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A local’s guide to the Lillehammer region

From the back of a horse or the seat of an off-road bike – there are many ways to explore the Lillehammer region.

Surrounded by high mountains and cultural landscapes, the vibrant city of Lillehammer is an ideal destination for responsible travel.

And that is something Lars Giæver is really passionate about. As a politician and the founder of Veggispreik, a Facebook-page where more than 20,000 Norwegian’s discuss vegetarian food, Giæver has spent a lot of time and effort to raise awareness about the environment and sustainable principles.

Lillehammer has achieved the certification Sustainable Destination. Although this does not mean that the destination is sustainable, it does mean that it has made a commitment to work systematically to reduce the negative effects of tourism, while strengthening its positive ripple effects.

If you are in beautiful Lillehammer, don’t miss Giæver’s insider tips on things to do in the region.

1. Travel back in time at Maihaugen

At Maihaugen in Lillehammer, you can take a nostalgic journey back in time. It’s one of the largest open-air museums in Norway, and here you’ll find more than 200 buildings from as far back as the 12th century and all the way up until today.

Maihaugen is conscious of its environment and received the Eco-Lighthouse certificate in 2012.

2. Stay at Stasjonen

At Stasjonen in the city centre, you’ll always find a room that fits your budget. At this hotel and hostel, you can enjoy modern facilities and an informal atmosphere.

Stasjonen engages in sustainable practices and was one of the first hostels in the world to be certified as a HI Quality Hostel with good practices and standards.

3. Go horseback riding

Horseback riding is a great way to see the Lillehammer region’s countryside, from the mountains to forest-clad hills and photogenic lakes.

Dalseter has offered horseback riding in the mountain since 1950 and arranges guided tours for riders on all levels.

4. Take a walk in Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson’s garden

Aulestad is located 18 kilometres from Lillehammer. This was the home of Norwegian writer Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1903. In addition to Bjørnson’s house, you can feel the fresh air and the sweet-smelling flowers in the garden that’s been influenced by his many travels in Europe.

Aulestad is continuously working on minimising its impact on the environment, and received the Eco-Lighthouse certificate in 2012.

5. Get an unforgettable ride

Do you want an adrenaline rush? Rent an off-road bike at Hafjell Bike Park and experience the vertical drop of 830 metres in some of the different bike trails, adapted for both beginners and experienced bikers.

In addition to off-road biking, Hafjell Bike Park offers mountain biking for those who want an excursion at a leisurely pace. Take the eco-friendly gondola up to Mosetertoppen and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.

6. See Sigrid Undset’s home

Believe it or not, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson is not the only Nobel prize-winning author who lived in the Lillehammer region. Take a short walk from the city centre and enter the world of Sigrid Undset – at her former house Bjerkebæk.

The small timber house remains as it was furnished during the 1930s, and is filled with artefacts and her personal book collection. Bjerkebæk has achieved a certification for its environmental efforts.

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