If you’re visiting Norway’s fjord country, check out this Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel review.
Our minibus carefully navigated hairpin bends as our expert driver, Adrienne, gripped the wheel tightly.
The headlights illuminated the snowy and icy roads before us, which were surrounded on either side by evergreen trees that were tinted with frost.
After driving through the city of Sogndal – which is down the mountain from its airport that we’d just flown into – we eventually trundled into the small village of Fjaerland.
Like a lantern in the darkness, the Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel was bathed in light. As we sleepily disembarked the bus, we caught sight of our hostess, Inna.
“Welcome to Fjaerland!” She greeted, giving us each a key. “It’s an old, romantic hotel – there’s no lift I’m afraid!”.
We hastily put our belongings in our bedroom, enticed by the smell of freshly cooked soup that was wafting up from the kitchen, and made our way to the lounge.
This blog post contains affiliate links. I was a guest of Widerøe Airlines and Visit Fjord Norway. All opinions are my own.
About Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel
Sitting in the heart of Fjaerland, the Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel is one of those glorious places where time has stood still, yet manages to still incorporate all of the modern conveniences needed for a comfortable stay.
With almost antique furnishings set out in tasteful ways, Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel feels like a step back to times long gone.
Dating back to 1937, there may be no televisions in the rooms and the stairs might creak a little, but you’ll be cosy with ultra-comfortable beds, warm showers and a friendly, cheery atmosphere.
Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel Review: the rooms
Our room was lovingly decorated with rustic furniture including an old-fashioned chest of drawers and squashy seats.
We couldn’t see when we checked in, but these seats ended up being the ideal spot to look out over the fjord.
The comfortable bed was roomy enough for two to sleep comfortably, each with their own duvets (as is custom in Norway).
The en-suite bathroom was spotlessly clean, with a powerful shower.
After enjoying our soup, we turned in for a night’s sleep; the lack of noise and light pollution, along with the comfortable bed, meant that we slept like logs.
Upon arising the next morning, I tiptoed to the window and pulled back the curtains.
“You have to see this”, I said to my partner Richard, who was still waking up.
The hotel sits on the edge of the fjord, and from the upper-room windows, you can gaze down at the water, across to the cliffs, and along to the end of the dramatic landscape, giving a feeling of being completely immersed in one of Norway’s natural wonders.
“Fjaerland is Norway’s book town,” Inna told us at breakfast. “We got inspiration from a British town that did the same thing – Hay-on-Wye. We have lots of bookstores! This gave us an idea for one of the rooms, which is the book room.”
We set out to find the book room after breakfast. A haven for all lovers of literature, this room offers the chance to sleep amidst bookshelves.
“Although, it’s a bit controversial with some of our guests,” Inna told us. “We had one guest who asked us if we’d run out of rooms and decided to put him in the library!”.
Fjerland Fjordstove Hotel’s charm doesn’t stop at its tasteful rooms. The dining room/ lounge has squashy sofas and panoramic windows overlooking the fjord water.
Idyllic and welcoming, Inna lit candles in here for us in the evening and made the most of the natural light in the morning.
Being one of the key hotels in Norway’s book town, there was always a bit of literature to enjoy here too!
Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel food
I’m still salivating when I think of the Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel’s food.
Pumpkin soup wafted in the air as we checked in, giving us a literal warm welcome to the guesthouse.
The morning was a breakfast buffet; I’m a little fussy (I don’t eat meat or eggs and limit my dairy), so there wasn’t a huge amount for me, but I did make some Norwegian waffles and sandwich some brunost, brown Norwegian cheese, in the middle, which we were shown on a Bergen walking tour the day prior.
But the piece de resistance of the hotel’s dining was our phenomenal lunch – which was the best meal that I ate on my whole trip to Norway.
I devoured a starter of fresh white rice with cucumber ribbon, red cabbage and courgette – it looked like deconstructed sushi. Everybody else enjoyed a ceviche made with fresh fish that they’d caught that morning.
