Heading north from Oslo, both the E6 and the railway thump across the lowlands, clipping the international airport at Gardermoen before following the east bank of Lake Mjøsa to skip past the amenable little town of Hamar. Thereafter, it’s a short haul to ski-crazy Lillehammer, home to one of the best of Norway’s many open-air folk museums, and then road and rail sweep on up the Gudbrandsdal valley, within sight of a string of modest little towns and villages, the first significant attraction being Ringebu stave church. Pushing on, it’s just a few kilometres more to Sjoa, a centre for whitewater rafting, and then, a little further north, Otta, an undistinguished town but one that is within easy reach of two particularly magnificent national parks, Jotunheimen and Rondane. Further north still is the rugged Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella Nasjonalpark, which is most pleasingly approached from tiny Kongsvoll. All three parks are networked by an extensive and well-planned system of hiking trails.
From Kongsvoll, Trondheim is within comfortable striking distance; alternatively, you can detour east to Røros, a fascinating old copper-mining town on the mountain plateau that stretches across to Sweden.