If you’re looking for the best things to do in Fjaerland, Norway, you’re in the right place!
One of Norway’s smaller fjord destinations, Fjaerland may be a petite village, but it packs a punch when it comes to attractions and charisma.
It sits on the Fjærlandsfjorden, so unsurprisingly many of its attractions involve the fjord; think watersports, fishing and hiking to viewpoints. However, its proximity to the Jostedalsbreen glacier means that adrenaline seekers can enjoy glacier hiking and snow sports too.
With easy flight connections to the nearby Sogndal airport, Fjaerland is accessible but far enough away from the rest of the world to be able to completely relax and unwind.
Whether you’re visiting in summer or winter, here’s exactly how to make the most out of a trip to Fjaerland.
This blog post contains affiliate links. I was a guest of Widerøe airlines and the fjord Norway tourism board. All opinions are my own.
Things to do in Fjaerland
There are more than enough things to do in Fjaerland to spend a week or longer here; see the epic Jostedalsbreen glacier, take a fishing or boat trip on the fjords, learn about the village’s history as a book town or relax, Scandinavian style, in a sauna (and jump into the freezing fjord if you dare!).
Hiking on Jostedalsbreen glacier
Jostedalsbreen glacier, the largest in continental Europe, is what initially brought tourists to the Fjaerland area; and it continues to draw them in to this day.
Glacier hiking is a little more extreme than regular fjord trekking; you’ll need crampons, poles and cold-weather gear (even if you’re visiting in the summer).
Fjaerland Guiding offers tours of the glacier, run by locals who know the area like the back of their hand.
Norway Glacier Museum
For something a little more sedate but equally fascinating, head to Fjaerland’s very own glacier museum.
A one-of-a-kind in Norway, the glacier museum focuses primarily on the nearby Jostedalsbreen glacier.
Enjoy a scenic flight overlooking its epic nature and then learn about the geography of glaciers and – most importantly – what we can do to protect them.
It’s a vast, immersive museum with plenty of activities for kids – or adults who enjoy more immersive exhibits. Even if you’re not a museum person, it’s well worth checking out this one!
Hiking around the fjords
An abundance of walks leave from the Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel; just walking around the village was a highlight for us!
But, if you’d like to do something more intrepid, head out on a hiking tour with Fjaerland Guiding.
They have a range of excursions to epic viewpoints and around beautiful scenery and can recommend the best option depending on the season in which you visit and your interests and availabilities.
We were invited on a fishing trip with Thor from Balestrand Fjord Angling, who runs tours around the local area. We clambered into his RIB boat and cut through the water, quickly whizzing past the entirety of Fjaerland (it’s a very small village!)
I don’t eat fish, so didn’t personally partake in fishing, but my travel mates quickly caught a large cod, which they later ate for lunch (it was exquisitely prepared by the Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel’s chef).
Chill out in the sauna
While Fjaerland certainly has its fair share of adrenaline-boosting activities, there are plenty of ways to find balance. One of these is chilling out and relaxing in the Dampen Sauna.
Owned by the same people who run Fjaerland Guiding, you can choose from a floating sauna, bobbing gently on the water as you enjoy views of the towering fjord edges. If you dare, take a dip in the icy fjord water (although it’s warmer in the summertime!), before retreating back into the warmth.
Alternatively, there’s a land-based sauna – this is perfect if the weather’s a bit turbulent while you’re in town (it was for us!). This sauna also has epic views of the fjord – the only disadvantage is it’s not as easy to dunk into the natural waters.
Grab a kayak and take to the fjord
While boat trips on Norway’s fjords are fun, there’s a lot to be said for exploring at your own pace at the water’s level. Kayaking is an eco-friendly way to both see the fjords and get some exercise!
While bobbing over the icy fjord may not seem like a typical winter activity, it’s very much possible in the winter months; provided the weather is still and the water isn’t too choppy. However, it’s perfect for summer, when you can enjoy the warming sunshine and see the fjords come to life with fauna. Fjaerland Guiding can arrange your kayak rental.
“You can’t live here if you don’t like the snow”, Jarle from Fjaerland Guiding told us. While we didn’t get the chance to ski when we were in the area, the resort of Sogndal Hodlekve is only a 20 minute drive away.
