BORGUND STAVE CHURCH AND VINDHELLAVEGEN ROAD

Borgund Stave Church was built around the year 1181 AD. and is the most visited stave church in Norway. Close by is the Vindhellavegen Road that runs between Borgund and Husum in Lærdal. Vindhellavegen is part of the old Kongevegen (The old King´s Road) between east and west in Norway. Map to use: Filefjell 1:50000.

If you visit Borgund Stave Church, we recommend that you also visit Vindhellavegen Road, which is just behind the stave church. The 1.7 kilometer long Vindhellavegen Road was completed in 1793 AD. and is now part of a 100 kilometer long hiking trail, the old King´s Road, between Vang in Valdres and Lærdal by the Sognefjord.

Visit Sognefjord

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

About season and other important information

SEASON VINDHELLAVEGEN: June to September, depending on temperature and snow.

Stave Churches in Western Norway

A Stave Church is a wooden church from the middle age. Most of the Norwegian Stave Churches were built right after the Viking Age around year 1100-1200 AD. The name “Stave Church” comes from the construction of the buildings; large ground beams of wood are placed on a foundation of stone, then internal wooden pillars (staves) are interconnected and also connected to the outer walls.

FJORDS NORWAY - Urnes Stave Church at Ornes by the Lustrafjord. The idyllic Fjord Village Solvorn on the other side of the fjord.
The UNESCO-Protected Urnes Stave Church at Ornes by the Lustrafjord. The idyllic Fjord Village Solvorn on the other side of the fjord.

Borgund Stave Church

Borgund Stave Church at Borgund in Lærdal.
Borgund Stave Church at Borgund in Lærdal.

Borgund Stave Church was built around year 1181 AD. at Borgund in the Lærdalsdalen valley in Lærdal. This is the most visited stave church in Norway, and with its charasteristic design it has often been used as a “model” when other stave churches has been restored or built.

There is a visitor centre and café near by where you can buy tickets for a guided tour and to get information about the stave church.

The visitor center is open from mid-April to mid-October, this can vary. Check out the official website for Borgund Stave Church for more information on opening hours, tickets and guiding.

The Vindhellavegen Road between Borgund and Husum

FJORDS NORWAY - Vindhellavegen is part of Kongevegen. Lærdal valley in the Sognefjord area.
Vindhellavegen is part of Kongevegen. Borgund in the Lærdal valley, Sognefjord area.

If you are hiking along the Vindhellavegen Road, it is great to start from the visitor centre at Borgund Stave Church where you can also park your car. From there it is about 500 meters to walk along Fylkesveg 630 in a northern direction to where the Vindhellavegen Road starts.

The first part of the Vindhellavegen Road goes slightly uphill until you are west of Borgund Stave Church.

Vindhellavegen at Borgund in Lærdal.
Vindhellavegen at Borgund in Lærdal.

Then the road goes slightly downhill to the point where the steep turns at the Vindhellavegen Road starts. This is also the most beautiful part of the road and what most of the people come to see and to experience, and not least to photograph.

Below the steep turns, the Vindhellavegen Road continues downhill until it ends down at Husum by Fylkesveg 630, west of Borgund Stave Church.

The hike along the Vindhellavegen Road, from the start at the visitor centre to the parking lot where it ends, is a total of 2.2 kilometers. The Vindhellavegen Road itself is 1.7 kilometer long. The photos and the video are from a hike along the Vindhellavegen Road in early November 2021.

Hiking the Sverrestien Trail back to Borgund Stave Church

At Sverrestien you can meet King Sverre himself.
At Sverrestien you can meet King Sverre himself.

Instead of walking the Vindhellavegen Road back in the opposite direction, it is a good alternative to hike along the Sverrestien Trail which starts from Husum by Fylkesveg 630, only 50 meters south of where the Vindhellavegen Road ends.

The start of the Sverrestien Trail is well marked with signs, and the trail is well maintained and marked all the way back to the new Borgund Church where the Sverrestien Trail ends. The new Borgund Church is located just south of Borgund Stave Church. This part of the Sverrestien Trail is three kilometers long and has some incline in the first half of the trail.

The Sverrestien Trail is an old horse road that was used until the Vindhellavegen Road was built in year 1793 AD. This is where King Sverre Sigurdsson (1151 – 1202 AD.) and his Birkebeiner-army retreated after losing the battle against the peasant army at Voss in year 1177 AD. The photos are from a walk along the Sverrestien Trail in early November 2021.

If you walk the Vindhellavegen Road, we also recommend you to visit Borgund Stave Church, which is located next to the road. This is where the walk along the Vindhellavegen Road ends if you hike the Sverrestien Trail back.

Lærdal and Gamle (Old) Lærdalsøyri

Lærdal by the Sognefjord.
Lærdal by the Sognefjord.

Visit Lærdal and the beautiful old town of Gamle Lærdalsøyri. Experience Galleri Bryggja where the local painter and artist Kristen Olav Grøttebø show his beautiful paintings in the exhibition in his painting studio/workshop.

Also a visit to Fredag & Fretland is recommended. This is the local bakery and patisserie near by the old town in Gamle Lærdalsøyri.

A wild salmon in the Wild Salmon Centre in Lærdal.
A wild salmon in the Wild Salmon Centre in Lærdal.

TIP – If you are in Lærdal, we recommend that you treat yourself to a moment of well-being at the sauna AUGA, which is located down by the Lærdalsfjord. Remember to book an appointment in the sauna in advance.

The National Wild Salmon Centre (Villakssenteret) is located between Lærdalselvi river and the center of Lærda, not far from Gamle Lærdalsøyri. In the Wild Salmon Centre you can see the salmon “live” when they go up the river. Laksen bakery & café at Villakssenteret has a large selection of fresh baked goods, good coffee and homemade pizza. That alone is reason enough to visit Villakssenteret in Lærdal.

The sauna AUGA is located down by the Lærdalsfjord.
The sauna AUGA is located down by the Lærdalsfjord.

Sognefjord – What to See and Do

FJORDS NORWAY - Sognefjorden seen from Orrabenken in Balestrand
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 mountaim 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

Stavechurch.com
Wikipedia

Hotels and Accommodation at Borgund and in Lærdal

Husum Hotel at Borgund
Borgund Hyttesenter at Borgund
Lærdal Holiday and Leisure Park in Lærdal
Lærdal Hotel in Lærdal
Lindstrøm Hotel in Lærdal
Lærdalsøren Hotel in Lærdal

 

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.

Vindhellavegen, Sverrestien & Borgund Stave Church – Map Overview