The Telemark canal (Telemarkskanalen) is a more than 100 year old masterpiece of a construction. It consists of 18 water lock chambers on the 105 km long voyage from Skien to Dalen. This incredible waterway enables big boats, a total elevation of 72 meters.
When the canal was finished in 1892, it was in Europe considered the “8th wonder of the world”. It took 500 men, 5 years to blast their way and build the 18 water locks.
The canal got the nickname ‘The fast track’ (Hurtigruta) and soon became the most important connection between east and west. But it didn’t take long before the road quality improved, and people and goods used cars and lorry’s instead.
Today, the canal serves the tourists who want to experience this unique form of travelling through the beauty of Telemark.
How to combine with a motorcycle trip?
There are different ways to experience Telemarkskanalen, even if you are on a motorcycle trip. You can go all in; park your bike and go for a round trip and come back to the starting point. Maybe even stay a night in the unique wooden hotel in Dalen? But there are options also for those who only have time for shorter stretches. Full day and half day voyages are on the menu, and you can even combine with bus transportation; a few hours on the boat, sail through a few water locks, and go back by bus.
If you don’t fancy a boat trip, you should stop and admire the water locks if in the area. In that case, have a look at the timetables, so you get to see a boat climb the water locks. I recommend Vrangfoss water lock system, as this is the largest and most impressive one. In the high season, 4 canal boats passes these locks between 11.00 and 15.00.ULEFOSS WEATHER