Why you have to visit UNESCO-protected Røros, Norway

RorosPhoto: Arvid Hoidahl / Unsplash
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Norway has just under 10 UNESCO World Heritage sites and one of them is the town of Røros. We’re bringing you Røros’ best of the best – which includes everything from historic mining attractions and national parks, to outdoor markets and some of Norway’s finest organic dining.

As an introduction, here’s a list of Norway’s great eight UNESCO World Heritage sites:

  • West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord (2005); Natural
  • Bryggen (1979); Cultural
  • Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage Site (2015); Cultural
  • Rock Art of Alta (1985); Cultural
  • Struve Geodetic Arc (2005); Cultural
  • Urnes Stave Church (1979); Cultural
  • Vegaøyan – The Vega Archipelago (2004); Cultural
  • Røros Mining Town and the Circumference (1980, 2010); Cultural

Today, we’re focusing on the fascinating town of Røros.

Tidbits that keep drawing visitors in to Roros include the town’s copper mining tradition, which lasted from the 17th-century up to 1977, and prompted its unique mix of industrial and contemporary culture.

Here, fairytale-like wooden buildings, an up-and-coming art scene, and a historic church, make up the historic-meets-modern honeycomb that is Roros.

Roros, Norway: Things to do and sights to see

Go all-organic

When in Røros, do as the Rørosians do.

This is a town that was awarded the prestigious 2013 Sustainable Destination seal and is known across Norway for its locally produced food. So when in Røros, do as the Rørosians do.

Grab a seat in restaurant-slash-farm Galåvolden Gård, for example, which specializes in eggs, milk, meat, and other farm food made onsite. Don’t miss indulging local dairy delicacies such as gårdsis (an ice cream), røroskake (a cheesecake), and rørosost (a cheese).

The estate is located just eight km from the Røros town center, a journey definitely worth the specialties you’ll be rewarded once you arrive.

Take in Røros’ rich mining history

In a historical mining town such as Røros, it’s natural for slag, a by-product of copper smelting, to accumulate.

Røros’ own Slegghaugan is a mountainous collection of slag that has been produced and accumulated over the past 333 years – and it’s one of the town’s main attractions.

The town’s unique landscape, including the slag curiosity, is protected under the Culture Heritage Act. At the top of Slegghaugan awaits a picturesque view of Roros – talk about a unique trekking experience. 

Another interesting spot nearby that’s worth the visit is Sleggveien, also referred to as “Pippi Street” due to an episode of cult book and TV series (following character Pippi Longstocking) that was filmed there.

Visit the Røros Church

Røros Church can seat up to 1,500 people, making it one of Norway’s largest churches. This is almost the entire small town of Røros, Norway’s population!

Roros Church
Røros Church. Photo: EinarStorsul / Pixabay

The outside of this charming church is distinctively white, while the inside is blue.

It’s nicknamed “the pride of the mining town”, as it was constructed during the golden age of the local mining industry in the town. It was completed in 1784.

The church is still active in its religious function, regularly holding services and hosting events like weddings and baptisms. Visitors are also welcome in the church and can experience it through a guided tour.

Explore the region’s top-rated wilderness areas

Known as one of the largest untouched wilderness areas and spots for hiking in Norway, Femundsmarka National Park definitely lives up to its reputation.

With its sundry landscape of marshes, lakes, and sparse forest, the national park offers outdoor activities at each turn. Many of the trails and boat tripe available are also suitable for children.

Keep an eye out for the park’s fauna, which includes falcons, reindeer, and musk oxen. 

Reindeer on mountain
A majestic Norwegian reindeer in its element. Photo: Sebastien-Goldberg / Unsplash

Femundsmarka National Park sits 150 km away from Røros by car.

Buy local artisan goods

Along with buying your very own Røros, Norway blanket (the town is famous for its wool), why not check out some of the local craft shops? For example, Lysgaard Røros is a quaint gallery right in the town center.

Locally owned, it provides an assortment of ceramics and sculptures, a few of which make up part of a permanent exhibit. Some are solely eye candy while others can be purchased as a one-of-a-kind souvenir. 

