the cabins at Voss Resort - its quiet. There is a small bar, but most evening will be spent in the cabin.

At Myrkdalen the hotel complex has three restaurants, a couple of bars, and even a nightclub. But you are out in the sticks and post-ski revelry is only what you choose to make it. Having said that, the hotel effortlessly creates a light-hearted and fun vibe - great for kids and adults alike.

Getting There

First of all - fly to Bergen. At under two hours from Gatwick, this is one of Europe's closest ski destination. From Bergen, it's easy to get to Voss by car, train and bus. There is only 60 miles to cover Bergen, as you head between Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord in Western Norway.

Different Snow can organise your train travel on NSB - there are numerous departures daily to Voss from Bergen. Indeed, this is the main line which links Bergen and Oslo and the journey takes only just over an hour from Bergen, while it's six hours to Voss from Oslo. It takes a similar amount of time to cover this same distance in a hire car, which is easily organised.

There is a ski bus which takes you between Voss and Myrkdalen for free - departures are coordinated to synchronise with trains to and from Bergen. How convenient.

The Flåm Railway - known locally as the Flåmsbana - loops its way from Myrdal (a stop beyond Voss on the main line to Oslo) to Flåm 865 meters below, nestled in the innermost corner of the Aurlandfjord. The journey to Flåm will take just shy of two hours - two of the most enjoyable hours of your life!

Resort Scorecard

Snowsure


Beginners


Intermediate


Advanced


Snowboarders


Après Ski


Families


Base elevation: Voss Resort 220 metres / Myrkdalen 450 metres

Top elevation: Voss Resort 945 metres / Myrkdalen 1060 metres

Number of lifts: Voss Resort 11 lifts / Mrykdalen 8 lifts

Number of runs: Voss Resort 16 runs / Myrkdalen 20 runs

Access: Fly to Bergen. From Bergen it's only 90 minutes to Voss, and a further half hour up to Myrkdalen. Coaches, trains or hire cars cover the distance in no time.