Kayaking the Lustrafjord to Urnes Stave Church

I headed towards Marifjøra in Sogn, a great place to start kayaking on the Lustrafjord which is a branch of the 204 kilometre long Sognefjord. It was late autumn, but the weather was nice and it felt like summer.

Marifjøra is in the middle of the Lustrafjord, and from there you can easily explore this beautiful area in all directions. My goal was just to have a nice day in my kayak on the fjord, but I also wanted to visit Urnes and Solvorn, two idyllic villages on each side of the fjord.

External Link: Guided Sea Kayak Tours – The Lustrafjord

 

Norwegian Fjords by Fjord Tours

Kayaking the Lustrafjord

I started at Marifjøra, not far from Tørvis Hotel which is a great Base Camp if you want to explore this part of Luster and Lustrafjorden. It is wonderful to just glide into the fjord in a kayak, it is only you and the silence and the nature. I paddled south along the western side of the fjord, and just before Solvorn I crossed the fjord towards Urnes. Urnes is a beautiful small village on the headlands by the fjord with hundreds of apple trees, a few wooden houses and a stave church from the Viking Age. The stave church, Urnes Stave Church, is our oldest stave church and part of our common UNESCO World Heritage. It was built around year 1140, and is really worth a visit if you are in the Luster area.

Biking and Hiking

There is a ferry that goes daily between Solvorn and Urnes during summer, making it easy for tourists to visit Urnes and the stave church. From Urnes it is also great to do some biking and hiking in the area. The road along the Lustrafjord towards Skjolden at the innermost part of the Lustrafjord is almost without traffic, and the view to the fjord and the mountains and villages on the other side is great. You can combine bike and hike and see the Feigumfossen Waterfall with a vertical drop of 229 metres. You can hike to where the waterfall cascades into the the Feigeelva River. The hike is easy and takes around an hour, the path is marked. It is also possible to continue the hike to the top where the waterfall goes over the edge.

Urnes and Urnes Stave Church

I entered the shore just by the ferry quay at Urnes and walked up to the stave church. It is a short 15 minutes walk up hill to the church, and I had a guided tour inside the church and also wandered around it just to see the beautiful church and all the fantastic wood carvings on the north wall of the church. From the church, there is also a beautiful view over the fjord towards Solvorn on the other side. The autumn colours were beautiful and the apples were ready to be picked down from the trees, and the sound of the nature was fantastic.

Soon I was in my kayak again, now on my way across the fjord to Solvorn on the other side. The ferry passed me, and I felt small in my kayak when the waves from the ferry reached me from behind. But this is also the great part of kayaking, you are small and in the touch of the nature elements.

Solvorn at the western part of the Lustrafjord

Solvorn is another beautiful small village, on the western side of the Lustrafjord. Right beside the fjord in Solvorn lies Walaker Hotel. This is a charming family hotel and an attraction in itself. The hotel from 1640 has been owned by the same family since 1690 and is the oldest hotel in Norway, with more than 370 years of history. I had my mandatory stop there, and had a stroll around in the village and in the beautiful garden at Walaker Hotel. I also visited Gallery Walaker 300 in a building in connection to the hotel.

After stretching my legs and eating an ice cream at Solvorn, I again glided into the fjord and paddled north along the fjord towards Marifjøra and back to the starting point of this small but great adventure. I had a fantastic day on the Lustrafjord in my kayak and visited some beautiful places by the fjord.

Luster and the Lustrafjord – What to See and Do

The Lustrafjord and Luster area is deemed to be one of the most beautiful spots in the country. It is the place where the fjords meet the top of Norway and the place where mountains and glaciers never end. There are many wonderful and exciting things to see and do here. The oldest historical hotel, the Walaker Hotel, is located here.

Urnes Stave Church and Feigumfossen Waterfall are two beautiful places worth checking out. If you are feeling sporty the hike to Mt Molden is perfect for you and the view at the top is a bonus to your workout.  If you really enjoyed Austerdalsbreen then Nigardsbreen Glacier is almost just as pretty. It is located in Jostedal and is one of the easiest and most accessible glaciers in Norway. The Lustrafjord which runs through this beautiful area is the innermost part of the 204 kilometer long Sognefjord.

FJORDS – Useful Links:

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

Kayaking the Lustrafjord to Urnes Stave Church – Map Overview