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15 hidden gems in Flåm and Myrkdalen

You can find hidden, well preserved local gems everywhere – places that only the locals know exist. If you’re driving round the area around Flåm and Myrkdalen, there are a number of unique places that you can have almost yourself. Here are 15 good tips from us.

Discover hidden gems in the area around Myrkdalen and Flåm

The easiest way to find unique places when you’re on holiday is to chat to the locals. They often have their own, less well-known places where they like to go when they have some time off, and that they show to family and friends who’ve come to visit. Here are 15 gems in and around Flåm and Myrkdalen – a gift from us.

A little motorboat sailing towards Dyrdal on the Nærøyfjord

1. The fjord community of Dyrdal

The idyllic Dyrdal is situated in the Nærøyfjord, and the only way to get to it is by boat. This used to be a lively fjord community with both a school and an infirmary, but now there’s only one man living here permanently. Hop off the fjord cruise from Gudvangen or Flåm and enjoy a day of hiking up the valley and swimming in the fjord with World Heritage status. Don’t forget to take food and drinks with you. If you want to travel further, you can join in with Bike & Hike at the Nærøyfjord to the peak of Breiskrednosi over Dyrdal.

Three old red buildings and a hay barn at Otternes in Aurland on a slightly cloudy day

2. Otternes Bygdetun

Otternes is an original old courtyard, situated between Flåm and Aurland along the E16. The oldest of the 26 buildings dates back to the 18th century, and you can’t help imagining what it was like when people could be seen strolling among the houses. You’ll also enjoy a wonderful view across the Aurlandsfjord and in towards Flåm. Walk the 4 kilometres along the fjord from Flåm, or follow the signs from the road and parked directly outside the museum.

A boat emerging from Flåm at the Aurlandsfjord, pictured among fruit blossom at Otternes

3. Brekkefossen

Brekkefossen is a lovely place to go for an evening if you’re spending the night in Flåm. The stone steps up to the viewing platform at the waterfall, which were built by Sherpas, were completed in spring 2020 and make access easy for most people. From the viewing platform, you can see all the way down to the waterfall and can enjoy the view over Flåm and the Aurlandsfjord as well. Expect to spend 1-2 hours on this trip if you’re coming from central Flåm.

A boy and a woman looking down towards the Aurlandsfjord on their way up to Prest

4. Peak trip to Prest

The mountain route to Prest (1,478 metres above sea level) provides you with panoramic views across the Aurlandsfjord. This is a relatively easy peak trip, and you should expect to spend around 3 hours on it. Travel towards Stegastein and then on past Bjørgo. Your trip starts in a car park, and there’s a clear path from there. Take along a nice packed lunch, and enjoy your day out and some spectacular views.

A cobbler standing at a machine and three unfinished pairs of Aurland shoes in the foreground

5. Norway’s only shoe factory

Did you know, Aurland shoes were the original penny loafers, and that they’re still made today? Join in with a tour of the factory in Aurland, the only one left in Norway, and hear the tale of how Nils Tveranger derived inspiration from Indian moccasins and how his shoes became so popular from the 1930s onwards. You’ll also get to see how the cobblers work nowadays. Maybe you could buy a nice new pair of shoes with a lifetime guarantee from there as well?

Three sheep grazing outside the Myrkdalen Hotel

6. Myrkdalen Galleri

There have been talented craftsmen and artists in Myrkdalen for generations, too. At Myrkdalen Galleri, which is both a workshop and a gallery, you can view beautiful wood carvings and graphics by Arne Mørkve and Geir Nymark. The gallery is open from 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 11am to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays. And if you find anything you like, you can buy it to take home with you. Myrkdalen Galleri is situated more or less centrally in the valley next to the main road – look for the signs.

Hikers on the farm road at Mørkvesstølen on a rainy autumn day

7. Mørkvesstølen and Svortetjødn

Mørkvesstølen is an idyllic and typically Western Norwegian farm. If you take the chairlift up from Central Myrkdalen, the trip down to the farm is lovely and suitable for families. From here, you can look out over Myrkdalsvatnet and the mountains all around. If you’d like to carry on going, you can follow the path to Svortetjødn that is just above the farm. This small lake is in a beautiful, secluded place and is perfect for a nice, cool swim in summer. Maybe you’ll see some of the more daring sheep climbing the steep rock face at the north end?

