Mysterious lakes and fairytale woodlands. Welcome to Kongsvinger and the Finnskogen forests; the home of mooses and wolves, and lots of friendly Norwegians. It is a well kept secret – even for Norwegians! – that one of our most elegant boutique hotels, and one of the country's most internationally renowned golf courses, are to be found here.
This journey transplants you into a community where the locals have zealously kept their hidden forest pearls to themselves. Picture living like a royal in a star-shaped fortress, playing golf among the pine trees, and cycling on excellent roads deep in the Finnskogen forests. Plus, of course, meeting locals who come with a guarantee of true authenticity.
Season: Available Spring, Summer and Autumn – May to October. Can also be visited in winter when cross country skiing conditions are great.
Price per person from: NOK 7800 / approx. €830 / $980 / *Price based on 2 people sharing one guest room. Rental car can be arranged on request. Drinks at additional cost.
Includes: 3 nights accommodation in a deluxe room at Kongsvinger Fortress Hotel with breakfast; storytelling in the wine cellar and 3-course Fortress dinner; one dinner in a private home; green fee & lunch at Kongsvinger Golf Club; cycling tour in Finnskogen; afternoon at Finnskogtoppen Spa including 1 hr sports massage and healthy lunch; show around at the Women's Museum; Up Norway Digital Travel Guide.
DAY 1: get to know the locals
Find your way to Kongsvinger, one of Norway's rare fortress cities. The Fortress was built from 1673 onwards and served as protection against foreign soldiers – especially from Sweden. Until the fortress was recently relaunched as a boutique hotel, it was under military command. Hotel service is still characterised by local, authentic practicality rather than extravagance.
The best way to experience Kongsvinger – a city keen to welcome foreign guests – is to get to know one of its local inhabitants. Tonight we will invite you for dinner in a private home. Prepare for a rustic experience where you will share a meal with a family and be introduced to the region's history and stories about daily life, and the city's pride: the local soccer team KIL.
DAY 2: GOLF IN SERENE FOREST SURRounDINGS
Enjoy the city view while having your breakfast in the old Commander's Residence.
After a few holes at the Kongsvinger Golf Course, you'll wonder why you've never come here before. For several years it has been winning awards as Norway's best 18-hole golf course. Enjoy a full day of golfing and lunch at the Club House. You might want to take a stroll through the forest and swim in one of the nearby lakes before returning to your fortress accommodation.
Tonight we invite you for aperitifs and storytelling in a wine cellar concealed within the fortress walls. Afterwards comes a 3-course meal in historic surroundings.
DAY 3: CYCLING IN THE FINNSKOGEN FOREST
So many cycling opportunities at Finnskogen! Today's trip will be tailored to your preference: mountain biking on forest roads or road cycling on asphalt; short trips or longer rides. Reach Finnskogtoppen Spa in time for lunch – a lovely, tranquil health retreat on the crest of the hill. After a healthy lunch, enjoy the wellness facilities and receive a one hour sports massage by a specialised therapist. Return to Kongsvinger by bike or car (54 km).
Back at the hotel, enjoy a good glass of wine in the evening sun with a book from the old town outdoor library. We recommend a stroll down to town for dinner at one of the local restaurants.
DAY 4: Stroll around old city Øvrebyen
Whichever day you are there, we recommend the locals' typical Sunday activity: "rusle" – leisurely meandering around the streets. The old town Øvrebyen, at the foot of the fortress, is the perfect place. Grab a coffee and cake at Fru Balchen's, visit the small shops and galleries, and Norway's only Women's museum where you will learn more about women's role in society over centuries.