Homemade pasta was on the menu for entrees – mine came with four types of mushroom, herbs and chilli, whereas everyone else had theirs with scallops.
I don’t normally eat desserts, but I couldn’t resist the light raspberry cake that was waiting on the candlelit table (could you get any more Koseling?!) for us as we returned from a trip to the village’s Glacier Museum.
With lashings of whipped cream on the top, the sweet sponge perfectly balanced the tartness of the berries.
Fjaerland has been a tourist spot since around 1850, largely thanks to its proximity to the Jostedalsbreen glacier, the largest in continental Europe. Tourism slowly increased, although it lost some of the novelty of visiting after the roads came to the village – before it was just accessible by boat.
However, the innovative people of Fjaerland came up with new ways to attract tourists. Visiting the glacier is still popular, however Norway’s fascinating glacier museum adds another dimension to visiting – especially in the winter months.
Thanks to the number of bookstores setting up in Fjaerland, it’s become known as Norway’s book town (taking inspiration from Hay on Wye in Wales), which has made it a must-visit destination for literary lovers in Norway.
Plus, Fjaerland Guiding was set up by Jarle Mundal to help to connect tourists to the nearby natural landmarks.
Thanks to Fjaerland’s petite size, it’s easy to organise activities directly from the hotel.
They work closely with Fjaerland Guiding, who can host the following:
- Kayaking: Suitable for everyone (from kids aged 4+), kayaking on the fjord is available year-round, although it is weather-dependent. I was keen to try it out when we were there, but sadly the weather wasn’t on our side!
- Fjord hiking: There are several epic viewpoints around Fjaerland, and hiking trips span up the cliffs to take them in.
- Skiing: “You can’t live here if you don’t like to ski” said Jarle. Fjaerland Guiding offers skiing tours, including cross country skiing.
- Glacier Hiking: Visiting the Jostedalsbreen glacier is a little more adrenaline-racing, but Fjaerland Guiding provide the essential equipment and briefing before a full tour.
- Dampen Sauna: Of course, if you want something more relaxing, chill out in the sauna! There are floating and land-based saunas available – dipping in the fjord after is optional!
Other activities include:
- Fishing: Our group took a fishing trip out on the fjord in the morning; there’s a variety of fish to look for in the fjord, including Atlantic cod and crayfish.
- Cycling: This isn’t as popular in the winter, but once the snow has gone many locals use bikes as their form of transport – so why not do as locals do and join them?
- Glacier Museum: The immersive Glacier Museum consists of a virtual flight over the glacier, exhibitions on what glaciers are and their geography and an impressive walk-through time exhibit detailing how glaciers were formed and the risks they face in the world today.
There’s plenty to explore around Fjaerland, whether you’re visiting the Norwegian fjords in winter or summer!
Of course, Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel is one of those places where you could just sit, grab a book (you’re in the book town after all!), drink copious cups of coffee and watch the fjord go by… Check it out here!
How to get to Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel
We flew from Bergen to Sogndal as a guest of Widerøe Airlines.
We had a private transfer to pick us up – you can arrange these with Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel – or you can take the bus from the airport to Sogndal and then to Fjaerland.
It’s a tiny propellor plane, with a 2X2 configuration and only eight or so rows of seats (there’s even a seat in the back middle, bus style!), and when the weather’s a little rough, turbulence can also be.
Our plane was delayed due to bad weather, and when it did ultimately take off it was rather bouncy upon landing!
However, Widerøe pilots are highly experienced in these weather conditions; so the flight might be bumpy, but it’ll be safe!
Are you ready to visit Fjaerland?
If you’re looking for Koselig hotels in Norway where you have the option for some adventurous activities but can also spend time practicing the art of doing nothing (balance Is always important!), I can highly recommend the Fjaerland Fjordstove Hotel.
I left feeling refreshed and revitalised, reminding myself to consider this hotel next time I wanted a trip away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.