It’s possible to visit this resort independently, but you can also partake in guided snow sports tours. Fjaerland Guiding operates cross-country and downhill skiing excursions for all levels.
Cycle around the village
“This is very Fjaerland”, Inna, the owner of Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel, laughed as she showed us a video of the town, complete with locals cycling up and down the main street.
If you’re visiting Fjaerland in the spring or summer, do as the locals do and take to the village on two wheels!
As it’s such a small place, you certainly won’t need to cycle far – but you could also take in some of the surrounding areas like Jorddal.
When the roads came to Fjaerland, the village lost a little of its novelty.
Visiting it had previously been like stumbling upon a hidden world, thanks to the fact that it was only accessed by fjord. Although this made the journey a little more difficult, tourists tended to relish the challenge and see Fjaerland as somewhere to totally disconnect.
The roads arriving in the village haven’t changed this at all – it’s still the ideal place to rest and recharge – but the town decided it needed a new USP to showcase its charm and intrigue. The answer? Books.
People in the village had read about a village in Wales called Hay on Wye, which was made famous for being the UK’s book town (and for having a very eccentric king, but that’s another story for another day!). So, they decided to create Norway’s book town!
Seemingly every spare nook and cranny of the village of Fjaerland is nowadays stuffed with books. There are multiple bookstores in town, the changing room of the sauna had a small library and the Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel had a book room, where you can sleep amidst all of the books – a literary lover’s dream!
If you’re a fan of novels, you’ll find plenty of people to chat literature within this town – and there’s even a book festival held once per year.
Relax in the Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel
I’ve mentioned the Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel a few times throughout this article, and while it’s without a doubt the best place to stay in Fjaerland, it’s an attraction on its own, thanks to its cosy atmosphere, breathtaking fjord-edge location and wonderful homely rooms.
We stayed a night at the hotel, enjoying an uninterrupted sleep in their comfortable beds, and woke up to an immersive view right in the heart of the fjord, before walking downstairs and taking in the wraparound windows.
I could have spent all day relaxing on the plush sofas, reading one of the many books that were laid out (it’s the book village, after all!) and sipping coffee (Norwegians know how to do their coffee!).
If you’re visiting Fjaerland, I definitely recommend staying at this hotel and spending at least a day taking in the atmosphere.
And I haven’t even mentioned the food yet!
We enjoyed a sumptuous three-course meal with veggies including cucumber ribbon, zucchini, red cabbage and kimchi with rice for me, and a fish and rice starter for everyone else.
Mains were homemade pasta; mine was topped with four different types of decadently juicy mushrooms whereas everyone else’s was served with scallops.
I don’t normally eat dessert, but I couldn’t resist the light and airy raspberry cake, topped with lashings of whipped cream, that the chef created for us.
It was without a doubt the best food I’ve eaten in Norway – and probably the best meal I’ve had for a long time.
How to get to Fjaerland
We visited Fjaerland as guests of Widerøe airlines, reaching the village by taking a 25-minute flight from Bergen to Sogndal with Widerøe and then a private transfer to the village with Adrienne from Wonderlust.
Alternatively, you could take a bus from Sogndal Airport to Sogndal city and then change to another bus to Fjaerland.
Widerøe connects Bergen to some of Norway’s more remote cities, with planes of varying sizes – our Bergen to Sogndal vessel was tiny!
In the winter months, the weather can be quite erratic, but the Widerøe pilots are among the best trained in the world – we experienced quite a bit of turbulence when landing at Sogndal due to bad weather, but our crew expertly navigated the plane down to the runway.
However, do expect there to be a few delays in poor weather – our plane to Sogndal was delayed around 40 minutes. As long as you factor this possibility in, you should have a stress-free trip!
Are you ready to visit Fjaerland, Norway?
From books to glaciers, there’s something in Fjaerland for all tastes.
Take a step away from the hustle and bustle and recharge in whatever way possible in this charming village; whether that’s by hiking, skiing or just curling up by a huge window at the Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel, book in hand, and watching the fjord go by…
You’ll leave Fjaerland feeling completely relaxed and content.