Hemsedal is a valley and small town in Norway with ca 2000 inhabitants. Hemsedal is scenic located in the middle of South Norway, right between Oslo and Bergen, it is the northern branch of the great Hallingdal valley. The town is surround by high mountains, similar to the alps, and has a river, Hemsila flowing thru the valley. Hemsedal is known for its alpine skiing area, the second largest in Norway. It is also a fine place in summer with many activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, horse back riding and more.
Hemsedal is a 3 to 4 hour drive from Oslo.
- Norway Bus Express has buses from Oslo and Bergen to Hemsedal all year round. Check out the timetable for the routes from Oslo 170 Sogn og Fjordane Ekspressen, and route 175 Hallingbussen.
- Airport Transfer Bus [dead link] From Gardermoen Airport Oslo directly to Hemsedal on Fridays and Sundays during the winter.
Another option is to ride the NSB train from Oslo or Bergen to Gol, which departs around four times a day. The trip is three hours from Oslo and 4 hours from Bergen and costs from 199 to 499kr. From the train station at Gol there is a bus picking up immediately after the train arrives and ending in Hemsedal town center, about 40 minutes later. The timetable. [dead link] The trip costs NOK 46 for adults and 23 for children.
During the winter season there are busses going from town to the ski lifts which are free. There is also a good taxi service, but it is quite expensive. You can also walk, e.g., on the other side of the river which takes half an hour or more.
It is practical to have your own car, especially in the summer.
Parking is free of charge, except from the parking lot at Gravset, the main crosscountry area, in the wintertime.
There are quite a few things to see in Hemsedal:
- Skogshorn (Located in Lykkja). One of the most known landmarks and mountains in Hemsedal. In summer there is a marked track to the peak.
- Rjukandefossen (Located at Tuv). A powerful and impressive double waterfall dropping 18 meters down a narrow ravine. The waterfall is a popular spot in summer and used for ice climbing in winter. There is also a suspension bridge in the area.
- Hydnefossen (Located close to Torsetstølane). This large waterfall plummets 140 meters from Veslehorn mountain. Also a popular ice climbing spot in winter. The waterfall is best seen from the mainroad (r52), after Ulsåk towards Gol.
- Hemsedal Bygdatun (Located at Ulsåk). This museum is a restored coutyard from ca 1730. There are guided tours during the summer.
- Hydalen (Located in Grøndalen). Hydalen is a nature reservoir and one of the most beautiful areas in Hemsedal, rich in flora and fauna.
- Ulsåkstølen (Located in Lykkja, under Skogshorn), ☏ . Ulsåkstølen is a popular summerfarm for families. Here the children (and parents) can see animals such as rabbits, goats and pigs, experience the summerfarm life and taste products made at the farm. In the wintertime the farm is a cafe for crosscountry skiers.
Hemsedal is frequently rated as the best ski resort in Norway. During 2008-2018 Dagens Næringsliv (Norway's leading business daily) has ranked Hemsedal as number 1. There 42 slopes and 22 lifts. The mountain scenery gives Hemsedal a decidedly "alpine" feel. It has the highest alpine point in Scandinavia, 1500 metres above sea level, and a vertical drop of 810 metres.
- Hemsedal Skisenter is the second largest ski resort in Norway.
Variety and diversity characterises Hemsedal's network of pistes. The pistes are wide, well groomed and suited to all levels of expertise. Panoramic view and the descent from the highest mountain. There are green pistes all the way down to the base area, and more advanced runs.
Hemsedal on world’s top five to go boarding! The snowboard/terrain park is considered one of Europe's best, known for its high standard and challenges for all. Big jumps, fun boxes, half pipe, two quarter pipes, and rails for the thrillseeker. There is also a separate park for beginners.
The children's area is the biggest in Norway and covers an area of 70 000 m² Here you find several lifts, slopes, forest with trolls, bbq stations, restaurant, bar, sport shop, skirental, supermarket and even an outdoor kindergarten. The area is also perfect for beginners.
- Solheisen Skisenter is a small ski resort located in Grøndalen, 8 km from Hemsedal Skisenter.
Here you find 3 lifts and 6-7 seven slopes. Suitable for families and those who want to ski in calmer area. Also good off piste possibilities.
Afterski and nightlife is comparable to or better than the big resorts in the European Alps.
If you would like to do other things then skiing, you can try snow mobiling, dog sledding, winter via ferrata, snow shoeing, ice climbing, paragliding and off course cross country skiing.
Hemsedal is an eldorado for people who like to stay active on their holiday. The mountains in Hemsedal offer great possibilities for activities such as hiking, biking and climbing.
- Topp 20, Hemsedal's most popular hiking program. The brochure describes 20 scenic hikes to 20 different peaks in Hemsedal, everyone of them offering beautiful views. The hikes are graded from very easy green to difficult black. The shortest hikes take 1-1,5 hour up and down for people in normal shape, the longest hike is a day trip. The trails to the peaks are well marked, except for the black ones, where you do need to bring a map and compass with you. You can pick up the brochure at the tourist information, supermarkets, sport shops and accommodations in Hemsedal.
- Biking, Hemsedal has 240 km of marked biking routes. There is a biking brochure with description of different trips in the area, which are also graded after the same system as the Top 20. The brochure can be picked up at the tourist information, supermarkets, sport shops and accommodations in Hemsedal.
