See Telemark skiing for the skiing style.

Telemark is a county in East Norway. It is a rugged area with many big lakes ("inland fjords") and picturesque valleys. The county stretches from the industrial areas along the sea through the forested hills to the barren, unpopulated Hardangervidda.


Nisser lake in Telemark

Other destinations

Tinnsjø lake


Telemark is a county of fascinating contrasts. It is a picturesque area with countless lakes, rivers and valleys, and Mt Gausta landmark overlooking vast areas. Traditional culture such as harding fiddle music is kept alive in Telemark. It is also home to the largest stave church, Heddal at Notodden. Excellent skiers from Telemark played a key role in developing modern skiing. Many Norwegians spend their vacation along Telemark's coast at Kragerø. Telemark is at the same Norway's industrial heartland. Telemark's hydro power and fertilizer factories began modern heavy industries around 1900. Timber and paper were also important industries along Telemark's rivers. The Skien-Porsgrunn area is still dominated by heavy industry. Norway's only major canal, the Telemark canal, was constructed between Skien and Dalen to allow transport of goods and passengers from the deep interior to the ports. The canal still stands out as an engineering achievement.

The town of Rjukan was developed from scratch to serve the new fertilizer factory and hydro power there. An elaborate transport system was constructed to transport fertilizer from Rjukan to Skien. A short railway was constructed from the factory to Tinn lake, where a railway ferry (unique in Norway) carried the train to Tinnoset. From Tinnoset by rail to Notodden, and finally by barges across the lake and through the canal to Skien and Porsgrunn.

The hydro power at Rjukan's Vemork facilities was used to produce heavy water during world war 2, the allies used vast resources to destroy the production capacity at Vemork. A group of Norwegian commandos completed one of the war's most daring and successful sabotages against Vemork facilities. Later the ferry (loaded with heavy water bound for Germany) at Tinn lake was sunk.

Get in

By plane

By train

By bus

By car

By boat

Get around


Ulefoss locks at Telemark canal

Stay safe

Telemark is considered extremely safe. There is really no need to avoid any places at any time, although you should probably not provoke drunk people in taxi lines around 2AM-3AM.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, June 20, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.