Your guide to what`s on offer in Årdal!
Hiking in the valley of Utladalen should be on every naturelover`s bucketlist. A hike in this protected landscape will make an impression that you will remember for a long time. The changing seasons in Norway are what makes hiking here a special experience all year round - and the valley of Utladalen offer contrasts in the landscape that will take your breath away; The autumn colours we are seeing right now, the dark green river, the snow on the mountaintops...
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Årdal has a lot to offer the active familiy. Bring your familiy for a holiday you all will enjoy!
1) Outdoor swimming pool
The tradition for outdoor pools in Årdal has existed since the 60s, and the pools are still very popular amongst both the locals and visitors. The pool area consists of three pools - on for small children, one for kids who have just learned to swim and one big pool with international standard (25 meters long) with warmed up water and waterslides. The local sports club runs a retail by the pool where they sell ice cream, hot dogs, mineal water, coffee and waffels. You`ve basically got everything you need for the perfect day by the pool with your familiy. The outdoor swimmingpool in Øvre Årdal is situated only 200 meters from the centre of town.
2) Bumble Bee Safari
Utladalen Naturhus is situated in the beautiful Utladalen landscape protection area in Øvre Årdal. It is on the border of The Jotunheimen Nationalpark. Here you will find that the terrain is very accessible, allthough very dramatic, and both children and grown ups love to tumble around looking for tadpoles in the little stream nearby or visiting the summercafè or the exhibiton at Utladalen Naturhus. If you book the trip in advance by calling +47 959 92 135, the children can join in on a bumble bee safari - which is very educational. There are many different speices of bumble bees in this area, and the children will learn why the bumble bees and other insects are so important in nature.
3) Idyllic Avdalen Farm
Hiking in the valley of Utladalen is an experience for both children and adults. The valley is very luxuriant and dramatic, and offer powerfull waterfalls and impressive nature. If you hike from Hjelle to the mountainfarm Avdalen Gard, you can stay the night in beautiful surroundings or you can just visit their summercafè to enjoy waffels, icecream or coffee. The hike up to Avdalen Gard takes about 1,5 - 2 hours. The first part goes along the river on a gravel road, and the second part follows a narrow path up to the farm. Here you can say hello to sheep grassing - so please remember to close all the gates. You also get to see a flock of chickens - who make sure that you get fresh eggs for breakfast. More information here.
4) The Tire Jungle at Tangen skule (school)
The Tire Jungle at Tangen skule is a popular activity park for children in Årdal, and it will be a very good choice for a visitor to go there too. The park is open for everyone. Bring something to eat and drink and just relax while your children have a blast.
The Tire Jungle is situated close to the school Tangen skule in Årdalstangen. You find it by following the river Hæreidselva upwards.
Vettisriket gives you four experiences in the inner parts of Sogn that are worth a detour. These experiences are not located along the main road, but offers the greater wow factor. Are you in? You will reach our destination if you follow the road 53, by taking the turn towards Årdal when you pass the Turtagrø hotel in Jotunheimen or by following the road going along the Sognefjord all the way to the end instead of just following the main road towards Oslo or Bergen.
1) Skogadalsbøen mountain cabin
Already around 1870 came the first tourists and mountaineers to Skogadalsbøen. In the beginning they got accommodated in summer farms that were in operation in the summer. Eventually more tourists discovered this beautiful area and thus was Skogadalsbøen built, as No. 8 in the series of DNT cabins. Both financing and transport posed major challenges, but in summer 1888 after 12 years of work the cabin was finally ready to receive guests. Skogadalsbøen quickly gave shelter to several famous mountaineers.
The first hikers in 1888, among other the englishman William Cecil Slingsby and his entourage of mountaineers stayed at the lodge, as did the famous norwegian composer Edvard Grieg - not just one, but several summers.
Skogadalsbøen is the place for those who want to experience the good old mountain environment in the middle of Jotunheimen. The cottage is beautifully situated in Utladalen at the foot of Gjertvasstind and Fannaråken. Skogadalsbøen you will definitely return to more than once.
2) Tya Bakery | Cafè | Bar
Tya Bakery is a handcraft bakery situated in the centre of Øvre Årdal. Tya Bakery is very popular amongst the locals, so a visit is highly recommended if you love baked goods, cakes and good coffee.
