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  1. Årdal
  2. Høyanger
  3. Balestrand
  4. Nasjonal turistveg Gaularfjellet
  5. Svelgen
  6. Kalvåg

Årdal Høyanger

140 km3 h
Duration: 4 days


The trip starts at Årdal in the heart of the Sognefjord. The journey here is an incredible experience in itself, whether you come over the Tindeveien mountain road via Turtagrø, travel along the fjord from Sogndal or Lærdal, or travel from Eastern Norway via Tyinkrysset.

Årdal is an excellent starting point for amazing experiences in nature. The region is full of dramatic scenery – fjords, towering mountains and waterfalls – and is considered the gateway to Jotunheimen National Park from the west. When you arrive at Årdalstangen, check in at the Klingenberg hotel, freshen up, and get ready to explore the area.

There is a long tradition of hydropower as an energy source in Årdal. In the early 1900s, work started on the road that connected Årdal with Valdres, and it was needed because of the hydropower development in the Tyinvassdraget watercourse. Today the road is known as Tunnelvegen. This incredible road, built by hand using simple tools and machinery, is now one of Norway's most beautiful cycling routes up to a fantastic viewpoint over Årdal and the mountains 1,000 metres above sea level. You can rent bicycles in Årdal, or you may want to join a guided tour with Bulder & Brak.

After returning to Årdal, you can visit Årdal visitor centre – a brand new centre that opened in 2022 that showcases the history of the metal industry in Årdal, from the 18th century until the present day. Here, you can learn about aluminium production, the use of advanced technology in heavy industry, sustainability, and the heavy industries of the future.

There are a number of wonderful experiences in nature to explore the following day: Vettisfossen waterfall is situated in the beautiful Utladalen valley in Øvre Årdal and is the tallest protected waterfall in Northern Europe, with an uninterrupted fall of 275 metres. Vettisfossen has been named Norway's most beautiful waterfall, and a roundtrip takes about 3–4 hours. You will get to see another four waterfalls on the way, and, in the summer of 2023, a spectacular new viewpoint will open at Vettisfossen waterfall.

Once back in Årdalstangen village there’s time to visit Indre Ofredal ‘down by the sea’. Down by the sea on the north side of the Årdalsfjord is a unique built environment that’s steeped in history. From the early 1800s until the Second World War, this small village was a bustling fjord community that used water to power its grain mill and sawmill. The timber from the sawmill in Indre Ofredal was transported to Bergen with their own traditional Jekt boat. It would bring back merchandise from the city that was resold to the people of Sogn, who would arrive in rowing boats to trade goods and mill their grain. The old wooden mill can still be seen to this day. After many years of decay, the association Ne fø’ sjøen restored many of the old houses. During the summer, a small café serves a simple lunch menu, freshly made waffles and refreshments. It’s also possible to spend the night here.

Either stay overnight in Årdal or drive to Høyanger, which is the next stop on the trip. It takes about three hours to drive from the village of Årdalstangen to Høyanger, and there are plenty of wonderful places to visit on the way, so it’s a good idea to leave early. On the way to Høyanger you will pass Sogndal, well worth visiting for lunch or dinner, and the beautiful Balestrand, home to award-winning apple cider and the Norwegian Museum of Travel and Tourism.

Once you arrive in Høyanger check in at Øren hotel.


In the 1900s, Høyanger played a very special role during the industrialisation of Norway. It was once a village with only 13 farmsteads and cotter’s farms, squeezed between the mountains at the bottom of the fjord arm, until the power from its waterfalls attracted industry. Power plant 1, which includes the power plant, pipelines, trolley line, steps and mountain reservoirs, was built in 1916–17.

The ‘power duo’ is two tours in one and is based around the history of power generation through the ages until the present day. The duo is made up of a 5 km tour on foot, by bike or by car, followed by a walk on, or next to, 2,500 high-altitude steps. Walking up the steps is optional. You return to the centre of Høyanger the same way as you came. More information about the Power Duo tour. Afterwards, there’s a walking tour of the industry village with visits to such places as the Industrial Museum and the protected residential area Parken.

The next day you can walk the Kraftruta power route over Bergefjell mountain, a long hike in magnificent surroundings. The 700-metre hike up the mountain ridge takes you from Toppenhytta to Skålebotn, with stunning views of the Høyangerfjord, Sognefjord and the Stølsheimen mountains. The tour takes you from the proud industrial village of Høyanger to the dams on Bergefjell mountain. You will find accommodation at Larsgarden Tunhotell farm hotel, where you can stay in the farmhouse that dates from 1901. If you would rather return to Høyanger on the same day, there is a bus service from Nordeide. The bus timetable can be found at It’s also possible to take this trip in reverse by staying at Larsgarden Tunhotell farm hotel instead of in Høyanger.


Balestrand Nasjonal turistveg Gaularfjellet Svelgen Kalvåg

270 km4 h 45 min
Duration: 2-3 days

From Høyanger, the trip continues on the National Tourist Route Gaularfjellet towards Kalvåg on the coast. There is a faster route to Kalvåg, but the scenic route over Gaularfjellet mountain is highly recommended.

Please be aware that the route is usually closed between December and April – visit for up-to-date information.

From Høyanger, drive east towards Balestrand and further into the fjord along the Fv 613 road before starting the ascent to Gaularfjellet mountain. There are incredible views of Sunnfjord’s mountains and valleys from the Utsikten viewpoint at the top of Gaularfjellet mountain. Further along the scenic route is Førde, from where the route continues to Svelgen and Kalvåg.

You may want to stop at Svelgen and stay overnight at Bremanger Fjord Hotel.

If you continue further you will arrive in Kalvåg, one of Fjord Norway's best preserved fishing villages, where you can check in at Knutholmen hotel and stay in an historic or modern sea house, a traditional fisherman-style rorbu, or an apartment. There is also a restaurant.

Bremanger is a municipality with a strong sense of history thanks to its costal culture, Stone Age settlement and rock carvings site, the wild feats of Viking kings, war history, a fortress and canons, herring fisheries and industrial history.

The transition from an agricultural to industrial community brought with it something that was common in Western Norwegian villages in the 1900s: a melting pot of people from different parts of the country, and a class-divided community that is mirrored in the buildings, dialect and culture. The watercourses in the region offered great potential for developing hydropower plants in the area, and Bremanger Kraftelselskap opened the first power plant in Svelgen in 1921. This marked the beginning of industrial development in the village, with Elkem Bremanger smelting plant at its forefront.

The following day, you can look forward to another wonderful mountain hike. Hornelen is the highest sea cliff in Europe and has panoramic views up the fjord arm and towards the islands out at sea. Few Norwegian mountains are shrouded in as much myth and mysticism as Hornelen. As you walk up the long mountainside, you can ponder stories of witches dancing on the mountain on Midsummer night. To find out more, why not join a guided tour?

The area offers plenty of hiking alternatives. With more than 100 waymarked trails, from very easy walks to very demanding trails, Bremanger is perfect for exploring on foot. You can walk along the sand beaches Grotlesanden and Vetvika, or conquer Blånibba mountain by the Ålfotbreen glacier, the highest summit in Bremanger. It’s also possible to walk from Kalvåg to Dosabu day-trip cabin.

After hiking, relax in the floating sauna Kok and take a dip before having dinner at Knutholmen hotel.

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Learn more about the history of power production in Fjord Norway and visit more places in the region!