There are few things that will give you such a remarkable rush as well as bring you close to the power of nature as the feeling of the brisk and fierce water of a river. If you are looking for an experience you undoubtedly will remember for a lifetime, rafting in Sjoa, Norway, might just be the thing for you.
It is here where rafting and exciting wildlife activities can be combined with the best of Norwegian culture. At Sjoa Rafting Centre NWR, over 100,000 people have been brought safely down the river for the past 30 years, and have left with, not only memories of adventurous activities, but also a holistic experience of what the area has to offer. The river is considered to be one of the best rafting rivers in Europe, and has some of the leading rafting guides to make sure your trip is safe, comfortable, not to mention incredibly fun!
Something for everyone
The word rafting might make some people terror-stricken, but Ola Enkerud, the owner and manager of Sjoa Rafting Centre, and his wife Kristin Fjeld, assures that rafting is something everyone can do. “We offer different trips down the river, suited after the visitors wishes and their experience”, they explain, as well as stating that you do not need any previous experience to embark on a rafting trip. The centre offers a variety of customised trips, from family rafting and classic rafting in a calmer part of the river, to the ‘extreme rafting’ for the ones looking for a more vigorous experience in the river’s faster streams.
It was two outdoor enthusiasts who in 1983, during a bear hunting trip in Canada, discovered rafting a landscape similar to that of Norway. As Sjoa ticked all of the boxes in the search for a suitable place, the training of the guides started, and the centre is this at first, rafting was seen as something only particularly interested people would participate in, but it did not take Throughout the years, even members of the royal family have visited, with the Crown Prince of Norway visiting twice.
As with all kinds of outdoors activities, safety comes first, and the rafting guides are certified and highly trained. The water levels are carefully measured before each trip and the weather is also always taken into account to ensure a safe and pleasant trip for everyone.
Rafting is not the only activity offered at the centre; canyoning, river boarding and bridge swinging are popular amongst tourists, while horse riding, swimming in the river, fishing opportunities and trampolines make the place ideal also for children.
Accommodation, food and transport.
After a day of bustling activities, Varphaugen Farm offers accommodation in a warm and friendly environment, and is located 3 kilometers from Sjoa, a 15 minute drive.
A variety of home-cooked food is on the menu, and here you have the chance to eat both local and traditional Norwegian food, such as trout or sour cream porridge and cured meat, or any international food you might desire.
Varphaugen Farm is Ola Enkerud’s family farm and has a long and fascinating history. Enkerud explains “it has for centuries been a gathering point for travelling people, starting with the pilgrim travels in 1033”. The farm began its tourist business in 1947, and the first rafting activities started in 1989.
If sleeping at Varphaugen is not quite close enough to nature, you have the opportunity to be a true explorer and sleep in one of the lavvu’s, a tipi-like tent used by the Sami people, accompanied With barbecue’s in the light summer evenings. An alluring and beautiful white beach nearby calls for brisk swims, and for the lily-livered, a warm hot tub and sauna can be a nice way to calm down
after a day of rafting. At Varphaugen, a conference room with equipment is available for those planning on combining business and leisure on a team building trip, and whether you a planning a trip with friends, family or colleagues, the centre is happy to help with your needs.
To get to Sjoa from Oslo Gardermoen airport, the Dovre railway is an excellent choice. The 3 hour train ride is an experience in itself, with beautiful sceneries appearing along the way, -a great introduction to the Norwegian landscape. In the summer months, with peak season in July and August, Sjoa is a lively place to visit – over 4000 people participated in activities the previous year.
Consider planning your next trip to Sjoa to celebrate 30 years of successful rafting, and you will without any doubt have an amusing, and different, wildlife experience.
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