KAYAK ON THE LUSTRAFJORD – FROM SKJOLDEN TO SOLVORN

In 1999, we were kayaking the Lustrafjord for the first time. In June 2019, twenty years later, we did it again.

The Lustrafjord is the innermost branch of the 204 kilometer long Sognefjord which is the King of the Fjords. The Lustrafjord and the Luster area is one of the most beautiful spots in Norway, where the fjord meets the top of Norway with it´s numerous mountains and glaciers.

Visit Sognefjord

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

GUIDE – For safety reasons, it is recommended to join a guided kayak trip if you are going to paddle on the Lustrafjord: Guided Sea Kayak Tours with Fjord Seal on the Lustrafjord.

SEASON: Summer. Check with the guiding company when they offer guiding.

FJORDS NORWAY - The beautiful fjord villages lies like pearls on a string along the Lustrafjord.
The beautiful fjord villages lies like pearls on a string along the Lustrafjord.

Driving from Oslo to the Fjords

We drove from Oslo in a car stuffed with kayaks and equipment, and our goal for the day was Skjolden at the innermost part of the Lustrafjord. This was the starting point of this summers kayak adventure.

The last part of the drive that day was along the fjord we should paddle the next days, and we could feel the joy when driving in this beautiful scenery.

Kayaking out the fjord from Skjolden

FJORDS NORWAY - Fjords Selfie on the Lustrafjord.
Fjords Selfie on the Lustrafjord.

It was almost midday before we glided into the Lustrafjord in our kayaks. It was partly cloudy, and the fjord was calm. We headed over to the western side of the fjord, and continued paddling on this side for a long distance. It was a beautiful day, but the weather got even better and the fjord calmer as we paddled along. It took some time, we had to immortalize the beautiful scenery in both pictures and film.

Just before the small village Luster the fjord became wider, and we decided to cross the fjord here. We continued along the eastern side of the fjord, this is the part of the fjord where small wooden houses and farms are beautifully situated by the fjord. I would love to live in a small cozy house, just like this.

Saving a drowning Humble Bee

FJORDS NORWAY - Humblebee saved on the Lustrafjord.
Humblebee saved on the Lustrafjord.

In the middle of the fjord, it was around one kilometer wide at this point, I passed a humble bee that was floating on the water. After a few seconds I thought it probably needed a helping hand, and decided to turn around to try to help it out of the water.

I managed to pick it up with my paddle-oar, and placed it on the front of my kayak. It stayed on my kayak for almost ten minutes. Then it started to move the wings slowly before it vibrated the wings as it was drying itself. Suddently it “took off” and flew away. We were much closer to the shore now, I hope it made it to safe ground.

Towards Feigefossen Waterfall and Kroken

FJORDS NORWAY - Feigumfossen Waterfall in Luster.
Feigefossen Waterfall in Luster.

We continued on the east side of the fjord and arrived Feigum and Feigefossen Waterfall with a vertical drop of 229 meters. You can hike to a viewpoint where you can see the waterfall cascades into the the Feigeelva River. The hike is easy, it takes an hour and the trail is well marked. We decided to just look at the waterfall from the kayak this day, it was a beautiful sight as we glided quietly past it.

We passed another beautiful village before we found a place to sleep for the night. It was by a boat house on the headland just before Kroken. We slept in open air, with a great view to the fjord and towards Mt Molden on the other side of the Lustrafjord.

Next Day – Kayaking to Ornes and Urnes Stave Church

FJORDS NORWAY - Local Made Raspberry Lemonade from Urnes Gard.
Local Made Raspberry Lemonade from Urnes Gard.

We continued the next day and rounded the headland towards Kroken. It was a beautiful day, no wind, and the fjord was calm. A great day for kayaking. We passed Kroken and continued towards Ornes. It took some time, and after a few hours on the fjord we reached Ornes. The kayaks were left by some boat houses before we walked along the road uphill towards the UNESCO-Protected Urnes Stave Church.

Urnes Stave Church is the oldest of the remaining Stave Churches in Norway, and is one of four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Western Norway. The Stave Church was built around year 1130 AD. During summer you can join a guided “tour” outside and inside the church. There is also a small café at Urnes Gard close by where you can buy short travelled and local made refreshments. It was a warm day, and we visited the café and drank some ice cold local made Raspberry Lemonade. It was the best lemonade I have ever tasted!

Crossing the fjord to Solvorn

It was late afternoon, and back in my kayak we decided to cross the fjord to Solvorn and to end our journey there. Solvorn is a beautiful village down by the Lustrafjord on the opposite side of Ornes. Here you have the oldest historical hotel in Norway, the beautiful Walaker Hotel.

Lustrafjord – What to See and Do

Fjords Norway - Urnes Stave Church by the Lustrafjord in Luster, Sognefjord in Norway
Lustrafjord.

The Lustrafjord and Luster area is deemed to be one of the most beautiful spots in the country. It is where the fjords meet the top of Norway and the mountains and glaciers never ends. There are many wonderful and exciting things to see and do there.

