Solvorn village

Solvorn is an idyllic little village near the head of Sognefjord, Western Norway. It was once an important trading place, connecting farms in the region with Bergen. Now it is quiet but full of character and beautifully maintained.

Today our village has around 250 inhabitants. There is a school with a kindergarten on the hill. The cafe in town serve basic food during summer. We have a nice art gallery by the sea front. The village is also home to the oldest and one of the most extraordinary hotels in Norway, the Walaker Hotel.

We highly recommend taking a refreshing dip in the fjord at any time of year. However during the summer the water in the bay can reach up to 20-22 degrees Celsius, and in nice weather the beach becomes what we locally call Costa del Solvorn.

Urnes Stave Church

Opposite Solvorn - on the other side of the Lustrafjord - lies the most important stave church in Norway, the Unesco site number 58 since 1979.

The stave churches are Norway's unique contribution to the world's cultural heritage, and of the original 1000 churches built between 1130 and 1350, 28 remain. Urnes stave church is the oldest and most highly decorated of them. The ferry from Solvorn to Urnes goes every hour during summer and the stave church is open for visiting all day.

It is a nice walk on a steep road from the port up to the church. The church is located in the middle of the farmyard at Urnes Farm that has a cafe and accommodation. They also have a deer farm where you can join in feeding the animals. We recommend bringing Eplet bikes with you and doing a day trip on the romantic road to Feigumsfossen before visiting the stave church on the way back.

This is what Unesco writes: The wooden church of Urnes (the stavkirke) stands in the natural setting of Sogn og Fjordane. It was built in the 12th and 13th centuries and is an outstanding example of traditional Scandinavian wooden architecture. It brings together traces of Celtic art, Viking traditions and Romanesque spatial structures. Link

Costa del Solvorn

During warm periods of summer the fjord water temperature reaches 20 degrees Celsius, and the village turns into what we locally call Costa del Solvorn.

The beach can get completely full of people... but there is always a place to be by yourself.

Lustrabadet

In Gaupne, Luster we have a new and modern swimming pool that opened in 2012. It has several pools, saunas, hot tubs, a plunge pool, diving boards, a fast slide and a small climbing wall. It is a good place to rest out on those very rainy days of summer. for more information visit their webpage: http://lustrabadet.no

Daytrips

Public transport

Public transportation is very good and reliable in western Norway. You can reach all our listed activities and many other destinations on a daytrip with bus from Solvorn. Especially during the summer bus routes (20th June to 1st september). During the winter bus routes (1st september to 20th June)it is a bit harder to get around. But we normally find a way. Just ask us in the reception for timetables or use the search engine en-tur.no.

Private car

# 1 - Glacier Museum & remote Gaularfjell

Directions:

Solvorn – Sogndal 17 km. R55
Sogndal – Fjærland 35 km. R5
Fjærland – Skei 28 km. R5
Skei – Moskog 32 km. E39
Moskog – Dragsvik 83 km. R13
Dragsvik – Balestrand 9 km.
Balestrand – Dragsvik 9 km.
Ferry Dragsvik – Hella
Hella – Sogndal 36 km. R55
Sogndal – Solvorn 17 km. R55

Highlights:

Fjærland Glacier Museum
Fjærland Mundal Book Town
Bøyabreen Glacier View
Gaularfjellet mountain pass
Balestrand village

Driving: 5,5 hours
Ferry: 30 minutes

Information:

* The glacier museum in Fjærland has excellent exhibitions and a 3D movie from the top of the Jostedalsbreen ice cap. While in Fjærland you can also visit the Norwegian book town in Mundal. When you continue on the road you will after a few kilometers have a spectacular view of Bøyabreen glacier straight ahead, high above you.

* Gaularfjellet is a national tourist road. It is a small mountain road, without much traffic. The road follows a picturesque river and gradually rises to 745 masl. After crossing the top you come to a resting point with an amazing view where you are looking down at one arm of Sognefjord which is deeply cutting its way through the landscape.

* Balestrand was a meeting point for tourists coming to Norway in the beginning of the 20th century. It has art galleries, a small aquarium and a travellers museum. The ferry between Dragsvik and Hella runs approximately every 45 minutes.

# 2 - Nærøyfjord & Beautiful Vikafjell

Directions:

Solvorn – Sogndal 17 km. R55
Sogndal – Kaupanger 10km.
Ferry from Kaupanger at
arrives Gudvangen
Gudvangen – Vinje 26 km. E16
Vinje - Vik 47 km. R13
Vik – Vangsnes 11 km. R13
Ferry Vangsnes – Dragsvik
Dragsvik – Balestrand 9 km.
Balestrand – Dragsvik 9 km.
Ferry Dragsvik – Hella
Hella – Sogndal 36 km. R55
Sogndal – Solvorn 17 km. R55

Highlights:

Ferry along Unesco Nærøyfjord
Vikafjellet mountainpass
Spectacular view over Sognefjord
Hopperstad Stave Church
Balestrand village

Driving: 4,5 hours
Ferry: 2 hours + 45 minutes + 30 minutes

Information:

* The ferry from Kaupanger to Gudvangen may be the nicest ferry trip in Norway. You see both a part of the big main Sognefjord, the beautiful Aurlandsfjord and the spectacular and narrow Nærøyfjord. Our guests often say that they find it more spectacular and varied than Geiranger. It takes 2.5 hours, so you have plenty of time to take photos and enjoy the landscape.

