Elk safaris, dog sledding, first–class trout fishing, a wealth of unique hiking and cycling routes – and an Eldorado for water dogs in Hovden Badeland. The idyllic mountain village of Hovden in Setesdal offers experiences for holidaymakers of all ages.
Spectacular mountains in all directions, the rushing river Otra winding through the town and the idyllic mountain lake Hartevatn. This is the recipe for a holiday paradise for nature lovers in the heart of Norway.
At an altitude of around 780 metres above sea level and in the middle of the Norwegian mountains, Hovden offers a wealth of spectacular hiking and cycling trails of all levels of difficulty. There are short, family–friendly walks of five km and guided tours for the experienced walker.
If you'd rather rest your legs for a day, take the chairlift to the top of Nos mountain, which at 1,183 metres offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains – on a clear day you can even see all the way to Hardangervidda.
Most of the area around Hovden is protected, so you can look forward to experiencing wild and untouched nature. If you're lucky, you'll come across wild reindeer, the area between Setesdal and Ryfylke is the second largest area of wild reindeer in Norway.
Whether you want indoor or outdoor water adventures, Hovden has plenty to offer. Hovden Badeland & Spa attracts everything from 30–degree outdoor pool over 70 meters water slide, 65 meters obstacle course with bathing rings and children's pool to an exquisite spa and wellness department with plenty of self–indulgence.
The Otra River and Lake Hartevatn lure with their idyllic shores and warm bathing waters, and the more adventurous can dive beneath the surface of Otra and experience fish life up close on an exciting snorkelling safari.
During the summer, you have the opportunity to meet the king of the forest, the elk, at close quarters when a elk safari is organised. The tours take place at dusk in a minibus, and the guide also tells about small and big attractions in Hovden. The tour includes the opportunity to taste homemade elk soup, and the chance of seeing elks is high – should they choose to hide, you'll get half the price back.
By Lake Hartevatn you'll find the Hegni Leisure Area, which offers a host of hiking trails, a playground, beach volleyball court, swimming beaches and fishing opportunities from land or in a rowboat. After the day's adventures, find a cosy spot to sit back and enjoy an ice cream on the shores of the idyllic lake, which is surrounded by mountains in some of the most beautiful Norwegian countryside.
If you want to experience the area in a unique way, you can go on a mountain tour with huskies.
Let the eager dogs take you up to the high mountain, where coffee/tea and rolls are served while the dogs exhale and you can enjoy the spectacular views before heading back down the mountain.
In Hovden you stay in one of Hovden Høyfjellsenter and Hyttepark's cosy cabins – and thus get to live with the whole beautiful nature area right outside the door.
Read more about what to do, see and do in Hovden below and find inspiration for your holiday in our travel articles about the area.
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