Aurland Norway

Aurland is located on the south side of the Sognefjorden in the traditional district of Sogn, Norway. The administrative center is the village of Aurlandsvangen. Other villages include Bakka, Flåm, Undredal, and Gudvangen.

The West Norwegian Fjords of Geirangefjord and Nærøyfjord were added to UNESCO´s World Heritage Site list in 2005. The two fjords are situated 120 kilometres from each other and they are separated by the Jostedalsbreen glacier. The World Heritage Site possesses a unique combination of glacial landforms at the same time as each area is characterised by its own outstanding beauty. The Nærøyfjord areas in this site stretch through the municipalities of Aurland, Lærdal, Vik, and Voss.

The Aurlandsdalen valley is a well known hiking trail in Norway with its fabulous nature and contrasting countryside. The valley is rich in history and packed with culture. One can take the hike in several stages: From Geiteryggen where the path starts, it is a four-hour hike to Steinbergdalen. There are beautiful views of mountain peaks, snow glaciers, and lakes. In Steinbergdalen you will find Steinbergdalen mountain lodge which opened in 1895.

The Flåm Railway is a masterpiece in engineering which is one of the most exciting railway journeys in the world. This journey from Myrdal to Flåm is twelve miles long, a descent of 866 metres. It has 20 tunnels with a total length of almost 6 kilometres. About 80% of the Flåm railway has a maximum gradient of 5.5%. To cope with the enormous change in height over such a short stretch, the track runs partly through tunnels which spiral in and out of the mountainside. The gradient is quite exceptional for a normal railway and the carriages are fitted with five different brake systems, any one of which is sufficient to stop the train.

The Undredal Stave Church is a simple, small one-nave church that was built around 1150. It is located in the village of Undredal. It is one of the oldest preserved stave churches in Norway.

The Vangen Church was built in 1202. The church is built in the early Gothic style influenced by English architecture. A document written in 1714 tells us that English merchants used to stay in Aurland during long periods to buy different articles and they are supposed to have taken part in the building of the church. Most likely they would have been the master builders.