The frost mist seeps through the air and dissolves to the
sound of leather soles creaking against the hard snow.
A lasso takes aim and then surrounds a set of frisky reindeer
antlers. The eternal battle between man and animal
is underway again.
Credit: Olgeir Haug
Having reindeer as their livelihood has developed and shaped humans for thousands of years. For the Southern Sami in Røros, Snåsa and Røyrvik, the year involves cycles. The reindeer are moved from one pasture to another, herded and eventually slaughtered to
create food, tools and clothes. That was the case 3,000 years ago, before thoughts of lifestyle choices evolved, and it’s still the case today.
“My relatives have lived off reindeer since time immemorial,” says Eva Nordfjell from Røros.
Eva comes from a Southern Sami family. She and her husband run Rørosrein. In addition to living off reindeer husbandry, they offer visitors a glimpse into life as a Southern Sami.
“Although many have a relationship with Rudolf, reindeer are not for decoration. They are primarily for food, which we have learned to live with to survive,”says Eva.
They sell processed products of reindeer in their farm shop, while in their gamme (turf hut) they offer unique experiences combining storytelling and food. The focus is on reindeer husbandry and the Sami culture – or more specifically the Southern Sami culture. It’s fascinating to hear first-hand about a lifestyle that on the one hand is so rooted in history, but on the other hand is so vibrant. The leather soles may have been
replaced by thermo boots, but the annual cycle remains largely unchanged.
“Although many have a relationship with Rudolf, reindeer are not for decoration.”
ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD
The year is 1644. The farmer’s son Hans Aasen from Härjedalen, which at the time was part of Norway, owned neither land nor property and was on his way to Trondheim to seek work. He had reached Brekken when he encountered a herd of reindeer. Driven by
hunger, he shot one of the reindeer. In its death struggle, the reindeer kicked the moss to uncover what turned out to be copper ore. There were huge deposits of the ore. Within a short time, large-scale mining operations were underway and there was a huge demand for labour. The mining town of Røros grew slowly but surely and for the next 333 years mining was the lifeblood of the people of Røros.
Just as nature formed the basis for the Sami and reindeer husbandry, it also lay the foundation for establishing a town in the wilderness, high up in the mountains.
The most characteristic feature of Røros today is the more than 100 listed wooden houses. Most of them were built in the 18th and 19th centuries by miners with limited funds, whose aim was as much functionality in the least possible space. Domesticated animals were a natural part of everyday life, so many of the houses have backyards and some even have stables. The houses are now home to cafés, galleries and shops selling local quality food, art and crafts. A few families still live in the old houses, which is reminiscent of times gone by. The place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List is today taken for granted, but a pulse is beating under the skin than can make Røros the envy of many a larger place.
The business community and tourism sector in Røros have paved the way for sustainable tourism, which has brought international recognition to the small town. Those working here have completed courses in local history and world heritage, so most people you meet can “guide” you through your visit to Røros.
Credit: Jarle Hagen
THE BLUE HOUR IN RØROS
It’s February and it’s freezing. We head out into the Røros cold to
experience the legendary winter light.
As we wander up to the huge slag heaps, we have on more than one occasion gazed half envious through windows and caught a glimpse of the warming light from the fireplaces and candles. As we reach the top of one of the slag heaps (known locally as Slegghaugan),
a blue light suddenly colours the snow, the rooftops and the church... the entire mining town is now a magical tone of blue. We are experiencing the evocative Blue Hour, which occurs daily at dawn and dusk. Neither dark nor light, Røros has a bewitching expression
in the blue light. It’s like we are entering another world, where the cold no longer matters, when the silence is broken by the bells ringing on a passing horse-drawn sleigh. Anyone who experiences this while wrapped up in a sleigh can really discover the delights of this winter wonderland.
Some days are like an everlasting transition between sunrise and sunset, as you catch a glimpse of the red sky on the horizon in the east, then later in the west. After a cold day of adventure in the winter landscape, many head inside to the hottest of the hot: Røros Bath
& Wellness (Bad og Velvære). Indoor and outdoor pools are accompanied by a Jacuzzi overlooking the church. The water temperature is 38°C, and the spa offers treatments to sooth cold bodies.
If you are in Røros to experience winter cold and legendary light – or the joys on offer in summer – wander the streets and discover the many historic buildings. You will find warmth in the many cafés, restaurants and shops, where you will sense the mining
town’s historic life oozing from the timber walls.
Credt: Geir Tønset / Destinasjon Røros
WORTH KNOWING ABOUT RØROS
The Røros region stretches from Nord-Østerdalen in Hedmark County to the south of Trøndelag. It also borders Sweden and includes the entire UNESCO World Heritage
site known as Røros Mining Town and the Circumference.