Pro tip: The annual Røros, Norway Christmas market is a great setting to check out local goods from various stands that will dot the town. Plus, it’s the perfect chance to get festive, feel the Christmas spirit, and cozy up among the cold with gløgg, Scandinavia’s answer to mulled wine.

An introduction to Roros, Norway: Weather and location

Røros is nestled between the river Hyttelva and the Rørosbanen Railway. Roros sits located inland, on the eastern side of central Norway.

Roros Norway map
A Røros, Norway map. Photo: Google Maps

Its location on the 62nd latitude north, is unfortunately too far south for the aurora borealis and midnight sun to make an appearance, but there’s no shortage of other marvelous things to do and sights to see in the town.

Let’s break down the Røros, Norway weather.

With an inland climate, summers are cloudy and precipitous, while winters are dominated by freezing temperatures and snow. Throughout the year, temperatures range all the way from -13 degrees Celsius to 17 degrees Celsius, the warmest temperatures belonging to the warmest months of the year, July and August. Temperatures in July range from 7 degrees Celsius to 17 degrees Celsius, while the coldest month, January, has temperatures averaging between -13 degrees Celsius to -5 degrees Celsius.

Roros’ climate can get quite wet as well, as the precipitation season lasts more than a third of the year, from late May to late September. Røros gets most of its sunlight during the warmer months.

The shortest Roros December days have barely five hours of daylight, while in June, daylight lingers across the town for a whopping 20 hours. The earliest sunrise in June is at 3:15 AM, while the latest sunrise, in December, is at 9:45 AM. The earliest sunset naturally occurs in December, at 2:40 PM, while the latest sunset occurs in June at 11:20 PM.

While the Røros sun might tease, showing its face for a minute before disappearing for an hour, a certainty here is that the weather edges toward the cool side, all year long.

A satellite Roros map
A satellite Roros, Norway map. Photo: Google Maps / Terrametrics

Roros, Norway transportation: How to get here

Røros has plenty of connections, by roadway and air, to other Norwegian hubs you may visit as well on your Scandinavian vacation.

The distance from from Røros to Trondheim is 154 km, from Røros to Molde 308 km, from Røros to Ålesund 380 km, from Røros to Oslo 382 km, from Røros to Flam 442 km, from Røros to Kristiansand 702 km, from Røros to Haugesund 725 km, from Røros to Stavanger 827 km, from Røros to Bodø 841 km, from Røros to Henningsvær 1038 km, from Røros to Tromsø 1268 km, and from Røros to the North Cape 1687 km. 

Roros is internationally well connected, too.

Roros Airport is a regional airport just two km from the town of Roros’ center – though it doesn’t have regular commercial flights. Flights to Oslo can be scheduled through Widerøe Airlines.

The closest large airport to Røros is Trondheim Airport, a 33-kilometer drive from the Trondheim city center, and 100 km away from Røros.

This airport has international flights to the following cities: Alicante, Spain; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Gdansk, Poland; Krakow, Poland; London, United Kingdom; Malaga, Spain; Murcia, Spain; Nice, France; Riga, Latvia; Split, Croatia; and Stockholm, Sweden.

Additional domestic flights are available to and from Bergen, Bodø, Bronnoysund, Harstad/Narvik, Kristiansand, Kristiansund, Mo i Rana, Mosjøen, Namsos, Oslo, Rørvik, Sandefjord, Sandnessjøen, Stavanger, Tromsø, and Ålesund.

The second-closest large airport is Ålesund Airport, located 18 kilometers outside of the Alesund city center, and 400 km from Roros.

Alesund Airport has international flights to and from Alicante, Spain; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Copenhagen, Denmark; Gdansk, Poland; and Kaunas, Lithuania.

Domestic cities connected to Ålesund Airport are Bergen, Kristiansund, Oslo, and Trondheim.

To make your trip even easier, you can find the full lowdown on all of Norway’s airports here.

Regardless of the altitude you choose to travel at, you’re likely to be charmed by Røros’ unique scenery upon arrival.

Roros houses
Houses in Roros, Norway. Photo: torill_ivers0 / Pixabay

Know any secret tips about things to do or sights to see in Røros? Let us know!

Source: Norway Today

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