Årdal is a modern industrial community with aluminium, electricity,transport construction and tourism as its main industries. Årdal offers very good shopping and is a superb starting point for hikes in the Jotunheimen Mountains. As much as one third of Årdal municipality consists of landscape protection area, including Vettisfossen (275m), the highest freefall waterfall in Norway.
Årdal Tourist Information is situated in Øvre Årdal
Ph +47 57 66 35 62
www.ardal.noMore information about Årdal:
Årdal lies furthest in Sognefjorden and forms the gateway to Jotunheimen from the west. The municipality has two urban areas, Årdalstangen and Øvre Årdal, with a joint population of approximately 5,700 inhabitants. The two towns are encircled by valleys which run out into smaller villages: Naddvik (Vikadalen), Nundalen, inner and outer Ofredal, Seimsdalen, Fardalen, Utladalen and Vetti.
Årdal is a community of contrasts. Here you find on the one side, heavy industry and a very modern community, while on the other side you find traditional farming, with old romantic houses, boat houses along the fjords, a timber processing industry and river and lake fishing.
On top of that, you have Jotunheimen's dramatic nature, with mountain peaks, steep mountain sides and high waterfalls.
Årdal has a mild climate with little rainfall. With huge Jotunheimen as its nearest neibour, conditions are especially good for de-stressing recreation and open air life, in summer and winter.
Årdal has excellent sports facilities for training, tournaments and competitions. These facilities comprise of Årdal sports hall, Tangen sports hall, the riding centre in Seimsdalen, two sports tracks, outdoor grass pitch and two shooting ranges.
In the winter there are lighted cross country ski tracks in Fardalen and Seimsåsen. Årdal municipality has cheap building plots available in Seimshagane,Seimsdalen and in Svalheim, Utladalen.ATTRACTIONS - ÅRDAL
The Vettisfossen waterfall
was given protected status 1924. With a free fall of 275 metres it is the highest waterfall in Northern Europe. We recommend that you start your trip from the car park at Hjelle, and then follow the Folkevegen road to Vetti, from where there is a path to the waterfall. The trip takes 1 to 2 hours in total. Vetti Gard og Turiststasjon,
a farm rich in tradition dating from around 1120, is set in dramatic natural surroundings. The farm has been involved in tourism ever since the early 19th century and now serves as a cafè and tourist information office in summer. An ideal stop for all walkers in the area. The Utladalen landscape conservation area
(314 square kilometres) was established in conjunction with the Jotunheimen National Park. It comprises large parts of the Utadalen valey and adjoining side valleys. The area contains several old farms and mountain pasture farmsteads of historical interest.Utladalen Naturhus
is a nature sentre situated at Skåri, an old farm. Farming here ceased in the early 1970s. In 1996 work commenced on the restoration of the old cultural landscape, and the Utladalen Naturhus centre was opened in May 1998. Run by the Utladalen Naturhus foundation, the aim of the centre is to inform visitors about the natural and cultural history of Utladalen and Western Jotunheimen. The centre also includes the Slingsby Museum.AVDALEN GARD (FARM)
The Avdalen farm is scenically situated on the mountainside above the beautiful Avdal waterfall in the Utladalen valley. The land was cleared for farming in the 16th century. Abandoned in more recent times, the farm has now been restored to provide restaurant, accommodation and meeting facilities. Sleeps approximately 20. The mill house can be seen in operation milling grain.JOTUNHEIMEN NATIONAL PARK
The National Park, established in 1980, covers an area of approximately 1,145 square kilometres and comprises the Hurrungane massif, Fanaråken and the Rauddalstind og Mjølkedalstind peaks. Jotunheimen is a popular area for hiking in summer and skiing in winter, and the Hurrungane massif is a Mecca for climbers.MOUNTAIN GUIDING
Indre Sogn Oppleving provides mountain guiding and guided walks on request. (see ad on p. 69), ranging from walks along the fjord to the highest peaks such as Store Austabotntind (2203 m).INDRE OFFERDAL
This old fjord-side settlement "right down by the shore" is packed with interesting history about Årdal. Ten buildings, including a mill, sawmill, a shoreside warehouse and farm buildings dating from the 19th centyry, provide insight into the beginnings of the extensive industrialisation of this local community. This is a living museum. Meals and accommodation are also available. Guided tours from June to August, otherwise by arrangement. The museum is 17 km by road from Årdalstangen.FJORDCRUISE IN INDRE SOGN
This fjord cruise takes you to the inner reaches of the Sognefjord, including Lærdal, Indre Offerdal and Kaupanger. You can enjoy captivating views of the fjord and the sheer montainsides and stops ashore with interesting historical fjord culture.OUTDOOR SWIMMING POOLS
There are two excellent heated outdoor swimming pools. The outdoor swimming complex in Øvre Årdal has 3 pools, waterslides and admission is free. See ad. on p. 62.THE MOUNTAIN ROAD FROM ÅRDAL TO TURTAGRØ
In summer, this road from Øvre Årdal to Turtagrø links Årdal to the Sognefjell mountain road. On the drive across you will enjoy spectacular views of breath-taking scenery. A toll road which is not suitable for buses, it opens in spring, around mid-May. See advert p. 63.