Last Updated on: October 10, 2023
Aurland is a beautiful municipality in Vestland county. Add a little dash of Voss as well, and you have plenty for a day’s worth of riding!
My friend would be coming from Bergen in the afternoon. So I had some hours to roam around, explore and see places not seen before.
Aurland, the fjord, the mountains, the nature
Aurland is located on the south side of the Sognefjorden, in the traditional district of Sogn. I stayed in a little village some minutes from Aurlandsvangen. To get to/from I would use the road Rv50, which runs from Aurlandsvangen to Hol. A road I’d planned to take when going back home.
Started the day around the (for me) usual time. No stress. Had planned to meet my friend near Vinje in Voss, in the afternoon. Began the day by riding out along Aurlandsfjorden. The weather was great, the views stunning.
One advantage with coming here in June, especially of later years, is that the weather is more stable. And better than in July. I’ve said this before, and would say it again. If you plan to tour the western parts of Norway, aim for the later half of June.
Flåm in Aurland
Flåm is a small village located at the inner end of the Aurlandsfjorden. Had been there before but this time the idea was to ride as far up in Flåmsdalen (valley) as possible. So off from E16 I took a small road through the village, along the Flåm river. Then followed the road up past farms and fields.
It didn’t take long before a sign prohibiting caravans and ROVs turn up. The road began to climb and get narrower. There are meeting spots to mitigate potential traffic issues, allowing cars to pass each other.
The pavement part goes up to a parking lot, where it becomes a gravel and dirt road. Above a train track which is called “Flåmsbana” runs. Well worth considering taking this train up to Myrdal station. It’ll give you a fantastic view of Flåm.
It’s not possible to drive or ride up to Myrdal, without an explicit permit from the railway authorities.
Soon a pretty exotic tunnel showed up. Below video is a shorter clip of the ride. Took lots more pictures, I’ll add them to the 2023 Gallery page later.
Video: The ride into Flåmsdalen
What I also did was to film the return out of Flåmsdalen. Don’t know how you see this, for me riding or driving a road in the opposite direction gives, if not entirely new, then a different perspective.
The ride out
Jordalen in Voss
As usual when you’re having fun, and I think the videos above proves that, it’s easy to lose track of time. Which of course happened, again. Still had one more thing I wanted to do before meeting up with my friend. He actually suggested I’d check out Jordalen, a valley he’d not been into but heard of.
So back in E16 through Gudvangatunnelen, and down towards Stalheim. Then off the main road and up through another tunnel which had me think of “The Mines of Moria”. This tunnel opened June 2016 and provided a safe route for the ca 40 people who lives in Jordalen. And of course, a safe route in for everyone who wants to go in.
As soon as you’re out of the tunnel the road turns to gravel. There were some deep gravel sections. Not ideal for heavy touring bikes with road tires.
With cautious riding you should be ok. For at least parts of the road. It all depends, not the least on the rider. Adventure bikes and ditto tires have an advantage though. And will have no difficulties riding all the way up and in.
The higher up and further in I got, the more snow could be seen. And the rougher the road. Clearly it had not been open for a long time. This is quite typical in Norway. Some years you have to wait till mid-June before roads not open during winter can be used.
Came up a hill and around a corner, then it was full stop. No getting further into the valley. There still was plenty left to be explored, but that had to wait for another day.
Back out of Jordalen
For a brief moment I did consider to try to get past the snow barrier. While walking across the snow barrier I found the ground way too soft, with rocks on the side. It would be too risky to try to pass, and I was alone.
There only sensible thing to do was to turn around and come back later in the year. On the way out I recorded the below video. It could have been considerably longer. Not sure it would be quite so interesting to watch though. Nerdy enough as it is.
Out of Jordalen I went more or less straight to the rendez-vous spot to hook up with my friend.
More on what we did the next day, in the next blog post.