Solvorn is an idyllic village located down by the Lustrafjord. The oldest historical hotel and one of the finest, the Walaker Hotel, is located in the village. Time has in a way stood still in Solvorn. Many of the original buildings have been preserved and refined.

From Solvorn, you can take the small ferry across the Lustrafjord to Ornes and visit Urnes Stave Church and see the mighty Feigefossen waterfall which reveals itself in the spring. Urnes Stave Church is the oldest of our remaining stave churches in Norway, and is one of four world heritage sites in Western Norway.

The hike to Mt Molden gives you a fantastic view both in and out of the Lustrafjord. The locals claim this is the best view in Luster, and in Luster there are many great viewpoints.

Nigardsbreen glacier in Jostedal and Austerdalsbreen glacier at Veitastrond are two of the most beautiful and most easily accessible glaciers in Norway. Mørkridsdalen and Fortunsdalen are two classic areas for mountain hikes near Skjolden, which is located at the innermost part of the Lustrafjord. Stay at Skjolden Hotel in Skjolden, a great hotel with short-travelled food and drinks from the top shelf.

High in the Jotunheimen mountains, the Sognefjellet Mountain Road runs between the Lustrafjord and the Gudbrandsdalen Valley. The Sognefjellet National Tourist Route is the highest mountain pass in Northern Europe with its 1434 meters above sea level at the highest point. Along the road is Turtagrø Hotel, Sognefjellshytta and Krossbu where you can stay and get information and guide to Hurrungane and the mountains and glaciers around Sognefjellet, which is one of Norway’s wildest mountain areas.

The Lustrafjord is approximately 40 kilometers long and is the innermost branch of the 204 kilometer long Sognefjord which is located in the middle of Western Norway.

The Lustrafjord – Hotels and Accommodation

Jostedal – Jostedal Hotell
Jostedal – Jostedal Camping
Fortun/Hurrungane – Turtagrø Hotel
Skjolden – Skjolden Hotel
Skjolden – Skjolden Resort
Lustrafjord – Sørheim Fjordpanorama
Luster – Dalsøren Camping
Luster – Luster Fjordhytter
Luster – Nes Gard
Marifjøra – Marifjøra Sjøbuer
Mollandsmarki – Heil pao kanten
Norway’s oldest hotelWalaker Hotell in Solvorn
Bed & Breakfast in Solvorn – Eplet Hostel & Juicefabrikk
Bed & Breakfast in Solvorn – Villa Solvorn
Guesthouse in Solvorn – Solvorn Gjestehus
Exclusivity and well-being at HafsloBesteBakken
Hotel in Hafslo – Eikum Hotel
Tungestølen at Veitastrond – Tungestølen Turisthytte

The Lustrafjord – Useful Links

Skjolden – Where fjord meets the mountains: Skjolden.com
Activities in Luster: Visit Skjolden
Solvorn – The idyllic village by the Lustrafjord
The UNESCO Protected Urnes Stave Church
Ferry across the Lustrafjord: Lustrabaatane
Glacier Guiding on Nigardsbreen Glacier: Jostedalen Breførarlag
Breheimsenteret Glacier Center in Jostedal: Breheimsenteret
Mountain Hotel in the Hurrungane Mountains: Turtagrø Hotel
Sognefjellet National Tourist Route: Norwegian Scenic Routes
Guided Kayak Trip on the Lustrafjord: Fjordseal at Marifjøra
Guided Motor Boat Tours at Lake Styggevatnet: Ice Troll

 

HOTELS - ACCOMMODATION - LINKS

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.

Season and Safety - Kayaking on the fjords

SEASON - Many of the activities and attractions mentioned on this website are open only in summer and are closed in winter. This also applies to many of the roads and accommodations mentioned. Season and opening time will vary. It depends on where it is and what activity, attraction, road and accommodation it is, it usually opens in the summer and closes in the autumn, depending on i.a. the amount of snow and the risk of avalanches in the area. Hikes mentioned in this website have different seasons. See links to the various hikes to read more about the hikes and season.

SAFETY - Important Safety Information about kayaking in the fjords: For safety reasons, it is recommended to join a guided kayak trip if you are going to paddle on the fjords in Norway. The fjords can be exposed to strong winds and currents, and the weather can change rapidly even if nice weather and no winds are reported. There are steep mountain sides and cliffs in many parts of the fjords, this can make it difficult to enter land if weather gets bad or if an accident happens. It is recommended to avoid kayaking in thunderstorms and when there is wind and waves and bad weather conditions!

Watch out for and keep good distance to boats, ferries and cruise ships when kayaking on the fjords. Also remember to frequently look behind you. Some of the fjords are heavily trafficed with boats and ships.

It is recommended to keep a safe distance to steep mountain sides and cliffs where there is a risk of rockfall, landslides and avalanches. The guide companies in the different fjords usually have local knowledge about where to keep distance to land with regard to rockfall etc.

Read more about season, important safety information and your own responsibility when kayaking and when exploring Norway…

The Sognefjord and Lustrafjord – Map Overview