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At the end of the Sognefjord (the world’s longest fjord if you didn’t know) you’ll find a gem by the water. There is no way to miss the charm of this place where you’ll find the best view in Norway. I’d also like to point out that Vangsgaarden has been family driven for decades. You could say I am slightly biased, but amongst all the hotels in the Sognefjord area – Vangsgaarden will always be my favourite.
Now, let’s get the personal out of the way: I have spent no less than 3 summers working behind the bar at Duehuset – the pub belonging to the hotel. Thus, you could say that I know how hard they work to keep the visitors fed, the rooms ready and the guests happy. All opinions are 100% genuine, and I dare you to visit and disagree with me.
Vangsgaarden consists of several buildings. The pub and restaurant Duehuset, the main building where you’ll find the reception and most of the guest rooms, another building with guest rooms right through the garden, the 18th Century building Aabelheim (where they serve breakfast), and 6 fjord cabins. The latter are incredibly popular and get booked months in advance. Make sure you’re early if you want to wake up with the fjord immediately outside your window.
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Side note on Aabelheim: It was the home of the County Parson in the 1800s; Ole Aabel, who left his name to the house. Some say he left even more, and many a villager will tell you about the hauntings in his old home. Don’t worry, though, none of the guest rooms are situated in Aabelheim, but you may hear some footsteps in the attic during breakfast.
As I’m sure you understand, Vangsgaarden is full of history. Between the different buildings, guests are welcome to make use of the beautiful gardens. The current owners live in the main building, and are always at your side if you are in need of any help.
If you’re curious about the history of the place and area, make sure to visit Duehuset pub on a Friday night. It’s only a couple of meters from your room, and you are sure to meet a local with something to share. The pub used to be the local bakery (run by none other than my great grandparents), and the bar has been built around the old bread oven! On the wall you’ll find old phones and phone books, memories from when Duehuset served as a telegraph.
The rooms at Vangsgaarden are charming and neat, and come with a fjord or garden view. The fjord view is, naturally, the most popular, so make sure you make a request early if you wish to snag one of those rooms. The cottages come with a main bedroom, a loft, a seating area and small kitchen – perfect if you’re staying for a while and wish to try some cooking on your own. The local grocery store is only a 2 minute walk away.
There are plenty of activities nearby, such as the famous Flåm Railway, my favourite kayak rental and the panoramic viewpoint Stegastein. The viewpoint, situated 650 metres above sea level will give you stunning views of the fjord and the scenery embracing it. Another thrilling activity popular amongst visitors is the FjordSafari, which will allow you to get as close to nature as possible. On this tour you’ll travel in a RIB-boat with a driver doubling as a guide, and you’ll get to discover the fjord and its wildlife in a way you’ll never forget!
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