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Jølstervatnet lake.

Skei is a village in Sogn og Fjordane. It is situated in beautiful surroundings at the Jølstervatnet lake. Surrounded by steep mountains, and the Jostedalsbreen glacier nearby. Skei is the centre of Jølster district and this article covers both.


Kjøsnesfjorden branch

Skei village sits in the middle of Sogn og Fjordane county, at the junction of road 5 and road E39 - the two key roads in the region. Jølster lake and its eastern branch, Kjøsnesfjorden, likewise occupies the centre of this rugged and romantic landscape. Jølster lake and Kjøsnesfjorden are looks like and were created like the fjords, except that the ocean does not reach this far. In fact, the lake is more than 200 meters above sea level. The lake's deepest point is some 230 meters. Jølster lake is one of many fjord-like lakes (also known as freshwater fjords) in Sogn og Fjordane county. The Jølster area covers the western corner of Jostedalsbreen glacier and glacial melt water flows through the many rivers of Jølster. The main river is Jølstra that reaches the ocean at Førde. Kjøsnesfjorden is steeper and wilder than the more mellow main lake. Just north of Skei rivers flow north through Breim lake towards Nordfjord.

Virtually all road transport in the area runs through Skei because Jostedalsbreen is a major barrier to the east and the north-south road transport is difficult along the extremely fragmented coast to the west. Skei sits at the upper end of the lake and is the main settlement. Vassenden village sits at the lower end of the lake - "Vassenden" literally means "End of Lake".

Get in[edit]

Jølstra river

By plane[edit]

Førde airport, (FDE IATA) is situated 60 km to the west.

By bus[edit]

There are express buses three times a day to Oslo, three times a day to Bergen and two times a day to Ålesund. Local buses to Førde twelve times a day.

By car[edit]

Skei is situated at the E39 highway. You can reach Skei along this from Bergen or Ålesund. Or Route 5 from Sogndal.

Get around[edit]

The village is rather small so it is possible to walk. But to reach the surrounding attractions a car is necessary.

Taxi: Skei Taxi, +47 90575555.


Night of the Marsh Mairgold, painting by Nikolai Astrup
  • 1 Astruptunet (Sandalsstrand) (15 km from Skei, on the south shore of the lake.), +47 57726782, +47 57726767. 10AM-6PM (in summer). The home of painter Nikolai Astrup (1880-1928) at Jølster lake where he lived in relative poverty on a tiny farm. Astrup belonged to a family of famous priests, scholars and politicians. Astrup got inspiration from the surrounding landscape. In his own particular naïve style, Astrup captured the rural western Norway and the northern summer. Virtually all paintings are from Jølster lake and surrounding area. Astrup is largely unknown abroad, but his romantic-enigmatic-pantheistic pictures are national treasures. Astrup's work resembles Henri Rousseau and Paul Gauguin. Astrup and Edvard Munch were pioneers in printmaking art in Norway. Munch held Astrup in high regard and did not understand how he achieved so much in his short life. "Astrup does that rare thing: he makes landscape painting seem fresh and alive again. Astrup remained too long in Edvard Munch's shadow" (The Telegraph). "Fairytale landscapes of midsummer magic" (The Guardian). Adult: 50 kr, senior and student: 40 kr, children: free. Astruptunet (Q11959464) on Wikidata
  • Eikaasgalleriet (Eikaas Gallery), Ålhus (16 km from Skei, on the northside of the lake. Close to E39.), +47 57726767, . Friday to Sunday: 11-15. Collection of the work of the artist Ludvig Eikaas Free entrance.
  • Jølstramuseet, Vassenden, +47 57727118. Museum with a collection of old houses. And old tools used by the farmers.


  • Fishing, +47 57728588. Trout can be caught in the Jølstervatn lake. A fishing licence is necessary, and could be bought at the touristinformation. 60 kr for a day, 190 kr for a week.
  • Jølster rafting, Stardalen (In Stardalen valley), +47 57727070, fax: +47 57727071, . Glacier walks. Different route. One of the routes is walk on Haugabreen glacier. Which is one of the easiest accessible glaciers. 350-450 kr.
  • Glacierteam, Skei, +47 90111963, . Organizes glacierwalk. Also special walks upon request.
  • Sunnfjord Golfklubb, Vassenden, +47 57728740, fax: +47 57728741, . Season: may-october. Nine hole golfcourse (par: 70). Greenfee: 200 kr.
  • Jølster skisenter, Vassenden, +47 57727550. Skiing slopes.






Go next[edit]

Routes through Skei
TrondheimVolda  N  S  FørdeBergen

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