When choosing a hotel in the artsy and outdoorsy town of Balestrand, you'll likely prioritize views of the Sognefjord—Norway's longest and deepest fjord. These three hotels not only take advantage of their proximity to the surrounding mountains and sea but have easy access to galleries, challenging hiking trails, and fjord adventures.

At a Glance

  Kviknes Hotel Dragsvik Hotel Balestrand Hotel
Best For Local history Personalized charm Budget travelers

Family-owned since 1877

One of the most famous hotels in the Sognefjord region

Set right on the fjord & most rooms have water views

Breakfast buffet & quaint café for lunch & dinner

Rooms have original wood floors & antique furnishings

Walking distance from the ferry terminal & hiking trails

Complimentary afternoon cinnamon rolls, tea & coffee

Fjordside with plenty of water views

Common areas & front-facing rooms have fjord views

The renovated lobby features a bar & occasional events

Shuttle service to & from the ferry terminal

Cons The newer wing isn't as historic A car is necessary to explore the area No breakfast service
Budget Tier $$$ $$ $
Authenticity ***** **** **
Location ***** ***** **
Rooms & Bathrooms *** *** **
Other Highlights Waterfront lounges & dining Candlelight dinner with views Rooms with balconies

Kviknes Hotel

Many historic rooms have private balconies that face the fjord (photo courtesy of Kviknes Hotel)

With 190 rooms, Kviknes Hotel is one of the Sognefjord region's largest and most famous hotels. It has been family-owned since 1877, and the historic wing is the highlight, with an impressive first floor decorated with original art and antiques. On the above levels, there are 30 rooms with old-world decor and patterned wallpaper—and many come with balconies facing the fjord. A newer, less attractive annex is where most guest rooms are located (though many are renovated). These comfortable rooms also have balconies with mountain and/or fjord views.

Every guest has access to a grand dining room serving international buffets and multicourse menus, along with a well-stocked wine list with more than 300 labels (look for regular tastings in the cellar). A nautical-themed bistro provides casual lunch and dinner options. The hotel is a short stroll to Balestrand's passenger ferry terminal with express service to Bergen, art galleries, the aquarium, and a traditional stave church. Learn more

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Dragsvik Hotel

A romantic restaurant with fjord views (photo courtesy of Dragsvik Hotel)

A 10-minute drive outside Balestrand, the peaceful, family-owned Dragsvik Hotel is situated on a narrow peninsula with fjord views in both directions. Simple, bright rooms come in various categories with charming historical touches and unique configurations. There are also five private cabins dotted along the hillside, which tend to draw couples. These units have private decks, kitchenettes, lounges, and dining areas.

The best views are available at the hotel restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the fjord and, on a clear day, Jostedal Glacier. Dinnertime has a romantic ambience due to the soft music, low lighting, and candles where guests can choose between a handful of rotating options that will likely include fresh seafood and a house burger, as well as local beers and a wine list. Learn more

Balestrand Hotel

Simple rooms, some of which face the fjord (photo courtesy of Balestrand Hotel)

Balestrand Hotel is a budget-friendly option with views of the fjord from a large terrace and a private little beach for swimming. In the lobby, the new, second-generation family owners have spruced up the interiors to create a hip, open layout for ordering drinks and snacks, with several tables and lounge areas topped with flickering candles. Though it's a quieter location and a bit removed from the center of Balestrand, the owners will pick you up and deliver you at the ferry dock during arrivals and departures.

There are 30 sparsely decorated rooms. Half have big windows and seated balconies overlooking splendid fjord views (especially lovely with a cup of coffee from the lobby or a beer at sunset). The other 15 rooms are in the rear, up against a mountain dotted with houses (for a lesser cost). Most rooms can be configured depending on the guest's preference, and extra beds can be added if a bigger group exists. Learn more