These snug and rustic slices of small-town life, where the pace runs just a little bit slower, are the best spots to authentically sample the culture, traditions — and sometimes quirks — of the “Vestlendingen,” as locals are known. Descended from Vikings, fjord villagers are a hardy, industrious and self-sufficient lot. Living in isolated fjord hamlets and island fishing villages, or on small mountain farms perched high above the fjords, they’ve long had to fend for themselves — winter, spring, summer and fall, across the centuries.
Things have gotten considerably easier, but fjord villagers still might strike you as a bit shy or reserved — maybe even a little hard-edged. But they’re actually warm and welcoming. Get to know them, and you’re a friend for life. You might even be invited for a chat, a cup of fresh-brewed coffee and a plate of traditional “sveler,” “lefse” or “vafler” (That’s pancakes, potato flatbread and waffles to you).