Text: Sonja L. Birch-Olsen
In 1908 a landslide cut of an entire valley and the small village that stood there was slowly flooded.
Today Lake Lygnstøylsvatnet is a popular place for divers from all over the world. The lake lies in the beautiful Nordangsdalen Valley not far from the historic Hotel Union Øye beside the Hjørundfjord.
- Lygnstøylsvatnet is truly unique in a world setting. It's got to be one of the most special places to go diving in the whole of Norway, says Christian Skauge, editor of the Norwegian scuba diving magazine Dykking.
- But saying that, Norway has a lot of other interesting and beautiful areas for diving, something an increasing number of divers are discovering. Norway can be truly exotic for divers. You feel more like a real explorer, and less like an underwater tourist here. Diving in some parts of Norway is just the thing to get the adrenalin pumping.
Treasures under water
Christian explains that Norwegian waters usually offer superb visibility and many treasures.
- You can choose between current diving, fantastic wall diving, wreck diving and more.
And it does not end here: Night diving and diving in kelp forests are also on the menu. If you want the ultimate indulgence you have to go up north above the Arctic Circle – to Lofoten – where you might get the chance to dive with the magnificent killer whales during the winter season.
Rich kelp forests
Coastal currents run continually around the islands and fjords of Norway, pumping the nutrient-rich, deep Atlantic Ocean waters in among the maze of islands, creating the foundation for an intriguing marine world, where rich forests of kelp give way to reefs covered in bright-orange corals.
Fish tend to be evident more in quantity than in variety, but do reach enormous sizes. There is the chance to spot and photograph interesting varieties such as the wolffish.
The flow of the Gulf Stream reaches Norway, creating warmer temperatures than might otherwise be expected.
- Nevertheless, dry suits are recommended although a semi-dry suit may suffice in summer, says Christian.