The varied terrain of Telemark consists of coastal paths, gentle valleys, forests, mountains and plateaus.
The highest peak is the Gaustatoppen Mountain at 1,883 metres above sea level. On a clear day, you can see one sixth of Norway from this summit – no wonder that it is one of the most photographed views in Norway. The hike to the top is hilly but family-friendly and takes around two and a half hours each way. There is also a funicular railway, Gaustabanen, that goes to the top inside the mountain.
The most popular hikes in Telemark are Gaustatoppen mountain, Lårdalstigen, Falkeriset, Solstien, Mount Venelifjell and Mount Hægefjell in Vrådal, Rui in Dalen, Lifjell mountain plateau, Gygrestolen in Bø and the coastal trail in Southern Telemark. The Seljord and Morgedal areas also offer great trails.
Setesdal is a sparsely populated area with vast areas for recreation, from gentle lowlands in the south to high mountain terrain in the north. There are marked hiking paths throughout the area, many of which are ideal for family day excursions.
Free hiking brochures and maps can be picked up at the tourist offices and in hotels and other accommodation facilities.
The region includes Setesdalheiene, the second largest protected area in Norway, where you can spot wild reindeer.
Thanks to a large network of hiking cabins run by the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT), it is possible to wander in the wilderness for days on end. Two recommended bases for hiking holidays are Hovden and Valle/Rysstad. Just make sure you bring suitable equipment.
Refer to the map below to locate the hike you've set your eyes on and start planning your next adventure.
There are good ferry links from the continent to Kristiansand and Larvik (Fjord Line and Color Line) and to Langesund (Fjord Line).
Southern Norway is easily reached by car. The highway between Kristiansand and Bergen, RV9, runs through all of Setesdal, while E134 is the most important road in Telemark.
The Norwegian State Railway (NSB) stops at several stations in Telemark. Check out NSB’s webpage for prices and timetables.
Telemark and Setesdal are covered by express buses provided by NOR-WAY Bussekspress, with connections from Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, and other Norwegian towns.
Southern Norway has an international airport in Kristiansand, with regular flights to most European capitals.
Another airport with international flight connections is Torp Sandefjord Airport.
Norway is an incredible place to explore, with untamed mythical landscapes, mountains, valleys, and fjords. Before you enter the outdoors, get familiar with the nine simple rules of the Norwegian mountain code to help you stay safe.
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