Five ways to experience Værlandet – The hidden gem of western Norway

Travel a few hours north of Bergen, and you will come to Værlandet. This group of islands is one of the westernmost permanent settlements in Norway, with just around 200 people. Compared to the nearby fjords, Værlandet is still relatively undiscovered by travelers. That’s why it’s the perfect place to visit to slow down and get in touch with nature. 


Despite being small in size, Værlandet – and nearby Bulandet – offers various things to do. Here are our five favorites: 

1. Explore the seas by kayak

Værlandet and Bulandet consist of several smaller and bigger islands. So naturally, there are a lot of seas to explore! Though the islands are well-connected with roads, kayaking will take you where no road goes. 

Your local guide is passionate about the ocean and proud to show you the beauty of the sea. Together you will navigate between the 300 or so islands and islets surrounding Bulandet. Keep your eyes open for some of the creatures that make their home here, like otters and seals. Don’t be surprised if a white-tailed eagle flies above you! 

2. Boat and hike to the top

There is a wide variety of trails to choose from throughout the islands. The most spectacular of them all is the hike up to Alden. This mountain is known as the “Norwegian Horse” and has been used for nautical navigation for centuries.  

Alden is its own separate island, so you need to travel by boat to get to the trail. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own. Some of the locals run a “taxi” boat service to and from Alden for hikers. From the guest harbor at Værlandet, it’s only a 15-minute ride across the water. The hike from there is steep but so worth it! Alden at its peak is almost 500 meters above sea level, which gives you an unparalleled view of Værlandet and Bulandet. 


3. Cycle the open road

The road connecting the islands is known as the “North Sea Gate.” On your bike, you’ll feel like you’re heading to the end of the world. On the bike, you can go as slow as fast as you want. But you will still have an unrestricted view of the open road. Not to mention the spectacular nature that surrounds it and you. 

There’s no need to plan a route or check your gps. Go wherever you want, where your heart takes you. Anywhere you feel like you can stop. Leave your bike and go on a hike, or sit down and eat your matpakke (packed lunch). 

4. Bring your own frisbee

Explore the landscapes of Værlandet through play and fun! Near the guest harbor and Værlandet Havhotell is a 6-hole frisbee golf course ready to be played. Just bring your own frisbee. Whether you’re an experienced frisbee player or a complete newbie, this is certainly a new way to do sightseeing. The ocean winds from the North Sea can give the game an extra challenge. 

5. Slow yourself down

Sometimes the best thing is to do nothing at all. Why not just sit and take it all in? Be in the moment and notice how your senses connect with the surrounding nature. See the peak of Alden reigning above the rest of the islands. Hear the waves crashing against the shore. Feel the sea breeze rustling your hair, and smell the fresh and salty ocean air. 

Værlandet is the perfect place when you want to slow down. 


What are you waiting for?

We recommend those things, but Værlandet has things to offer that you can not put on a list. If slow travel and nature are what you’re looking for, Værlandet is the place for you. For an exploration of western Norway, why not look at our tour of “The Hidden Gems of Norwegian Nature”?