Scan Magazine, Issue 137, December 2021

Page 76

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  The Best Winter Experiences in Norway

Photo: Visit Kongsvingerregionen

Photo: Finnskogtoppen Hotel & Spa

Winter experiences to remember Tucked away in Innlandet county, the historic town of Kongsvinger hasn’t received as much attention from foreign visitors as it deserves. A true hidden gem, the Kongsvinger region is a fantastic tourist destination with plenty to offer for those interested in history, cultural experiences and natural adventures alike. By Maria Vole

Kongsvinger is a great destination for travellers no matter the season, but winter is an especially fantastic time to visit the region, due to the varied experiences that await visitors.

ing the town is Kongsvinger Festning, a well-preserved fortress from the 1600s. The fortress is one of the town’s key tourist attractions, and its grounds are open 24/7 all year round.

A vibrant history

Øvrebyen is the oldest district in Kongsvinger and plays host to several interesting museums. Kvinnemuseet, Norway’s only women’s museum, can be found at Rolighed, and Kongsvinger Fortress Museum is located within the fortress. Kongsvinger Museum is situated just below the fortress, offering exhibitions and guided tours.

The region comprises six municipalities: Kongsvinger, Eidskog, Grue, Åsnes, Nord-Odal and Sør-Odal. Across the region, a high value is placed on preserving cultural history and paying homage to the traditional way of life, and there’s plenty for visitors to do and see. As a historic city, Kongsvinger has plenty to offer history buffs and families with kids who would love to learn about the past. Øvrebyen is Kongsvinger’s well-preserved, protected old town, full of colourful wooden houses, charming cafes and independent shops. Overlook76  |  Issue 137  |  December 2021

For visitors from the hustle and bustle of Oslo, the village charm and stunning natural surroundings represent a welcome change and a chance to reconnect with nature. There are plenty of opportunities for camping outside or spend-

ing a few days living on a farm or rural guesthouse. “For those of us from this region, it may not seem that exotic – but for people who have grown up in Oslo and other big cities, it’s actually a pretty unique experience,” says Ane Ingeborg Sandnæs of Visit Kongsvinger-regionen. Quite a lot of people feel the pull to get out of the city and enjoy a taste of slow living in rural villages, with farm stays being a popular option. Ingelsrud Gård is a popular accommodation option for those looking to try out off-grid living with an idyllic farm stay. The family farm Skarstad Gartneri, meanwhile, has been in operation for several generations, serving up home-cooked food to visitors. For those who value modern comforts and a great Wi-Fi connection, staying in one of the local hotels might be a better option. Finnskogtoppen Hotel & Spa is a popular choice for visitors to the area – according to Sandnæs, it’s “Norway’s most peaceful spa”. This exclusive spa and wellbeing hotel is nestled deep within Finnskogen forest, among the trees and birds.