Jostedalsbreen is the largest glacier on the European mainland. It is located in the county of Sogn og Fjordane in Norway, and the many arms of the glacier can be seen from different parts of Sogn og Fjordane. Its size and position makes the glacier a key barrier to travel around the county.
The glacier and the mountains surrounding it became a national park in 1991.
Mountains, some of them scrubbed bare by the ice. Many valleys. And glaciers rising to a height of 2083 m (6833 ft).
Flora and fauna
At lower elevation the flora is quite rich. This is because of the pure meltwater flowing down the valley. Closer to the glacier the flora is of an arctic type. On the glacier there is not much animal life. Red deer, lynx and wolverines could be spotted. In the mountains and valleys around the fauna is richer. Especially the red deer can often be seen. Eagles can also be seen.
In the valleys and the mountain area around the glacier the climate can be temperate in summertime. On the glacier the temperature is lower. There can be snowfall even in mid-summer.
As Sogn og Fjordane county barely has railway lines, the best public transport option is by bus. Buses often operate on a limited schedule, but the entire county is well-covered. The map on Ruteinfo.net will show you bus stations, bus stops and accommodation including telephone numbers. As the map is not in English, select one of the municipalities bordering the glacier (Jølster, Luster, Sogndal or Stryn) where it says VEL KOMMUNE.
There is no fee to enter the park.
There are no roads in the park, so the only option is by foot.
The following attractions are related to the glacier and the park. However they are situated outside the boundaries of the park.
- Norsk bremuseum (Glacier museum), Fjærland, ☎ , fax: +47 57693287, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Jun-Aug: 9AM-7PM, Apr-May and Sep-Oct: 10AM-4PM. Museum regarding glaciers. Also visitor center for the park. Adult:110 kr, students: 50 kr, children: 50 kr.
- Jostedalsbreen Nasjonalparksenter, Oppstryn, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. hours=. Visitor center, with exhibition about flora, fauna and geology in the park.
- Breheimsenteret, Jostedal, ☎ , fax: +47 57683240, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 1 May-31 Sep: 10AM-5PM, 21Jun-20Aug: 10AM-7PM. Visitor center.
If you only would like to see the glacier, without walking on it, this are the best options:
- Nigardsbreen. In Jostedal, 63 km from Sogndal. In the end of the road there is a parking space. From there departures a small boat over the lake in front of the glacier. The journeys takes 30 minutes.
- Bøyabreen. In Fjærland, close to Route 5 towards Skei. It is possible to see the glacier from the parking space. Or you could walk for about half an hour in relatively flat terrain.
- Supphellebreen. In Fjærland. 10 km on a side road from the village.
- Briksdalsbreen. In the end of the valley. 22 km from Olden. This may be the most well known view of the glacier. From the parking space you could walk 2,5 km or ride with motorised vehicles called Troll-car.
Trekking and glacier walking. Here is a list of organised glacier tours:
- Bødalsbreen (Meet at Sande Camping), ☎ . , 10 Jun-15 Sep: at 10AM. A five hour treking, including three hour on the glacier. Children under 12 years are not allowed. 500 kr.
- Nigardsbreen, Nigardsbre (Meet diect by the glacier), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. at 11:30AM, 12:30PM, 14PM, 15PM. An easy tour, also suitable for children. Minimum age is six year. Adult: 200 kr, Children: 100 kr.
- Flatbreen, Fjærland (Meet at Bøyum Camping), ☎ . , 1 Jul-31Aug: At 8:15AM. A tour suitable for person with some physical training. Trekking for nine hours, including 3 hours on the glacier. Only children over ten years of age.
Individual tours could be arranged with the tour-guide upon request.
A ticket to the Norwegian Glacier Museum in Fjærland.
Traditional Sogn og Fjordane cuisine. Raspeballar, pinnekjøt or spekekjøt.
Olden, which is a bottled water from the Jostedalsbreen glacier. Its source lies in the Oldedalen valley south of Olden in Stryn municipality.
- Flatbrehytta, Fjærland, ☎ .
- Briksdalsbre fjellstove, Briksdalsbre, ☎ .
- Bødalseter, Loen, ☎ .
- Tungestølen turisthytte, Veitastrond, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are no designated camping ground in the park.
Glaciers are one of the most dangerous places for visitors to the Norwegian outdoor. Never underestimate the power of the glacier. Observe warning signs. Never approach the front of the glacier. A glacier is not a stable piece of ice, it is constantly moving and huge chunks regularly fall of.
Do not enter the glacier without proper equipment and skilled guide. Preferably in an organised group tour with a guide. Sunrays get reflected from the white snow, so it necessary to use sunscreen to protect your skin. Bring warm clothes for tours on the glacier.
The rest of Sogn og Fjordane county is very beautiful. Also, nearby counties have a lot of splendid scenery too. There is a vast variety of things to do and see on your way to e.g. Oslo or Bergen.