Telemark is a beautiful region of mountains, highlands, forests and lakes in the southern part of eastern Norway, about 150 km from Oslo.
The Telemark Canal is one of the most beautiful waterways in the world. The Canal was carved into the rock over 100 years ago. When it opened, the canal was nicknamed "the eighth wonder of the world"- five hundred men had worked for five years to create this engineering marvel, blasting their way through the mountains.
The canal connects the coastal town of Skien, one of Norway's oldest cities with an urban history dating back to the Middle Ages, with the inland town of Dalen, on the delta where the river Tokke flows into the west end of Lake Bandak.
The Telemark Canal consists of 18 locks, is 105 km long and has a total difference in altitude of 72 m. The biggest staircase lock is the Vrangfoss, which has five chambers and a lifting height of 23 m.
Today the canal remains almost exactly as it was a hundred years ago. The stone walls of the locks, the enormous lock gates and even the actual opening and closing mechanism - everything is authentic.
Several charming and historic wooden vessels have travelled the Canal since its opening. These nostalgic and elegant boats operate during the summer season, allowing you to experience this unique waterway with its cultural history, amidst a constantly changing landscape.
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Day 1 Skien Arrival
Arrive in Skien and make your own way to the Thon Hotel Hoyers. Opened more than 160 years ago the hotel this classical hotel is within walking distance of the Telemark Canal, the Telemark Museum, Henrik Ibsen's Museum, Brekkeparken and the nightlife and shopping of Skien. The nearby towpaths of the canal provide a serene place for biking, jogging and walking. Fishing, canoeing, hiking and golfing are all available in the surrounding area.
Day 2 The Telemark Canal: Skien – Dalen
Early this morning make your own way the short distance down to the canal where you will board the MS Victoria or the MS Henrik Ibsen for the cruise from Skien to Dalen, departing at 08:15 am. Enjoy the sights from these delightful historic vessels as you pass through the locks and along the waterway. On arrival in Dalen at approximately 6pm, disembark and make your own way to your hotel.
Tonight you will stay at the famous Dalen Hotel, a fairytale hotel built in sumptuous romantic style with dragon heads, turrets and spires, balconies, projections and cornices.
The hotel, opened in 1894, has retained its original grandeur and soul, and its exterior and public rooms are virtually the same as when the original timber palace was constructed, in the days when royalty and European aristocracy frequented the town. It is one of the largest wooden buildings in all of Norway.
Find a comfortable seat and soak up the atmosphere of the central hall – the heart of the hotel – with its magnificent stained-glass painting towering ten metres above you. Large areas of parkland open up looking eastwards towards the Bandak inland fjord. The mountainsides rise perpendicular to the north, south and west.
The hotel also has beautiful garden areas of more than 300,000 square feet, leading down to Bandak and Dalen Pier, the end station of the Telemark Canal.
Day 3 Dalen-Skien
This morning after breakfast take the bus from Dalen back to Skien, a journey of approximately 3 hours. Arrangements end with your arrival back in Skien.
Departures: daily 19 May – 19 September
Extra nights can be added at any destination along the way - please enquire.
Includes: accommodation 1 night at Thon Hotel Hoyers Skien inc breakfast and 1 night Dalen Hotel, Dalen inc breakfast; canal journey on MS Victoria or MS Henrik Ibsen Skien-Dalen; scheduled bus Dalen- Skien.
Getting to and from Skien: there are regular direct trains to / from Oslo Airport to Skien, with a travel time of approximately 3.15 hours. Change at Oslo Airport for the express train into downtown Oslo, with a further travel time of approximately 40 minutes.
Please enquire for the single price.
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