Boasting one of the largest surviving stave churches in Norway, Ringebu is a riverside town in the valley of Gudbrandsdalen. It’s intertwined with Norwegian folklore as home to the legendary Hundorp farm of Dale-Gudbrand and its Kvitfjell ski area was used as a downhill venue for the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Things to do in Ringebu
The most famous landmark in town is undoubtedly the Ringebu Stave Church, which is believed to have been established in the early 13th century. It was rebuilt around 1630 by the legendary Norwegian builder Werner Olsen, who added its iconic red tower. Learn about the archaeological excavations conducted here that uncovered several medieval coins, then stroll through the church’s lovingly-tended cemetery.
To the north of Ringebu lies Rondane National Park, which encompasses 10 dramatic peaks exceeding 2,000 metres in altitude. Follow one of the well-marked hiking trails leading through its spectacular valleys and relax on the shores of Rondvatnet. Keep your eyes peeled for the wild reindeer inhabiting the park.
For spectacular mountain views, drive along the Peer Gynt Road, a 60-kilometre-long scenic route leading through the Gudbrandsdalen Valley. Only open in the summer months, it offers enticing pit stops, including Solbra-Seter Farm, the home of Norwegian whey cheese and the former mining village of Espedalen. Several hiking trails lead from the route if you want to be immersed in the landscapes of Peer Gynt.
Getting around Ringebu
Ringebu is around 2.5 hours’ drive from Oslo Airport and is connected by regular trains to the Norwegian capital. The centre of Ringebu is compact enough to explore on foot, although having your own vehicle is best for exploring further afield.