Stage 3

Skien – Rjukan

22nd of May 2016
Total distance stage: 185 km




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Video presentation:


Skien, county capital of Telemark, is where this year’s toughest leg starts. Home of just over 53,000, Skien offers city life with concerts and pleasant cafés, and the Mersmak food festival, but also salmon fishing right in the town centre, and great nature and outdoor experiences.

The Telemark Channel starts here, to be enjoyed as a passenger on one of the channel boats, and you can freely jump on and off along the way, so as to include your own cycling holiday if you so please. Channel Week from May 18 to 25 opens this year’s season, inviting you to a long list of various events on and by the channel. Skien is Henrik Ibsen’s native town and a visit to his childhood home at Venstøp is recommended. In the summer ”Ibsen and Food” offers samples from the playwright’s works along with culinary treats. Riders in the Tour of Norway starting from here get to taste honey cake, Ibsen’s favourite.

Skien has proud cycle traditions and racers Thor Hushovd, Dag Erik Pedersen, and the sisters Monica and Anita Valen all kicked off their careers here. Welcome to Skien!

Skjermbilde 2015-05-13 kl. 21.59.02

Skjermbilde 2015-05-13 kl. 21.59.23


Rjukan is situated in Tinn municipality, about 2.5 hours from Oslo. Sam Eyde is the founder of Rjukan. He bought the Rjukan waterfall in 1902 and built the Norwegian Hydro. Artificial fertilizer were produced and saved the world from famine. Rjukan grew from being a small farming community to a vibrant industrial community with more than 10,000 inhabitants. This unique industrial history has led to UNESCO nomination.

Today Rjukan has about 3,000 inhabitants and most of the industry is shut down. However, tourism is a blooming industry. Gaustatoppen towers majestically over the town. Inside the 1883 meter high mountain there is a lift called Gaustabanen which enables you to reach Gaustatoppen within 15 minutes. At the Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum you get a close encounter
Foto: Karl Martin Jakobsen

with the industrial history, as well as the world famous war history ”the drama of the heavy water”. Krossobanen is a cable car that within 5 minutes whisks you up to the foot of Hardangervidda – Norway’s largest National Park. The sun is behind the high mountains all winter, thus a large mirror ensures that sunlight is reflected and sent down to the Rjukan square.

Few other places have so much to offer within so few square meters.

Skjermbilde 2015-05-13 kl. 21.56.18

Skjermbilde 2015-05-13 kl. 21.56.40

Skjermbilde 2015-05-13 kl. 21.56.31








Information about Telemark:
Information about Grenland:
Information about Rjukan:



gerhardStage 3