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Hiking in Valdres, Norway - Photo: Kjell Arne Berntsen
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Hiking in Valdres, Norway Photo: Kjell Arne Berntsen

Key facts about Valdres

The scenic, varied Valdres region extends from the water rich valleys in the south to Jotunheimen's spectacular mountain range in the north.

Within a two-hour drive, you will have a variety of experiences, from the wilderness at Vassfaret in the south, the open summer farm areas in the west,  to the National Park of Jotunheimen, a large and undisturbed mountain area full of majestic mountains and glaciers, in the north.

Geography

The town of Fagernes is the regional centre of Valdres.

Population: Close to 18,000

Area: 5,430 square kilometers

Longest rivers:

  • Begna
  • Etna

Largest lakes:

  • Tyin
  • Bygdin
  • Vinstri

Climate

Valdres is known for its stable climate. You are guaranteed snow from November, and in many areas, it will last until May.

History

On 9 September 1857, Otto Larsen Stuve (1825 – 1871) from Biri got a licence to open a local shop in a room he rented at Nes Farm, the largest of the farms in the area. In 1861, Stuve was able to purchase a piece of land from Tveit Farm and built a two-storey building by the fjord -  where Quality Hotel & Resort Fagernes is located today. The locals began to name the area "Stuvenes", but Stuve himself decided that "Fagernes" was a better name. Fagernes means "beautiful half-island".

In the beginning of the 1900s, Fagernes became increasingly urban and the number of visitors increased. The Valdres Folk Museum opened in 1901, and the local newspaper, "Valdres," published its first newspaper in 1903. But most importantly, the Valdres Railway opened in October 1906, a Norwegian railway that commected the rural areas of Land and Valdres by rail to the main railway network in Norway, including Oslo and international points beyond. (The line was shut down for regular traffic as of 1 January 1989).

The licence that Otto Stuve received in 1857 was one of the the main reason for Fagernes' 150 anniversary celebration in the year 2007. This is also the year Fagernes officially gained "town" status.  

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Last updated:  2013-07-12
Summer in Valdres, Norway - Photo: Merete Nordberg
Summer in Valdres, Norway
Winter in Valdres, Norway - Photo: Kjell Arne Berntsen
Winter in Valdres, Norway
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Hiking in Valdres, Norway - Photo: Kjell Arne Berntsen

Key facts about Valdres

The scenic, varied Valdres region extends from the water rich valleys in the south to Jotunheimen's spectacular mountain range in the north.

Key facts about Valdres

Source: Visitnorway

About Valdres

Tourist information for Valdres

There are three Tourist Information offices in Valdres: you will find them in Fagernes, Beitostølen and Filefjell.

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