The region includes the Femunds¬marka and Forollhogna national parks, and is an el dorado for nature-based experiences such as hiking, fishing and canoeing all year round.
Go on a guided tour of Røros town centre, ending up at the national landmark Røros Church – Bergstadens Ziir or into the Olavsgruva mine, where you will be taken 50 m
down and 500 m into the mountain.
Look for the horse shoe, our symbol for sustainable tourism!
Discover the history of Røros for children! Learn what children played with, and how and where they lived in the old days.
Greet the farm animals, walk the nature trail, visit the play area or try canoeing at the Doktortjønna Outdoor Recreation Park.
The region is known for its wonderful produce and food products, covering everything from reindeer meat to award-winning cheeses. Join a local food safari to food
producers and restaurants.
Don’t miss the local gastro pubs Berkel & Bar and Skanckebua, with 200 varieties of beer to choose between and even local draught beer on tap.
Explore Femundsmarka on board the historic vessel Fæmund II, which dates from 1905.
Try dog sledding and horse riding, with trips for all ages and levels.
Read more at: roros.no
Photos: Tom Gustavsen
WINTER AIR FOR EVERYONE
Some of the best winter experiences occur on the beaten path.
A lead dog with its tongue hanging out of the corner of its mouth, a panting sound, trees and an everchanging hilly terrain; there are many impressions to take in during a dog sledding trip. The dogs know where to go and, if you dare to trust them, you will have
a nature-based adventure that is out of the ordinary. You your senses will have undisturbed interaction with the surroundings. If you prefer more speed, several places offer snowmobile safaris. The fresh air blowing in your face and the need to constantly cooperate with the snow conditions and terrain mean the nature-based adventure soon becomes more important than reaching your destination quickly.
When the snow settles, ski enthusiasts converge on Oppdal. The ski resort is one of the country’s indisputable best, offering downhill slopes to satisfy most, a fun park for snowboarders and – if you are lucky with the weather and timing – powder snow. Just
beyond the ski lift area, you will find cross-country ski trails and pristine mountainsides to complement one other. With more than 80 km of ski trails to choose between, the silence may only be broken by the sound of your pole hitting the ground. The Dovrefjell and Trollheimen mountain ranges both have an abundance of rivers and lakes full of fish, and many choose to combine their ski trek with ice fishing.
URBAN OUTDOOR RECREATION
The Bymarka outdoor recreation area near downtown Trondheim is criss-crossed by hiking paths, which in winter transform into a fantastic network of cross-country ski trails. Having an 80 km² nature reserve just a 15-minute tram ride from the city centre
is quite unique and something that the locals know how to take full advantage of. You can buy a hot drink and snack at several serviced cabins throughout the reserve, the best known of which is the popular Skistua. With more than 120 km of prepared ski trails
to choose between, you can experience a new one on each ski trip throughout the winter.
Credit: Terje Rakke
Photos (from left): Bernartwood, Tom Gustavsen, Oppdal safari
THE CALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING
In comparison with the geological era, human time pales into insignificance.
Most things are put into perspective by the majestic mountains and vast plateaus.
There is rarely enough time. We become impatient and fill up our holidays and days off. We have so much to do. Although time does not stand still in Oppdal and Rennebu either, you can really appreciate the human impermanence in the face of the slow passage of time. Every moment counts.
The majestic Dovrefjell mountains
The 40,000 or so sheep that graze in the mountain areas every year do a very good job of maintaining the network of hiking trails. Snøhetta is the highest mountain in the Dovrefjell range, and each summer several thousand hikers conquer the highest summit,
Stortoppen (2286 m above sea level). A short walk from the E6 highway will bring you to perhaps the world’s most elaborate heated shelter, the Viewpoint Snøhetta. This award-winning building offers panoramic views of the magical mountain and, if you are lucky,
you will spot the King of Dovre – the musk ox.
The home of the trolls
The Trollheimen mountain range is full of “friendly” peaks that rise to 1,800 m above sea level. The Trollheimen Triangle, which connects the cabins of Jøldalshytta, Trollheimshytta and Gjevilvasshytta, is one of Norway’s most popular hiking routes. It
enables hikers of virtually every level to experience the magnificent and varied nature. A bonus in summer, you can take a break at the sandy beach of Rauøra in the Gjevilvassdalen valley. It’s an exotic place to have a refreshing swim before continuing your hike.
Visit a summer mountain farm
Oppdal and Rennebu are also home to many summer mountain farming valleys. Allow time for a stop at one of the summer mountain farms selling fresh sour cream. Perhaps you will get to taste the milkmaid’s waffles.
