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Balestrand, Norway

Balestrand lies between high snow-covered mountains in the center of the beautiful, lush Norwegian fjords. Three fjord arms stretch inland, winding through the mountains and dotted with charming hamlets.

Due to its stunning location, Balestrand had been loved by artists of all kinds . Artists like Hans Gude, Alfred Heaton Cooper, Hans Dahl and Johannes Flintoe have been captivated by the scenery of this area. Some of the artists arriving at the end of the 19th century built their own houses in the distinctive Swiss style. Today, these villas form part of Balestrands special atmosphere.

The hospitality of this traditional tourist district provides its guests with an opportunity to relax in peace and quiet, visit the frequent art exhibitions, join a fjord cruise, or be more active by hiking in the mountains or fishing in the fjord.

Balestrand is a very popular area for mountain hiking.The mountains around Balestrand offer fantastic hiking opportunities with trails providing for all levels of difficulty. Other mountain areas suitable for hiking and skiing are Saurdalen and Gaularfjell.

Besides tourism, farming is one of the traditional sources of income. Other industries include made-to-order kitchen interiors, local apple juice and Nesseplast, which produces industrial plastic.

Balestrand kommune is one of the smallest municipalities in the region of Sogn, with appr. 1500 inhabitants. With its snow-covered mountains and open fjord landscape, Balestrand has been a favorite holiday place for travellers through centuries, and Kviknes Hotel with its famous 1913 swiss style facade is a well-known landmark in the region.

With the tradition of art and craftmanship and the stunning surrounding, we are proud to welcome you to the art village of Balestrand!


Heritage Trail

Enjoy a ramble round Balestrand town centre on a trail past the districts heritage sites. The Tourist Information Office can provide a brochure with route description, or you can join an organized guided ramble.

Escorted Mountain Hiking

Organized hikes with guides are available in Balestran. Find the "secret" spots, the unknown trails, and hear cultural and natural historical stories at the same time.

The guides speak Norwegian, English and some German. Hikes are available in several categories, ranging from easy walks in lush valleys to more demanding hikes to the top of the mountains.

Nature Trail

Straight up from Balestrand town centre, starting at the schools, you can join an easy nature trail that allows you to enjoy beautiful scenery. This is a one to two hour ramble that is highly suitable for families.

Non-Escorted Mounting Hiking

The mountains around Balestrand offer fantastic hiking opportunities, with trails of different levels of difficulty. There are many easy trails along the rivers and lakes of Gaularvassdraget. Some more challenging hikes include:

Raudmelen - the top of Balestrand. (5 hours)

Straight up from Balestrand town centre by the schools, you find the starting point for the trail. This hike takes you through both gentle slopes and steeper climbs betore getting to the top at 972 meters. Outstanding view!

Tjuatoten (6 hours)

The trail starts at Dragsvik. The first part of the trail is through the forest, and here you might see birds and small animals. At the last part there is a bit steeper climb to get to the top at 1098 meters. Along the route you will find many great viewpoints.

Saurdalen Valley

The valley is an easy accessible area, 20 minutes from the center of Balestrand. Saurdalen offers many alternative routes in an easy terrain, no steep trails here. You can walk in the woods, in open terrain, hearing only the sounds of nature; birds, rivers and waterfalls. You can walk to a view point to look down at Balestrand and the fjord. There is a ski area here during the winter season.

Hiking maps for sale at the Tourist Information Office. Text in Norwegian, English and German.