In this edition of ‘Notes from the field’, our two Scandinavia experts Michelle and Rosanna went on an exciting trip to the Northern Fjords in Norway and shared their insights with us. They are located between Bergen and Trondheim and offer dramatic scenery of carpeted green mountains, imposing high plateaus and thundering waterfalls. It’s the perfect location to enjoy a peaceful holiday with the tranquillity of the uncontaminated nature.
Details of your favourite property and why?
Storfjord Hotel in Glomset is probably one of nicest hotels I have been to. The hotel is located on the hillside overlooking the Storfjord. There are 3 wooden traditional log cabins all with grass roof. If you are looking for a peaceful and relaxing stay then this is the place to go. The hotel décor is a mix of traditional and modern. There is a cosy lounge with wood burning fireplace and an excellent restaurant serving local produce. If the sun is shining you can sit outside and relax.
Angvik Gamle Handelssted in Angvika was one of my favourite properties for its scenic location on the Tingvollfjord. This small (37 rooms), characterful hotel has comfortable common areas and a terrace overlooking the fjord where guests can hire rowing boats, canoes or, for those feeling more energetic, borrow a bicycle to explore the local area. The closest towns with a selection of restaurants are one hour’s drive away (Kristiansund or Molde) but the property has a well regarded restaurant on site. A car is essential here and great as part of a longer fly-drive itinerary. The roads are very easy to navigate, mostly scenic and little traffic in general.
Favourite viewpoint and why?
There are so many viewpoints in Norway and we drove past many en route.
My favourite was Aksla Mountain viewpoint in Alesund which is reached by 418 steps from Alesund Park. You can also drive up or take the hop on/hop off bus to the top. We decided to drive up and have some lunch at the Fjellstua café. The restaurant offers a stunning view of the town and archipelago.
I loved Trollstigen’s dramatic landscape with its snow covered mountain peaks, gushing waterfalls and crazy zigzag road winding down the mountainside. There is a parking area and various viewing platforms to take photos. Trollstigen is located on the road from Valldal to Andalsnes in the region of More and Romsdal.
Favourite activity and why?
Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. We decided to visit the gothic cathedral and when we arrived there were crowds of people waiting outside. I was very disappointed to find out that the cathedral was closed to the public but my disappointment soon turned to excitement when we were told that the Norwegian Royal family were on their way to Nidaros for the 25th anniversary celebration of the King and Queen’s accession to the throne. My mum is Norwegian and when the Royal family arrived I felt extremely patriotic!
I really loved driving in Norway as the roads are good – most of the time, little to no traffic and fantastic scenery as most roads run along the water’s edge. We took many car ferry crossings but my favourite was the one from Hellesyt to Geiranger. This one hour journey took us through dramatic mountain scenery with the occasional farmstead perched high on the mountainside – not sure how people access these properties- and fabulous gushing waterfalls.
Where you ate your best meal. What did you have? Why was it your favourite?
Just off the Atlantic Road in Kårvåg is Bjartmars Favorittkro. This cosy restaurant is set in a 170 year old house located right by the sea and serves traditional Norwegian food. We stopped here for lunch and I ordered a chicken salad and an organic apple juice.
The best meal was at the Thon Hotel Fosnavag where I enjoyed a dish of Norwegian beef, blue potatoes and all the trimmings followed by chocolate fondant with homemade vanilla and chilli ice cream – truly delicious! The meal cost approximately £60 including a couple of drinks – two bottles of cider.
What were the highlights of your trip?
The highlights of the trip I would say were driving along the Atlantic road with its helter-skelter sea bridges, visiting the many small villages and towns along the fjords, passing through undersea tunnels and generally enjoying the natural beauty that Norway has to offer.
General feel of the area?
I already know the Northern fjords area quite well as my family is from this area and I go there regularly to visit them. It was nice to visit some new places that I have never been to before. It’s a beautiful part of Norway that offers a bit of everything.
Stunning! This was my second trip to the Northern fjords – the first was about eight years ago and my opinion of the area has not changed. I love the scenic calm and tranquillity of the Innsvikfjord, the Tingvollfjord and the Storfjord, the cosmopolitan cafe society of Trondheim and the snow peaked mountains (still evident in June) of the Trollstigen as well as the vast green valleys that the region has to offers.
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