This is Finse

The unique nature at Finse attracts thousands of people every year who want to experience the best of Norwegian mountain nature. The possibilities are many; hiking, bike rides, skiing, kiting, or just stay indoors and you can safely watch the ravages of the weather from a warm spot in the hotel or tourist cabin.

Finse offers natural beauty and great cross-country skiing

Most highly-recommended for cross-country skiing, popping on a pair of skis in Finse is a must and the scenery is above and beyond anywhere you’ll have skied before. Wide and relatively empty slopes look out to glistening glaciers and commanding mountains.

About Finse

Finse is a village on the mountain plateau of Hardangervidda between the western and eastern part of Norway. It is the highest situated railway station in Norway, 1222 metres above sea level.

Image above: View of the of railroad towards Oslo and the eastern tip of the lake. Photographer: Cyberk no

Get in | Get around

Finse is almost exclusively accessible by train by the Oslo–Bergen railway.

The Oslo-Bergen railway is operated by the Norwegian State Railways . If you buy your ticket online well in advance, fares may be as low as kr. 199 for a one-way ticket. For an additional fee of kr. 75 you may upgrade your ticket to NSB Komfort, the equivalent of first class, with slightly better seats, free coffee and tea, power supply and a more quiet spot in the train.

Usually there is a special wheelchair-accessible on the trains between Oslo and Bergen. A reservation is recommended. The train staff will assist you to get the wheelchair on board.

Alternatively, access Finse from Haugastøl by bike in the summer on Rallarvegen (Navvies' Road), the trip is approximately 27 km of steadily climbing (difference in altitude is 234 metres), or by ski in the winter.

The common way to get around in Finse is by foot on mostly non-paved ways, but in many months of the year you can get around by cross-country skis. In the few summer weeks a number of cyclists are around there too.

Hotel Finse 1222 is located at the highest point along the Bergen Railway, at 1222 meters above sea level.

Photographer: Morten Wittrup Sørensen

The hotel opened
in 1909


Hardangerjøkulen. With its 73 square kilometres, Norway's 6th largest mainland glacier is a popular target for those with decent skiing skills. It features some of the most stunning nature to be seen in Norway, with a view that can not be described by words.

In addition, this is where all the exterior shots for the snow Planet Hoth were shot for the film Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Make sure that you are fit and prepared for the journey, ask locals for more information.

Rallarmuseet (Navvies Museum) (by the train station),

☎ +47 56 52 69 66, fax: +47 56 52 68 36, e-mail: A museum over the planning and construction of the Oslo-Bergen railway and the many cultural monuments along it, plus a "Battle Against Snow" snow-clearance feature.

Rallarvegen. Rallarvegen between Haugastøl and Myrdal is by far the most popular bike tour in the Norwegian mountains. Each year about 20,000 cyclists ride through the magnificent mountain scenery in Skarvheimen - in the transition between Eastern and Western Norway.

Finse facts

Finse is a mountain village area on the shore of the lake Finsevatnet in Ulvik municipality in Hordaland county, Norway. The village is centered on Finse Station, a railway station on the Bergen Line. The village sits at an elevation of 1,222 metres (4,009 ft) above sea level, making it the highest station on the entire Norwegian railway system. The village lies in the eastern part of Ulvik municipality, and it is not easily accessible from the rest of the municipality. There is no road access, only a railway stop. The long Finse Tunnel lies just west of the village area, replacing a difficult section of rail that frequently was blocked by snow and difficult to clear. According to the BBC, the village was used for expedition training by Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton.

Since there are no (public) roads to Finse, the railway provides the sole means of transportation to and from Finse. During summer, however, it is possible to walk or cycle to Finse on the Rallarvegen road (owned by the railroad). Across the railway line from the station is housed the railway navvy museum, which has exhibits on the construction of the railway line and two decommissioned snow-clearing engines which you are free to explore. The area also has a hotel (Finse 1222), a hostel (Finsehytta, DNT), and many private cabins.

Photographer: Enrique Cornejo - Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

The first traces of human activity at Finse are 7000 years old. Hunters and gatherers lived and hunted reindeer in the Finse area. Archaeologists have located several camps at the islands on Finse Lake from these peoples.

The first tourists at Finse were British Lord Garvah and his son who in the 1850s used Finse as their base for hunting and fishing trips. A series of stone cabins, referred to as the Lord Cabins are still visible around Finse. The best known of these is Lordehytta in the Foldaskardet which remains in excellent condition.

The modern Finse community was created as part of the construction and operation of the Bergenline Railway. Finse was located on one of the most sheltered areas on the alpine stretch of the railway and was, for this reason, picked as the centre of the manpower needed to clear the track of snow in the winter.

After the opening of the railway in 1909 Finse Mountain Chalet (Later Finse Hotel) was opened and it quickly became the desired holiday spot for European jet-setters like the Prince of Wales, Sonia Henie and Fridjof Nansen.

In 1914 Norway´s first indoor skating-rink was constructed at Finse. Triple-Olympic champion Sonia Henie lived temporarily at Finse and used this facility to practice for her three Olympic gold medals. The Skating rink was unfortunately demolished after Finse was bombed by the English during World War II.

Throughout the 20th century Finse has been used by numerous explorers to test equipment for polar expeditions. During the Second World War the Germans established a top-secret research base here in order to test the qualities of different engines and fuel types in a high altitude arctic climate. It was these research efforts that led to the English bombardment of Finse in 1943.