* Vikafjell mountainroad takes you from Vinje in Voss commune to Vik on the south side of Sognefjord. The highest point is 986 masl. After crossing the mountain plateau and passing through a short tunnel you have a resting point along the road with a fantastic view of the massive Sognefjord stretching from right to left in front of you.

* Hopperstad Stave Church is on your left side just as you enter Vik Village. It is one of the oldest stave churches in Norway. Just a few hundred meters away lies Hove stone church.

* The ferry between Vangsnes – Hella – Dragsvik is running approximately every 45 minutes. Take the ferry to Dragsvik and drive 9 km around Esebotn to Balestrand. The village was a meeting point for tourists coming to Norway in the beginning of the 20th century. It has art galleries, a small aquarium and a travellers museum. Back to Dragsvik, take the ferry to Hella.

# 3 - Nærøyfjord Cruise & The Snowroad

Directions:

Solvorn–Sogndal 17 km. R55
Sogndal–Kaupanger10 km.

Ferry from Kaupanger at 09:00.
**Only 1st June to 30th September.**
arrives at Gudvangen 11:45

Gudvangen–Hulderhaug 13km.
Hulderhaug–Undredal 6 km.
Undredal–Hulderhaug 6 km.
Hulderhaug – Flåm 6 km. E16
Flåm railroad. Flåm – Aurland center 9 km. E16
Aurland – Lærdal 48 km. R243
Lærdal – Sogndal 27km. R5
Sogndal – Solvorn 17 km. R55

Highlights:
Ferry along Nærøyfjord
Undredal idyllic little village
Flåm railway
Snowroad Aurland – Lærdal


Driving: 4 hours
Ferry: 2,5 hours + 30 minutes

Information:

* The ferry from Kaupanger to Gudvangen may be the nicest ferry trip in Norway. You see both a part of the big main Sognefjord, the beautiful Aurlandsfjord and the spectacular and narrow Nærøyfjord. Our guests often say that they find it more spectacular and various than Geiranger. It takes 2.5 hours, so you have plenty of time to take photos and enjoy the landscape.

* Undredal is a small and scenic village along the fjord. It has about 100 inhabitants, a shop, a goats cheese production and the smallest of the 29 stave churches in Norway. It is 13 km from the main road and well worth a detour.

* Flåm Railway is the biggest tourist destination in Norway. If you are staying at Eplet we are happy to tell you about more spectacular experiences than taking the railway. It is scenic, but not a must. Be prepared for masses of tourists.

* The snowroad is a 48 kilometer winding and narrow mountain road that takes you from Aurland, steep up the mountain to Stegastein viewpoint at 640 masl and further to the top of Aurlandsfjellet at 1306 masl. In nice weather you have a spectacular view towards Blåskavlen glacier and the fjords under your feet.

# 4 - Romantic Lustrafjord, Wild Tindevegen

Directions:

Ferry Solvorn – Urnes
Urnes – Skjolden 30 km
Skjolden – Turtagrø 16 km. R55
Turtagrø – Årdal 32 km
Årdal – Fodnes 37 km. R53+R5
Ferry Fodnes – Mannheller
Mannheller – Sogndal 17km.R5
Sogndal – Solvorn 17 km. R55


Highlights:

Urnes Stave Church
Feigumsfossen Waterfall
Tindevegen mountain road
Spectacular alpine scenery
Øvre Årdal industry town

Information:

* Urnes stave church is the oldest and most highly decorated of the 28 stave churches in Norway. It is Unesco site number 58, put on the exclusive heritage list in 1979. The ferry from Solvorn to Urnes goes every hour during summer and the stave church is open for visiting all day. It is a nice walk on a steep road from the port up to the church. The church is located in the middle of the farmyard at Urnes Farm where you can have a cup of coffee or feed the animals at the deer farm.

* Feigumsfossen Waterfall is 218 meter high and the 2nd highest free falling waterfall in Norway. There is a parking by the road and a nice hiking path that takes you 20 minutes up to a view point.

* Fortun is the last village down in the valley before a long climb up to Turtagrø hotel, where you can stop for a cup of coffee and enjoy the most famous mountain panorama in Norway. Turn right.

* Tindevegen is a small mountain road that takes you close to some of the highest alpine peaks in Norway. You have a spectacular view of the mountains and the fjord. At the top at 1315 masl there is a toll gate where you pay 75 NOK.

