The largest mainland glacier is the Jostedalsbreen glacier covering an area of 487 km2. It is possible to join guided glacier hikes at both Fjærland and Jostedalen, and you can visit the information centres there to learn more about the ice and the surrounding nature. Jostedalsbreen glacier lies in the municipalities of Luster, Balestrand, Jølster and Stryn. The highest peak in the area is Lodalskåpa at 2.083 meter.
The glacier is a part of the Jostedalsbreen National Park and have several spectacular branches (more than 50), or arms, that extend down into the mild valleys close to sea level.
Visitors from all over the world come to see the beautiful Briksdalsbreen glacier outlet, so beautifully situated amid waterfalls and high peaks.
Kjenndalsbreen if there can be few more impressive journeys than through Loen valley up to the Kjenndals glacier. The road follows the course of the Loen river and then skirts the eastern shore of the lovely Loen Lake into Kjenndalen. The last stage of the journey, along the wild upper valley, must be made on foot. At the head of the valley, great mountain barriers intersected by glaciers, permit only experienced climbers to proceed further.
In mid-Sogn lay the villages of Balestrand, surrounded by wild and beautiful nature. Branches of the mighty Sognefjord point in all directions and lead you to roadless hamlets and powerful glaciers. Here you can experience everything from the fertile fjord- landscape to the frozen tundra of the glacier.
The Kvikne´s family assumed ownership of the Kvikne´s hotel in 1877, and have owned and operated the facility to this day. Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany was a frequent guest in Balestrand, and he is accompanied on the list by a number of emperors, kings, presidents, Prime ministers, film stars and artists from many countries. An impressive collection of art and historical pieces is a central feature of the hotel´s interior, and one of the elements of its distinct personality.
The Jostedal Glacier arm in Jølster is Hauga Glacier. A great and varied countryside, combined with cultural traditions with old roots, have been the source of inspiration of internationally renowned artists as Nikolai Astrup. Astruptunet was the home of the painter Nikolai Astrup, the last fourteen years of his life and you will find it exactely as it was when Astrup lived there. The Astrup Farm (Astruptunet) the artist´s home and small farm, today is a museum and art gallery, kept as it was in Astrup´s days, nestling among the steep but fertile slopes on the south side of Lake Jølstravatnet.
Urnes Stave Church was built around 1150 and is Norway´s oldest Stave Church. The Church lies majestically on the top of Urnes, approximately 15 minutes walk from the ferry. The Stave Church is one of four Norwegian Churches on UNESCO´s list of the most precious cultural monuments in the world.
Nigardsbreen is one of the most accessible glaciers, where you can peer into the blue ice at very close range, and everyone above the age of five can join guides on glacier walks. Bergsetbreen only an hour´s easy walk from the road, is one of the most beautiful and impressing glacier arms.
Austerdalsbreen "The finest ice scenery in Europe", said the English mountaineer W.C. Slingsby about Austerdalsbreen and the three ice falls called Loke, Odin and Tor.
The glaciers Bøyabreen and Supphellebreen come down to the valley floor in Fjærland is also the Norwegian Booktown consists of 12 second-hand bookshops in Fjærland, together offering almost every category of literature. Here you will find books in several languages, most of them in Norwegian of course, but also an extensive selection of books in English, French and German. Several cruise ships visit Fjærland every summer and especially the magnificent nature, the stillness and the good hiking conditions continue to delight the visitors. The ice falls of the glaciers move about 2 metres per day they are among the fastest in Norway. The lower Supphellebreen, at an elevation of 60 meters, is the lowest lying glacier in Southern Norway. Parts of Fjærland lie within Jostedalsbreen National Park. The path from the valley Supphelledalen up to the hut Flatbrehytta is the best gateway for the hikers to the glaciers.
JOSTEDAL GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
The Park is approximately 1,310 km2. Established in 1991. The largest ice-sheet in mainland Europe and located in the County of Sogn & Fjordane.
Jostedalsbreen National Park has an enormous variety of natural environments ranging from deciduous forest on the lower land to glaciers and bare mountains. The ice-sheet stretches for 60 km, covering almost half the park. The glaciers, glacial rivers and moraines, plus the cultural landscape of the mountain summer pastures represent important preservation values.
The old routes in the valleys around the glacier, such as Oldeskardet and Supphelleskardet, offer exciting walking tours.