Visit Rural Norway and the Hidden Gems of the Hjørundfjord

Visit Rural Norway and the Hidden Gems of the Hjørundfjord

You'll see mountains, hidden valleys, and a lake with remnants of an old, submerged farm. Encounter historic mountain farms and learn about life and history in rural Norway.  

Norangsdal_foto: Harald Draum

About the excursion

A boat will pick you up in the Hjørundfjord and transfer you from the ship to the quay at Urke, where a bus awaits. The route takes you through Øye village, picturesque valleys, and charming mountain farms. Along the journey, discover rural Norwegian life with several informative stops. In fine weather, enjoy coffee and traditional “lefse” (a Norwegian kind of pancake) at Setervollen; otherwise, refreshments await at Urke. Dress appropriately for the weather.

Direction: Northbound 

Disembakation port: Hjørundfjorden

Embarkation port: Hjørundfjorden

Time: 12:30 – 15:00

Meal:  Coffee and the local pancake ("svele")

Level: 1 (Read more)

Season: Autumn, Sep. 1st – Oct. 31st

Min/max persons: 18 – 104

Bookingreference: HJFN5

Price: Price list

Foto: Harald Dørum

Photo: Harald Dørum

    The Hjørundfjord splits into two directions, and we follow the side known as the Norangsfjord. Here, steep mountains drop directly into the fjord. A narrow strip of land accommodates the road we travel on, flanked by a few scattered farms.


At the end of the Norangsfjord lies the village of Øye. A century ago, when the only access to this village was by sea, Øye transformed into a bustling hub for tourists. Royals and notable guests were among the first to explore this fjord, captivated by its beauty and allure. Adventurous mountain climbers also frequented the area.


As time passed, the Hjørundfjord and its surrounding valley have remained untouched by mainstream tourism. Today, it remains a tranquil haven, showcasing serene natural beauty and offering glimpses into authentic villages far from the typical tourist routes.


After transferring by boat from the Havila Voyages' ship, we reach the Urke quay and embark on our journey into Norangsdalen (The Norang Valley), making a stop at the picturesque Lyngdalsøyvatnet (lake). This location was historically the site of a summer mountain farm. However, a significant rockslide in 1908 obstructed the valley's river, forming a lake where the farm once stood. The foundations of the old farm buildings can still be seen beneath the water.


Our journey takes us further up this wild, scenic, and incredibly narrow valley — the narrowest in Norway accessible by road. While the area is not habitable in winter, several traditional summer farms dot the landscape. These are reminders of times when lower valley farmers sent their livestock up to graze during the warmer months.


One of these farms is Urasetra. Here, we follow an old cart path, which leads to historic buildings situated beside a charming mountain lake. Here, you will learn about the history of farming practices and the summertime life on these farms. If the weather permits, we'll enjoy coffee and lefse (a traditional Norwegian "pancake") in the meadow. Otherwise, we'll have refreshments at Urke before the tour concludes.


Leaving Urasetra, we head down the valley, stopping at another mountain farm, Stavbergsetra, where the buildings appear to cling to the rugged mountain cliffs.


Our journey continues along the fjord, taking us back through Urke, the starting point of our tour. As the central community spot, Urke is home to the only shopping store on this side of the fjord, serving the roughly 100 residents of both Øye and Urke.As our tour nears its end, we stop at the Lekneset ferry quay, offering views of both fjord branches.To wrap up, we make a brief stop in Urke, close to the store, power plant, and the vigorous Urke River, before the bus brings us back to the quay.  
Foto: Harald Dørum