* Øvre Årdal is a good example of Norwegian modernity after the second world war. It is a small industrial town encircled by steep mountains. It is built entirely around a large aluminium factory based on cheap hydroelectric power. It is not a pretty place, but it is interesting.

* Årdalstangen was the harbour where the aluminium was transported out. Today, there is not much production left. The oil economy has raised Norwegian wages to the point where it is almost impossible for other industries to compete internationally * The ferry Fodnes – Mannheller runs every 20 minutes during summer.

# 5 - Romantic Lustrafjord, the top roof of Norway and the large glacier valley

Directions:

Ferry Solvorn – Urnes
Urnes – Skjolden 30 km
Skjolden–Sognefjellet 33 km
Sognefjellet–Skjolden 33km
Skjolden – Luster 11 km
Luster – Gaupne 15 km
Gaupne–Glacier center 33km
Glacier center–Nigardsbreen
Nigardsbreen–Glacier center
Glacier center–Styggevatnet
Styggevatnet–Glacier center
Glacier center–Gaupne 33km.
Gaupne – Solvorn 18 km.

Highlights:

Urnes Stave Church
Feigumsfossen Waterfall
Sognefjellet highest mountain pass
Lustrabui Bakery J & Dale Church
Nigardsbreen Glacier & Styggevatnet

Driving: 6 hours, Ferry: 30 minutes

Information:

* Urnes stave church is the oldest and most highly decorated of the 28 stave churches in Norway. It is Unesco site number 58, put on the exclusive heritage list in 1979. The ferry from Solvorn to Urnes goes every hour during summer and the stave church is open for visiting all day. It is a nice walk on a steep road from the port up to the church. The church is located in the middle of the farmyard at Urnes Farm where you can have a cup of coffee or feed the animals at the deer farm.

* Feigumsfossen Waterfall is 218 metres high and the 2nd highest free falling waterfall in Norway. There is a carpark by the road and a nice hiking path that takes you 20 minutes up to a view point. * Fortun is the last village down in the valley before you start on a very long climb up to Sognefjellet. Halfway up is Turtagrø hotel, where you can stop for a cup of coffee and enjoy the most famous mountain panorama in Norway. After crossing the mountain you reach Sognefjellshytta. This is the roof of Norway with all the highest peaks in the country. You are now in east Norway, turn around.

* Lustrabui Bakery in Luster serves you coffee and the best cinnamon rolls in the world. After that cross the road and you stand outside Dale Church, one of the most decorated stone churches from the 12th century in Norway. * In Gaupne you turn right, and follow the river up Jostedalen, the big glacier valley in Norway.

* Nigardsbreen Glacier is the most famous glacier in the country. It is a valley glacier coming down from the huge Jostedalsbreen ice cap. From the parking there is a small boat or you can hike for 45 minutes to reach the glacier front. In Jostedalen you can continue up the valley to the dam at Styggevatnet ice lake 1200 masl with a fantastic panorama view of the northern part of the ice cap.

# 6 -The Romantic head of Sognefjord

Directions:

Ferry Solvorn – Urnes
Urnes – Skjolden 30 km.
Skjolden – Luster 11 km.
Luster – Gaupne 15 km.
Gaupne – Solvorn 18 km.

Highlights:

Urnes Stave Church
Kroken Munthe huset
Feigumsfossen Waterfall
Lustrabui Bakery
Dale Church

Time car:
Ferry: 30 minutes
Driving: 2 hours

Time bicycle:
Ferry: 30 minutes
Biking: 5-7 hours

Information:

* Urnes stave church is the oldest and most highly decorated of the 28 stave churches in Norway. It is Unesco site number 58, put on the heritage list in 1979. The ferry from Solvorn to Urnes goes every hour during summer and the stave church is open for visiting all day. It is a nice walk on a steep road from the port up to the church. The church is located in the middle of the farmyard at Urnes Farm where you can have a cup of coffee or help feed the animals at the deer farm.

* Munthehuset at Kroken is a unique building dating from 1791. This was an important meeting place for painters, geographers and researchers during the national romantic period of the 19th century. Several of the most important romantic paintings in Norway have been made here.

* Feigumsfossen Waterfall is with 218 meter the 2nd highest free falling waterfall in Norway. There is a carpark by the road and a nice hiking path that takes you 20 minutes up to a view point. * Skjolden is the village at the head of Sognefjord. It is with 204 km the 2nd longest fjord in the world.

* Lustrabui Bakery in Luster serves you coffee and what is probably the best cinnamon rolls in the world. After that cross the road and you stand outside Dale Church, one of the most decorated stone churches from the 12th century in Norway.

* Gaupne is the local administration center in Luster commune. Here you will find a small shopping center, bank and health care. Lustrabadet is a great public swimmingpool with tubes, bubble bath and outside hot pools. For those biking around the fjord you may want to buy a banana and some chocolate, be aware that you have a very long climb ahead.

* At Marifjøra there is a small family run chocolate factory opened in 2015.