INDRE OFREDAL BY THE ÅRDALSFJORD

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.

Visit Sognefjord

Visit Sognefjord is the official destination company for the Årdalsfjord and Sognefjord area.

FJORDS NORWAY - Indre Ofredal and the Årdalsfjord, part of the Sognefjord
Panorama of Indre Ofredal. The Sognefjord (Left) and Årdalsfjord (Right).

Årdal and the Årdalsfjord

Naddvik is located on the other side of the fjord in relation to Indre Ofredal.
Naddvik is located on the other side of the fjord in relation to Indre Ofredal.

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

Indre Ofredal by the Årdalsfjord.
Indre Ofredal by the Årdalsfjord.

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

Indre Ofredal by the Årdalsfjord, a branch of the Sognefjord.
Indre Ofredal by the Årdalsfjord, a branch of the Sognefjord.

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.

Indre Ofredal by the Årdalsfjord, a branch of the Sognefjord.
Indre Ofredal by the Årdalsfjord, a branch of the Sognefjord.

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.

Bøttejuv is one of the most popular hikes in the area around Årdal. The view from Bøttejuv is one of the best you can experience. You should definitely put this hike on your “Bucket List”. From Bøttejuv you look straight down at the emerald green lake Årdalsvatnet, which lies 1320 meters below you. You can see Øvre Årdal in the background.

View from Mt Skårsfjellet, which is the peak above Bøttejuv. We see lake Årdalsvatnet and Øvre Årdal far down there.
View from Mt Skårsfjellet, which is the peak above Bøttejuv. We see lake Årdalsvatnet and Øvre Årdal far down there.

From there you also have a great view of the mountains in Hurrungane and Jotunheimen, the roof of Norway. The hike to Bøttejuv starts up in the Seimsdalen valley above Seim, near Årdalstangen, which lies in the innermost part of the Årdalsfjord. Season: Mid July to Mid September, these are approximate dates that depends on the weather, temperature and the amount of snow in the mountains. Guide: We recommend you to join a Guided Hike to Bøttejuv.

Other small idyllic fjord villages like Naddvik and Seim are also well worth visiting if you are in the area. You can reach these villages by car.

You get to Indre Ofredal by car via Årdalstangen to Seim and then through Ofredalstunnelen Tunnel, the world’s steepest 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.

Sognefjord – What to See and Do

Sognefjord.
Sognefjord.

The Sognefjord, the king of the fjords, is the longest fjord adventure in Norway. The Sognefjord is 204 kilometres long and 1308 metres deep at its deepest.

Join a guided glacier walk on the Nigardsbreen glacier. Take a short hike to Mt Molden in Luster and you will get a fantastic view down towards the Lustrafjord. See the beautiful stave churches around the Sognefjord. Urnes Stave Church is one of them, it is located at Ornes by the Lustrafjord and is part of our common world heritage.

Join a fjord safari or a fjord cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. Experience the view from Stegastein viewpoint above the Aurlandsfjord. Flåm Railway has been named one of the ten most beautiful railways in the world. This is the train journey from mountain to fjord, and many people take the train ride both ways.

In the middle of the Sognefjord, where the fjord is at its widest and the mountains starts to rise, you’ll find Balestrand, an idyllic village down by the fjord. The fjord village of Fjærland is located deep in the Fjærlandsfjord. It is so beautiful there that it is almost unreal. Fjærland is also called The Norwegian Book Town because of all the book sales in the tiny village.

Borgund Stave Church was built around year 1181 AD. and is the most visited stave church in Norway. Close by is the old Vindhellavegen Road that runs between Borgund and Husum in the Lærdalen valley in Lærdal. The old Vindhellavegen Road is part of the old King´s Road between east and west in Norway.

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.

References

Årdal Municipality – Årdal Kommune
Wikipedia – Ofredalstunnelen

Indre Ofredal – Accommodation

Boat House in Indre Ofredal

Indre Ofredal – Useful Links

Friends of Indre Ofredal Association – Ne fø´ Sjøen
Guiding in the Årdalsfjord Area – Bulder & Brak
Årdal Tourist Information – Visit Årdal

 

HOTELS - LINKS - FAQ

Here you will find an overview of recommended HOTELS in addition to SPA & BATH HOTELS and OTHER ACCOMMODATION PLACES in Western Norway. The combination of beautiful nature, activities that you can do in all four seasons and a stay at a great accommodation is unique. A stay in one of these places will do you good, both for body and mind.

There are ten restaurants that have awarded Michelin stars and Michelin awards in Western Norway. Eight of the Michelin restaurants are in Stavanger and two in Bergen. Here you will find FJORDS MICHELIN, where you will also find a list of recommended hotels in Western Norway, recommended by Michelin.

USEFUL LINKS is a list of websites with great information on Norway and the Fjords. FAQ is an overview of articles that answer the most common questions you have when planning to visit the fjords in Western Norway.

Indre Ofredal – Map Overview