Eastern Norway

Counties: Telemark, Buskerud, Oppland, Hedmark, Østfold, Vestfold, Akershus, Oslo
Size of area: 94 658 km2
Population: 2 593 085
Major cities: Oslo, Drammen,Tønsberg, Lillehammer
Major attractions: Holmenkollen skijump, the Vigeland Park, the Munch Museum, the Opera House, Lake Mjøsa, Telemark Canal
Tourist routes: Gamle Strynefjellsvegen, Sognefjellet, Valdresflye, Rondane

Unsurprisingly,Østlandet (“the East Country”), Norway’s eastern region, is the country’s most populous, taking in the national capital Oslo and six additional counties.

The Oslofjord region, comprising the capital itself plus the non-metropolitan counties of Akershus, Østfold and Vestfold, is the subject of a separate chapter – and, as it happens, a perfect complement to the splendours of Østlandet’s magnificentrural counties: Buskerud, Telemark, Hedmark and Oppland.

In this part of the country the landscapes vary wildly, from bucolic valleys to the highest mountains in northern Europe (in Jotunheimen National Park) to deep inland forest harbouring wolves, bear and elk as you near the Swedish border... a perfect environment for hiking, skiing, extreme sports, or just relaxing.

Highlights of the region might start with the Olympic city of Lillehammer in Gudbrandsdalen valley, Oppland county, a vast district famous for winter sports and for producing one of Norway’s greatest writers, Nobel Prize winner Sigrid Undset, author of Kristin Lavransdatter.

Valdres, another district much frequented by tourists, is noted for its folk art and old buildings, its numerous working mountain farms, and not least as the gateway to the spectacular Jotunheimen region. A breath-taking wilderness of glaciers,lakes and the highest mountains in Scandinavia, Jotunheimen (the name means“Home of the Giants”) is popular at all times of year. Valdres is also one of Norway’s most attractive winter destinations, boasting more than 1000 kilometres of prepared ski trails, numerous downhill slopes and snowboard parks.

Telemark county, rich in traditions and folk art, is one of Norway’s favourite tourist districts, with vast forest and mountain areas and many small farms. Morgedal, a mountain village known as “the cradle of skiing”, is home to the Norwegian Ski Adventure Park. The Bandak Canal, reaching inland from the coast, is are cipient of the highest Europa Nostra award for restoration and preservation. A trip through the canal on the old “Victoria” is a true adventure.

Mjøsa, Norway’s largest lake − comparable in size to Italy’s Lake Garda − extends into both Oppland and Hedmark counties. The latter is very much a farming county, with a vast forest area, best experienced on the drive via Highway 3 out of Oslo or the train north towards Trondheim via the Østerdalen valley. (Forestry is of course an important industry here, well documented in the Forestry Museum at Elverum.)

The lakeside town of Hamar, site of the unique “Viking ship” athletic stadium, also offers the ruins of one of the country’s loveliest churches, a symbol of the Christianization of Norway nearly 1000 years ago. The stadium, Olympia Hall, was built for the 1994 Winter Olympics. Another popular attraction in Hamar is the Jernbanemuseum, one of the oldest railway museums in the world.

Norway’s longest river, the Glomma or Glåma, begins a little north of the county border with Sør-Trøndelag, running through Østerdalen valley and feeding into the Oslofjord at Fredrikstad.

Counties: Telemark, Buskerud, Oppland, Hedmark, Østfold, Vestfold, Akershus, Oslo
Size of area: 94 658 km2
Population: 2 593 085
Major cities: Oslo, Drammen,Tønsberg, Lillehammer
Major attractions: Holmenkollen skijump, the Vigeland Park, the Munch Museum, the Opera House, Lake Mjøsa, Telemark Canal
Tourist routes: Gamle Strynefjellsvegen, Sognefjellet, Valdresflye, Rondane

Unsurprisingly,Østlandet (“the East Country”), Norway’s eastern region, is the country’s most populous, taking in the national capital Oslo and six additional counties.

The Oslofjord region, comprising the capital itself plus the non-metropolitan counties of Akershus, Østfold and Vestfold, is the subject of a separate chapter – and, as it happens, a perfect complement to the splendours of Østlandet’s magnificentrural counties: Buskerud, Telemark, Hedmark and Oppland.

In this part of the country the landscapes vary wildly, from bucolic valleys to the highest mountains in northern Europe (in Jotunheimen National Park) to deep inland forest harbouring wolves, bear and elk as you near the Swedish border... a perfect environment for hiking, skiing, extreme sports, or just relaxing.

Highlights of the region might start with the Olympic city of Lillehammer in Gudbrandsdalen valley, Oppland county, a vast district famous for winter sports and for producing one of Norway’s greatest writers, Nobel Prize winner Sigrid Undset, author of Kristin Lavransdatter.

Valdres, another district much frequented by tourists, is noted for its folk art and old buildings, its numerous working mountain farms, and not least as the gateway to the spectacular Jotunheimen region. A breath-taking wilderness of glaciers,lakes and the highest mountains in Scandinavia, Jotunheimen (the name means“Home of the Giants”) is popular at all times of year. Valdres is also one of Norway’s most attractive winter destinations, boasting more than 1000 kilometres of prepared ski trails, numerous downhill slopes and snowboard parks.

Telemark county, rich in traditions and folk art, is one of Norway’s favourite tourist districts, with vast forest and mountain areas and many small farms. Morgedal, a mountain village known as “the cradle of skiing”, is home to the Norwegian Ski Adventure Park. The Bandak Canal, reaching inland from the coast, is are cipient of the highest Europa Nostra award for restoration and preservation. A trip through the canal on the old “Victoria” is a true adventure.

Mjøsa, Norway’s largest lake − comparable in size to Italy’s Lake Garda − extends into both Oppland and Hedmark counties. The latter is very much a farming county, with a vast forest area, best experienced on the drive via Highway 3 out of Oslo or the train north towards Trondheim via the Østerdalen valley. (Forestry is of course an important industry here, well documented in the Forestry Museum at Elverum.)

The lakeside town of Hamar, site of the unique “Viking ship” athletic stadium, also offers the ruins of one of the country’s loveliest churches, a symbol of the Christianization of Norway nearly 1000 years ago. The stadium, Olympia Hall, was built for the 1994 Winter Olympics. Another popular attraction in Hamar is the Jernbanemuseum, one of the oldest railway museums in the world.

Norway’s longest river, the Glomma or Glåma, begins a little north of the county border with Sør-Trøndelag, running through Østerdalen valley and feeding into the Oslofjord at Fredrikstad.

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