THE NORWEGIAN FOLK HIGH SCHOOLS IN WESTERN NORWAY

The Norwegian Folk High Schools in Western Norway are a wonderful opportunity for a “free year” where young people from all over the world can make new acquaintances that will last a lifetime. In addition, they get to know the fjords, mountains and coast and all the beauty that we have in Western Norway.

There are a total of 84 Folk High Schools (Folkehøgskoler) in Norway, 25 of them are located in Western Norway. In this article you will read more about Nordfjord Folkehøgskule in Sandane in Nordfjord. Nordfjord Folkehøgskule is perfectly located between the fjords, mountains and coast in Nordfjord, which has some of the most beautiful scenery that Norway has to offer.

Nordfjord Folkehøgskule at Sandane in Nordfjord

Nordfjord Folkehøgskule in Sandane is a fantastic folk high school that is perfectly situated between the fjords, mountains and coast in Nordfjord.
Nordfjord Folkehøgskule in Sandane is perfectly situated between the fjords, mountains and coast in Nordfjord.

Nordfjord Folkehøgskule is located at Vereide by the Gloppefjord outside Sandane in the Municipality of Gloppen. Gloppefjorden is a 14 kilometer long branch of the 106 kilometer long Nordfjord.

Nordfjord Folkehøgskule calls itself Friluftslivskule (the outdoor life school), and it is in the name that the school focuses on outdoor life and activities in the beautiful nature of Western Norway. Although outdoor life is central to the teaching, you do not need to have a lot of outdoor life experience to attend the school.

The motto of the school is “Nokre spor varer evig” (“Some marks last forever”). And the great school, the people you get to know and the beautiful nature will do something with you that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Nordfjord Folkehøgskule turned 100 years old in 2023, and the school has left its mark on many people through all these years.

Hoddevik at Stad is frequently used by the students from Nordfjord Folkehøgskule.
Hoddevik at Stad is frequently used by the students from Nordfjord Folkehøgskule.

There are a total of 12 study lines at the school, lines that cover many different activities and interests. Outdoor recreation is a common denominator for all courses at Nordfjord Folkehøgskule. But there is still great variation between the different lines.

Explore Norway, Skiing and Surfing, Sports and Outdoors, Hunting and Fishing, Living and Leisure, Wind and Water, Mountaineering and Skiing are some of the lines you can choose from.

The residential part at the school has a very good standard with great rooms and common living rooms in addition to great common areas. There are rumors about the food served at school (in a positive way).

The school also has a large selection of equipment that the students can use in connection with trips organized by the school. Much of this equipment can also be used in leisure time. So you may not need to buy and bring all the equipment yourself, much of it is already available at the school.

Nordfjord Folkehøgskule ligger på idylliske Vereide utenfor Sandane. Vereide ligger til høyre på bildet som er tatt fra Sandane.
Nordfjord Folkehøgskule is located in idyllic Vereide by the Gloppefjord outside Sandane. Vereide on the right in the picture taken from Sandane.

About the Folk High Schools in Norway

FJORDS NORGE - Sogndal, hjertet i Sognefjorden
Sogndal Folkehøgskule is located in Sogndal in the heart of the Sognefjord.

You can choose between annual and half-yearly course length at most of the folk high schools in Norway. Folk high schools do not have exams and are also open to students from countries outside Norway. A typical folk high school student is between 18 and 25 years old, it is most common to start on a folk high school straight after upper secondary school.

You have to pay to go to folk high school, the money goes to board and lodging in addition to activities, travel and equipment. For students from Norway and the other Nordic countries, “Statens Lånekasse” (Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund) covers most of the expenses as loans and scholarships. Read more about the support schemes for “Statens Lånekasse” here.

International students must apply for a student visa well in advance of the start of school. Read more about application procedures and other great information for international students on the website of the Norwegian Folk High Schools, in English.

FJORDS NORGE - Lofthus in Hardanger.
Hardanger Folkehøgskule is located in Lofthus by Sørfjorden in Hardanger.

As many as 25 of the folk high schools in Norway are located in Western Norway. They are quite scattered along the whole of Western Norway, from Surnadal in the north to Moi in the south. You can choose from a total of 334 different lines at the 25 folk high schools (numbers are from 2023, this may vary from year to year).

Some of the study lines you can choose from are outdoor life, travel, film production, art, film and photography, sports, acting, musical, design and redesign, football – premier league, safari, e-sports-asia, horse, architecture and design, sustainability, food, dog sports, animation, dance, courses in Norwegian language and culture, gaming and data.

