My family spend a lot of time at the cabin at Savalen, and I’ve shot some of my most memorable images there. The area is a true Winter Wonderland, however with spring approaching I want to focus on another perk of the area. It also offers great year around opportunities for easy hikes, relaxation and amazing moments in nature. In this post I give you the complete guide for exploring Savalen on your own.
Lake Savalen is beautifully situated in Fjellregionen (“The Mountain Region”) in Hedmark county. The area surrounding the lake is an important recreational area for both locals and tourists enjoying what nature has to offer. The winters here are cold and snowfall is reliable, while summers tend to be a bit less summery. Nonetheless summer days can be amazing at Savalen, and when the temperatures are right there’s no place like the white sandy beach by the lake.
I’ve enjoyed many photo shoots in the area around Lake Savalen as it has a lot to offer. You’ll be able to shoot everything from macro of beautiful small flowers only to be found in the mountains to wide landscape panoramas.
If you’re staying anywhere close to Savalen fjellhotell, I recommend taking a short walk to the dirtroad “bridge” crossing the lake only a few hundred meters from the hotel. Sunrise offers great light here, with possibilities of magic mist over the lake. Bring your long lense to shoot some intimate landscapes, or go wide and try to capture everything.
A short hike up to Savalkletten will give you more of a birds view of the lake. A nice location for sunset on the day you arrive.
Being a recreational area where people are doing different outdoorsy activities, there are loads of opportunities for different lifestyle shots. If you’re into horses you could go to Savalbetet and photograph Icelandic horses in a beautiful environment. Savalbetet also offers opportunities for shooting some picturesque traditional buildings.
A favorite of mine is to explore the many smaller lakes and becks that surround Lake Savalen. I have gotten great sunset images at both Lake Fjelltjønna and Mosjøvatn. Since the area is a paradise of easy hikes, I’d encourage photographers to explore and find their own take on it. Just make sure to bring a map and compass, and check the ephemeris before you go out!
What to do
Savalkletten is an easy and short hike from the hotel. You’ll spend about 45 minutes to reach the top and from there you can enjoy a magnificent view of the lake. Enjoy lunch on the top and you’ll be able to choose to either hike the same way back down or continue further into the mountains.
Bangardsvola is another favorite of mine. If you park your car at Nordatilvangen it’s an easy 30-40 minutes hike to the top along marked trails. The hotel also is a possible starting point for this hike, making the hike a bit longer as you’ll have to walk along the dirt road as well. Follow the hotels description, use a map and a compass and you should be good. It’s worth to mention that the trail is a bit steep here and there, so walk carefully and pay attention to the kids. If you’re up for a bit longer hike, continue to Håmmårhøa. My wife always starts to hum The Lord Of The Rings soundtrack when we’re on the hike from Bangardsvorda to Håmmårhøa.
Gråvola is also a nice hike from the hotel. I’d say you’ll spend a couple of hours one way walking at normal pace. The trail is not well marked, but easy to see in the terrain. From the top you’ll have a great view of the lake and also all the way to Sølnkletten if it’s clear.
These are just a few of the hikes to explore in the area, so make sure to schedule enough hiking days when you visit.
For the kids
Savalen is a family friendly area, and Savalen Fjellhotell continues to develop new activities that are perfect for kids at all ages.
Santas house is open all year around, the hotel has a swimming pool, during winter the slopes are kid friendly and during summer going for a swim in Lake Savalen is amazing.
Since there are so many easy hikes around (way easier than the ones mentioned above as well), this is the perfect area to fuel your little hikers with a feeling of mastering hiking. Seeing them reach a goal, exploring nature, catching a fish or spotting an eagle for the first time is amazing.
If you just need to charge your batteries, Savalen also is a great place to do so. Stay at the hotel, eat great food, relax in the pool and spa and take some relaxing walks.
Where to stay
Savalen Fjellhotell offers both hotel rooms and apartments for hire. You can also rent a cabin or stay at the camping. If you travel by car, bring your tent. Or just bring a sleeping bag and spend the night under the stars during summer.
How to get there
Train to Tynset and bus to Savalen is a possibility. But let’s be honest, the easiest way is to drive there. From Tynset it’s about 25 minutes drive to Savalen Fjellhotell.
What to bring
Lake Savalen is a mountain lake, and the weather in the mountains can change quickly. You’ll need proper clothes even in summer. A jacket that is both wind- and waterproof is necessary. Also a fleece or woolen jumper to keep you warm. Hiking boots needs to have a good sole and to support your ankles.
Bring a water bottle and fill it up with tap water before you leave. Do not drink lake water or water from streams or becks as it may be polluted from grazing animals.
Photography wise I’d say that landscapes are inevitably going to be shot. So a tripod and a polarization filter is nice to bring. Also make sure your backpack has room for other stuff than just photography gear. Personally I use the MindShift Gear Horizon 180, and I love it. Has room for all my gear as well as some clothes and food for the hike. I also know that other manufacturers have camera backpacks that are meant for hiking, so there should be a backpack for every photographers preference.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it inspired you to pay Savalen a visit. Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss out out posts to come. Also follow me on Instagram and Twitter to see images from my many local explorations. I wish you the very best of days!