Guests staying in our holiday homes, cabins or apartments can take advantage of Balestrand as a great base for activities and trips, both long and short, on and around the Sognefjord.
Mountain walks and hikes
Tjuatoten, a mountain summit of 1098 m.
The walk up takes about 3 hours. At the top, there is a wonderful panorama of the Sognefjord, the Esefjord, the Fjærlandsfjord, the village of Balestrand and the Gaular mountains.
Your hike can start directly from our holiday homes or you can drive up the toll road (NOK 100) to Orraleiken (400 m) and start your walk from there. If you want a shorter hike, there is an excellent view after 30-45 minutes’ walk.
More information about this hike may be found here.
Keipen is one of the highest mountains in the area but you must be properly equipped and used to hiking. It takes 8-10 hours but the view from the summit is breath-taking. It starts from Esebotn at the far end of the Esefjord.
More information can be found here, and a film from the summit of Keipen here.
On the Balestrand side of the fjord, about 9 km away or a short row away by boat, there is a variety of well-marked walks and hikes, both short and long. There is a fascinating heritage trail along the fjord, featuring the historic dragon villas of famous Norwegian artists. There are also two beautiful and relatively easy nature trails exploring the forest above the village. For a spectacular view, head to Raudmelen (972 m) above the centre of Balestrand. There you will find a hikers’ cabin where you can take a rest. The hike to Raudmelen takes about 6 hours there and back. Once back in the village, why not enjoy some coffee and cake at the aquarium by the fjord or dinner at the historic Kviknes hotel?
More info about this can be found here.
Day trips by car and express boat
1. Dragsvik - Vik - Gudvangen - Flåm - Lærdal - Sogndal - Leikanger - Dragsvik
Take the ferry from Dragsvik to Vangsnes, then drive through Vik to head over the
spectacular Vik mountains to Gudvangen and Flåm. The picturesque village of Flåm is famous for its mountain railway and you may buy tickets online for this unforgettable trip. From Flåm, take the national tourist road up to the fantastic viewpoint at Stegastein and then down to Lærdal (or via the Lærdal tunnel, currently the world’s longest road tunnel at 24.5 km), ferry from Fodnes to Manheller, then drive via Sogndal centre and Leikanger to Hella where you can catch the ferry home to Dragsvik.
2. Hella - Sogndal - Fjærland - Skei - Gaularfjell - Balestrand
Take the ferry to Hella and drive through Leikanger and Sogndal to Fjærland, one of the most beautiful spots in the area! Take time to explore the little village of Mundal, renowned for its second-hand book shops and the Norwegian Glacier Museum and then drive up to one arm of the glacier that you can see towering above you at the Suphellebreen glacier. Continue on to the Bøyabreen glacier, where there is a restaurant offering local specialities and a panoramic view of the glacier. Continue to Skei i Jølster, where there is a wonderful Christmas shop with café and toilets. Continue along the depths of Lake Jølster to Moskog, through Viksdalen and over the spectacular Gaular mountains. The Gaular mountains feature fast-flowing rivers, lakes and spectacular waterfalls. At the summit, a panoramic viewpoint offers fabulous views of the valley below and the mountain tops.
3. Hella - Gaupne - Luster - Skjolden - Sognefjellet - Tindevegen
Head via Sogndal to explore the spectacular Sognefjell mountains on National Tourist Road 55. At the Sognefjellshytta cabin, you will find the highest point of the road. There is a fantastic view of the Smørstabbreen glacier and the scenic mountain tops that surround you. Continue to Turtagrø hotel and take the Tindevegen toll road to Årdal. Return via Fodnes–Mannheller by ferry, back through Sogndal and then the ferry home from Hella to Dragsvik.
4. Balestrand - Bergen - Balestrand (Ekspress Boat)
Explore Bergen and the Sognefjord by express boat. Departure is from Balestrand quay at 7.50. Arrives in the centre of Bergen at 11.50. Depart at 4.30pm, arriving in Balestrand at approx. 8.30pm. This is a wonderful boat trip at an average speed of 35 knots along the Sognefjord and past the skerries and islets of the coast, plus about 4 hours to explore the city of Bergen itself, gateway to the fjords. Bergen is well-known for its art museums, its culinary experiences and its funicular railway up to the top of Mount Ulriken, as well as its UNESCO-listed wharf, Bryggen.
There are many other opportunities for day trips and local attractions. Worth a mention are the spectacular Nigardsbreen glacier, Vik stave church where there is a special dairy serving cheesecake, coffee and raspberry juice, the beautiful village of Solvorn and Urnes stave church. We’re always happy to help our guests find the perfect trip, whether long or short, and make their stay unforgettable.