Jostedal Glacier is the largest glacier in mainland Europe – 100 kilometres long with numerous arms reaching down into valleys in Sunnfjord, Nordfjord and Sogn. About one hour drive from Førde is the Norwegian Glacier Museum in Fjærland. On the way, it is possible to get a close-up view of the striking Bøyabre Glacier. In Jølster you can see Jostedal Glacier from the E39 in Kjøsnesfjorden. At Stardalen you can join a guided glacier tour on Haugabre Glacier.
Fosseheimen (Waterfall Country)
Fosseheimen in Sunnfjord is "home" to a total of 50 large and small waterfalls along three watercourses: Jølstra, Gaula and Naustdal. The protected Gaular watercourse is the most significant segment of Fosseheimen. Here you have more than 20 kilometres of trails following the watercourse. The viewing bridge across the Likhole Waterfall is located in the middle of the valley and the most popular walk in the area is by far the Waterfall Trail (Fossestien). The road over the Gaularfjell Mountain (fv. 13) received the status of National Tourist Route in 2012, with the theme "From Sognefjorden to Fosseheimen".
Four of the waterfalls in the area are signposted as attractions: Likholefossen, Vallestadfossen, Eikjelandsfossen and Huldefossen. A nature and culture trail (Mostien) leads from Sunnfjord Museum to Huldefoss Waterfall. A visit to Hestad Chapel and the salmon stairs at Osfossen Waterfall in Bygstad, the oldest of their kind in Norway, are also worth a visit.
A district rich in history, art and culture, Jølster was once the seat for a Viking chieftain. Norway's most powerful man after the King, Baron Audun Hugleikson, built a stone castle here. Through the painter Nikolai Astrup, Jølster gained fame as one of the most beautiful rural districts in Western Norway. At his home, you can see how this artist lived and worked. You can also see how he gathered inspiration from the landscape and people that enchanted him. Jølster women are known for their skills in weaving, and for furthering the Norwegian costume and tapestry traditions. Lake Jølstra is also known for its trout fishing. In the distance, blue-ice glacier arms stretch through green, wooded hillsides.
Museums and galleries
Sunnfjord is rich in art, culture and history. The Sunnfjord Museum is the main museum for the region, known for its idyllic surroundings and the high quality of its cultural-historical exhibitions. Guided tours around the faithfully restored buildings, some of which date back to the 16th century, reveal the fascinating stories behind them.
Astruptunet was the home of painter and graphic artist Nikolai Astrup (1880-1928) for the last 14 years of his life. Astruptunet is now a gallery and museum. Here you will find exhibitions of Astrup’s paintings, graphics, sketches and woodcut lithographs, as well as summer exhibitions with diverse themes.
Jølstra Museum is a small, private nature and culture park featuring buildings up to 400 years old, several thousand antique domestic tools and utensils, ornaments, an art gallery and a fish centre, just 20 kilometres from Førde.
The Black Friday Museum (Luftkampmuseet) in Naustdal was established in memory of the dark Friday in February 1945 when the biggest air battle in Norway during World War II took place in the skies over the Førdefjord in inner Sunnfjord.
In Sunnfjord you will find two enchanting fjords. Førdefjord winds its way out from Førde all the way to Svanøy Island (known as Sunnfjord’s pearl) near Florø, Norway’s westernmost town. Etched in the dramatic and striking Heilefjell mountain, which can be seen from Førdefjorden, is Trollfonna, where ice and snow lie all year round.
The Gaular watercourse runs out into Dalsfjord by Osen Farm, whose fascinating history dates back to Viking times, about 850 A.D. The narrow Dalsfjord stretches from Osen in Bygstad, past the spectacular Laukeland Waterfall, the settlement of Dale - author Jacob Sande's home district, and out to Askvoll in the west. Ferries provide transport out to Norway’s westernmost island community, Vær and Bulandet - definitely not to be missed.
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