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A group of people with backpacks getting ready for a hiking trip from Brekkeseter, Høvringen
Brekkeseter at Høvringen in Gudbrandsdalen.
Photo: CH / Visitnorway.com
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A holiday in the valleys of Eastern Norway never gets boring or flat. Kickstart your planning of eventful days with the help of our expert’s hints.

He left the world-famous fjords of his childhood for the mysterious inlands of Eastern Norway. The Bergen-born Ove Gjesdal, now head of tourism at Lillehammer and the Gudbrandsdalen valley, says: “I was quickly enthused by the unseen activities here. There is something interesting going on all year. I’ve gotten into cycling, skiing and other sports, and I have become addicted to cultural festivals and other events that the region is known for.”

Get more valley for your money

Grab the steering wheel and see it for yourself: many of the valleys of Eastern Norway seem wonderfully endless when you travel through them and start to make spontaneous or planned stops by the many sights and attractions. The constantly changing landscape shifts without notice between soft hills and dramatic shapes.

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The Olympic city of Lillehammer is located at the very southern end of the Gudbrandsdalen valley. The traditional wooden houses in main street of Storgata has many niche shops, restaurants and other cultural experiences.

Pay a visit to Lillehammer Art Museum and continue to the open air folk museum of Maihaugen. Finish at the ski jump facilities of Lysgårdsbakken with the bonus of a view over Lillehammer. Get a good nights sleep in Lillehammer.

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From Lillehammer, travel northwards to Hafjell, one of Norway’s major ski destinations. In the summertime, the area is considered to be amongst Norway’s most well-developed cycling parks.

On the other side of the valley, the big thing is bobsleighs on wheels. There you will also find the fairy tale theme-based Hunderfossen Family Park with family-friendly accommodation alternatives.

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Continue northwards through the Gudbrandsdalen valley. Make a stop at the stave church of Ringebu before you leave the main route E6 and head to Venabygdsfjellet. Explore the mountain hiking or by horse.

The mountain of Muen is a good spot for a panoramic view of Rondane National Park. Spend the night at a hotel or camping of your choice at Ringebu or nearby.

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Cross the U-shaped Gudbrandsdalen valley, starting at Gålå. This destination is known for its seasonal outdoor play Peer Gynt, and is also a good starting point for driving the mountainous Peer Gynt Road via Fefor all the way down to Espedalen valley.

The tower-shaped lodge Elgtårnet is a good place to spot moose from above. Further south, the famous natural potholes at Helvete are amongst the biggest in Northern Europe.

A group of people standing on the top of the Besseggen ridge in Jotunheimen
Hiking the Besseggen ridge.
Photo: Visitnorway.com / Espen Kristiansen / Field Productions
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The predictable climate of Valdres and its surroundings comes with a snow guarantee during the winter season, which makes it a good spot for skiing. Taste the area’s famous semi-fermented trout, celebrated during the Rakfisk festival in November.

You can find suitable accommodation options in many places, such as in the city of Fagernes.

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Halfway between Bergen and Oslo, Hallingdal offers many activities. The valley has well-developed areas for hiking, biking and skiing. The small cities of Gol, Geilo, Ål, Nesbyen, and Hemsedal are all excellent points of departure, and offer varied accommodation. For close contact with bears and other creatures typical for this part of Norway, visit Langedrag Nature Park and the Bear park in Flå.

Alternative route: to Elverum in the Østerdalen valley
The Østerdalen valley is shaped by Norway’s longest river Glomma. South of the city of Glåmdalen the valley landscape changes name to the Glåmdal valley. The valleys offers numerous activities by and on the river and in the mountains. Spend the night in Elverum.

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Numedal is the southernmost of Eastern Norway’s lush, big valleys. Here, you can visit four stave churches that are solid reminders of the rich past. The traditions of Numedal as a trade route during the Middle Ages are celebrated every summer at Middelalderuka (the Medieval week).

