Oppland

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Oppland is a county in Norway. This wide landlocked county is home to great lakes, major rivers and the highest mountains as well as key overland transport corridors.

Towns[edit]

Sør-Fron Church - a landmark in Gudbrandsdalen valley
  • Fagernes - regional centre in Valdres
  • Gjøvik - main town on western shores of lake Mjøsa
  • Lillehammer - regional centre, junction of Gudbrandsdalen and lake Mjøsa, site of the 1994 Winter Olympics
  • Otta - small town at the junction of Otta valley and main valley Gudbrandsdalen

Other destinations[edit]

  • Gudbrandsdalen - King among Norway's eastern valleys, stretching from the lowlands at lake Mjøsa to the alpine central highlands.
  • Hafjell - winter sport resort, 1994 Olympic venue
  • Kvitfjell - downhill slopes, 1994 Olympic venue
  • Nordseter - outdoor resort in hills above Lillehammer
  • Jotunheimen - Norway's highest mountains, mostly protected as national park
  • Valdres - The Valdres Valley is in the heart of Oppland, extending from the higher elevations and ski hiils of Beitostølen, down to the mountainside farms, lakes and forests through Fagernes and to the lower elevations of Bagn. There are are numerous stavkirker or stave churches in this area.

Understand[edit]

View of Valdres Valley from Lomen

Oppland is an landlocked county of Norway, sharing lake Mjøsa with Hedmark county. Together Oppland and Hedmark constitute the wide interior between Oslo and Trondheim. Oppland is characterised by rows of mountains and valleys extending from the ocean accessible lowlands around Oslo up to the high plateaus and mountain peaks of central Norway. This is the highest county in Norway as 50 % of the county lies above 1000 meters, and 80 % is above 600 meters.

Oppland is made up of two major valley systems: Gudbrandsdalen and Valdres, between these there are forests, highlands and eventually Jotunheimen in the north-west corner. Oppland also includes the fertile lowlands around lake Mjøsa (Toten and Gjøvik) and lake Randsfjorden (including Hadeland district). Oppland stretches from the outskirts of Oslo the highest mountains of the interior.

Oppland has a largely continental climate and includes some of the coldest and driest areas in Norway. Summers are pleasantly mild or warm, while winters are relatively cold. Lillehammer has a January average at -9.1°C, while the northern sections of Gudbrandsdalen can be colder. There is slightly more rain in summer than in winter. The northern corner of Oppland (places like Skjåk in Ottadalen) are among the driest places in Europe. The coast of West Norway gets about 10 times more rain than Skjåk. Skjåk does in fact have far less precipitation than Malaga, and only slightly more than Almeria (the driest city in Europe).

Routes[edit]

From the southeast, one can travel from Oslo by auto, bus or train along the highways and track carved in the mountainsides and along the long finger-like lakes and rivers. As you approach the northwest of Oppland, the highlands feature snow capped mountains, even in the summer, and access to downhill and cross country skiing, hiking and even fishing and hunting. The northern Oppland route along highway E6 passes through the major cities of Gjøvik and Lillehammer, site of the memorable 1994 Winter Olympics, and eventually to Trondheim on the western coast of Norway. The quaint town of Lillehammer is certainly worth the effort for the shops and town.

The central route E16 allows the traveler to pass from the fertile fields of Ringerike to the south of Opland, though the mountain side farms of the Valdres valley, passing through Bagn, Aurdal, Fagernes, and east toward Telemark and later the major city of Bergen on the west coast. Valdres offers a beautiful mix of lakes, mountains, and traditional farms. It is anchored with Fagernes at a key intersection of valleys. This is the location of the Valdres Folkmuseum, which contains a collection of farm buildings and history of the area, including food, art, costume, music and dance. One can travel north to Beitostølen for downhill and cross country skiing in the winter. Hiking, Fishing and Hunting are also enjoyed, as well as local arts and crafts: pottery, tapestries, and rosemaling painting.

Talk[edit]

Norwegian is the spoken and written language, and in the northern part their own distinct dialect. English is widely spoken and understood.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

There are no major airports within Oppland itself.

  • Oslo Airport, located 140 km south of Lillehammer. A major international airport with flights from the USA and major European cities. Northbound trains (to Lillehammer and Oppland) pass through the station in the basement of the airport. The E6, the main northbound road, is close to the airport.
  • The small Fagernes airport serves the Valdres region, few daily flights.

