Lillehammer, the middle-sized Norwegian town, is probably best know for hosting the winter Olympics in 1994 and for its array of winter sports activities. But one does not have to be a professional skier to enjoy the town’s many facets. When visiting Clarion Collection Hotel Hammer in Lillehammer, guests can combine skiing with a stay in the middle of the lively and typically cosy Norwegian town with its bars, restaurants and shops just outside.
Majestically located on the edge of Fefor Lake and surrounded by the peaks of Jotunheimen, the historic Fefor Mountain Hotel with its numerous outdoor activities provides magic settings for a peaceful ski holiday. The almost-130-year-old hotel lies 930 metres above sea level, but located in the middle of Norway it is still easily accessible.
After a small Norwegian orchestra with a distinctive sound bagged a string of rave reviews, music journalist Andrew Mellor went in search of its secrets…
“Ulriken is not just a mountain with a great view for the citizens of Bergen, but an important landmark and recreational area for the locals,” says Eirik Hokstad, marketing manager for Ulriken643, a panoramic tour that takes in Ulriken and surroundings, starting out from Bergen´s fish market. Open year-round, the tour adjusts its contents and activities according to the seasons and there are many options to choose from. “The Ulriken643 Panaorama Tour starts by the fish market, where our characteristic double decker bus takes you to the lower station in approximately 15minutes,” Eirik continues. The cable car journey, in a so-called gondola, will take about 5 minutes, depending on the weather.
Norway might not spring to mind as the best place to visit for a relaxation holiday. But do not be fooled. Combine a visit to the city of Bergen with a jaunt to Solstrand Hotel & Bad, where you can experience some of Norway’s most beautiful countryside, the fjords, waterfalls, glaciers and the ocean.
Just southeast of beautiful Bergen rests Norway’s second longest Fjord. Starting at the Atlantic Ocean, Hardangerfjord penetrates in a northeasterly direction until, 179 km (111 miles) inland, it meets the grand mountain plateau of Hardangervidda. With its striking contrast of snow-covered mountains, rich flora and fauna and deep blue water, it is easy to understand why so many of the romantic national symbols originate from here, including the Hardangerfiddle.
Norway may be best known by ski-enthusiasts for its majestic snow-covered peaks, but under the summer sun the frosty cliffs turn up the charm and melt away, not only most of the snow, but any doubt about Norway’s qualities outside the skiing season as well.
Many nationalities have come to Bergen over the centuries – some to visit, some to make this place their home – and the city has an international vibe, perhaps even more so than the capital, Oslo. The German influence is evident in the old Hanseatic quarter and the city’s location by the sea gives it a laid-back feel. A sense of history is very palpable here and historical walks through old Bergen are one of the best ways to experience the city.