Borgund stave church, Lærdal, Sogn and Fjordane
Situated at the end of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sognefjorden, Lærdal features dramatic mountain tops and lush, green surroundings that reveal a lively agriculture industry. The salmon river, Lærdalselva, that flows down the mountain to the fjord gives the valley a distinct character.
Lærdal has received the Sustainable Tourism certification, a quality label awarded to destinations that work systematically to reduce the environmental impact of tourism while maintaining a high-quality experience for visitors, as well as preserving the destination’s history, character and nature. The village has an active farming community and the dry climate in the area provides basis for the cultivation of fruit, berries and vegetables.
In Lærdal you will find Borgund stave church, the best preserved stave church in Norway, dating back to 1180. The church was built using 2000 pieces of logs and planks, and although it is no longer used regularly for church functions, it is now used as a museum.
The Gamle Lærdalsøyri village is picturesque village with more than 150 well-preserved wooden houses that date back to the 18th and 19th century. A major fire in 2014 destroyed over 35 houses, and six or seven of them had historical value. However, the village opened again for tourists after a short while.
In Lærdal there are plenty of round trips on offer, for example along Vindhellaveien by Borgund Stavkirke or on the longer Kongeveien (“The King’s Road”) across the Filefjell mountains.
Many places follow sustainable principles, but being certified as a sustainable destination is an honour few qualify for. It takes years of work demonstrating their lasting commitment to providing the best possible experiences for their guests, while keeping the negative impact of tourism to a minimum. In addition, the destination must work to continually improve its business practices and relations with the local community, whilst safeguarding their natural and cultural assets, history and traditions.
Western Norway is a region of narrow fjords cutting into tall mountains, of waterfalls cascading down mountainsides, and of glaciers that never melt. Spectacular architecture and exiting food made from local produce enhance the experience.
Bergen is Norway's second largest city, and lies clambering up the mountain sides, overlooking the sea, embracing you. You can roam through living history in this modern city, before continuing on to explore the wildest and loveliest fjords of Norway.