The area covers a total of around 5,000 km2 and the population is 55,000. The southern and central parts of Gudbrandsdalen are often included in the Lillehammer Region, as are the following geographical areas:
- Sjusjøen in Ringsaker Municipality
- Lillehammer Municipality
- Gausdal Municipality
- Øyer Municipality
- Ringebu Municipality
- Sør-Fron Municipality
- Nord-Fron Municipality
- Sjoa in Sel Municipality
The region form part of Oppland – a county rich in flora, fauna and natural habitats, and with vast forests, mountains, watercourses, cultivated land, seven national parks and several nature reserves.
Most people live in the south and along the main routes leading through the valleys. In the county's northern municipalities, the population is more spread out.
During summer, the temperature is comfortable and often rises above 20°C. The winter climate is typically Norwegian and is dry with temperatures usually staying below 0°C. Be aware that the temperatures in the mountains often differ from the valleys, and it is important to check the weather forecast before setting out. Snow usually arrives in October/November, and the skiing season lasts until after Easter.
A modern town with medieval roots
Lillehammer was granted town privileges in 1827 and town status in 1842. Its coat of arms commemorates an impressive act of heroism in medieval times – an event that changed Norwegian history. It illustrates the famous crossing of the mountain by the Birkebeiners in order to save Håkon Håkonsson, the king's infant son.
Every year, the town hosts the Birkebeiner events, which are some of the world's largest events in cross-country skiing, mountain biking and running. All are based on the historic Birkebeiner run, and the mandatory 3.5 kilogram backpack represents the king's infant son.
In 1994, Lillehammer hosted the Winter Olympic Games, a fantastic and unique sports extravaganza. The Olympic arenas, today managed by Lillehammer Olympiapark, are still in use and open to visitors. The facilities are used daily for training, competitions, events and activities.
Facts & figures
- Lillehammer town was founded in 1827
- World famous for hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics
- Distance from Oslo: 180 kilometres
- Distance from Oslo Airport Gardermoen: 150 kilometres
- Situated by Norway's largest lake, Mjøsa (on the northern side)
- A commercial, administrative, cultural and educational centre
- A popular tourist destination – over 1.2 million visitors (overnight stays) annually (2011)