Norefjell is a mountainous area a couple of hours North-West of Oslo in eastern Norway. Although the mountains are not very high, they are characteristically steep sided.
In the winter Norefjell is a ski resort which is known for picturesque tree lined slopes. In the summer it is a popular place to get away from the city and experience everything Norwegian nature has to offer.
You can reach Norefjell from Oslo either by car or by express bus which takes less than two hours.
Norefjell in Winter
Norefjell is a Norwegian family friendly ski resort near to Oslo and was host to the Winter Olympics back in 1952. You can ski the 26 alpine trails, from the upper area at 1459m right down to Lake Krøderen, and there are 13 ski lifts in the resort. The main village is mid-way so you can either ski above the village or below it. There are also skating and indoor climbing options which are great to enjoy with all the family.
Norefjell is also good for snowboarders with jumps and other features in the terrain parks.
Norefjell in Summer
Summer is a great time to visit Norefjell if you want peace and quiet and love to explore the great outdoors. Cycling and hiking are both popular activities and there are also plenty of watersports on Lake Krøderen.
For the best hiking and in Norefjell aim for the Høgevarde, which is the highest peak on the Norefjell plateau? There is a marked summer T trail from the Høgevarde to Norefjell to which is around 12.8km and takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes. The T trails are looked after by the Norwegian Trekking Associate and are well maintained – just look out for the red T markers along the route.
If you are planning on hiking on the Høgevarde, or anywhere in Norway for that matter, do remember the weather can change very quickly. Make sure you leave enough time to complete your walk during the daylight and wear practical clothes and footwear. Make sure you have plenty of layers in case the weather changes.
Once you are up on the plateau there are plenty of other trails and ways to explore the wonderful scenery and flora and fauna.
Krøderen Railway Museum
The Krøderen Railway is a 26km line which runs from Krøderen station at the southern end of Lake Krøderen to Vikersund station.
Krøderen station was originally opened in 1872 and little has changed since that time. The museum is actually at the Vikersund station, where you will also find a beautifully restored train station which is like taking a trip back in time.
Today the railway is run by the Norwegian Railway Club and, for a few days over the summer, it runs original steam locomotives, carriages and other antique railway carts along the line. If you aren’t lucky enough to get a ticket for one of the operating trains, then you can still visit the museum and the railway cafeteria.
If you are visiting Vatnås make sure you don’t miss Vatnås Kirke which is an old church dating back to 1665. Olavskilden, one of King Olav’s Well’s, is located here and the waters are believed to be healing and never go dry.
Vatnås Kirke is only small but it is very beautifully decorated inside.
Located on an island on Lake Krøderen, Villa Fridheim is a real life fairy castle. Built in 1892 by a woodsman Svend Haug the Swiss style building has had a number of uses over the years. It was used by the Germans during the occupation and fell into decline thereafter. In 1980 the Norwegian Fire Brigade planned to use it for a fire practice. Luckily the Norwegian Cultural Council intervened and saved the building. It was restored and reopened in 1986 and is now a folktale museum with musicians and storytellers re-creating stories from the past.
Inside the Villa Fridheim many of the original features have been preserved with many original artworks. The garden is also beautiful and is modelled on English landscape parks and there is an adventure trail you can follow. There are some sandy beaches and coves on the shores of Lake Krøderen where you can picnic and even go swimming if it is warm enough. Alternatively there are some canoes for hire.
Traditional food from Norefjell
You can find many traditional Norwegian dishes in Norefjell with the main emphasis being on meat such as sausages, from mountain reared animals and of course fish from the surrounding lakes. Cured meat and dried fish such as Lutefisk are also commonplace.
For those with a sweeter tooth, there are plenty of pastries, pancakes and waffles to try and honey and homemade jams. And because of Norway's dairy industry there is also a great selection of cheeses and other dairy products, including wonderful ice creams.