Staying in the Sognefjord
Cozy villages are scattered around the Sognefjord's shores, Norway's longest and deepest fjord, as well as its narrower side arms, including the Aurlandsfjord, where Aurland sits. The quaint town center not only has stunning views but independent shops and eateries, including a bakery, a shoemaker selling the original penny loafer called "Aurlands," and a traditional glassblower—great for souvenirs. Aurland is also close to Stegastein Viewpoint, with views from more than 2,000 feet (610 m) above the fjord.
Another bonus of staying in Aurland is its proximity to the much more touristed village of Flåm (15 minutes by car)—home of the Flåm Railway. A fun activity is to ride the train up to Myrdal and bike or zip line back down to sea level, perhaps capped off with a pint at the local Ægir Brewery. More activities in the Sognefjord include hiking, kayaking, and fly fishing. You can also book fjord cruises, explore Jostedal Glacier, and tour Viking villages and sustainable farms. For more ideas, check out the top experiences in the fjord region.
Surrounded by mountains and waterfalls just outside town, 29|2 Aurland is a unique hotel experience in the form of a luxury farm stay. The former historic fishing lodge was transformed in 2014 into a small family-run property with 10 individual rustic-chic rooms in several farmhouse buildings with repurposed materials and antiques that blend with modern furnishings.
Guests spend their days in nature—there are plenty of hikes and activities in the area—and then return to dine on local, organic food. The chef uses as many ingredients from the on-site garden as possible, while others come from nearby farmers. The rate includes daily breakfast, an afternoon treat, and a three-course dinner served at a communal table in the atmospheric smokehouse, where you'll likely meet new friends from around the world. 29|2 Aurland is a certified Eco Lighthouse business, and the owners, a lovely family who lives on the property, aim to have the smallest carbon footprint possible. Learn more
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Surrounded by fjord views, the traditional clapboard Hotel Aurlandsfjord is within walking distance of Aurland's attractions, including a small beach for fjord swims. The hotel completed a major interior renovation in 2021, and the 30 modern Scandinavian-style rooms are a major draw. Each consists of caramel leather accents, mirror backlights, hardwood-style floors, and local bath products in eco-friendly dispensers (request rooms on the third and fourth floors with private balconies overlooking outstanding views of the fjord).
Guests can start each day with a complimentary breakfast that focuses on locally-sourced ingredients while enjoying the fjord views. This main restaurant space, which is also open for lunch and dinner, has new tilework, leather furnishings, and rattan chandeliers, as well as a range of seating options from tables, cushy booths, and al fresco dining on French bistro chairs. Learn more
The hotel Vangsgaarden Gjestgiveri is a seasonal, family-owned property in Aurland that once hosted British salmon anglers in the 19th century. Today, 22 rooms come in a few different categories and buildings next to one another in the heart of Aurland, overlooking the fjord. The main hotel offers single, double, and superior rooms with various configurations that blend contemporary decor with antiques. For more space, there are apartment options, including a row of modern fisherman's cabins with balconies overlooking the waterfront, equipped with kitchenettes, living rooms, and two bedrooms.
A light, elegant breakfast spread is offered each morning in the charming Aabelheim House for hotel guests (but not those staying in the units with kitchenettes). For other meals, dine at the hotel's gastropub with indoor and outdoor seating, serving locally-sourced meat and seafood and housemade pizzas. Guests can take a dip in the fjord accessed by a hidden beach next to the cabins, while a larger beach is a short walk away. Or, relax with a book in the private garden surrounded by flowering plants. Learn more