It was late May, 2014. We drove from Oslo to visit Fjærland in Sogn, to spend some days in this picturesque village surrounded by fjord, mountains and glaciers.
May is a great month to visit the fjords. There are still snow in the mountains, the valleys are green, and the apple trees are blossoming.
We planned to cross the fjord in our kayaks and put up our tent on the other side of the fjord. But we arrived late in the evening, and it was dark outside. So we parked the car in the center of Fjærland, and found a spot with green grass by the fjord. The weather was just perfect for camping, so good that we left the tent in the car and let the stars be our roof for the night.
Fjærland – The Norwegian Book Town
Next morning we had breakfast by the fjord. The water was flat like a mirror, the sun was shining, and the only sound we heard was the birds chirping. We entered our kayaks and glided into the Fjærlandsfjord. The first day we wanted to explore the inner part of the fjord, which is a branch of the 204 kilometre long Sognefjord. We had a great time on the fjord.
Later we strolled around in Fjærland. This place is so beautiful that it is almost unreal. It has it´s own museum, the Norwegian Glacier Museum. And Fjærland is also named The Norwegian Book Town due to all the bookstores in the town. It has a total of 2.5 miles with shelves filled with books, new and used. The smallest bookstore is a book stand by the road. Based on trust, you can pick a book and leave some money in a box.
Kayaking the Fjærlandsfjord to Balestrand
The weather kept smiling at us, so we continued sleeping in free air. Next morning we decided to kayak out Fjærlandsfjorden to Balestrand which is another beautiful village in Sogn. Balestrand is situated by the main fjord, the Sognefjord – The King of the Fjords. We had a great (and long) day in our kayaks, surrounded by beautiful nature. Porpoises played around our kayaks, and eagles observed everything from above.
We arrived Balestrand and went ashore at Kviknes Hotel. Kviknes is one of many Historic Hotels in Norway, and one of the most beautiful. It was much later than planned, and while drinking a well deserved beer at one of the hotels balconies, we discussed if we should stay the night at the hotel or in our kayaks. Then we observed a RIB-boat coming in from the fjord. We walked down to boat and asked the skipper if he could give us a hike back to Fjærland. Half an hour later we arrived our Base Camp, thanks to the helpful skipper who took us and our kayaks aboard and brought us back.
Hiking to Flatbreen Glacier
After the third night in open air, the kayaks got a well deserved rest and we brushed the dust of our hiking shoes. Our goal for the day was Flatbrehytta Mountain Cabin below the Flatbreen Glacier which is part of the Jostedalsbreen Glacier, the largest glacier in the European mainland. Flatbrehytta is situated 1000 metres above sea level, and the view down towards the Fjærlandsfjord and the surrounding snowcapped mountains was indescribable.
In the afternoon we were back in our car, and we headed back towards Oslo. We had three days in Fjærland with flat fjord and sunny weather spiced with beautiful and wild nature. Hiking, kayaking, no tent, cold beer, RIB-boat, glacier, book town, historic hotel, snow, flowers, green grass and birds chirping are some of the keywords from this trip. What a great adventure it was.
The Sognefjord, the king of the fjords, is the longest fjord adventure in Norway. The fjord is 204 kilometres long and 1308 metres deep. Hike on the Nigardsbreen Glacier, see the Stave Churches, join a Fjord Safari, a Fjord Cruise or experience the Sognefjord in a kayak. The Sognefjord is located located in the northern part of the county of Vestland, in the middle of Western Norway.
Fjord Tours: Norway in a Nutshell
Fjord Tours: Plan and book fjord travel, accommodation and activities
Go Fjords: Big and Small Fjord Experiences
Fjord Pass: Great Discounts on Activities and Attractions in the Fjords
Visit Norway: Official page for Norway
Fjord Norway: Official page for Fjord Norway
Fjords.com: The Sognefjord
Official page for the Sognefjord: Sognefjord.com
The Norwegian Glacier Museum in Fjærland
The Norwegian Booktown in Fjærland
Glacier Tour from Bergen to Fjærland
Fjærland Fjordstove in Fjærland
Kviknes Historic Hotel in Balestrand