Hallingdal

Hallingdal is a valley in Norway's Buskerud county, west and northwest of Oslo. The valley is home to Norway's most popular ski resorts and is the main entrance to key hiking areas.

Understand

Geilo village with ski slopes and cross country tracks

Hallingdal is one of Norway's major valleys. It cuts through the bedrock for about 150 km from Lake Krøderen to Hardangervidda at Geilo. Hemsedal is a branch of the main valley. Road 50 runs through the Hol branch towards Flåm/Aurland at Sognefjord. The valley floor is gentle while the surrounding hills and mountains are steep and home to several ski resorts. The valley is also home to road 7 (a key east-west road) and Bergensbanen (the Bergen railway line).

In the barren mountains the reindeer is master, while the forests is home to a large number of elk/moose ("elg"). Some brown bears also thrive there, some are kept in a park (zoo) at Flå.

Hallingdal generally enjoys relatively dry continental climate (warm summers and cold winters). Winters can be bitterly cold in the interior. Nesbyen has the highest recorded temperatures in summer in Norway and usually among the warmest places in summer on average. Winters are also relatively cold. At Geilo temperatures are consistently below 0°C (frost) from December through March, most of November and April are also below 0°C during night. There is modest precipitation in Hallingdal. Wind can however be rough on the exposed mountain plateaus.

Towns and other destinations

Get in

By rail

Trains on Bergensbanen between Oslo and Bergen stop at Hønefoss, Gol, Ål, Geilo. Some trains stop also at Flå, Nesbyen, Ustaoset and Haugastøl. Tickets are sold by NSB

By car

Get around

See

Do

Kiters beneath Hallingskarvet

Hiking

Hallingdal is the main entrance to Norway's most popular hiking area, the Hardangervidda. Hallingskarvet is a distinct ridge rising above the plateau, more demanding but also a more rewarding hike. On the northern side of Hallingskarvet there are fine trails down the lovely Aurlandsdalen in Aurland area. Hallingskarvet and the area north to road E16 (Lærdal) is known as Skarvheimen. Hallingskarvet and Hardangervidda er both protected as national parks.

Cross-country skiing

Hiking lodge in Hardangervidda

Hallingdal and the surrounding mountains and plateaus offers great back country skiing. There are also networks of groomed tracks in the back country where light cross-country skis can be used.

Alpine skiing

Hallingdal is Norway's key area for alpine skiing. Resorts:

Sleep

Holms Hotel at Geilo

Stay safe

As Norway in general Hallingdal is a safe place.

Go next

Routes through Hallingdal

Eidfjord  W  E  Hønefoss
Lærdal Hemsedal  N  S  Gol


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 09, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.