Luster is a district in Sogn og Fjordane county. Luster sits right at the intersection of central alpine mountains, great glaciers and the iconic fjords. Luster is also the name of one of the villages. The great Luster fjord, a major branch of Sognefjord, is surrounded by Jostedalsbreen, Breheimen and Jotunheimen.
Skjolden is known for Ludwig Wittgenstein's lodge and Urnes is a UNESCO world heritage site. Luster offers all of Norway's grand nature as well as some of the finest cultural heritage.
Luster is at the inner (eastern) end of the 204 km (127 mi) long Sognefjord. Parts of Jotunheimen (Norway's high alpine summits) and Jostedalsbreen (Norway's great glacier) are within Luster municipality. Luster's grand nature is created at the intersection of Norway's largest fjord, largest glacier and tallest mountains. Numerous rivers transport "thick" (opaque) glacial meltwater to lakes and to the fjord, giving fjords and lakes a milky turquoise appearance. Luster is also home to numerous pretty waterfalls. Luster fjord (Lustrafjorden), easily recognized by its emerald-turquoise color, is a major arm of the great Sognefjord, and is more than 600 meters deep at Urnes. The area is sparsely populated, and is primarily glaciers and barren uninhabited mountains.
Some 5,000 inhabitants share more than 2,500 km2, making it a sparsely populated area, built up areas and farm land is limited to narrow shores and narrow valleys. About 15 % of the area is glacier or permanent snow. There are no towns in the area, only small villages and settlements.
- Solvorn - once an important trading place, now peaceful village with a fine hotel.
Luster is in western Norway so overland transport from East Norway runs through mountain passes.
Road 55 connects to the private Tindevegen at Turtagrø, road to Årdal through high mountains.
Lustrabaatane is a ferry connecting Solvorn to Ornes (Urnes) respectively on the west and east shore of the fjord. The ferry is running 9 times a day in summer, 4 times in winter and it costs 34 kr per person and 93 kr for vehicles less than 6 m (20 ft). The crossing takes about 15 minutes.
The last ferry of the day is often very crowded, and it is possible that vehicles are left behind. If you just want to visit the church in Urnes from the western (Solvorn) side, do not take your car, but cross as a foot passenger instead — you won’t need a car in Urnes if you can manage to walk up the small hill the church stands on.
- 1 Nigardsbreen, Gaupne/Jostedalen (Route 55 to Gaupne then route 604). Arm of the great Jostedalsbreen glacier. Caution: Watch from a safe distance, respect signs and fences, professional guide needed for hike on the ice. Free.
- 2 Feigumfossen (Feigefossen), Skjolden, ☏ , email@example.com. A 218 m (720 ft) high waterfall. The waterfall can be seen from route FV331. A path let you take a closer look. If you continue on the path there is a place right by the bottom of the waterfall where you can take a sip of pure, safe snowmelt. Free.
- 3 Romantic Road (Starts in Skjolden ends in Urnes). The FV331 is a 30 km scenic road along the eastside of the fjord. The road is narrow with several curves, so drive slowly. From Urnes you can take the ferry to Solvorn. This is a nice alternative to route 55. Free.
- 4 Jotunheimen (Road 55 (and/or Tindevegen road to Årdal)). The western part of Norway's highest mountains are in Luster and Årdal districts. These are also the wildest part of Jotunheimen, steep summits and sharp ridges. Visible from a long distance as well as from road 55.
- 5 Urnes Stave Church (Urnes Stavkyrkje), Urnes (30 km (19 mi) from Skjolden on route FV331, or with ferry from Solvorn.), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. 5 May-30 Sep: 10.30AM-5.45PM. The oldest stave church in Norway, built around 1130 AD. Included on UNESCO World Heritage List. Adults: 80 kr, Students/Children: 60 kr.
Due to its fame, the stave church in Urnes tends to be quite crowded. You can only access the church through a guided tour, which will give you very good information but also very limited flexibility in discovering the details of the building for yourself (or taking pictures). Plan accordingly.
