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adventure & travel

With a tent through the land of fjords

Norway on a budget

by Johannes Wolf 05/21/2014
The warm and snow-poor winter in the northern Alps shortened this season enormously, which is why we decided to head north. Norway had been on my to-do list for a long time, but where to go? As the country is not exactly known as a bargain paradise and our budget was also very limited, this made our planning more difficult. So we decided on a trip by car and tent to the Voss, Sogn and Jotunheimen regions. Ten days in Norway on a budget. In mid-April, we drove across Germany to Hirtshals, Denmark. From there we took the ferry to Bergen, where our real adventure began.

Voss, Myrkdalen and Sogndal

After 16 hours on the ferry, we finally reached Bergen. From there, we went straight on to the Voss region, where we found our first place to sleep. The small town of Voss, which lies between the Sognefjord and the Hardangerfjord, is an important economic and cultural center in the area with 14,000 inhabitants. With the two ski resorts "Voss Resort" and "Myrkdalen", the Voss region is one of the best-known ski regions in Norway. It is not without reason that the municipality is also known as the Olympic municipality. One of the many sights in the region is the 152-metre-high Tvindefossen waterfall. We pitched our tent there in the evening.

If you want to travel cheaply in Norway, but still don't want to do without a shower etc., campsites offer a cheap accommodation option. They are a dime a dozen in Norway, but it only gets difficult in winter. At this time of year, many campsites are still closed. But if you check out a few places (campsites), you will find something. After it had started to rain during the night, we set off for Myrkdalen in the morning, hoping that it had snowed further up. After two hours, we gave up completely soaked. Sleet instead of the finest powder that day.
In Norway, too, winter was not good this season. Temperatures of around 18 degrees at the fjord made it feel more like summer than winter. Nevertheless, there was still enough snow at high altitudes to undertake reasonable tours. So the next day we set off again for Myrkdalen. This time, however, we followed road 13 towards Vikøyri. After a few hairpin bends, a large plateau opens up here. It's best to simply stop in one of the numerous parking bays and start skiing directly from there.


Have you ever wondered why the Norwegians are so good in the Nordic combined? I know now. While we started our first trip with our wide touring skis, we saw whole crowds of people climbing the mountains on their cross-country skis.
After a successful first tour and a magnificent view, we drove to Vikøyri and then to Vangsnes, from where we took the ferry to Sogndal.

There we finally settled on the longest fjord in Norway. At 204 kilometers long, the Sognefjord is the longest inlet in Europe. The student town offers two small areas, the Sogn Ski Center and the Sogndal Ski Center, which nevertheless offer plenty of variety. The Sogndal Ski Center only has two small lifts, but they offer great potential, especially when there is fresh snow. With the help of the platter lift, we set off from there on a short tour up Teigafjellet. Once at the top, we took a short break before returning to the ski area. There we ended the day in comfort. The next day, we drove on to Jotunheimen National Park.

Jotunheimen

This mountainous region of eastern Norway stretches over 3,500 square kilometers and is the highest part of the Skanden (Scandinavian Mountains). At 2469, Galdhøpiggen is the highest mountain in Norway. Hence the name Jotunheimen, which also means "home of the giants". After 70 kilometers and around 90 minutes' drive from Sogndal, we arrived at the Turtago Hotel in Jotunheimen in the afternoon.

You can also buy maps there if you still need them. We set up camp for the night in the middle of this impressive mountain landscape. For comparatively little money, you can camp opposite the hotel and use the sanitary facilities in the old guest house. This is located directly behind the new building and now serves as a kind of dormitory. If you like it even cheaper or more secluded, simply drive a little further and set up camp in the countryside. There's a lot going on up there at the weekend. Fortunately, we didn't arrive until Sunday afternoon. The area was deserted for the next few days.

The touring potential in this region is enormous, whether 50 degree steep gullies or the easy pleasure ski tour: there is something for everyone. The next morning, after a cool night, we set off in the direction of Dyrhaugstindane (2138 m). This mountain was to be our destination for the day. Due to its northerly location, the snow is still very hard, even late in the day and despite the warm temperatures. The following day we went on a short tour before heading back to Sogndal in the afternoon. If you're already on the Sognefjord, it's worth making a detour to the Jostedalsbreen. This glacier is one of Europe's largest continental glaciers and its ice sheet is up to 500 m thick in places.

Hemsedal

After a night in Sogndal, we decided to move on a little further and ended up in Hemsedal. Here you will find one of the largest ski resorts in Norway, the Hemsedal Skicenter. The town itself is more reminiscent of a somewhat larger town in the Alps and you quickly realize that tourism is very dominant here. This is particularly evident in the comparatively large cultural offering. There are various cafés and nightclubs. Hemsedal also has a lot to offer in summer, for example the bike park or the golf course. If you drive a few kilometers out of the town, you will find yourself back in the tranquil Norwegian countryside. The ski area is in no way inferior to the areas in the Alps. The terrain here also offers numerous freeride and touring opportunities.

Our time in Norway was slowly coming to an end, so we decided to leave the next day and make our way back to Bergen. The "Gateway to the Fjords", as the Hanseatic city is also known, is the second largest "metropolis" in Norway with a population of around 270,000. To have good weather in Bergen, you need a good dose of luck, as it is also the rainiest city in Europe. Bryggen, the old harbor front of Bergen, is particularly worth seeing. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



After two exciting days in this city, we made our way back home. One thing is certain: this was not our last trip to Norway. The combination of fjords and mountains is simply magical and captivates anyone who has ever been there.

Information

Accommodation and prices
A night in a tent on a campsite in Norway costs around 10-20 euros per person. Electricity usually costs another €5 per night. Voss: Tvinde CampingSogndal: Kjornes CampingJotunheimen: Turtago Hotel

Food prices and other costsFood is much more expensive in Norway than in Germany, so it is advisable to buy the essentials before your trip to the north. A pizza in a restaurant can cost between €15-20, or a liter bottle of cola in the supermarket around €2.80Fuel: Diesel around €1.80
Super: around €1.90Ferry: The ferry from Hirtshals to Bergen and back, including 2 people and car, can be booked from around €200. You can find more detailed information on the Fjordline website.ski resorts: Ski passes cost between €30 and €50

Map materialOnline maps for the whole of Norway can be found here. We also highly recommend the book "TOPPTURAR I SOGN" . There you will find many tours with very detailed tour descriptions. Unfortunately, the book is only available in Norwegian.

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This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

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