In Telemark, some of the easiest cycling routes are along the coast with island hopping outside the coastal town of Kragerø, for example at the islands Skåtøy and Jomfruland. One of the most scenic routes is a 3 days trip that follows small roads by the Telemark Canal from Ulefoss to Dalen, along the National Cycle Route 2.
The best season for cycling in Telemark is from late May to mid-September. On the Hardangervidda there is usually snow until early June.
Cycling along the Telemark Canal
Telemarkreiser offers bicycling packages along the 105 kilometres long Telemark Canal from Skien to Dalen, including overnight accommodation, a boat trip and bicycle transport. The package allows you to combine cycling with boating, through a constantly changing landscape of mountains and forests in the remote western part of Telemark.
The route along the canal is quite hilly, and the canal tour is best suited for experienced cyclists. You can find several other exciting cycling packages on Telemark's official website.
Cycling along the coast and inland
The Grenland area is located halfway between Oslo and Kristiansand. There are over 30 cycling routes in Grenland, along the Telemark coast and around Porsgrunn/Skien. Experience the archipelago, beaches, small towns, forests and large lakes. You will find well-marked routes throughout the whole region. More information is available on Visit Grenland's official website.
The numerous lakes in Telemark, for example Fyresvatn, Seljordvatn, Totak and Vråvatn, provide endless excellent touring alternatives. Here you will also find Nisser and Møsvatn, two of Norway’s largest lakes.
If you want an expedition off the beaten track, Telemark is the place for you. There are several wild, secluded valleys worth exploring by bike; Årmotsdalen, Birtedalen, Kivledalen, Bondalen, Grunningsdalen, Svartdal and Breisetdalen, to name a few. Most of these are almost uninhabited, so please be aware that there is not a great deal of accommodation available.
Telemark Adventure (in Dalen)
Raulandsfjell rents out bicycles, terrain cycles, child cycles and cycle trailers from May to October.
Quality Straand Hotel & Resort
Where to stay
Telemark offers a number of good hotels, apartments and cottages, from the coastal area of Grenland up to mountain areas such as Lifjell, Haukeli, Rauland and Rjukan/Gaustablikk. The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) has cabins in Haukeli at Kalhovd and Mogen on the Hardangervidda Mountain Plateau.
How to get to Telemark
Telemark is easily accessible from the continent; by ferry routes from Denmark to Sandefjord, Larvik and Langesund or by air to Sandefjord Airport Torp, about one hour drive from Skien. The main roads are the E18 on the south coast from Oslo to Kristiansand, and the E134 from Oslo across the Hardangervidda Mountain Plateau to Haugesund and Bergen.