Foto: Ketil Jacobsen
TRAVEL TIPS- OPPDAL AND RENNEBU
Barnas Naturverden (The Children’s Natural World)
In the realm of the Jutul – north of the Dovre Mountains and east of Trollheimen – you will discover The Children’s Natural World, a whole universe for young hiking enthusiasts. To get there, catch a train to Berkåk or drive to Ulsberg.
Take part in the popular Enern sports events in Oppdal, with races spanning skiing, cycling, vertical running and mountain marathon.
Sheep farming galore.
Oppdal is the country’s largest sheep farming municipality, which is celebrated during the
Mountain and Mutton Festival (Fjell- og Fårikålfestivalen) in October. www.fjellogfaarikaalfestivalen.no
The tram lines of the mountain
With around 200 km of prepared cross-country ski trails in wonderful mountain terrain, you are assured of finding a ski trail nearby.
Norway’s best ski area
Oppdal’s ski lift area is legendary. If you are searching for a varied ski destination where you can combine off-piste skiing with racing down groomed trails, acrobatics in the terrain
park and powder fun in the forest, then head to Oppdal.. www.oppdalskisenter.no
Ride in the mountains
This area offers cycling routes to suit every level: children, novices and experts. You will
discover many marked trails, offering great trail-riding in wonderful mountain terrain. www.oppdal.com
You will find everything from short ski treks to big adventures. Ski down snow-covered mountainsides where you risk getting powder snow in your moustache. Don’t forget the
expansive mountain plateaus, where you can glide on your mountain skis across Snøhetta or Kringlehøa.
Food produced in Oppdal and Rennebu offers the taste of the mountain. Allow time for a gastronomic experience. Visit the Smak & Behag food hall or Bakeriet SPRØ, where Norway’s best bakers serve you delicious, freshly baked treats.
Read more at: www.oppdal.com
Credit: Martin I. Dalen
Expectations are half the delight! The traditional Christmas
markets in Trøndelag provide the opportunity to fill your present
bag and discover the typical Norwegian Christmas spirit.
December is the time for traditional Christmas markets throughout Trøndelag. The largest Christmas market is in Trondheim: The main square fills up with old-fashioned stalls, wonderful live music, a Farmers’ Market tent full of local food, a café tent serving refreshments and performances for the youngest visitors. Keen shoppers go from stall to stall as the relaxed Christmas spirit sinks in. The focus is not on liquorice and candyfloss, but rather handicrafts, baking and Christmas decorations made from old patterns and
recipes. The Christmas market in Trondheim was rated by The Telegraph
as one of the 16 best Christmas markets in Europe!
Røros is another place you will discover strong traditions surrounding the Christmas market. When the historic mining town is covered in snow and the narrow streets are filled with stalls, it’s hard not get into the Christmas spirit. The air is filled with the sound of pleasant conversation (often in a variety of languages) about the high-quality goods. The local church, Bergstadens Ziir, hosts a concert every evening, while the activity in the streets lasts well into the night.
Along The Golden Road (Den Gyldne Omvei) in Inderøy and at the
Stiklestad National Culture Centre in Verdal, you will also find markets
where you can enjoy the good, old-fashioned pre-Christmas spirit. After
visiting Christmas markets in Trøndelag, you will return home with a
much shorter present list, in the Christmas spirit and full of expectations.
Photos: Christmas Market at Røros: Thomas R. Skaug
Christmas at Stiklestad: Øyvind Malum
WINTER EXPERIENCES IN TRØNDELAG
Wild Norway trains you for the challenging ski treks.
Try this sport on the slippery ice.
Read more about ice fishing in Trøndelag at
Oppdal is one of Norway’s top places for ice climbing.
HORSE-DRAWN SLEIGH RIDES
Explore Røros by horse-drawn sleigh.
Norway Husky Adventure www.huskyadventure.no
Husky Point Røros www.huskypoint.no
Several places in Trøndelag offer great conditions for kiting
NORTHERN LIGHTS SAFARI
See the Northern Lights dancing over Trondheim.
Reindeer sledding in downtown Røros.
PREDATOR CAMP AT NAMSSKOGAN FAMILY PARK
Stay in a wooden lavvu in the park among predators.
Guided snowshoeing trek in wonderful terrain.
Oppdal Safari www.moskussafari.no
Kongsvold Fjeldstue www.kongsvold.no
Wild Norway www.wild-norway.com
TRONDHEIM CHRISTMAS MARKET
Pre-Christmas festival in the heart of Trondheim.
RØROS CHRISTMAS MARKET
Røros’ charming streets are filled with market stalls, Christmas food and pre-Christmas activities.
JUL IGJEN CHRISTMAS MARKET AT STIKLESTAD
Good old-fashioned Christmas spirit with Christmas preparations, experiences and market.
PRE-CHRISTMAS ALONG THE GOLDEN ROAD
Quality products, beautiful cultural landscape and Christmas spirit in every building.