- Fishing, the Hemsila river, running through the valley of Hemsedal, is actually a quite famous river for fly fishing. The fishing season starts end of May/beginning of June and lasts until 15 September. You need a fishing permit and this can be purchased at the tourist office, sport shops, some supermarkets and campgrounds and at Shell petrol station in Hemsedal. With the permit you can fish in the river as well as in 18 lakes. The river has different zones, and in some of them you can only fish with a fly. A permit valid for 5 hours costs 120kr. A permit for 2 days costs 250kr, or 900kr for a permit that includes fly fishing zone in the river).
Hemsedal is not the largest city, but has some good shops:
- Hemsedal Sport, 3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre at Rampa Shopping Centre), ☏ . Large selection of ski- and snowboard equipment in winter and fly fishing, hiking and more in summer.
- Totten Sport, 3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre at Hovtun Shopping Centre), ☏ . Complete assortment, summer and winter.
- [formerly dead link] , 3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre), ☏ . Wide selection of outdoor and mountain gear.
- Finbeck & Fia, 3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre at Rampa Shopping Centre), ☏ . Shoes and clothing for men, women and youth. Brands such as Diesel, Gant, Elisa Cavaletti, Timberland, and Zdar.
- Spekter, 3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre), ☏ . Women and men's fashion. Clothing for children and youth. Brands such as Vero Moda, Only, David & Goliat, and Reimatex. Cheap towels and bed linnen.
- Stugu Husflid, 3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre next to the tourist office), ☏ . Handcrafts from Hemsedal and Hallingdal
- Hemsetunet garn gaver & souvenir, 3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre), ☏ . Souvenirs, gifts, cards and Norwegian trolls.
There are cafes in the skiing-area. Alternatives are
- Kjøkken Kroken, Hemsedal Café, Peppes Pizza, Cafe Dali, and the restaurant and Bistro at Skogstad Hotel in the town centre
- Skarsnuten Hotel located up in the mountains with a beautiful view over the ski resort/Hemsedal
- Fossheim Hotel in Ulsåk with first class food.
Norway is generally expensive for overseas visitors. Expect to pay at least two times the price for a beer in Hemsedal as in the Alps.
The afterski starts in Skistua on the slopes around 4, and continues at Hemsedal Cafe in town from around 7. Be there early to make sure you get in.
Beer can be bought at the supermarkets on weekdays from 8AM to 8PM and Saturdays from 8AM to 6PM On Sundays it is not allowed to sell alcohol in the supermarkets. Wine and liquor can be bought at the "vinmonopol" (wine and liquor store) in Gol, 30 km from Hemsedal.
Hemsedal has accommodation for most budgets, there are fancy design hotels, cosy cabins and reasonably priced apartments and campgrounds.
- Fossheim Hotell, 3560 Ulsåk, ☏ . A charming hotel with a friendaly atmosphere and first class food
- Skogstad Hotell, 3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre), ☏ . The largest hotel in Hemsedal. Two restaurants, disco, pub with its own micro brewery and a wellness/work out area.
- Skarsnuten Hotel, 3560 Hotel (Located up in the mountain next to the ski centre, ski in ski out.), ☏ . A modern design hotel with the best view over the ski resort and Hemsedal. Has good restaurant and bar.
- Harahorn Hotell, 3560 Hemsedal (Located in Grøndalen, close to Solheisen, at 1100 m above sea level), ☏ . Suitzble for groups - business and family (weddings and other celebrations).
- Fausko Skysstasjon, 3560 Hemsedal (Located at Tuv), ☏ . Suitable for groups, both business and family/friends. Excellent kitchen and local entertainment.
- Moen Camping, 3560 Hemsedal (Located at Ulsåk), ☏ . The largest campground in Hemsedal. Open all year round. Cabins, caravan and tent.
- Elvely Camping, 3560 Hemsedal (Located at Ulsåk), ☏ . A charming campground open all year round. Cabins, caravan and tent.
- Fossheim Hytter, 3560 Hemsedal (Located at Ulsåk), ☏ . Cabins for 4 and 6 person. Check in at Fossheim Hotell.
- Ulsåkstølen, Lykkja (Hemsedal), ☏ . Check-in: 01.01,2010, check-out: 01.05.2010. A summer farm in the mountains. 900m.o.h. Skogshorn 1728m.o.h. is locateded near to the farm. You can have a nice meal of local food here. NOK 450.
- Bru haug Camping, 3560 Hemsedal (Located in the town centre), ☏ . The campground is open all year round. Cabins (summer and winter), space for caravan and tent (summer).
- [dead link] Rjukandefossen Camping, 3560 Hemsedal (Located at Tuv), ☏ . The campground is open all year round. Cabins and space for caravan.
Hemsedal is in the centre of South Norway, right between Oslo and Bergen. This makes Hemsedal the convenient base for day trips to the fjords and mountains. Here are some tips:
- the Sognefjord, only 1 hour drive from Hemsedal.
- Flåm, located by the Sognefjord, is appr. 2 hour drive from Hemsedal. Here you can take a cruise on the Sognefjord and take the famous and 4th most visited attraction in Norway,Flåmsbana.
- Langedrag, a wolf park located 1,5 hour drive away. A lot fun for the whole family. They also have farm animals and other wild animals such as lynx, moose, deer and fox.
- the Bear Park in Flå - watch the bears in their natural habitat, bathing and climbing trees. Other animals are moose, rabbits, goats and more.
- Hardangervidda, 1-1,5 hour drive away.
- Jotunheimen, also 1-1,5 hour drive away
The tourist office in Hemsedal has a booklet with 7 day trips by car, costs 40kr.