Undredal with its old wooden houses and two newer houses at the edge of the fjord

8. Undredal and Stokko

Undredal along the Aurlandsfjord isn’t entirely secluded, but you could easily miss it on your way to or from Flåm. This charming fjord community with around 60 permanent residents and lots of goats is home to Norway’s smallest stave church and a dairy producing award-winning white and brown goats cheese.

From Undredal, there’s a lovely path suitable for families all the way down to the edge of the fjord to Stokko. Stokko used to be a farm, but now it’s just a big, beautiful patch of grass that is perfect for a break, playtime and maybe a swim in the fjord? This walk covers 2 km (one way) and is signposted from Undredal.

A window in Tråfjosen in Myrkdalen shines out on a clear evening

9. Accommodation in an old hay barn

Fancy some overnight accommodation that’s well out of the ordinary? In Myrkdalen, you can actually spend the night in an old cabin. A hay barn that used to be used early in summer just after the cattle had been put out to graze. Nowadays you can still see the traces of the old structure in Tråfjosen. You can see over Myrkdalen and Myrkdalsvatnet if you look out of the window. There’s room for two to three adults or a family of two adults and two children if you’d like to enjoy some very special accommodation in the heart of nature.

National road 13 and the farms at Holo and Kvassdalen, viewed from Vikafjell
Photo: Kyrre Wangen

10. Holo and Vetle Grungen

Another great walk starts before you’ve arrived at the Vikafjell Plateau, 10 minutes’ drive or 6 km by bike from the Myrkdalen Hotel. From the farms in Holo, you go up the marked path at Grungagjelet and along Vetla Grungavatnet until you arrive at the little farm of Vetle Grungen. Don’t forget a packed lunch and your swimming costume! Families with children over 12 can join in with Bike & Hike from Myrkdalen.

Hikers on the old Kongevegen at the Nærøyfjord, with a waterfall in the background

11. Kongevegen from Styvi

The Nærøyfjord is a gem in itself, and one of the most wonderful ways in which to get close to the fjord is to walk along the old Kongelige Postvegen – Royal Mailroad – between Styvi and Bleiklindi (directly across the fjord from Bakka). Take a fjord cruise from Flåm or Gudvangen, and get off at the old and beautifully preserved Styvi farm. Follow the path to Bleiklindi, which is named after the large linden tree – “pale linden” – with its special pale green leaves. This trip covers a total of 10 kilometres.

A car heading down Stalheimskleiva on a summer day
Photo: Johnny Akselsen

12. Stalheimsfossen

Stalheimsfossen is situated at the top of the Nærøydalen Valley, near Stalheimskleiva. If you drive from Flåm to Myrkdalen, you won’t be able to help noticing both this and Sivlefossen directly next to it. Take the exit to Stalheimskleiva, or stop at the bottom of the steep rocky path – there’s a one-way system going down. There’s a car park here, and a lovely 900-metre path all the way up to the waterfall.

A woman enjoying the sunset over the Aurlandsfjord from Stegastein

13. Sunset from Stegastein

The Stegastein viewing platform is definitely no hidden gem – it’s a must for anyone who’s driving past. That said, it’s less common for people to enjoy the view across the Aurlandsfjord and the World Heritage landscape at sunset. Make the most of your holiday and head off on a trip from Flåm after dinner every evening from 19 June to 2 August.

Two women walking on a path above the Sognefjord

14. Fjord view from Vikafjell

Vikafjell at Myrkdalen has lots of great trails to follow, no matter what kind of distance you want to travel. These include the simplest trails with local fjord views, precisely because you’ve already been up to the mountain plateau. One of these is Ovriseggi, slightly undulating, signposted path where you can enjoy views across the Sognefjord, Vikøyri and the spectacular Hurrungane mountain range. Drive up to Vikafjell from Myrkdalen until you’ve passed the tunnel, watch out for the exit to the car park on the right-hand side. Expect to spend about 2-3 hours on this trip.

A romantic atmosphere at the Tower Suite at Fretheim, with champagne and strawberries in the lounge

15. Tower Suite at Fretheim Hotel

When you arrive at the the historic Tower Suite at Fretheim Hotel, you can start imagining what it was like back in the days when English lords came to Flåm to fish for salmon. From here, you have beautiful views across central Flåm and towards the Aurlandsfjord. This suite is over two levels, with a jacuzzi in the bath on the lower floor and seating and a double bed on the upper floor. This is really ideal for anyone wanting a romantic holiday.