This is just some of the things you can do and learn more about at the folk high schools. Here you have an overview of all the courses you can choose from at the folk high schools in Western Norway.

You can read more about the 84 folk high schools in Norway on the joint website about “Folkehøgskoler i Norge”. On the website you get a full overview of schools and study lines, and you can choose between regions in Norway, study lines and course length on the website.

Many of the Folk High Schools in Norway function as Hostels in the summer.

The playground of Nordfjord Folkehøgskule

Beautiful Oldedalen and Oldevatnet in Olden, Nordfjord.
Beautiful Oldedalen and lake Oldevatnet in Olden, Nordfjord.

Nordfjord is a fantastic area for people who love beautiful and wild nature. And Nordfjord Folkehøgskule is right in the heart of all this beauty.

From the school, it is a short distance to both the mountains, fjords and coast, so this is the “classroom” for the students at the folk high school.

Nordfjord is located in the northern part of the county of Vestland, in the middle of Western Norway. The glaciers, fjords, mountains and the coast in Nordfjord are some of the most beautiful scenery Norway has to offer.

Below you will find information about “just a fraction” of what you can see and experience in Nordfjord. In addition to Nordfjord, Nordfjord Folkehøgskule also uses other parts of Western Norway and Norway in its teaching. Perhaps the students will even get to experience a trip with the sailing ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl from Bergen to Shetland during the school year, which is guaranteed to be a memory for life.

Hoddevik – A Surfers Paradise

Great view towards Hoddevik and the beach from the top of the hairpin-road.
Great view towards Hoddevik and the beach from the top of the hairpin-road.

The stunning beach in Hoddevik on the west coast of Nordfjord is a popular goal for surfers all year round. Hoddevik is considered one of Norway’s best surf spots.

The road to the coastal village of Hoddevik in Nordfjord is spectacular in itself. It goes over a mountain pass before continuing down towards Hoddevik.

There is a beautiful view from the mountain pass down towards the road with the hairpin bends and further down to Hoddevik and the white Hoddevik beach towards the blue Atlantic Ocean.

Stad Surfing and Lapoint Surf Camp will assist you with boards, wet suits and instructions.

Hiking to Briksdalsbreen Glacier

The trail towards Briksdalsbreen Glacier. From the bridge over Kleivafossen Waterfall.
The trail towards Briksdalsbreen Glacier. From the bridge over Kleivafossen Waterfall.

Briksdalsbreen Glacier in Olden is an arm of the Jostedalsbreen Glacier.

The hike from Briksdalen Valley to the glacier is one of most scenic hikes in Norway.

The three kilometer long trail is surrounded by beautiful and wild nature, with steep mountains, wild rivers and waterfalls everywhere.

The altitude difference from the start to the end of the trail by the glacier lake is 200 meters. You can also join a ride to the glacier in a “Troll Car”.

Loen Skylift and Via Ferrata in Loen, Nordfjord

Loen Skylift, Nordfjord.
Loen Skylift in Loen.

Loen Skylift at Mt Hoven (1011 masl) in Loen in Nordfjord is a gondola that goes from fjord to mountain in five minutes.

From Mt Hoven it is great view to the inner part of Nordfjord; Loen and Lodalen Valley with Lake Lovatnet, and Olden, Oldedalen Valley and Lake Oldevatnet. Hoven Restaurant at Mt Hoven with fantastic view over the Nordfjord Panorama.

This is a popular goal for hikers, skiers and people that want to see some of the finest scenery Norway has to offer.

The Loen Skylift has become a popular activity center for mountaineers and skiers and extreme sports enthusiasts and for those who just want to enjoy the view of some of the most beautiful scenery Norway has to offer.

Hjelle and hike to Segestad Mountain Farm

Hjelle by Lake Oppstrynsvatnet in Nordfjord.
Hjelle by Lake Oppstrynsvatnet in Nordfjord.

Hjelle is a beautiful and quiet village down by Lake Oppstrynsvatnet. Here you have the beautiful historic Hjelle Hotel which is a great starting point for excursions around the Oppstryn, Stryn, Loen and Olden area.

Gamlebutikken (The Old Shop) at Hjelle is situated down by the lake. The old shop is from 1882 and has been run by the same Hjelle family since the start. They offer small dishes (sandwiches, soup and cake) as well as selling local handicrafts, arts and English porcelain.

