The Telemark Canal, built in the 1890s, is one of the nicest ways to experience the scenic Telemark region, between Oslo and Bergen. The Canal runs from the sea to the mountains and has long been regarded as one the Europe's most enchanting waterways. It was once a trade route but is now served primarily by leisure crafts. A riverboat cruise on the gently flowing waterway shows off some of Telemark's loveliest views along its 105-kilometre course, including old farms set amid forested hills, clear lakes and a rocky coastline.
The vast Hardangervidda mountain plateau, where Amundsen and Nansen prepared for their polar expeditions, is another prominent feature on the Telemark landscape. And it remains a place for outdoor adventures and challenges. Hiking, cycling, husky sledding, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing - or Telemark skiing as they call it in Norway, named after this region - can all be tried.
A visit to the Heddal Stave Church, the largest of its kind in Norway, is also well worth visiting. Inside, beneath shingle-clad roofs, are centuries-old paintings and the Bishop's Chair, dating from 1250 and carved with a relief telling the saga of Sigurd the Dragonslayer.