"Oppland - the central inland county" Oppland by Saagar
Oppland Travel Guide: 341 reviews and 817 photos
Oppland county is very large and covers the central part of inland southern Norway. Of most interest to visitors are the Jotunheimen, Dovre and Rondane mountains and some major valleys, rivers and lakes. The settlements are small, the biggest - and only real towns - being Gjøvik and Lillehammer, neither exceeds 30.000 people.
Travelling north-south through Oppland gives you a misrepresentation of the county geographically speaking, as the main roads lead through populated valleys and low-level areas with Dovre as the main exception. To get the real picture, travel out of the valleys and see for yourself that people and roads tend to follow narrow valleys and that you do not have to venture many kilometres out before there is forests, lakes and mountain wilderness.
There are some interesting stretches of road worth travelling at leisure, such as the Dovre (E6) and Venabufjellet (from Ringebu to Folldal) roads, Sognefjellet and Strynefjellet roads to the coastal regions in the west, and the Valdres area with the Jotunheimen road, Valdresflya and the crossings toward Laerdal as worth seeing.
Generally, the county offer al sorts of activites for tourists and travellers, but the smaller communities and towns come across as somewhat boring and unexceptional. The may serve as staging posts for ventures into the wilderness or in transit. Lillehammer (see my VT pages) is the sole town worth a visit, but you can cover other towns of Lake Mjøsa including Gjøvik (biggest in Opland) by taking the Skibladner paddle steamer.
The lowlands of Hadeland, the Lake Mjøsa and Randsfjorden areas harbour nice agricultural landscapes and some interesting cultural heritage type things, worth stopping here and there en route. Assuming that your travel goes north out of Oslo/back south, several alternative itineraries can be made with some creative stops.
The mountain areas are spectacular; Jotunheimen is like a smallish Alpine area with glaciers and peaks, Rondane is a dry, lichen covered mountain massif carved up by past glacier creating a spectacular and easily accessible hiking terrain. Out fo Jotunheimen comes several rivers, some of them offer excpetional rafting and other water sports adventures. And there are other mountain areas as well, all accessible, just use your map and don't always follow the beaten path and main tourist info/guide books.
Out of Spiterstulen cottage there are daily (season and weather permitting) guided trips to the Svellnosbreen glacier... more travel advice
Northern Gudbrandsdalen area is locally known for lack of intra-municipal collaboration and quarrelsome - or to be... more travel advice
Saagar's Related Pages
Oppland Travel Guide
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- "The lonely heights of Oppland"
- "welcome to Valdres"
- "Oppland - the central inland county"
- "oppland has many things to offer"
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- 2 Cities
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