former county of Norway (1919–2019)

Oppland is a county in Norway. This wide landlocked county is home to great lakes, major rivers and the highest mountains in the Nordic countries. Oppland also hosts key overland transport corridors and travel by car or train through Norway usually include Oppland. Hills and long winters offer ample opportunities for winter sports such as cross-country and alpine skiing.

Towns edit

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

Other destinations edit

Jotunheimen range
  • 1 Dovrefjell — Dovrefjell mountains/plateau and national park
  • 2 Gudbrandsdalen — King among Norway's eastern valleys, stretching from the lowlands at lake Mjøsa to the alpine central highlands
  • 3 Hafjell — winter sport resort, 1994 Olympic venue
  • 4 Kvitfjell — downhill slopes, 1994 Olympic venue
  • 5 Jotunheimen — Norway's highest mountains, mostly protected as national park
  • 6 Nordseter — outdoor resort in hills above Lillehammer
  • 7 Rondane range and national park — Rondane mountains was protected in 1962 as Norway's first national park
  • 8 Valdres — a valley in the heart of Oppland, extending from the higher elevations and ski hills of Beitostølen, down to the mountainside farms, lakes and forests through Fagernes]] and to the lower elevations of Bagn; there 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 m, and 80% is above 600 m.

Lillehammer hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics. In addition to Lillehammer (skating and ski jumping) venues can be seen at Gjøvik, Hamar (the "Viking ship"), Hafjell and Kvitfjell.

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 to the highest mountains of the interior. Mjøsa is Norway's biggest lake and one of the deepest, Mjøsa stretches for 120 km from Eidsvoll to Lillehammer. Randsfjorden is Norway's fourth largest lake and is a narrow and 80 km long stretch of calm water. Oppland has other fine lakes in the valleys and in the mountains. While the county is landlocked, the north-western corner is only a few kilometres from the saltwater fjord at Geiranger. A trip from Oslo to Geiranger for instance is almost entirely within Oppland.

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. You can travel north to Beitostølen for downhill and cross country skiing in the winter. Hiking, Fishing and hunting are also enjoyed, as are 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

Location of Oppland within Norway

By car edit

  •   Norway's main road, the E6, runs south-north through Oppland and connects most of Oppland to other parts of Norway. E6 connects Oppland to Trøndelag, Hedmark and Oslo/Akershus.
  •   Road 4 connects Oslo to Hadeland, Gjøvik and Toten on Mjøsa's western shores.
  •   Road E16 runs through western (Valdres) and southern Oppland, the E16 connects Oppland to Sognefjord and Bergen in the west and central Sweden in the east. E16 is also the access road from Oslo and Buskerud to Valdres in western Oppland.
  •   Road 15 runs from Stryn to Oppland. These are also scenic drives.
    • Road 63 from Geiranger, a national tourist route, connects to 15 in the upper Otta valley.
    • Road 55 from Luster at Sognefjord through Sognefjellet mountain pass, national tourist route
  • Road 51 from Gol in Hallingdal, a crossing point between Hallingdal (road 7) and Valdres (road E16)
  • Road 27 (also known as Rondane road) from Folldal and Atna in Hedmark, a crossing point between the Gudbrandsdalen and Østerdalen valleys, national tourist route Rondane.

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.
  • Airports at Molde and Ålesund are also possible entry points.

By train edit

An old steam train on Rauma line, Now operated by diesel locomotives.

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 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

See also: Driving in Norway, E6 through Sweden and Norway
Valdresflya (road 51) is a national tourist route
Mjøsa lake by Skibladner, the ancient paddle steamer.

There are car rentals in major cities and airports. Major roads connect Oppland

Road Valdresflya from Beitostølen to Vågå is classified as a future "Natural Tourist Route" by the national road authorities. Many or most drives in Oppland are scenic.

By train edit

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

By bus edit

Local buses are handled by Innlandstrafikk (web site in Norwegian only). Route info also on (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 Domen (Stone Cathedral), and stave church 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 20kr (2007 prices).

Lomen stave church 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 m 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.
  • [dead link] Valdres Folkemuseum, Tyinvegen 27, 2900 Fagernes (E16 to Fagernes, entrance to northwest of town), +47 61 35 99 00, fax: +47 61 35 99 01, . Summer: Daily 10:00-16:00; offseason until 15:00. 60 kr adults, 25 kr children.
  • 1 Grønbogen switchback tunnel, Dombås (Dovre line, Dombås-Hjerkin). Switchback tunnel on the Dovre line at the edge of a canyon. This was the first (of only three) switchback tunnels on Norway's railways. Constructed to overcome the steep hill between Dombås and Dovre plateau. free.
  • Ringebu Stave Church, south of Ringebu village near Kvitfjell, is one of the few remaining of Norway's once countless stave churches. Built around 1200 AD.
  • 2 Sister Churches at Gran (Søsterkirkene), Near Gran village, Hadeland district. Two Romanesque masonry churches side by side. Built before 1200 AD. The ancient Granavollen stone with runic inscriptions stands in the churchyard: "God help Aufi's soul."    

Do edit

Summer skiing in Jotunheimen.
  • Skibladner, the world's oldest paddle steamer, steamer is in operation during the summer months on the Mjøsa Lake just south of Lillehammer.
  • Bitihorn is a passenger boat from 1912 that runs in the summer on Lake Bygdin near Jotunheimen.
  • Rafting and kayaking on the Sjoa River, Heidal hear Otta: by kayak, riverboard or on large rafts.

Cross-country skiing edit

  • 1 Beitostølen stadium in Beitostølen, Øystre Slidre Idrettsarrangement AS, Idrettens Hus, 2953 Beitostølen, +47 61 34 09 90, . The Beitostølen stadium is an FIS World Cup Cross-Country standard facility. It has 12.5 km of World Cup-approved tracks, 7.5 km of artificial snow, roller skis, well-marked and maintained trails at the Beitostølen stadium suitable for beginners and experienced.
  • There is cross-country skiing in all mountain areas and close to cities and towns. Popular areas include:
    • Lillehammer
    • Nordseter is a popular cross-country resort and some small ski lifts. Relatively level terrain, forests, lakes and barren plateau.

Alpine skiing edit

Alpine skiing near Lillehammer (Hafjell, Kvitfjell) and Valdres (Beitostølen, Aurdal):

  • Hafjell ski resort was a 1994 Olympic venue. Summer activities too.
  • Kvitfjell was the 1994 Olympic downhill skiing venue.

Other alpine skiing:

  • Grotli
  • 2 Bjorli ski resort, Bjorli (Dombås-Åndalsnes along E136 or Rauma railway). Bjorli ski resort does not have big and very steep hills, but plenty of snow and long season.
  • Skeikampen
  • Galdhøpiggen sommerski (summer ski) resort at Galdhøpiggen summit (Norway's highest), in Jotunheimen, open May until Autumn. Season depends on snow conditions.

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 a rucksuck with warm clothes if you go hiking for more than 1 hour.

Go next edit

Routes through Oppland
BergenFlåm  W   E  GardermoenKongsvinger
Gothenburg ← Oslo ←  S   N  OppdalTrondheim

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