This is a relative short but steep hike which starts from Glomnes, close to Hjelle by Lake Oppstrynsvatnet. The hike up to Segestad takes you around one hour and is 3.2 kilometer long.

There are several great viewpoints along the well marked trail. From the mountain farm at Segestad (at 314 masl) you have a great view down to Lake Oppstrynsvatnet and to the surrounding snowcapped mountains.

Grotlesanden, Kalvåg and Bremangerlandet

FJORDS NORGE - Grotlesanden på Bremangerlandet på kysten av Nordfjord.
Grotlesanden på Bremangerlandet på kysten av Nordfjord.

Grotlesanden is one of the most beautiful beaches in Norway. Grotle and Grotlesanden Beach is situated on Bremangerlandet Island at the Atlantic Coast outside Måløy.

You need to take the ferry from Måløy to Oldeide to get there, then drive towards west across the mountainpass to Grotle at the western side of the island.

Grotle is a little paradise. It’s great to be there when it’s sunny and summery, but it’s also a wonderful experience when the winter storms are at their worst.

Kalvåg is an idyllic fishing village that is a great starting point for everything you can do in Bremangerlandet. Grotlesanden is one of the most beautiful beaches in Norway.

Nordfjord – What to See and Do

Nordfjord.
Nordfjord.

The mountains, glaciers, fjords and the coastline in the Nordfjord area have some of the finest scenery Norway has to offer.

Stryn Summer Ski, Hjelle and Segestad in Oppstryn, Loen Skylift and Via Ferrata, Briksdalsbreen Glacier in Olden, Lodalen Valley with Lake Lovatnet and Oldedalen Valley are all must-visit places when you are in the inner part of Nordfjord.

The Lodalen valley is like a postcard, there is beautiful and wild nature everywhere you turn. Kjenndalsstova is a great starting point for adventures on lake Lovatnet. There you can rent rowing boats and a canoes, and join guided fishing trips. They also offer boat trips with the tourist boat MS Kjenndal which runs between Kjenndalsstova and Sande by lake Lovatnet.

Rakssetra is located up on the hillside at Oppheim between Loen and Stryn. The view from Rakssetra down to Nordfjord, Oldebukta and Olden is fantastic.

Vågsøy with Kråkenes Lighthouse and Kannesteinen, West Cape and Bremangerlandet with Grotlesanden Beach are some of the most beautiful coastal landscapes in Norway. The stunning beach in Hoddevik at Stad on the west coast of Nordfjord is a popular goal for surfers all year round. Hoddevik is considered one of Norway’s best surfing areas.

Hjelle Hotel in Oppstryn, Hotel Alexandra in Loen and Knutholmen in Kalvåg are all great places to stay. Nordfjord is located in the northern part of the county of Vestland, in the centre of Western Norway.

References

Folkehøgskolene i Norge
Nordfjord Folkehøgskule at Sandane

List of Folk High Schools in Western Norway (from north to south)

Nordmøre Folkehøgskule in Surnadal.
Nordvestlandet Folkehøgskole in Torvikbukt.
Molde Folkehøgskole in Molde.
Sjøholt Folkehøgskole at Sjøholt.
Ålesund Folkehøgskole in Ålesund.
Sunnmøre Folkehøgskule in Ulsteinvik.
Møre Folkehøgskule in Ørsta.
Fjordane Folkehøgskule at Nordfjordeid.
Nordfjord Folkehøgskule at Sandane.
Sunnfjord Folkehøgskule in Førde.
Sogndal Folkehøgskule in Sogndal.
Voss Folkehøgskule at Voss.
Manger Folkehøgskule at Manger.
Norhordland Folkehøgskole at Frekhaug.
Åsane Folkehøgskole at Hylkje by Bergen.
Fana Folkehøgskule at Hjellestad by Bergen.
Hardanger Folkehøgskule at Lofthus in Hardanger.
Sunnhordland Folkehøgskule at Halsnøy Kloster.
Stord Folkehøgskule at Stord.
Bømlo Folkehøgskule at Finnås.
Karmøy Folkehøgskule in Kopervik.
Stavanger Urban Folkehøgskole in Stavanger.
Solborg Folkehøgskole in Stavanger.
Jæren Folkehøgskule at Kleppe.
Lundheim Folkehøgskole at Moi.

Folke High Schools in Western Norway – Map Overview