The Telemark Canal
Stretching 65 miles from Skien to Dalen, the Telemark Canal offers cultural history, constantly changing landscape and lock passages just as they were over 100 years ago. The two nostalgic canal boats M/S Victoria and M/S Henrik Ibsen sail between Skien and Dalen from May to September and offer cruises lasting from 2 to 11 hours. The somewhat newer M/S Telemarken sails between Akkerhaugen and Lunde.
Telemark offers hiking possibilities from the coastline to the soft valleys in Vrådal and Nissedal, spectacular walks along the Telemark Canal and up to the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, where wild reindeer roam. Popular walks include Lårdalstigen in Tokke, Gaustatoppen in Rjukan, Hægefjell in Vrådal and Solstien in Rjukan and Falkeriset in Rauland, which was built with the help of sherpas from Tibet. Read more about hiking in Telemark.
Telemark is an exciting area for cycling and there are a number of different routes to choose from: Island hopping outside the coastal town of Kragerø, off-road cycling in Nissedal, a spin at Vrådal Mountain bike park or mountain biking at Hardangervidda mountain plateau. One of the scenic routes follows the Telemark Canal from Ulefoss to Dalen, and the national cycle route no. 2 runs here. Bicycles can be rented in Lunde, Dalen, Rauland, Vrådal and Rjukan.
Telemark's nature is perfect for boating activities and the possibilities are many. The ferries in Brevik and Kragerø bring passengers to many of the beautiful islands on the Telemark coast. M/B Fjellvåken sails in scheduled route between Skinnarbu and Mogen cruising on Lake Møsvatn on the Hardanger mountain plateau. In Vrådal the old tug boat Fram cruises on Lake Nisser, while a charming little cable ferry brings people across Lake Nisser from Sundsodden to Fjone. The canal boats M/S Henrik Ibsen, M/S Victoria and M/S Telemarken sail on the Telemark Canal from May to September.
Canoeing and kayaking
Telemark is dotted with rivers, lakes and canals offering great opportunities for kayaking and canoeing. From the open sea with its multitude of islands through to lakes of varying sizes in the lowlands and on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, the choices are vast. The Telemark Canal, with its many locks and narrow waterways, is especially popular with paddlers.
Telemark is one of Norway's best fishing counties and can offer fishing in the sea, rivers, lakes and mountain lakes. Some of Europe's best deep-sea fishing waters lie outside Langesund. Trout is the most common catch in the fresh water lakes.
Bø Sommarland, situated just outside the village of Bø, is Norway's largest waterpark, with one of the world's largest artificial waves for surfing and Norway's biggest water roller coaster. Enjoy indoor water parks at Rjukanbadet in Rjukan and Skien Fritidspark in Skien. Skjærgården Badepark in Langesund offers both indoor and outdoor pools, and is situated right by the seashore.
Telemark offer several good golf courses, all of them situated in beautiful surroundings. These include Kragerø Golfpark and Lønne Golfklubb in Kragerø, Grenland Golfklubb in Skien, Vrådal Golf and Norsjø Golfpark on the shore of Lake Norsjø in mid-Telemark.
Activities for children
Farm visits, available in several places in Telemark, are popular activities for families with children. Of course, the water parks in Bø, Rjukan, Skien and Langesund are also among kids' favourites.
The Climbing Park in Skien, the sea serpent tower in Seljord, and the wakeboard arena at Norsjø Ferieland are popular places to visit for families. You will also find activities for children in the museums in Telemark.
Telemark is known for its strong cultural identity. Here, you have historic buildings ranging from the 900-year-old stave church in Heddal to the modern West Telemark Museum. The many museums in Telemark show life as it used to be - on the coast, in the cities and in the countryside.
Telemark offers a variety of festivals and events throughout the summer. Here is a small selection: