The third and most southerly route to the western fjords, the E134, covers the 417km from Drammen near Oslo to Haugesund, passing near Odda on the Sørfjord after 310km. Again, it’s a slower route, but it has the advantage of passing through the attractive town of Kongsberg before threading its way across Telemark, a county that covers a great forested chunk of southern Norway. In a country where the fjords are the apple of the tourist industry’s eye, Telemark is often neglected, but it can be stunningly beautiful, its deep valleys, blue-black lochs and bulging forested hills intercepted by tiny villages in a manner that resembles the Swiss Alps. The key targets here are Heddal stave church and Dalen, the site of the region’s most enjoyable hotel. Beyond Telemark, the E134 nudges its way over the southern reaches of the Hardangervidda plateau to cross one of Norway’s highest mountain passes, the storm-blasted Haukelifjell.
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