Gjestfrihet. That’s how we say “hospitality” in Norwegian — and we know what we’re talking about. We’re natural-born hosts. In fact, you might say hospitality and tourism was invented here. You can thank the European royalty, sportsmen and artists who made Fjord Norway their playground as far back as the mid-1800s for that. Here’s a look at 10 special spots to consider for your stay with us. 

1. By hook or by crook

Large numbers of British sports fishermen looking to hook prize salmon started visiting Fjord Norway more than a century ago. This led to a wave of hotels catering to their every whim, and some are still in business today. Properties like the Gloppen Hotel carry on this legacy of service. With traditions dating back to 1866, this 61-room hotel, family-run, still attracts fishermen each summer to Sandane. There are other big draws these days, too — not the least of which is the food. Chef Bodil crafts home-cooked dishes using local produce, much of it from no more than 3 kilometers away. Work off those calories with a hike from Tystadstølen farm up Haugsvarden peak, 800 meters high, for stunning mountain and fjord views and stories from your local guide over coffee and a Norwegian-style matpakke packed lunch.

2. Turn-of-the-century elegance

Fjord Norway is rich in history and heritage, and you can live it out for yourself at grand historical hotel properties like The Hotel Union Øye, a favorite of global notables since 1891. The hotel has undergone an extensive expansion and upgrade in recent years, and opens for the summer more magnificently than ever. A Victorian-era, gingerbread-style gem, this exquisite hotel offers 46 antique-laden rooms and suites that have hosted the likes of composer Edvard Grieg and author Henrik Ibsen. Relax in the garden or sip coffee in the Sun Lounge as you soak in views of the famous peaks of the Sunnmørsalpene. Out and about? Hike Slogen - the mountain towering over the hotel, join a guide and kayak the fjord or borrow a bike to cycle the Norangsdalen, said by some to be Norway’s most beautiful valley.

3. Travel back in time

Feel like roughing it? At Haukali 33/3, travel back in time to 1850 with a husmannshus — or “smallholder’s cottage” — stay. Go off the grid amid untouched nature just an hour’s drive from Stavanger. Chop firewood, boil your bath water, harvest vegetables and fish your own dinner out of the lake in true 19th century style. The authentic activity options on and off property are endless. You can even do it all in 19th century garb. This 38-square-meter cottage housing up to 8 does offer power outlets and a refrigerator, but other than that you’ll be living the “slow life” of almost two centuries ago. A slice of life in the Fjord Norway of old.

4. Surf and sand

Haven’t had enough rough? Experience the North Sea lifestyle at Skaarsnesheimen Raw Ocean Lodge, a “community-oriented eco-lodge” on the island of Karmøy between Stavanger and Bergen. Here, the focus is on curated adventures, cultural experiences and local cuisine. The exclusive property boasts just three accommodations options, including a retro-chic “surf bungalow” just steps from the sea. Rent stand-up paddleboards on site, fish from the pier and strike out on nearby bouldering routes. Surfers, take note: Some of Karmøy’s best waves are just a 3-minute drive away.

5. Cast a wide net

Another coastal retreat beckons in the waters off Askvoll. Hop on a ferry to Værlandet and check in at the general store for your stay at the Værlandet Havhotell. Set on a headland 2 kilometers from Norway’s westernmost year-round fishing village (population 200), this modern eight-room hotel offers unique oceanfront accommodations with endless sea views — interrupted only by the majestic cliff island of Alden. The beautiful islands of the Værlandet and Bulandet archipelago, linked by a web of bridges, are yours to explore.

6. Spa and heritage

Heritage, authenticity and homey elegance are on the manifest at Angvik Gamle Handelssted. This lovingly restored 37-room retreat on the Tingvollfjord has roots dating back to the 16th century, when the local Angvik family first began catering to timber traders. Still family run, the hotel is distinguished by fine china, fireplaces, a museum, an art gallery and an 18th century log house that’s home to one of Norway’s finest spas. Its renowned kitchen, meanwhile, sources ingredients from the surrounding region’s fjords, mountains, forests and fields.

7. Lighthouse luxury

Add extra shine to your Fjord Norway vacation with a stay at a fyrhotell, or lighthouse hotel. The beacon at Høyevarde has lit passage on the Karmsund Strait since 1700. Today, the Høyevarde Lighthouse Hotel offers comfortable accommodations in a circa-1858 complex comprising a keeper’s house, custom’s house, warehouse, boathouse, elegant gardens and a wood-fired bakery. The 60-acre property’s distinguished dining room is managed by Haugesund-based caterer Lothes Mat & Vinhus, serving dishes using fresh local ingredients and seafood. 

8. The farmer’s life

Taste for farm-fresh cookery whetted? Head ashore for more at Nes Gard, on the innermost reaches of the spectacular Sognefjord. Nestled fjordside in view of Feigumfossen — one of Scandinavia’s highest waterfalls — the traditional architecture and interiors mix authentic atmosphere with modern conveniences, and most guest units offer fjord views. Friendly, personalized service is on the menu at Nes Gard — along with breakfast and a three-course dinner daily. Relax in the garden or on the pier, or rent a bicycle, rowboat or kayak. Better yet, hike through breathtaking Breheimen National Park to Navarsete, the mountain hut where the farmer would stay with cattle each summer — a must for any guest.

9. All natural

Lose yourself even deeper in nature at Juvet Landscape Hotel, whose ten guest units let you leave the world behind. Seven rooms are roomy glass cubes on stilts, where transparent walls offer carefully oriented views of the surrounding landscape. Two smaller “Bird House” units hug the hillsides above, mimicking traditional Norwegian log houses once used for food storage. In the larger Skrivarstova there are two bedrooms, and each window facing nature is like a landscape painting. Indulge in three meals daily at The Barn, a renovated century-old farmhouse, and sink into a hot tub or sauna at The Bath House, Juvet’s riverside spa. Hiking, skiing, river rafting and other activities abound at this design hotel midway along the Geiranger-Trollstigen Norwegian Scenic Route.

10. Boutique and bespoke

We end our journey between outstanding Fjord Norway hotels where we began it, at a property awash in the angling heritage that got this whole tourism business started in the first place. Beautiful boutique property 29/2 Aurland occupies a former farm 2½ hours northwest of Bergen that has accommodated anglers for generations. Guestroom décor reflects a hardy fisherfolk sensibility. Heritage, design, tradition and attention to detail define your stay — from the Fisherman’s Cabin’s bedrooms to the reconstructed Goat Barn that houses The Smoke House dining room, as well as lounges and suites. Have it your way at 29/2 Aurland. Dine on organic local fare, try your hand at local crafts, indulge in fjord skiing and fly fishing, or simply soak in the scenery. This is traditional living in style, as you like it.

Fjord secrets

The secret’s out, Fjord Norway is more than you expected. Yes, we’re home to mind-blowing fjord landscapes. But we’re so much more! You are welcome to explore farther and further. Delve deeper across Fjord Norway to unearth countless hidden gems — attractions and experiences that amaze and delight in sight and sound, taste and touch.

Find out more

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