Winter season

Finse is a perfect place to go cross country skiing. The snow lasts untill the end of May. The routes are marked with sticks, and goes in direction to other cabins, like Krækkja, Hallingskeid and Geiterygghytta.

Finsehytta is nicely located to start a cabin to cabin tour, as the train station is so close. It is also possible to use Finsehytta as a base, and explore the areas surrounding us.

It is not only a nice place for cross country skiing, but the mountain wind makes Finse a popular place for kiting.

If you are not interested in any kind of skiing, you can borrow snowshoes from Finsehytta, and enjoy the beautifull winter landscape by walking.

Summer season

Summer season 2019 is from 30th of June to 22nd of September. Finsehytta can be used as a base for daytrips in the area, or as a part of a cabin to cabin hike. You can attend guided tours to the glacier, go biking on the historical Rallarvegen, and take a swim in the refreshing (cold) lake.


Camping: For the best experience, camping under the open sky or in a tent is recommended. According to the Norwegian right to access, you may stay for up to two nights in one spot in uncultivated land if you keep away from houses and other buildings and out of the way of other people, provided that you leave no trace. If you move far away from people, you can stay for as long as you want, but that means for Finse: Camping is only allowed on the south shore of the Finsevatn, you have to cross the small dam for it. However, Finse is known for weather changes, and it can be both stormy and arctically cold! If there is fine weather: Don't forget the repellant - there are millions of mosquitoes.

Photographer: Tine.wv

Hotel Finse 1222

Our hotel Finse 1222 is located at the highest point along the Bergen Railway, at 1222 meters above sea level. It was first opened in 1909, at the same time as the Bergen Railway was completed. Finse is only reachable by train, bicycle, or foot, and the platform is located 2,5 hours east of Bergen and 4,5 hours west of Oslo. The hotel is found directly on the platform, overlooking the stunning glacier Hardangerjøkulen, amongst other views, and is generally surrounded by a scenic and beautiful mountain region. During the winter, Finse 1222 is open from January to the end of May, and during the summer from July to end of September. The hotel has 41 rooms and 109 beds.

The hotel opened in 1909 at the same time as the Bergen Railway line was opened. The building has undergone major changes throughout the years, however, the historic essence still is within the walls. There are many exciting stories to tell about the start-up of the Finse city, the polar heroes and Star Wars.


Finsehytta is a fantastic base for touring both south on Hardangervidda and north into Skarvheimen. The cabin is located in between Hardangerjøkulen and Hallingskarvet. By train almost to the door is Finse instead of skiing to long into May. Here's the full 162 beds in 2-6 bed rooms and dormitory.

Finsehytta was taken over from the Directorate of enemy property in 1947 by the Norwegian Tourist Association (DNT) and has been run as a service cabin since 1949. Today, it stands as one of the main tourist cottages to DNT.

Finsehytta is wintertime related to all activities that have snow, skiing and glacier to do.

In the Norwegian Tourist Association Yearbook 1949 has the following written about Finsehytta. "In the autumn of 1948 Finsehytta finished; it remains only minor decor work. The cabin will be opened on 6 March 1949 with the winter season even 17 May.

Prices for room and board are determined by the Price Directorate. The Association's membership is more entitled to visits and permanent residence. The lodge has 56 beds in two, four and six-bed ".

Remember to bring a valid membership card.

Classes and like groups:

Finsehytta also welcome school groups. For visits by school class must reserve space in the cabin by contacting the cabin on .

At the cottage there is natural science books for children and youth and skill. There are also some simple equipment for outdoor activities such as: balls, boccia, kubb, and boat w / vests. A large hiking maps showing hiking the cabin. For bike rentals contact Fins Hotel 1222, or Haugastøl tourist center. For rent of skis and ski equipment contact Finse hotel in 1222.

There is enough place for everyone - Finsyhytta has a lot of mattresses available for much more guests then 200. Fine food, great view over Finsevatn, beer from the own brewery Finse 1223 Microbryggeri in the cellar.

Before the tour starts:

Before the tour starts, it is important that there be a good preparation with trip planning in collaboration with students.

The cabin's managers are well known around the cabin and can provide good information about hiking, current activity sites and other practical information.

Arrangements for Disabled Good facilitation. Sleeping, living and dining rooms as well as shower / WC on one level in hovedbyging. Stairlifts between two levels in the plant. Getting there by train, dirt road a few hundred meters to the cabin.

Learn more about the cottage and DNT by looking at this funny movie clip :)


Wikipedia og DNT

Finsehytta of Norwegian Trekking Association . Available under CC BY-SA 4.0 license .


  1. ^ Jan Helge Østlund (2009). Bergensbanen mellom øst og vest i 100 år. Oslo. s. 115. ISBN 9788203237447.
  2. ^ a b Jørstad, Finn R. (1998). Historien om Finse: om fangstfolk, jernbanebyggere, hotellgjester, friluftsfolk, filmfolk, forfattere, flora, fauna og hotellet, 1222 m.o.h. Bergen: Nord 4. ISBN 8273260526.

External links

  • Finse
  • Rallarmuseet
  • Finse 1222
  • Finse gjennom ett år på YouTube (film) - Planck Film
  • Finse forskningsstasjon
  • Finse 3D Panorama

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