A Nordic tradition

Snowshoes and cross-country skis may not seem as exciting as husky safaris and snowmobiling but these simple activities not only have a long history in remote regions but are often a surprise hit with many of our clients and we warn you, they can be addictive.

Both sports have developed over centuries to allow easier and faster transport across the thick layer of snow that winter brings to these remote regions.

When snowshoes are strapped on they provide you with a larger surface area on which to walk across deep layers of snow, allowing your weight to be distributed more evenly and thus stopping you from sinking.

Cross-country skis work on more compacted and thinner layers of snow and involve the use of flat, long skis and poles to propel you across the snow.

We offer many different opportunities to get you out on both snowshoes and cross-country skis. From following your expert local guide into the surrounding wilderness to learn all about the flora and fauna in the Arctic to taking off into the dark night for a peaceful way to search for the Northern Lights, there are plenty of different ways to experience both activities.

Many of our hotels also offer hire of the equipment so that you can do some independent exploration of the snowy landscape. Scroll down to learn more about snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

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Beloved pastimes

Evidence of cross-country skiing dates back over 5000 years in Lapland, with this mode of transport being used in hunting, wood gathering, reindeer herding and when accessing remote communities.

Today cross-country skiing is a hugely popular pastime across Lapland and indeed skiing has become a sport which the Nordic countries have become renowned for globally.

As visitors to this region you will very likely see people of all ages making their way across the landscape on skis – it is a real haven for such activities and there are hundreds of varying trails criss-crossing the landscape.

Such is the love of cross-country skiing that in the summer you will see the locals wearing skis with wheels, just so they can still enjoy the sport despite the lack of snow.

Another form of traditional skiing is forest skiing which you will find in some destinations in Sweden. It involves using wider and longer skis to traverse the landscape in a similar fashion to cross-country skiing.

The use of snowshoes also dates back thousands of years in this region when they were vital tools that helped people to survive and hunt here.

Through their important use in allowing easier navigation across deep snow, they were of long-lasting importance to hunters and trappers and also crucial for allowing communities to maintain contact when the snowfall was at its deepest.

Today, snowshoeing is still a popular way to get around in the winter time and allows much easier access to areas where the snowfall can be particularly high.

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The activities

The majority of our trips will involve snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in some form, allowing you to experience this landscape from an altogether different perspective. Whilst both activities may seem a little tricky to master at first and, particularly with the cross-country skiing, involve an extra bit of coordination, with instruction you will soon be setting off across the landscape with ease.

With these activities you can experience the pristine landscapes in a quiet manner, enjoying the silence of your snow-covered setting. There are numerous trails to be explored at all of our locations and at most snowshoes and cross-country skis can be hired to allow you to explore independently once you have gained confidence.

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