Bicycling is rapidly gaining popularity and may well become the number one favourite summer activity in the near future. The Lillehammer Region offers varied terrain and bicycle adventures that are suitable for most people. At Sjusjøen, you can test your stamina along the route where 16,000 participants compete in the popular Birkebeiner MTB Race every year in August.
Skeikampen can offer what is arguably the best trail and mountain biking area in the country, whereas Hafjell Bike Park has established itself as the country's most complete centre for lift-assisted downhill biking. Numerous gravel and farm roads are also available, and Øyerfjellet is the ideal place to combine mountain biking with farm visits.
Bicycle maps have been developed for destinations such as Hafjell, Skeikampen, Kvitfjell and Gålå, as well as for bicycling adventures in the Øyerfjellet mountain farm area. A regional map covering the entire Lillehammer Region is also available. The maps indicate level of difficulty, and can be purchased at the tourist office and at other tourist facilities in the region.
Several of the cycling venues offer bicycles for hire, as do Birk Sport in Lillehammer town centre.
Lillehammer is the gateway to the Gudbrandsdalen Valley, which features mountain plateaus to the east as well as to the west. Heritage walks in the lowlands are becoming increasingly popular, and new routes are being developed as part of the Pilgrims' Way (the St. Olav route from Oslo to Trondheim). Furthermore, the region is an excellent starting point for visits to the national parks in Langsua, Rondane and Jotunheimen.
Choose between mountain plateau hikes, walks from cabin to cabin and short or long day-trips from one location. Recommended areas in the Lillehammer Region are:
- The World of Peer Gynt – featuring Skeikampen, Gålå and Espedalen as well as spectacular views towards Jotunheimen.
- Lillehammer town centre – with Nordseter and Sjusjøen within easy reach.
- Rondane south – with Venabygdsfjellet and Kvamsfjellet mountains as excellent starting points.
- Langsua National Park and Gausdal Vestfjell/Hulderheimen – also known as the gateway to Jotunheimen.
- The Gudbrandsdalen Valley – offering pilgrimages through valleys and across mountains.
The 70 kilometre long Peer Gynt Trail leads through the beautiful, varied mountain terrain on the western side of the Gudbrandsdalen Valley. The trails run through the village of Sødorp by Vinstra, which is where the person who Ibsen based his famous character on once lived. There are several hotels and mountain lodges providing accommodation and meals. For organised trips along the Peer Gynt Trail, please contact Norske Bygdeopplevelser at Lillehammer.
Trips with or without a guide and luggage transfer
- Norske Bygdopplevelser – a tour operator specialising in walking packages for both groups and individuals. All trips have a set start date and can be booked online. Most packages include accommodation in a double room, breakfast, packed lunch, evening meal, map, route descriptions and any transport required.
- Camino Walks – a company offering guided walks with luggage transfer along the Pilgrims' Way between Lillehammer and Otta.
The starting point for many guided walks is Venabu Mountain Lodge on the eastern side of Gudbrandsdalen. These hikes will lead you across mountain plateaus, to the peaks of Rondane, down into ravines and along spectacular rapids.
Rafting in Sjoa
Gudbrandsdalen has the country's best rafting and river paddling areas. This is action the entire family can enjoy, and trips are tailored to suit different levels and individual requests. Many people consider Sjoa to be one of the best rafting rivers in the world. Otta, the neighbouring river, is ideal for family rafting.
The Hunderfossen High Ropes Park is part of the Hunderfossen Family Park, and is located close to the Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track. In other words, action and family activities can be enjoyed in rapid succession. The high ropes park features obstacle courses with heights ranging from 2 to 12 metres above ground level.
Downhill biking in Hafjell
Hafjell Bike Park is Norway's most complete centre for lift-assisted cycling adventures – or so-called downhill biking. The gondola and express lifts carry riders swiftly to the top of the mountain. Back down, the riders have a choice of demanding as well as less demanding routes – Hafjell Bike Park offers challenges for all. Downhill bikes are available for hire.
The Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track is one of the region's most adrenaline-fuelled attractions. At the Bobsleigh and Luge Track you get to experience the G-force for yourself – at a speed of up to 100 km/h – in a wheelbob (in the summer) or in bob and skeleton rafts (in the winter).
Trips and safaris
Horses and horseback riding
Explore the mountains on horseback. Several stables in the Lillehammer Region, for example Venabustallen, offer horseback riding with a guide.
Fishing and outdoor life
At Lillehammer, you have access to Mjøsa – one of the country's best fishing lakes. In addition to the over 10-kilogram Mjøsa trout, you can catch pike, perch, grayling and 18 other fish species. Some sections of the Gudbrandsdalslågen River, which runs through the Gudbrandsdalen Valley and ends in Mjøsa by Lillehammer, also abound with fish. In the mountains, fishing enthusiasts can enjoy a wide choice of streams, rivers, forest tarns or mountain lakes. The national parks in Rondane, Jotunheimen and Langsua, all surrounded by vast mountain areas, make it easy for you to plan your own outdoor adventure. Follow the Norwegian Mountain Touring Association’s network of trails and walk from cabin to cabin, or bring a tent and find your own perfect spot.
To see the king of the forest in its natural habitat is a powerful experience. Throughout the summer season, there are moose safaris on offer in the Lillehammer Region.
Winter activities and skiing
The Lillehammer Region is famous for its winter-sport facilities, and a number of major sport events take place here – for example the Ski Jumping World Cup, IngaLåmi and the Birkebeiner Ski Race.
The lift pass-agreement Lillehammer Ski Resorts covers all five alpine centres in the region, making the Lillehammer Region the country's most complete alpine destination for people of all levels and abilities.
Cross-country enthusiasts can enjoy over 2,000 km of varied ski tracks. Furthermore, the region is a popular destination for activities without skis, such as snowshoe walks, winter park fun and toboggan runs.
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