Sogn og Fjordane Things to Do
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Flåm is situated innermost in Sognefjorden, the deepest and longest fjord in the world. 204 km long and 1308 m deep.Surrounded by steep mountainsides, rumbling waterfalls and narrow valleys. This is a true paradise if you are looking for some great natureexperiences.Read more at my Flåm page.
Boat trip on Naeroyfjord
Naeroyfjord is one of the narrowest navigable fjords in Norway. A round or at least one-way boat trip on it is an absolute must for a visitor to Sogn og Fjordane. The boat goes along the beautiful fjord, then turns right into the wider and sunnier Aurlandsfjord before calling at Flam. The trip starts at Gudvangen - the tourist boats don't take cars so get a ticket for a round trip, which can be combined with a ride on the Flamsbana to Myrdal and back. Alternatively, if you do not have that much time at your disposal - the boat trip takes about 2 hours one way - and you left your car in Gudvangen you can get back from Flam by bus. The bus stops right by the Flamsbana. It goes in a long tunnel, two tunnels in fact, so be prepared not to see much on the way.You will find more information on the boat trip together with many more pictures on my Gudvangen and Flam pages.
Stalheimskleiv - a nature's wonder
Driving up Stalheimskleiv is a hair-raising experience. The 13 hairpin bends, steep and very close to each other are not something I would recommend to anybody but, once you get to the top, the view is stunning. The whole Naeroydalen, the deep narrow valley that leads to the Naeroyfjord lies before you flanked by high mountains. The rather unusual mountain facing you as you stand on the hotel terrace is supposed to be the head of a bewitched knight and looks surprisingly like it, including the face. Don't miss Stalheimfossen, the 26 m high waterfall nearby. Visit the hotel shop, which offers a variety of interesting souvenirs, less expensive than in any other shop in the area.You can get to Stalheimskleiv driving from the direction of Vinje - here the road is perfectly straight but, if you want to continue your journey to Gudvangen and Flam, you will now have to take the precarious road...
Aurlandsvegen or route 243 Aurland - Laerdal
If you visit Flam and go on the Naeroyfjord and the Flamsbana, there is one more attraction waiting for you there that not everybody knows of. You may leave Flam taking the longest tunnel in the world to Laerdal - 24 km but don't forget that a tunnel deprives you of the great scenery that you would have seen otherwise. And in this case this would be a really great loss. The old Aurland - Laerdal road is magnificent. Rising to 1306 m a.s.l. it commands great views of Aurlandsfjord and the mountains around it. On clear days you can see as far as Jotunheimen. Its total wilderness takes your breath away. Its popular name 'The Snow Road' is perfectly justified: some snow lies there all the year round, forming little glaciers by the roadside. The road goes up winding steeply at its Aurland end, so you'd better not attempt to take it if you are pulling a trailer. There are hardly any barriers...
Road 13 - Vinje - Vik
Looking quite innocent on the map, this is another mountain road, not as dangerous as Aurlandsveien though. While there are no fjords along it, you will still come across beautiful blue mountain lakes and see your first little glaciers. We could see people walking on them, if with difficulty. Some parts of Road 13 have been cut out in rock right across a mountain to avoid more winding roads - another feat of Norwegian engineers.In Vik you drive down the mountainside to the Sognefjord and follow its coastline to Vangsnes.
Vik on Sognefjord
Vik is a village you pass through on your way from Voss or Gudvangen to Jotunheimen or Jostedalsbreen. Before you get to it, a serpentine road will take you to the top of a mountain which gives you a bird's eye view of the place. The scenery is stunning with the village far below and Sognefjord in the distance. I now often see it on the webcam, which even shows the way it changes throughout the day. The village itself is quite pretty and has two buildings of historical interest: the Hopperstad stave church dating back to 1130 and the Hove stone church built in 1170.
What a view!
After spending a night on Sandane campsite we took Road 13 going south. On the map it is marked as scenic so we expected great views. But what we saw by far surpassed our expectations. Its part between Moskog and Dragsvik is a fantastic mountain road, extremely winding, and no less difficult than the famous Trollstigveien, Trolls' Ladder (see my Andalsnes page). But this time we were going down and when I saw the road we were going to descend in a minute my hair stood on end. The view was superb, the wilderness of the mountains overgrown with low forest and the narrow ribbon of the road winding its way down and down into the valley below. It was one of those places where you are awed into silence by nature's creations.There was just another couple there admiring the view - most people just go to see the Jostedalsbreen glacier and then take a direct road to Sogndal, much of which runs in...
Borgund Stave Church
Borgund stave church is situated in Laerdal, in the south east of Sogn og Fjordane. Dating back to 1180, this real pearl of medieval architecture is one of the largest of the existing stave churches in Norway. We visited it twice, once in 2001 on our first visit to Norway when Road E16 ran past it so that nearly all the motorists stopped to admire it and then again in 2005, by which time the road had been put in a tunnel and you had to take another minor road to get to it. Though this may protect the famous church from pollution, it also means that many tourists are likely to bypass it in a hurry. A new huge Borgund Visitor Centre has also been built to provide information on Borgund and the other Norwegian stave churches.If you compare the two pictures of the church: from 2001 and 2005 you will notice that also the wall surrounding the church has changed - from one constructed of huge...
Vestkappe and Ervik
On our first visit to Norway in 2001 I wanted very much to see the place where the fjords start - the North Sea. I had to be convinced they were not just mountain lakes and being so close to the sea and not seeing it would have been unpardonable. So, driving south from Geiranger we took Rd15 towards Maloy and then turned into Rd618 to Vestkappe, the westernmost point in Norway. The road was so winding it took us ages to get there. We should have visited Selje on the way and St Synneva Kloster nearby but the weather was getting worse so we wanted to get to the promontory as soon as possible. By the time we got to Ervik, a few miles from Vestkappe, it was already raining. Still, it was here that we caught the first glimpse of the North Sea. We parked our car beside the charming St Swithin's chapel and followed a path to the beach. There was not a soul to be seen. At that point we could...
Lodal valley and Kjenndal Glacier
Lodal valley and Kjenndal Glacier should not be missed. The valley offers a wonderful landscape. But the valley was the setting of tragic events: twice in this centrury, huge blocks of stone fell from the sides of Mt. Ramnefjell into the Lovatn lake below and 135 lives were lost.The Kjenndal valley and the Kjenndal Glacier lie at the end of Lodal valley, 17 km from Loen and a 15 minute walk from the Jostedal Glacier's lowest glacier arm. Between 1980 and 1997 the glaciers grew by over 300 metres, but in the last few years the glacier arms have actually been retreating slightly.
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