Half way between Oslo and Bergen and claimed by residents of both cities as their winter playground Hemsedal is the best all-round ski destination in Norway. Hemsedal has something for everyone. From gentle blue runs to steep black moguls, great kids ski school, legendary apres-ski, boutique hotels and an enormous backcountry just waiting to be discovered. They call Hemsedal the Scandinavian Alps and for good reason, the mountains have a distinct alpine character and the inland location provides a cold stable climate, perfect conditions for making and retaining powder. The village is surrounded on three sides by peaks rising to 1900m with a relative elevation of over 1300m. To the east the mountains provide views over to Jotunheimen and to the west over to the fjords and Hardangervidda.
Flåm and the UNESCO Fjords
At their innermost reaches, the mighty fjords of Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord are only 30km apart. It was through this relative eye of needle, between peaks, glaciers and wild mountain plateau (vidda) in the late 19th century that the Norwegian government finally decided to place the route for the new Oslo to Bergen railway line, thereby avoiding crossing either of Norway’s two major fjords and creating one of the engineering world’s most spectacular achievements. At Myrdal station the line connects with the world famous Flåm railway which drops 867 precipitous metres to the fjord in a mere 20 km in a series of dizzying tunnels, spirals, and bridges.
However impressive the spectacular man made achievements are they appear as the work of amateurs compared to the natural wonders mother nature has crafted in this region. This is the UNESCO listed West Norwegian Fjords - Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord where jaw dropping mountain architecture squares off with epic fjord vistas under the majestic crown of dazzling white ice caps. Ascending one of the peaks in this area, looking down at the tiny cruise boats docked at Flåm and following the miniature train sneak its way up the mountains is sight you will never forget. We promise that!