Small idyllic fjord villages are located along the Årdalsfjord, squeezed between steep mountains, waterfalls, rivers and the fjord. The abandoned fjord village Indre Ofredal is one of these villages.
Around the middle of the 19th century, a sawmill, mill, boathouse, kitchen-building and forge were built at Indre Ofredal. The old sawmill at Indre Ofredal is part of the history of Norway as an industry nation.
Årdal and the Årdalsfjord
The Årdalsfjord is the part of the Sognefjord that runs between the outer part of the Lustrafjord and the industrial town of Årdalstangen. The surrounding nature has facilitated amounts of cheap hydroelectric energy which in turn has facilitated industry in this area. The industrial towns Årdalstangen and Øvre Årdal are the result of this. But it was in Indre Ofredal it all started.
Indre Ofredal – History
People have lived in Indre Ofredal since the middle of the 17th century. From the middle of the 19th century until the Second World War, Indre Ofredal was an important center for trade and business in the whole of Indre Sogn. In this “industrial area” there was production, unloading and loading of raw materials and finished products. The pine forest in Indre Ofredal has very good quality, and together with ordinary agriculture and fruit growing, this was the way of life for people in Indre and Ytre Ofredal.
Indre Ofredal today – Restoration and recreation by the fjord
After many years of decay, the association Ne fø´ Sjøen has now restored many of the houses at Indre Ofredal. They have a small cafeteria and offer accommodation in the old restored Boat House down by the fjord. Serving simple lunch menu, freshly baked Norwegian waffles, refreshments and soft drinks. Open during summer.
If you like to fish, Indre Ofredal is the perfect place. There is a large pier beside the boat house from where it is perfect for fishing in the fjord.
The dramatic nature around Indre Ofredal attracts guests who seek adventures all year round. Vettisfossen Waterfall, Utladalen Valley, the Jotunheimen Mountains and the Årdalsfjord and the surrounding dramatic mountains are great areas for activities such as hiking and mountaineering.
Other small idyllic fjord villages like Naddvik and Seim are also well worth visiting. You can reach these villages by car.
You get to Indre Ofredal by car via Årdalstangen to Seim and then through Ofredalstunnelen Tunnel to Indre Ofredal.
Ofredalstunnelen – The worlds steepest Tunnel
The 2200 meter long Ofredalstunnelen Tunnel between Seim and Indre Ofredal is famous for being the the world’s steepest tunnel. But the tunnel that opened in 1992 was not meant to be as steep as it became. Due to poor map data, the tunnel was made halfway with the wrong incline. This led to the last half having to be made very steep, at a 15.5% incline, to end in the right place in Indre Ofredal.
The Sognefjord, the king of the fjords, is the longest fjord adventure in Norway. The Sognefjord is 204 kilometers long and 1308 meters deep at its deepest. Join a guided glacier walk on the Nigardsbreen glacier, see the beautiful stave churches. Join a fjord safari or a fjord cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. Experience the view from Stegastein viewpoint above the Aurlandsfjord. Take a short hike to Mt Molden in Luster and you will see the fantastic view down to the Lustrafjord. Balestrand is one of the first places the foreign tourists visited when they discovered Norway in the mid-19th century. The Fjærlandsfjord, Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, the Årdalsfjord and the Lustrafjord are all branches of the Sognefjord. These side fjords are perhaps even more famous than the Sognefjord itself, which is located in the middle of western Norway. The Sognefjord is so long that it almost divides Norway in two.