The icy music of Geilo

Halfway on the railroad between Oslo and Bergen, in a valley surrounded by moutain plateaus, the town of Geilo lies. The hotspot of the Norwegian winter season, it is a popular destination for skiing, cross-country, and all other sorts of outdoor activities. But Geilo also has a spectacular secret: the annual Ice Music Festival!

The ski resort town of Geilo (pronounced Yey-loo) is one of Norway’s most popular winter destinations. Lying in a mountain valley in central Norway on a comfortable three and a half hours drive from the capital, it is easy to travel here. It lies halfway on the famous railroad between Oslo and Bergen. Geilo has had a tradition of outdoor winter sports for many years, and queen Sonja of Norway even got her ski instructors licence here.

Digital Camera
The town of Geilo – photo: J. Grube

Geilo has excellent accomodation and slopes to offer. The hills and mountains surrounding the town are dotted with ski slopes and cross country trails. In summer, these trails make perfect hiking trails, making Geilo also an attractive summer destination. The nearby Hallingskarvet mountain plateau, dotted with small glaciers and eternal snow, truly is a beautiful place to hike.

But there is more to Geilo than meets the eye! The town’s best hidden gem is the curious music festival the inhabitants organise each year at the first full moon. Being a kind of boreal place anyway, they descided not to have a regular music festival, but to allow only musical instruments made of ice!

Emile Holba
Photo: Ice Music Festival (Emilio Holba)

Every January since 2006, the Ice Music Festival has been a magical combination of music, art and nature. During three nights, everybody’s invited to discover a spellbinding world of icy music and soundscapes. All the instruments are made of natural ice and snow, and the performing artists come from all over Norway and all over the world.

This year’s festival will be held 21-24 January 2016. Take a look at the website for more information and tickets. And, when in Geilo, stay at our cosy Geilo Hostel! Take some warm clothes with you, and prepare for an unforgettable northern experience!

geilo poster

photo top: Ice Music Festival (Emilio Holba)

written by Robin Van de Walle

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