The Telemark Canal stretches all the way from coast to mountains,
from the idyllic southern coastal villages, through a sloping landscape of fruit trees in central Telemark to the mighty mountain plateau of Hardangervidda.


The Telemark Canal was carved into the mountain terrain well more than 100 years ago, and by the opening in 1892 it was labelled “the 8th wonder of the world” by Europeans. More than 500 men had then spent 5 years hammering their way through the mountainous area. The construction of a total of 18 lock chambers completed the route from the town Skien to the national romantic village Dalen, a 105 km long sailing ascending in total 72 meters. The term “Hurtigruten” appears here, expressing that the canal at that time in fact was the highway between East and West in Norway. It was also the most important route between upper and lower Telemark for people, farm animals, trade goods and timber.

Today, tourists arrive from all over the world to experience this unique waterway, which still appears more or less the same as it did 100 years ago. The tall nature stone walls of the locks, the idyllic lock master houses and the towering lock gates that are still opened and closed manually are all kept authentic and in their original form.
Welcome to the Telemark Canal – when the journey is your destination.


More about the history

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