Lillehammer © Maciej Zytniewski
Lillehammer is best known for hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics, and the area does offer excellent opportunities for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding; in fact, Lillehammer is considered Norway's oldest winter sports resort. The situation of Lillehammer is picturesque, overlooking Lake Myosa and surrounded by mountains. The village transforms from season to season: a beautiful frozen world in winter, and a lush green valley in summer. In the cold, snowy months, visitors can find some of the best cross-country ski trails in northern Europe at nearby Nordseter and Sjusjoen, and a great ski centre at Hafjell. Lillehammer itself is a very small ski resort, with only one ski lift and 630 feet (192 metres) of vertical descent. In the warm summer months some wonderful hiking can be enjoyed. This small town has other attractions, however, including Maihaugen, the largest open-air museum in Norway; the 860-year-old Garmo stave church; and the PS Skibladner paddle steamer. The picturesque main street of Lillehammer is not to be forgotten, lined with charming 19th-century wooden houses. There is a wide selection of shops, restaurants and accommodation in Lillehammer.