Tya Bakeri offer local produce without artificial addition and with a minimal amount of yeast.
The Bakery Shop is situated in the middle of town in Øvre Årdal, but you can also buy both bread and cakes at the Klingenberg Hotel in Årdalstangen and at Vivendi in Lærdal.
Tya Bar offer lokal beer from Tya Brewery and other small scale breweries in Sogn. More information: www.tyabakeri.no
3) The old Indre Ofredal farm and rural industries centre
The Old Indre Ofredal farm and rural industries centre lies at the bottom of the steep-sided valley of Indre Ofredal. The farm is close to the waterfall Kleivefossen, and the Sognefjord is its nearest neighbour.
You can reach Indre Ofredal by car from Årdalstangen via Seimsdalen and the Ofredal tunnel. You can also go by boat from Årdalstangen, or you can paddle the beautiful Årdalsfjord in a kayak to get there.
From the middle of the 19th century and up to World War II, Ofredal was an important centre for trade and rural industry in Indre Sogn, with a busy sawmill and flour mill in operation. The valley which may seem almost uninhabited today, was full of activity at that time.
The first sawmill in the valley was established in 1620, and the pine forest in Indre Ofredal is one of the finest in Indre Sogn.
Today the historical farm offer guided trips about the history of the farm and valley, and they offer accommodation and run a summer cafè. It is a magical place absolutey worth the detour!
4) Vetti Farm Touriststation
Vetti Gard Turiststasjon has been an important place for mountaineers since the mountain pioneers found their way into the valley of Utladalen as early as the 19th century. Famous Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg once said that he became 10 years younger every time he visited Vetti, and chances are that if you have found your way there once, you will want to visit again. The farm has also housed other famous people such as the explorer Fridtjof Nansen, mountaineer William C. Slingsby and the current queen consort of Norway, Queen Sonja.
At present day Vetti Gard Turiststasjon is a farm open during the summer months, found at the heart of Jotunheimen. The farm has 13 rooms and 27 beds in total. Extra beds/mattresses can be put down in the barn. The farm serves food during the summer season.
The Sognefjord is a well known destination for paddlers, but did you know that the small village of Årdal - situated where the Sognefjord goes ashore and the Jotunheimen starts - offer an amazing variety of different paddling experiences? The fjord, the lakes and the rivers are all there and very accessible. Are you going to the Sognefjord area for kayaking this summer, Årdal must be on your list!
1) The Sognefjord from Årdal
The part of the Sognefjord that comes ashore in Årdal is a beautifully situated part of the fjord landscape, that connects with both Lærdal and Luster. The possibilities for both short and long kayaking trips are endless, and it is not difficult to combine kayaking in Årdal with both a visit to the Urnes stavechurch or a visit to the beautiful village of Solvorn. In the neighbouring valley to Årdal you find historical buildings by the fjord, where you can stay the night or just stop for a taste of the best waffels in the area. Photos: Bulder & Brak Adventures
2) The lake Årdalsvatnet
The lake Årdalsvatnet is beautifully situated between Årdalstangen and Øvre Årdal, and the high mountains and the crystal clear water is a spectacular experience. You can start out from both Årdalstangen and Øvre Årdal to go kayaking on this lake, and we recommend to paddle across the whole lake from village to village. You can also combine kayaking on this lake with hiking up the secluded valley of Nundalen. If you hike up to the farm Haugstad (500 masl), you get an impressive overview over the village of Øvre Årdal, the lake seen from up above and the Jotunheimen mountains. (Film: Bulder & Brak Opplevingar)
3) The mountainlake Torolmen
The beautiful lake Torolmen at Sletterust/Tyin in Jotunheimen is a popular destination for hiking, but it is also well worth going there for a paddling trip. The lake itself is so clear and fresh that you can see the bottom of the lake even where there is depth. If your feet hurt from hiking, take a break and go for a paddling trip in stead.
4) The lake Tyinvatnet
The lake Tyinvatnet can be a base for several unforgettable hikes in the Tyin area of Jotunheimen. Here you find both high mountain peaks, glens, wild rivers and an alpine landscape with glaciers. You can paddle across the lake to a mountain cabin called Tyinholmen - either to stay the night or just to visit. The area offers endless possibilities for hiking.