Images courtesy of Innovation Norway

Lillehammer

Lillehammer (literally “Little Hammer”), is best remembered as the hosts of the 1994 Winter Olympics, but it’s also worth a visit in the summer for its beautifully preserved late 19th-century wooden houses. Lillehammer (25,000 inhabitants), considered Norway’s oldest winter sports resort is on the shores of Lake Mjøsa and is a gateway to spectacular adventures. You can explore the area by bicycle, on foot or on skis, to mention a few!

The bulk of town is on the east bank of Lake Mjøsa. From the train station it’s just two blocks to Storgata (“Big Street”), the main pedestrian shopping street in the heart of the old city centre.

Lillehammer region provides you with a combination of long-standing tradition and modern activities and services. You will find excellent museums and galleries, Olympic venues, a large number of restaurants and wide selection of shops and accommodation. The Lillehammer region is also famous for its ski terrain and excellent winter sport facilities. Nearby at Nordseter and Sjusjøen, you will find the best network of cross-country ski trails in Northern Europe, comprising 350 km. The excellent ski centre is located at Hafjell, 15 minutes away by ski bus, and offers a mountain village feel with full amenities and ski in/out accommodation.

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Of course, the ski resorts! There are five resorts in the Lillehammer region, Hafjell, Kvitfjell, Skeikampen, Gålå and Sjusjøen. Skiing slopes with Olympic-quality readily available only two hours from Oslo. Ninety two runs, 117km alpine slopes, forty five lifts and six mountain parks. You will not find a better opportunity anywhere in the world if you want to combine downhill skiing with cross-country skiing. It is not without reason that these destinations year after year are voted the best cross country skiing destinations in Norway. This says a lot about the trail system and the quality of the trails. You can choose to socialise in the trails or enjoy the winter landscape where your companion is only the fresh air and blue sky.

Explore the family adventure park Hunderfossen, one of Norway’s largest tourist attractions, and features a fairytale castle, a high ropes park, Ivo Caprino’s Fairytale Grotto and a racetrack. Close to Hunderfossen you will also find the Children’s Farm with animals and farm activities.

Experience the exhilarating Lillehammer Olympic Bobsleigh and Lugetrack. This is Northern Europe’s only artificially frozen bob and luge track, and the only bob and luge track in Scandinavia. The track is located at Hunderfossen, 15 km north of downtown Lillehammer. In wintertime there are several activities on ice and in summertime wheel bob sled. There is a minimum age limit of 10yrs.

The Norwegian Olympic Museum (NOM) is the only one of its kind in Northern Europe which tells the entire story of the Olympic Games history from antiquity to the present day. The museum is situated in Hakon’s Hall and was officially opened by King Harald and Queen Sonja in 1997.

Visit Maihaugen, one of Norway’s most beautiful open-air museums. With close to 200 historic buildings, it is one of Northern Europe’s largest open air museums and is one of the largest cultural facilities in Norway. Maihaugen tells the history of how people have been living in the valley of Gudbrandsdalen from the Middle Ages until today. Social Institutions such as a church, school, post office, railway station, shops, prisons and military facilities are all represented at the museum. The museum has a rich collection of artefacts, furniture, tools and ornaments, ranging in age from the Middle Ages.

Spend some time in Lillehammer Art Museum. It has three main collections: one consisting of over 100 paintings from adherents of the Matisse school, donated by Einar Lunde in the 1920. In 1958, the museum received a large collection of Oscar Johannesen’s collection of paintings from the 19th century. In 2008, Jon Dobloug donated 159 paintings from the 1980s and 1990s. During the 1994 Winter Olympics, the museum was the main venue for cultural activities.

Check out Lysgårdsbakken, officially known as Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena. It opened in 1993 for the 1994 Winter Olympics, where it hosted the ski jumping and Nordic combined events, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. Visit the ski jumping site for the Olympics, now a year-round attraction with a chairlift to the top (or, if you’re feeling frisky, a hike up 954 steps). Visit the ski jump tower to gaze down at the K120 jumping hill and an excellent view of Lillehammer and Lake Mjøsa.

Outdoor activities are readily available in and around Lillehammer. Dog sledding, sleigh rides husky safari, ice fishing, tobogganing, snowshoeing, Icelandic horseback riding and white water rafting.

Image courtesy of Sheona McKie, taken from the top of Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena

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Rica Elgstua Hotel & Restaurant

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Brand new hotel in Elverum. Designs inspired by nature.

Gomobu Fjellstue

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Gomobu Mountain Lodge

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Rica Elgstua Hotel & Restaurant

Distance: 63.39km

Brand new hotel in Elverum. Designs inspired by nature.

Gomobu Fjellstue

Distance: 81.07km

Gomobu Mountain Lodge

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