Several years ago my brother instigated the concept of the cultural snowboarding trip. The idea: don't hole up in one resort and only see hotel, slopes and bar - get out, travel and soak up the real culture while you're there. A trip to Granada and the magnificent Alhambra, combined with skiing in the Sierra Nevada in 28 degree heat, is one example, but checking out the museums and galleries of Oslo and the fantastic scenery that abounds across that nation and its neighbour, Sweden, while travelling by day and night-sleeper train is my personal favourite. Hafjell near Lillehammer, site of the slalom races for the '94 Winter Olympics, is just great in Springtime, or try nearby Kvitfjell if you're more daring. At Narvik you feel like you are skiing into the sea and can also visit a museum which celebrates the allied forces' earliest victory of WWII. In Riksgransen you can ski late into the night in the Spring. And then there is Are, which is a match for many of the best resorts in the Alps. Add a few days in Stockholm at the end of the trip and the whole experience is life-enhancing. Travel with a few mates and you could have the time of your life.
Travel by RyanAir from Stansted, Liverpool or Edinburgh to Oslo Torp and take the bus into the city. Then take a day train to Lillehammer for Hafjell. Sleeper trains take you north to Trondheim and then onto Fauske and a fantastic bus and ferry journey will take you to Narvik. Take the majestic Ofoten line to Riksgransen and finally the Norrlandståget sleeper train to Stockholm. Are can be reached easily from Stockholm or from Trondheim in Norway.
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