Gol is a family friendly mountain resort located in the heart of the district of Hallingdal, in the Buskerud region of Norway.
You can reach Gol via a three-hour drive north west of Oslo or a five-hour drive east from Bergen. The Bergen train line to Oslo also runs through Gol and is a wonderfully scenic way to reach this lovely area.
Gol is also of cultural significance and has history dating back to the Vikings and the Medieval Ages.
Gol in Winter
Gol is a great place to visit in winter, for a start you can ski, either downhill or cross-country. The Gol Ski Centre or Skagahøgdi Skisenter has 9.5 km of slopes ranging from 480m to 950m which are serviced by 3 lifts.
Gol is also the perfect place for cross-country skiing. From the top of Gol Ski Centre there are trails on the Skaraåsen mountain plateau and you can join the network of trails to Torpo, Hemsedal and Ål. In the evenings you can make use of the floodlit trails at Solseter.
At nearby Golsfjellet and Søråsen ski centres you can explore more of the beautiful open mountain plateau with views of Jotunheimen, Hemsedalsfjellene, Hallingskarvet and Gaustatoppen.
If you fancy trying your hand at ice climbing then the resort of Hemsedal is just 30 minutes away and offers a range of courses and tours. You can try ice climbing on the waterfalls in Hemsedal and learn important safety techniques whilst on the ice.
Gol in Summer
There is plenty to do in Gol in summer and it is the perfect place to explore the beautiful natural surroundings. For a start it is considered to be one of the best mountain bike areas in Norway, There are also plenty of well-marked hiking trails. Alternatively horse riding is popular as is fishing in the mountain lake.
Cycling - Mjølkevegen – The Old Milk Route – a 250km cycle route from Vinstra to Gol
Travel the old Milk Route and pass through some of Norway’s beautiful farm land. Take a few days staying at cabins along the way and take some time to enjoy some other past times such as swimming and fishing in the lakes.
The main Gol hiking season runs from June to August. Make the most of the pleasant temperatures and the long evenings! The whole area has well maintained and well sign posted hiking trails. Make sure you pack a swimming suite in your back pack, as you will also find plenty of opportunities to swim in the lakes as you pass by. The Visit Norway website has a great selection of suggested Gol hikes which include the Veslefjell Mountain and the Gol mountain plateau.
Gol Cultural Significance
Gol was home to the incredible Gol Stave Church which is of national importance. A stave church is a medieval wooden early Christian church, once popular in North-west Europe. Most of the surviving stave churches today are in Norway.
The Gol Stave Church was rebuilt c.1880 by the Swedish King Oscar II when he relocated the church to a new Open Air Museum near to Oslo. It is now one of the main attractions of the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History at Bygdøy in Oslo. It is thought that parts of the church date back to the 12th century. If you are visiting Oslo the museum is a great place to visit as it has over 160 historic buildings.
If you are visiting Gol and still want to see the church, don’t worry there is a 1980s replica in the village – part of the Gordarike theme park which aims to replicate the Viking and medieval ages.
Gol Bygdetun is another outdoor museum, and is part of the Hallingdal Museum (Norwegian only). It is located up the side of the valley commanding beautiful views and well worth the visit.
Traditional food from Gol
The Hallingdal region of Norway is known for its dairy farming and many of the traditional foods from the area stem from this. Cheese and dairy products as well as preserved meats and flatbreads were staples which are still enjoyed today.
The area is also well known for a type of porridge called Rømmegrøt which is made using sour cream and is very rich and filling. It is even considered to be a national dish and is served with butter, sugar and cinnamon or even cured meat.
A fun day out is to visit the mountain farm Ulsåkstølen Fjellstugu (Hemsedal) where traditional food from Hallingdal is prepared and sold. You can enjoy sour cream, butter, cheese and flatbreads which are all produced on the farm itself.