GoViking in the Fjords is a new Fjord Norway concept for the season between October and April, allowing you to explore the western part of Norway in a way that is a little bit rougher, a little bit tougher, and just that bit more real. The UNESCO area of Gudvangen and the Nærøyfjord has a long, rich Viking history.

“Now that we have electricity all winter, a steady supply of water, and the roads are open 98 per cent of the time, it’s a walk in the park, really. Of course, we have our regular avalanches, but with the huge defences built, we can enjoy the snow more and fear for our homes and properties less,” says Torill Hylland, designer of Gudvangen Fjordtell, which she owns and runs along with her husband, Olav.

Gudvangen Fjordtell: Learn about Viking history – for real, Scan Magazine

Inspired by the Viking heritage of the area, Gudvangen Fjordtell was designed to capture the spirit and style of the past. “The main reason why people come to visit Gudvangen is the scenery and the location, so the hotel was built with the purpose of guests being able to enjoy the fantastic views of the glorious Næøryfjord. One-third of the main building is covered in glass, making it possible to enjoy the view no matter the weather conditions. The materials chosen also reflect the surrounding nature, and the use of triangles throughout the structure mimics the shape of the majestic mountains in the area.

The chairs and tables in the restaurant are decorated with patterns from Urnes Stavechurch, and so too is the impressive blacksmith work on the staircase and the central fire in the building. Along the massive beams, the Oseberg dragons are guarding the building.

“I have a great passion for our Viking heritage, a passion that grew throughout the process of researching for and designing the hotel. Now I am fully immersed in the world of the Vikings,” says Hylland.

Gudvangen Fjordtell: Learn about Viking history – for real, Scan Magazine

Fjord activities in a magical landscape

Situated in an old Viking area full of character and charm and with countless adventures waiting to be discovered, Gudvangen Fjordtell ensures that visitors are spoilt for choice, between breathtaking landscapes, fjords and historical sites. “We have everything from the impressive Flåm Railway and several ski resorts to ferry trips through the fjord, spectacular kayaking tours and a range of mountain hiking opportunities right on the doorstep of the hotel. There is something for everyone to enjoy here,” says Hylland.

But the most popular highlight, after the fjord cruise, of course, is the Viking Valley – a truly unique experience, situated only 100 metres from the Fjordtell. For the last three years, winter tourism in the fjords has really been growing, and it is easy to see why. “It’s breathtaking here in the summer, but the winter is an experience for all your senses,” Hylland continues. “The days are short and the sun is almost gone for four months, but the daylight is something special, and at the dawn of the day and in the afternoon, we have this magical, blue light. If you are lucky with the weather, the sun makes all kinds of colours on top of the snowy mountains, and when the moon shines, it all turns into a fairy-tale landscape.”

Gudvangen Fjordtell: Learn about Viking history – for real, Scan Magazine

Throughout the winter, there is a bonfire outside the Fjordtell at all times, so guests coming on the Norway in a Nutshell tour can warm up before they get on the ferry. There’s one on the hotel’s terrace every evening for the guests, too. The latest addition is some heated glass pagodes by the fjordside. Here, you can sit and enjoy the fjord landscape, being outdoors yet just as comfortable as though you were inside. This is without a doubt a place to find silence and an inner calm.

During the first weekend of Advent, Hylland recommends stopping by to experience the large Christmas marked in the Viking Valley. “The charming old street spanning all the way from the hotel into and around Njardarheimr is adorned with old-fashioned, yellow Christmas lights,” she says.

“We focus on creating a good atmosphere, with local food and traditional drinks as well as crafts from the area – a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.”

Gudvangen Fjordtell was built in 1991.
It is owned by Olav and Torill Hylland, fourth-generation hotel owners in Gudvangen.


Gudvangen Fjordtell: Learn about Viking history – for real, Scan Magazine

Welcome to Njardarheimr in Viking Valley

The Viking Village is not a museum or an amusement park: it is a real, genuine Viking village. For 24 years now, there’s been a Viking society here, with a Chieftain elected for life.

“Unfortunately, it took us 20 years to get the permission and land to build it all, but stubborn Vikings don’t give up easily,” Hylland laughs. Together with Georg Hansen, the dream about this place was kept alive, and it is now a living, growing centre for learning about and living as in the Viking Era. “Together with Frode Tufte, we have created this place where we make history come to life,” Hylland enthuses.

Gudvangen Fjordtell: Learn about Viking history – for real, Scan Magazine

Visitors get to enjoy a 45-minute guided tour called the Viking Experience. The Viking guides don’t have a strict manuscript; they tell the story about the Vikings, their everyday life and traditions from their own perspective – so even though the facts are the same, every tour is different; a land-worker telling it from their point of view will be a very different experience from a warrior telling it from their perspective.

Visitors can also try out different activities such as axe throwing and archery, visit the blacksmith or the Chieftain’s hall, or try out different handicrafts. “Most importantly, our guests can always ask questions, chat to the Vikings and even sit down around the fire with us,” says Tufte, concept developer and CEO of the Viking Valley.

“In museums, everything is behind glass walls with written explainations. We don’t have any of that. We make it, use it, mend it, and also let you try it. That’s a different experience.”

