The Telemark Canal
The Telemark Canal was finished in 1892 and was, for many years, a very important travel route between upper- and lower Telemark. Experience the wonders of Telemark's nature when travelling from sea to mountains through the canal's 18 locks on the trip from Skien to Dalen.
Heddal Stave Church
Heddal Stave Church is the best preserved stave church in Norway, and it is situated right outside Notodden. The beautiful church hall was built in the 1200s, and here you will find rose paintings from the 1600s, the “bishop's chair” and incense vessels dating from medieval times.
The island of Jomfruland outside Kragerø is a part of a glacial moraine stretching from the Baltic Sea through Sweden and along the Norwegian coast. A favourable climate and lush vegetation have attracted a great variety of birds: some 60 to 70 species nest here. A bird-watching station is also located here. Jomfruland is known for its long boulder beach. The island is free of traffic and is popular with cyclists and campers. Jomfruland is also one of the islands in Norway with the most sunny days. It can be reached by ferry from the idyllic seaside town of Kragerø.
A popular hiking trail runs up to Telemark's highest mountain, Gaustatoppen, which towers 1,883 metres above sea level. It takes about two hours to ascend. On a clear day you can see one sixth of Norway from the summit. There are nice views over Rjukan, at the edge of the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, from where there are hiking trails over to the west coast of Norway.
Henrik Ibsen Museum, Venstøp, Skien
The dramatist Henrik Ibsen lived on the small farm of Venstøp from the age of seven to 15. His childhood home is today a modern museum devoted to the writer. His childhood in Skien has been an inspiration for many of his works, of which "The Wild Duck" is the most famous.
Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum, Vemork, Rjukan
Vemork was at the centre of one of the most important acts of sabotage committed during World War II, when Norwegian saboteurs prevented the Germans from developing a nuclear bomb from the heavy water that was produced there. Here you will also find an exhibition about the saboteurs and another one about Rjukan as an industrial centre.
Morgedal and the Norwegian Ski Museum
Morgedal is called "The cradle of skiing", as it was here ski as we know it today started in the 1850s, with Sondre Norheim and his revolutionary ski models that could twist and turn. The visitor centre Norsk Skieventyr houses a multimedia journey through skiing's history, and a ski-making workshop.
West-Telemark Museum, Eidsborg
West-Telemark Museum is situated in Eidsborg and consists of more than 30 houses and buildings. In addition to the intimate Eidsborg Stave Church dating from the 1200s, there is also Stålekleivloftet, Norway's oldest non-religious building. A new modern museum building will open in June 2012, housing a number of new exhibitions.
Since the last Ice Age, rocks and gravel have been swirling around on the riverbanks and formed big potholes. Today the river is dammed and the potholes and river make out a natural waterpark suitable for all ages. On hot days the potholes become almost like hot pools, heated by the rocks and surrounding mountains.
The Gausta Line and Krossobanen Cable Car, Rjukan
The Krossobanen Cable Car was the first cable car to be built in northern Europe, back in 1928, and was a gift from Norsk Hydro to Rjukan's townspeople so that they could get up high enough on the mountain to see the sun in winter. The view over Rjukan from the upper station is fantastic, with mountains to the south and west and Vemork down in the valley where the dramatic heavy water sabotage operations took place during World War II.
The Gausta Line is a cable railway built inside Mount Gausta, and consists of a battery-powered carriage on rails which transports passengers to the top of Telemark's highest mountain, from where impressive views can be enjoyed.