A cultural county
Telemark is located in the southernmost part of Eastern Norway, extending from the Skagerrak coast in the south to northern Europe's largest mountain plateau Hardangervidda in the north. Telemark covers an area of 1,140 square kilometres, and most of this is made up of mountains, highlands, forests and lakes. In the north Gaustatoppen rises to 6,177 feet above sea level.
Above all Telemark is known as the cultural county: Museums, traditional villages, churches and a variety of exhibitions and festivals in Telemark provide visitors with cultural memories to bring back home.
The largest towns are Skien, the home of Norway's famous playwright Henrik Ibsen, Porsgrunn, famous for its porcelain, the harbour town Langesund, Notodden with Heddal Stave church as the main attraction, Rjukan, home of the Vemork factory and the Heroes of Telemark, and finally Edvard Munch's beloved coast town of Kragerø. Other important destinations are Bø, housing Scandinavia's largest water park, Fyresdal with its many outdoor activities, Rauland for skiing and hiking, and Vinje at the foot of Hardangervidda.
Telemark - the site of historic events
Historic people, sites and events such as Henrik Ibsen, Edvard Munch, Terje Håkonsen, Sondre Nordheim (the founder of modern skiing), Heddal Stave Church , the Telemark Canal, the Telemark traditional national costume, the Heroes of Telemark from The Second World War and more have all contributed to the fame of Telemark.
Central location and mild climate
Telemark's central location and varity of nature and attractions from coast to mountain, as well as its cultural heritage, makes it a popular place to visit. Europe is close to Telemark, and the shortest distance from the capital Oslo to the fjords in the west is through Telemark. The climate is among the mildest in Norway, and the Gulf Stream brings warm water to the coast, sometimes bringing sea tempatures as high as up to 23 degrees Celsius in the summer.
Commerce and industry
Commerce and industry in Telemark is varied, with the industry in Porsgrunn and the petrochemical activities in Bamble as important cornerstones. Telemark is one of Norway's largest forestry counties.