Telemark Canal Cruise
Three new tours showcase the Telemark region and the historic Telemark canal cruises.
Imagine travelling gently across beautiful lakes, through stone-walled locks, past small waterfront houses and cultural treasures such as the stave churches at Heddal and Eidsborg, and Ulefos Manor House. Spot wild Huldas Iceland horses grazing or running through the lush fields, or any number of wolves, elk, deer and even bear roaming around. This experience could be yours on our new holidays visiting the Telemark region in Norway.
Pivotal to these new tours is the Telemark Canal, the waterway that connects the town of Skien to the town of Dalen in Southern Norway. It runs a total of 105 kilometres and is a beloved landmark in the region. During the 19th century, when a portion of the canal was carved out of a mountain to connect two previously separate canals, Norwegians considered it the eighth wonder of the world.
Each of these holidays include a trip along this canal from the deck on one of the historical canal boats M/S Henrik Ibsen & M/S Victoria - little has changed since it was done 150 years ago. Relax on-board as the historical landscape, steep mountains in the grand western fjords, narrow channels, open water and lakes pass you by. Not forgetting Norwegian hospitality on board, with a great spread of open sandwiches, coffee & cakes and even tapas & champagne in the afternoon to help you unwind.
When in Dalen, you will stay at the fairy-tale Dalen Hotel. This luxurious hotel is complete with dragonheads, turrets, spires, romantic balconies and cornices. It opened in 1894 for European royalty and it has managed to keep its charm. Wander around the picturesque lake and watch for beavers working along the shore.
Fantastic food opportunities are on offer during these holidays - treat yourself with afternoon tea at the Dalen Hotel in the gardens, sweet teacakes and chocolate-dipped strawberries, no less. For dinner, enjoy the world-class restaurant within the Dalen Hotel. The specialty of the house is locally-source roasted duck from Holte Gård in Drangedal. The Dalen Hotel restaurant also hosts an impressive wine list and a full stock of Scandinavian beer.
For those who like to be active, dust off your hiking boots and head up to the top of Gaustatoppen. This walk isn't overly strenuous and offers incredible views across the valleys of Southern Norway. Alternatively, take the Gaustabanen - a unique cable car that goes inside the Gaustatoppen Mountain.