My family and I have visited Western Norway on several occasions to explore the fantastic
mountain landscape. On our first visit, we contacted Svein Jarle Hole to be our guide and help
us identify the most beautiful mountains and hiking trails in the area. Svein Jarle accompanied
us on all our hikes. His travel recommendations, familiarity with the mountains, and knowledge
of local as well as national history, were extraordinary.
Around the fantastic Geirangerfjord landscape, we have climbed mountain peaks such as
Slogen, Saksa, Hesten, and Blåhornet, hiked to the cliff-edge farm of Skageflå and explored the
Flofjellet walking trail.
After our walks and hikes in the surrounding mountains and valleys, we have often stopped at
Hotel Union Öye for their famous warm apple tart. This beautifully decorated historic hotel is
over a hundred years old. There is a palpable sense of history in its walls: over the years, it has
been frequented by royalty as well as famous writers and explorers.
For an even more luxurious experience, we have occasionally taken the boat to Union Hotel in
Geiranger to enjoy their spa facilities and fine dining.
With our guide, we rented a private boat from Hellesylt to take us through the beautiful
Geirangerfjord. This allowed us to enjoy the scenery up-close in a different way. On our way up
the fjord we stopped beneath the cliff-edge farm of Knivsflå and hiked the walking trail up to the
old farm houses to enjoy the fantastic view of the fjord. Learning how the former inhabitants
were able to survive here, so far away from modern conveniences, was fascinating. From
Knivsflå we were even able to see the beautiful Seven Sisters Waterfalls – visible to everyone
from below – from above, at their source. The hike up to the farm houses is not difficult, but it is
spectacular and above all very beautiful!
On Svein Jarle’s recommendation, we even climbed – with our guide – Scandinavia’s highest
mountain, Galdhöpiggen – an incredibly beautiful, not too challenging hike which even included
a walk across a glacier. We spent the night at Roisheim hotel (near Jotunheimen National Park),
a fantastic farm with small, very old houses. The rooms are equipped with wooden bathing
troughs – our unique bath after a long day of hiking was in itself a highlight. Not to mention the
dinner we were served.
Going by car from Hellesylt to Ålesund is a wonderful experience. On the way you pass small,
cozy villages, dramatic roads and spectacular fjord viewpoints. In Ålesund we recommend Hotel
Brosundet for an overnight stay and a fantastic dinner – the hotel’s restaurant is famous for its
For advice on how to create a vacation with both activities, sights and that “little extra”, my
family highly recommends Svein Jarle Hole at Norway Exclusive, who we consider to be very
enthusiastic and knowledgeable on the subject.
Berith Wennström, Skövde, Sweden