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From Numedal, the road to the small city of Rjukan in Telemark bear marks of the silent charm of the Norwegian countryside. Rjukan is located deep down in an unusually narrow valley, so narrow that a sun mirror has been placed atop of a mountain to reflect the winter sun down to the city.

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Plan your trip

Where to go
The Lillehammer region is known to the world for the Olympic winter games in 1994 and the Netflix series Lilyhammer. Go there for real and take part… Read more
The Lillehammer region
Hafjell, Norway’s third largest ski resort, welcomes you to endless slopes, internationally known parks, and up-to-date ski adventures for all… Read more
Hafjell
At once tranquil and sublime, Rondane National Park is an ideal place to experience the mountains and highlands of Eastern Norway. Read more
Rondane National Park
According to National Geographic, the Besseggen ridge is one of the top 20 hikes in the world. Not surprisingly, it’s located in Valdres - the… Read more
Valdres
In the Gudbrandsdalen valley, one hour north of Lillehammer, Henrik Ibsen’s drama “Peer Gynt” is celebrated in one of Norway’s… Read more
Peer Gynt Festival
Its extensive forest and a host of walking, hunting and fishing options right on your doorstep makes Elverum well worth a visit… Read more
Elverum
Hallingdal is situated midway between Bergen and Oslo, with short distance to Western Norway's fjords, glaciers and waterfalls. Read more
Hallingdal
Rjukan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located close to the Hardangervidda National Park. The area is known for Gaustatoppen mountain peak and the… Read more
Rjukan
Things to do
Storgata in Lillehammer, with its charming wooden buildings, is an experience in its own right. With over 125 shops, Lillehammer should be able to… Read more
Lillehammer Town centre
Lillehammer Art Museum is a private foundation and was established 01.04.1994. The foundation is a further development of the 67 year old institution,… Read more
Lillehammer Art Museum
Maihaugen offers activities and experiences for the whole family. Enjoy the idyllic surroundings of this great open-air museum and experience life… Read more
Maihaugen Museum
Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena is the city's major landmark. Read more
Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena
The only bobsleigh and luge track in Scandinavia. Wheelbob available throughout the summer season. Read more
Lillehammer Olympic Bob- and Luge Track
Hafjell Bike Park is considered the best of its kind for downhill riding, and has expanded and developed the trail network and the riders' facilities… Read more
Hafjell Bike Park
Would you like to experience something fun and exciting this summer? Bring your family and friends to Hunderfossen Family Park in Lillehammer for a… Read more
Hunderfossen Amusement park
Christianity was introduced to Norway around 1000 AD, and in the years to follow some one thousand stave churches were built. Ringebu Stave Church… Read more
Ringebu Stave Church
Venabygdsfjellet forms part of a network comprising some 2,500 km of trails. Read more
Venabygdsfjellet, Cross-country Skiing
Muen - the highest summit in Ringebu! Read more
Muen
Enter the mythical country of Peer Gynt and the kingdom of the trolls as you follow this gravel road, which provides stunning panoramic views. Read more
Peer Gynt Road
With Northern Europe's largest potholes, Helvete Nature Park is an experience out of the ordinary! Read more
Helvete Nature Park
The trails run through a spectacular scenery ranging from pine forests down in the valley to breathtaking mountain terrain with the Ruten peak at… Read more
Espedalen, Cross Country Skiing
Hike over the Besseggen ridge The Besseggen ridge is one of the most popular day hikes in Norway and has reched a kind of cult status.… Read more
The Besseggen Ridge in Jotunheimen
An experience to remember ... In particular scenic surroundings situated Langedrag houses as a fairy-tale castle, 1000m overlooking the lakes and… Read more
Langedrag Nature Park
