We want to give our guests time – time to learn a bit about the history and culture of the people who live here, and time to absorb the impressions a landscape like this makes. The time it takes to look after the natural environment.
Why not row? Or paddle? Or cycle? Go skiing – from the mountains down to the fjord? Leave winter behind in the mountains and meet the spring down by the fjord? Gaze up at a starry night sky that is free of light pollution? Try fly-fishing in the river?
Taste the local food? We have the best goat cheese, the best beer, the best goat sausage – and guaranteed the best bread. Oh, and we forgot to mention Aurland shoes. What would Michael Jackson’s moondance have been without a pair of ‘Weejuns’ (NOR-weegians) made to measure by Aurlandsskoen shoe factory, now the only remaining shoe factory in Norway.
We are part of the SAKTE alliance, an organisation of food and craft producers and activity providers that offer local products based on the World Heritage. Sakte is Norwegian for slow, as in slow food, slow as in take your time.
Merete Rein and Thomas Petersen has brought the art of glass blowing to Aurland in their workshop by the fjord. Through a large window you can see how this glowing soft material is turned into beautiful fragile glass. Merete is inspired by the nature in Aurland as many artists have been before her along the Sognefjord. And not least, the pleasure of shaping something from your own mind, bend and stretch it until it materialises and must be treated with care and caution, as all good dreams should. We have grown to love her small, colourful vases – perfect for spring’s first bouquet picked by a small child’s hand.
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Our dear friend Marianne Holme at Mariannes Bakery bakes the best bread, cinnamon buns and raisin buns! Organic and made with love. “A bun without raisins is not a bun” – says Marianne. So now you know it. Every morning she gets up at five o’clock to bake, and she never forgets to pick her organic raspberries when she gets home in the evening. A real woman! Now the entire village has a place to gather, and not least: Italian Espresso.
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LOCAL GOAT FARMER
Our friend Gøril Lie is a goat farmer with a passion for the things she believes in. For example local food, blue cheese, and the fact that it should be possible to make a living as a farmer in rocky Norway. Their kid goats are enchanting, unfortunately they also taste very good…
Gøril is one our appreciated “immigrants” in Aurland and a woman of many talents. Not only does she continue the tradition of goat farming in our small community, but every May 17th (our national day) Gøril is the first in the procession on the horse and cart to delight young and old with her fiddle along with the local folk musicians. She also plays the accordion.
The Aurland shoe has put a special flair on fashion around the world. Michael Jackson performed his moon dance in his weejuns, copies of the Aurland shoe. But the best part is that the traditional shoe is still in production here in Aurland. The fashion business is now looking to Aurland. In 2009 the factory collaborated with textile artist Kiyoshi Yamamoto who added playful colours to the traditional shoes, and when the design collective HAiK launched their summer collection in 2013, the shoe came in carious colours, soles and leather with matching shoes and handbags. They also tailor shoes according to your wishes.
The Aurland shoe has been in production since the 1930s. At this time there were 19 different shoe factories in Aurland and 100 people employed within the profession. It was probably the British “salmon lords” who came here to fish that sought shoe makers in the village as well as the hard working farmers in the steep hills of the Aurland valley. Today Aurlandskoen shoe factory is the only factory producing the famous and distinctive “penny loafer”. The factory features both an outlet store and Économusée, which conveys the story of the craft.
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LEIM SUMMER FARM
LEARN ABOUT NORWEGIAN SUMMER FARM TRADITIONS
Enjoy a 30 min hike up to a unique experience of goats at the summer farm, cheesemaking traditions and a taste of our goat cheeses and traditional food.
Meet the locals; the four legged goats and two legged milk maids.
Guided trough traditions by a local summer farmer.
The local farmer Gry Lie offers you a guided tour to the summer farm Hovdungo with a taste of local food and stories about the nature and the culture in the fjord landscape.
Come and visit an old farmstead that clings to the mountain-side and enjoys splendid views over the fjord and surrounding mountains.
Skaldegard invites small groups to come and learn about the local area’s natural environment, history, agriculture and way of life, both past and present. Your visit will include a guided tour of the historic farm buildings, and some small tastes of local food, both goatcheese and salted and dried meat. Inside the lovingly restored barn you get to try home-made lefse, a traditional Norwegian flatbread.