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friele coffeEdvard Ibsen, Skien, Venst¿p, Venstoep

telemark canal, canaltours

Beside or on the Waterways, you will find peace. There is no need to stress. The holiday can be enjoyed at your own pace. Boats are available for hire along the entire coastline. Hotels, campsites and hire companies rent out small and large boats. The coastal patrol runs an escort service along open stretches. Tours are also arranged for both sight seeing and fishing. There are also beautiful places where you can put up tents. Spending the night in the open air is best suited to those who are taking a trip on the water.


The Telemark Canal was hewn out of the rocks by hand well over 100 years ago, and when completed in 1892. Europeans described it as the eighth wonder of the world. 500 men had worked for five years to dynamite their way through the rocks.

The Telemark Canal stretches 105 kilometres from Skien to Dalen. The Canal consists of eight locks with a total of 18 lock chambers, and a difference in height of 72 metres. There are six municipalities which are known as Canal Municipalities: Skien, Nome, Kviteseid, Tokke, Sauherad and Notodden.

Throughout the summer season there are a number of large and small cultural arrangements along the Canal. Music, theatre and sculptures are in focus. Summer starts with Folksongs on the Canal, which offers concerts from stages set in the waterway from Dalen to Skien. Throughout the summer there are a number of art exhibitions, and in Skien we celebrate the 175th anniversary of Henrik Ibsen´s birth. In many ways you could say that the Notodden Blues festival rounds off the summer.

All festivals, concerts and art exhibitions that are arranged along the waterway are part of a long and important cultural tradition in Telemark.

The rich cultural traditions of Telemark, combined with a considerable interest in national matters, have attracted hoards of artists and folklore collectors from the middle of the last century up to the present day. Among them were the greatest artists of their time, such as Halfdan Egedius, Erik Werenskiold and Thorvald Erichsen. For several years, world famous Edvard Munch gained inspiration for some of his paintings from Kragerø, which he characterised as the pearl among the coastal towns.

The Telemark Canal consists of two locks complexes.

The Norsjø-Skien Canal, which was completed in 1861, is the first stage.

The Bandak-Norsjø Canal, which was opened 31 years later, opens the connection between Norsjø and the Western Lakes to Dalen.

The eight locks connect the sea to the inland.

Experience the ancient cultural history, the bustling crowds and travel through the locks as people did over 100 years ago. Enjoy the journey from the deck of one of the nostalgic canal boats:


M/S Victoria

M/S Henrik Ibsen

M/S Telemarken