If you decide to visit Norway and its West Country, you’ll want to get to know at least one of the great fjords jutting in from the coast, the longest of which is Sognefjord, streching more than 200 kilometers from the sea. Its very eastern end divides into two, the northern and longest branch being Lustra Fjord, surrounding which is our Luster Municipality with its 5000 inhabitants spread over 2700 square kilometres.
Luster is very much a National Park Municipality, with parts of three national parks within its boundaries. Jostedalsbreen National Park encompasses the largest glacier on the European mainland; Jotunheimen National Park covers the highest and wildest mountains in Norway, and between them we have Breheimen National Park with impressive valleys, waterfalls, high plateau, and many smaller hanging and valley glaciers.
How to get to Luster
If you start from our capitol of Oslo, it takes about six hours to drive to Høyheimsvik using the shortest route. That is north to Hønefoss and Gol, over Hemsedalsfjellet to Laerdal and then across Sognefjord by the Fodnes to Mannheller ferry. Continue towards the town of Sogndal, but turn right onto Route 55 immediately after crossing the bridge but just before the town. By following Route 55 for 36 km one reaches Høyheimsvik in about half an hour. It’s a lovely drive!
A slightly longer route is the one through Fagernes and Valdres, but only by a matter of minutes. Alternatively you can turn down to Ovre Årdal and take Tindevegen (the toll road) over the mountains to Turtagrø – a great mountain pass but only in good weather. From Turtagrø one takes the spectacular road down to Skjolden at the innermost part of Sognefjord, and from there the final stage to Høyheimsvik takes less than half an hour.
The most attractive route is to drive up through the Olympic town of Lillehammer and up Gudbrandsdalen to Lom and from there over our highest tourist road – Sognefjellsvegen. For this 450 kilometre route one must set aside a whole day but the reward is the most fabulous of mountain views!
Alternatively one can reach the fjords from Bergen in some four to five hours or from Trondheim, our third largest city, via Otta and Gudbrandsdalen in six to seven. From the coastal towns between Bergen and Trondheim several exciting routes lead into the countryside. Traffic is light and the roads are easy to find, so just study the map and plan well!