- 6 Ludwig Wittgenstein's lodge, Skjolden (Eidsvatnet lake). Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein had a vacation lodge on an isolated spot above the lake, he spent long periods there working on his theories. The building was later moved down to Skjolden, but has since been moved back to its original foundations. Barely visible across the lake from road 55. If you are walking from the town, you have to walk a stretch along the lake before reaching the trail. The last part of the trail is quite steep, and can be slippery if it is wet. Free.
- 7 Dale church (Dale kyrkje), Luster village (Road 55). A modest gothic, medieval parish church with an impressive soapstone portal (visible indoor only) and murals. Free.
- 8 [dead link] Gaupne old church (Gaupne gamle kyrkje), Gaupne (Road 55). Wooden church (about 1647) with remains of an ancient stave church on the same site, notably the wooden portal. Modest exterior. Interior rosemaling or tole painting. Now maintained as cultural heritage. Adults: 50 kr, Students: 40 kr.
- [dead link] Galleri Walaker, Solvorn. Tu-Su 12:00-17:00. This gallery holds exhibitions by local and national artists.
- Cycling, Nørstedalseter, ☏ , email@example.com. 26 Jun-13 Sep: 8AM-11PM. Cycle the 32 km (20 mi) long downhill from the mountain down to the fjord. Those with strong leg muscles can cycle up again (and save 80 kr). Cyclehire: 120 kr, Drop of Cycle by the fjord: 80 kr.
- Hiking, ☏ . Hiking in Jotunheimen.
- [formerly dead link] Moreld Sea Kayak, Kroken, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Kayaking tours to Feigumfossen waterfall and Urnes Stave Church. Longer tours also available. 450-750 kr.
- 1 Sognefjellet mountain pass (Sognefjellsvegen), Road 55 from Skjolden. Summer only. Norway's highest mountain pass runs pass Norway's highest mountains in Jotunheimen with view to summits and glaciers. On the eastern side through Bøverdalen valley to Lom village. The road is closed in winter, opens about May. Steep ascent and descent, sharp corners. Cross country skiing is possible until June. Free.
- Other hiking:
- Molden for spectacular views at 1118 m above sea level up and down the Lustrafjord.
- Solvornnipa for full day hike
- Other cycling ideas
- Skjolden-Urnes road
- Husflidsbua, Skjolden, ☏ . Arts and traditional crafts.
- Fjordstova, Skjolden, ☏ , email@example.com.
- Lustrafjorden Kro, Høyheimsvik, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1 Nymoen Leirplass, Skjolden. A nice, medium sized camp site with an all around perfect view of the fjord. Cabins available. Small, shared kitchen. Hot shower at extra charge (10 kr). Small tent 100 kr.
- [dead link] Solstrand Fjordhytter, Luster, ☏ , email@example.com. Cabins with view of the fjord.
- 2 Eplet Bed & Apple (Solvorn village on road 55), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Guest house and apple juice farm with friendly staff. You can do fruit picking during summer and stay for free in dormitory or with your tent. Open from 1st April to 1st October. Double: 600 kr, Single: 500 kr, Dormitory: 200 kr, Tent: 100 kr per person. Warning: cash only payment and no ATM available in Solvorn.
- 3 Skjolden Hotel, Skjolden, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Double room: 990-1090 kr.
- 4 Turtagrø Hotel, Fortun, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Double: 1980 kr, Single: 1490 kr, Tent: 125 kr per person.
- 5 Tørvis Fjordhotell, Marifjøra, ☏ , email@example.com. Double room: 1590 kr.
- 6 Eikum Hotell, Hafslo, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 7 [dead link] Walaker Hotell. The Walaker Hotel, by the Nitter family since 1690. Walaker serves a fine 4-course, set menu dinner with wine recommendations. This is served at 19:30 in the restaurant in the main building and is an important part of the Walaker experience. From June to August, it is recommended to reserve dinner in advance because the restaurant will be full.
- Route 55 to Lom is a scenic road and named one of 18 national tourist routes of Norway. It is the highest mountain pass in Norway at 1434 m (4705 ft). Closed during the winter (Nov-May). Private road from route 55 at Turtagrø to Årdal.
- Route 55 to Sogndal.