The Telemark Canal is the only canal system in Norway connected to the sea.
18 lock levels divided over 8 lock systems lift boats 72 metres above sea level to the lake of Flåvatn.
From here beautiful lake and river reaches take the traveller on to Dalen, 105 km inland, in the heart of the mountains of southern Norway.
The contrast between the broad agricultural districts, the wilderness and the old industrial sites makes the Telemark Canal one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Europe. In addition, the water is clean and the fish live well! The Telemark Canal was completed in 1892 and 500 men had worked for 5 years to bring this waterway into the heart of Telemark.
The canal is a living heritage site, and has kept its nineteenth century air, with manual operation of most of the lock gates.
The beautiful old walls and lock systems have been preserved in their original form. Along the banks of the canal you can still see the old lock-keepers' houses, the smithies, the sawmills, the watchmens' cottages and the jetties with warehouses and other buildings.