Get up close and personal with bears, elk, lynx and other exotic animals! In Bjørneparken our presenters will give free animal talks and escort… Read more
Bear Park
Flesberg stave church dating back to approximately 1150-1200, this church are famous for interior decorations. Church services are still held in the… Read more
Flesberg stave church
Rollag Stave Church The church is located a few kilometres north of the centre of the village Rollag. It was probably originally built in second half… Read more
Rollag Stave church
Nore Stave Church Nore Stave Church is located in Nore and Uvdal municipality in Buskerud. Nore Stave Church was built according to an architectural… Read more
Nore Stavkirke
Uvdal Stave Church, as it stands today, does not have its original appearance but is a result of steady expansion and modifications until the 1800s.… Read more
Uvdal Stave Church
Hardangervidda is the largest national park in Norway, and the scenery is varied with steep mountainsides and spectacular views. Read more
Hardangervidda
Places to stay
A unique experience with overnight stay in the world's only moose observation tower. Read more
Moose observation tower
Gjendebu is beautifully situated by the west end of the lake Gjende, in the geographic centre of national park Jotunheimen, which is the most famous… Read more
Gjendebu Turisthytte DNT
Clarion Collection Hotel Hammer: the best and most obvious choice for business travellers and families in Lillehammer. Read more
Clarion Collection Hotel Hammer
Spidsbergseter Resort Rondane is a family owned Mountain Hotel, situated on the Venabygds Mountain, also known as the Ringebu Mountain, in the… Read more
Spidsbergseter Resort Rondane
Lodge, cabin and apartment accommodation in the mountains 12 km from Lillehammer. Read more
Lillehammer Fjellstue og Hytteutleie
Hafjell Hotell is located in the village center of Øyer municipality, 15 km north of Lillehammer town, in close proximity to Hafjell Alpin Centre and… Read more
Hafjell Hotel
Havsdalsgrenda is siuated ski in/out in Havsdalen, with a beautiful view to Hallingskarvet. The apartments have high standard. Read more
Havsdalsgrenda Geilo
Tveitehaug cottages are high standard timber buildings arranged in a well-planned, agreeable manner, short distance from Ål ski centre. Cottage… Read more
Tveitehaug Hytteutleige
Bardøla Høyfjellshotell, certified as a National Park Hotel, is surrounded by beautiful mountains in the ski-resort Geilo at the foot of… Read more
Bardøla Høyfjellshotell
Squeezed in between the Hegge Fjord and Jotunheimen, Norway's highest mountain range, in the Norwegian province of Valdres, one can find the village… Read more
Herangtunet Boutique Hotel Norway
Mølla Hotell, the most charming hotel in Lillehammer is situated in the center of the city, not fare from the railway/buss station. Mølla Hotell has… Read more
Mølla Hotel
If you like being in the mountain hiking, bicycling or skiing, Liatoppen Fjellstue is a great place to start. During wintertime there are ski trails… Read more
Liatoppen Fjellstue
Birkebeineren Hotel & Apartments in Lillehammer is situated in beautiful surroundings in the heart of the Olympic Park, just a 10-minute-walk from the… Read more
Birkebeineren Hotel & Apartments
At Brimi sæter we offer unique experiences and self-produced food. You get to know the farmyard and history, and learn about the process producing… Read more
Brimi dairy - Lom, Jotunheimen
Bardøla Høyfjellshotell has 26 cosy cabins situated in the forest behind the hotel. Enjoy peacefulness or the hotels facilities. Read more
Bardøla Høyfjellshotell - cabins
HI Lillehammer Hostel - Stasjonen Hotel is located at the bus- and train station in the centre of Lillehammer. Read more
Stasjonen Hotel
Situated amongst beautiful scenery and peaceful surroundings, we offer exciting activities, good food and ample meeting facilities. Scandic… Read more
Scandic Valdres
A traditional first-class full service resort in the centre of Beitostølen close to shopping, restaurants and ski lifts. The hotel offers SPA,… Read more
Radisson BLU Resort Beitostølen
Lodge, cabin and apartment accommodation in the mountains 12 km from Lillehammer.