By train[edit]

Oppland is served by three lines: The Gjøvik line from Oslo (terminates at Gjøvik), the main line north to Trondheim runs through, and the Rauma line Åndalsnes-Dombås:

  • NSB's regional trains run 1-2 times per hour between Oslo and Lillehammer. They stop at the Oslo airport and in Hamar.
  • NSB regional trains go Oslo-Gjøvik, stopping at several places.
  • NSB intercity trains go between Oslo and Trondheim, 3-4 times per day. In Oppland, they stop at Lillehammer, Hunderfossen, Ringebu, Vinstra, Otta, Dombås.
  • NSB Rauma line from Åndalsnes to Dombås.

By Bus[edit]

Express buses mainly traveling on E6 (Oslo-Lillehammer-Trondheim, Oslo-Lillehammer-Skjåk, Oslo-Lillehammer-Måløy, Oslo-Lillehammer-Kristiansund) and E16 (Oslo-Fagernes-Årdal-Sogndal, Lillehammer-Fagernes-Bergen)

There are a number of buses into the Jotenheim including the Fjord 1 service along the Sognefjellet to Sognal from Otta and Lom, and buses to Gejnde.

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

You can find car rentals in major cities and airports. Major roads connect Oppland to Hedmark/Sweden (E6 + RV25 Hamar-Elverum, E6 + RV29 Hjerkinn-Alvdal), to Sør-Trøndelag and Trondheim (E6), Møre og Romsdal (E6 + RV136 Dombås-Åndalsnes-Molde/Ålesund), Sogn og Fjordane and Hordaland/Bergen (E16) and Buskerud (RV51 Fagernes-Gol). RV51 Valdresflya from Beitostølen to Vågå is classified as a future "Natural Tourist Route" by the natuional road authorities.

By train[edit]

You can use the trains listed in the Get in section.

By bus[edit]

Local buses are handled by Opplandstrafikk (web site in Norwegian only). Route info also on rutebok.no (available in English).

See[edit]

Valdres offers a number of examples of stave churches, some dating back 800 years almost to the Viking age. The Slidre Domkirken (Stone Cathedral), and Stave Kirken at Lomen are two of the many examples of churches from medieval times. There are examples of runic writing and viking carving in these ancient relics. They are not generally open for tours, however, many of them are staffed by students in the summer months. They will provide tours at designated times, usually for about 20 kroner (2007 prices).

Slidredomen Church in Slidre, Oppland
Lomen stave kirke in Lomen, Oppland
  • Valdresflye (RV51 from Beitostølen to Vågå). "A drive across Valdresflye provides an endless vista of countless mountains and lakes. Passing its highest point at 1389 metres above sea level, it grazes the edge of Jotunheimen National Park. In the adjacent areas Heidal, Sjodalen and Valdres, you’ll find a well-kept countryside that is rich in tradition. Rafting in the Sjoa will get your adrenaline pumping." Free.

Itineraries[edit]

Do[edit]


Norway +47 61 34 09 90, e-mail: .

  • Cross-country skiing in all mountain areas and close to cities and towns.
  • Downhill skiing near Lillehammer (Hafjell, Kvitfjell) and Valdres (Beitostølen, Aurdal)
  • RaftingHeidal, Sjoa. The Sjoa river is famous and often used for rafting - either alone in you kayak, riverboard or on large rafts together with your travel mates or colleagues.
  • Skibladner (the world's oldest paddle steamer),  +47 6114 4080. Late June to Mid August. The steamer is in operation during the summer months on the Mjøsa lake just south of Lillehammer. Voyage between Lillehammer, Moelv, Gjøvik, Hamar and Eidsvoll. From NOK 180 (adult), children free.
  • Bitihorn +47 61 36 59 00. Late June to Mid September. The passengerboat from 1912 operate on the lake Bygdin (1.058 meters above sea level) nearby Jotunheimen. Voyage between Eidsbugarden-Torfinnsbu-Bygdin.

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Norway is generally a very safe place to visit. Oppland is peaceful countryside and quiet small towns, and at least as safe as anywhere else in Norway. Be careful around waterfalls (slippery rocks and cliffs), do not walk on glaciers on your own. Highlands such as Jotunheimen can occasionally be cool (down to 0°C) even in summer, bring enough clothes if you go hiking for more than 1 hour.

Go next[edit]


Routes through Oppland
BergenFlåm  W Tabliczka E16.svg E  GardermoenKongsvinger
Gothenburg ← Oslo ←  S Tabliczka E6.svg N  OppdalTrondheim


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