Telemark is a unique hiking destination in many ways, thanks to its central location between Oslo and Fjord Norway and its varied terrain with coastal paths, forests and mountains. Here you will also find Hardangervidda, the largest mountain plateau in Northern Europe. Stop for a short walk during your car journey or spend days in the spectacular mountain areas.
The hiking season lasts from April to October. The higher areas usually have snow from October to May.
The most significant areas for walking in the southern and central parts of Telemark are the coastal trail in Langesund, the famous Telemark Canal and Lifjell. The steep hike to the unique rock formation Gygrestolen is suitable for people in relatively good physical shape.
Western Telemark has a fascinating, rugged landscape with plenty of hiking trails. Here you will find the popular Lårdalstigen, a tour that is recommended for experienced hikers – the locals claim that it is "tougher than Besseggen". Another option is the moderately demanding hike to Hægefjell.
In the Rjukan/Rauland area, you will find the hugely popular Gaustatoppen, which is one of the most photographed mountains in Norway. The trip to the summit and back takes around five hours, and is suitable for families with children who have done hiking before. Also suitable for families is the stone-prepared path to Solstien, which starts at the Krossobanen cable car and ends in Gvepseborg at the foot of Hardangervidda one hour and 30 minutes later. The new spectacular footpath to Falkeriset, which opened in Rauland in 2012, is another family hike – bring children of all ages for a one hour round trip with a superb view of the surrounding mountains.
Top hikes in Telemark
At Rjukan you can join a guided tour that follows the Saboteurs´ trail – the famous route used by the Norwegian Resistance during World War II to get from the Hardangervidda mountain plateau through the steep gorges to Vemork, where they blew up the heavy water plant.
Telemark offers a number of quality hotels, apartments and cottages – from the coastal area Grenland to mountain areas like Lifjell, Haukeli, Rauland and Rjukan/Gaustablikk. The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) provides cabins in Haukeli, at Kalhovd and Mogen on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau.
How to get there
You can get to Telemark by car, bus, train, ferry and air. The shortest way to get from Oslo to Fjord Norway is through Telemark. The two main roads through the county are the E18 and the E134.
The nearest airport is in Sandefjord and there are ferries to the continent from Langesund, Larvik and Sandefjord.
Read more about how to get to Telemark.
Read more about hiking in Telemark at Telemark’s official website.