Gudvangen Fjordtell: Learn about Viking history – for real, Scan Magazine

«GoViking in the Fjords» is an innovative concept in Fjord Norway, offering a unique experience between October and April, allowing visitors to explore the rugged and authentic side of the western part of Norway. The UNESCO-designated area of Gudvangen and the Nærøyfjord holds a rich Viking history, providing a captivating backdrop for this adventure.

With electricity available throughout the winter, a reliable water supply, and roads open 98% of the time, Gudvangen is easily accessible. Torill Hylland, the designer and owner of Gudvangen Fjordtell, highlights the area’s resilience against avalanches and emphasizes the enchanting winter experiences that await.

Inspired by the Viking heritage, Gudvangen Fjordtell is a homage to the past. The hotel’s design captures the spirit of the Vikings, with one-third of the main building featuring glass walls for panoramic views of the Nærøyfjord. The architectural choice reflects the surrounding nature, incorporating triangular shapes reminiscent of the majestic mountains.

The restaurant’s decor pays homage to the Urnes Stave church, featuring patterns on chairs and tables, as well as blacksmith work inspired by Oseberg dragons. Torill Hylland expresses a deep passion for Viking heritage, which drove the research and design process, immersing her fully in the world of the Vikings.

Gudvangen Fjordtell offers a range of activities in the magical landscape, from the iconic Flåm Railway and ski resorts to ferry trips, kayaking tours, and mountain hikes. A highlight is the Viking Valley, located just 100 meters from the Fjordtell, offering a unique and immersive experience of Viking culture. The winter season, with its short days and special daylight, provides a captivating atmosphere, and guests can warm up around a bonfire outside the Fjordtell.

As part of Norway in a Nutshell tour, guests can enjoy the enchanting fjord landscape from heated glass pagodas by the fjord side, combining outdoor comfort with breathtaking views. Gudvangen Fjordtell hosts a Christmas market during the first weekend of Advent, creating a festive atmosphere with local food, traditional drinks, and crafts.

Established in 1991, Gudvangen Fjordtell is owned by Olav and Torill Hylland, fourth-generation hotel owners in Gudvangen.

Additionally, Njardarheimr in Viking Valley is not just a museum or amusement park; it’s a real Viking village with a Viking society that has been thriving for 24 years. Visitors can enjoy a 45-minute guided tour called the Viking Experience, offering insights into Viking life, traditions, and everyday activities. The Viking Village is a local project, and all income goes back into maintaining and developing the village, supporting experimental archaeology and education.

For those seeking an authentic Viking atmosphere, Gudvangen invites visitors to experience the Viking Valley in winter, complete with fire, drums, and rough weather. It’s an opportunity to understand how this beautiful landscape played a crucial role in shaping the Vikings. «Go Viking! Go real!» concludes Torill Hylland.



Geirangerfjord is a stunningly beautiful fjord located in the Sunnmøre region of Møre og Romsdal county in western Norway. It is part of the larger Sunnmørsalpene mountain range and is known for its deep blue waters, towering snow-capped peaks, and cascading waterfalls. Geirangerfjord, along with Nærøyfjord, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its outstanding natural beauty and cultural significance.

Here are some key features and information about Geirangerfjord:

  1. Geography:
    • Geirangerfjord is approximately 15 kilometers (9 miles) long and extends inland from the village of Geiranger to the snow-covered peaks of the surrounding mountains. The fjord is characterized by its narrow, steep-sided cliffs that rise dramatically from the water.
  2. Waterfalls:
    • The fjord is adorned with numerous waterfalls, adding to its magical allure. Among the most famous are the Seven Sisters, a group of seven waterfalls on one side of the fjord, and the Suitor (also known as the Friaren) on the opposite side. The Suitor is so named as it appears to be courting the Seven Sisters.
  3. Seven Sisters:
    • The Seven Sisters is a captivating waterfall where seven separate streams cascade down the mountainside. It’s one of the most iconic and photographed features of Geirangerfjord.
  4. The Suitor (Friaren):
    • The Suitor is a single waterfall adjacent to the Seven Sisters. According to local legend, the Suitor is trying to woo the seven sisters across the fjord.
  5. Eagle Road (Ørnevegen):
    • The Eagle Road is a serpentine mountain road that offers breathtaking views of Geirangerfjord from above. It includes 11 hairpin turns and is a popular route for tourists driving through the region.
  6. Dalsnibba:
    • Dalsnibba is a mountain located near Geiranger, and the viewpoint at Dalsnibba offers panoramic views of Geirangerfjord, the surrounding mountains, and the nearby glaciers.
  7. Activities:
    • Geirangerfjord offers a range of activities for visitors, including fjord cruises, kayaking, hiking, and photography. The fjord is a popular destination for cruise ships, allowing passengers to experience the beauty of the landscape from the water.
  8. Fjord Center:
    • The Geiranger Fjord Center provides information about the history, culture, and geology of the region. It’s a great starting point for those interested in learning more about Geirangerfjord.
  9. Tourism and Accessibility:
    • Geirangerfjord is a major tourist destination and attracts visitors from around the world. The fjord is accessible by road, and there are ferry and cruise options available for those who prefer to explore the fjord from the water.
  10. UNESCO World Heritage Site:
    • In 2005, Geirangerfjord, along with Nærøyfjord, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing its outstanding natural beauty and cultural significance.

Geirangerfjord is a breathtaking destination that showcases the majestic beauty of Norway’s fjords. It is a must-visit for those seeking awe-inspiring landscapes and a connection with nature.