Are there still unknown places in Norway? Places that hardly anyone goes, where there are no blogs about and which you cannot read about in the travel guides? I thought this was not the case until a year ago, when I ended up in a place so incredibly beautiful that you can’t imagine there are hardly any other tourists. Still, that place is there and I found it by accident. I’m talking about Blådålen and the Møsevassbreen in Folgefonna National Park in Norway.
A vacation in Åkrafjord
If you mention Åkrafjorden, hardly anyone knows this fjord. And neither did I until last year. Although I had traveled twice in Fjord Norway before, there was still an unfamiliar fjord in front of me, which I accidentally stumbled upon during my search for a small cottage in Norway. We were looking for a quiet holiday home on a fjord in Norway and above all: affordable. I spent hours searching, and eventually ended up renting at a small house above the Åkrafjord.
After a few days with just rain and a lot of time spent indoors, we decide to go out. Searching for beautiful hikes in the area does not initially give a lot of options. We make an attempt to hike to the Åkrastølen, but the bridge across the river has been washed away by all the rain from the previous days. On various Norwegian hiking apps we research other hiking options and then suddenly I notice the south side of the Folgefonna National Park. On Google Maps I see a road and a line along a lake to a glacier. The next day we decide to go for it, in search of a nice adventure!
A drive through Blådålen
“The blue valley” or Blådålen is an hour’s drive from our cabin. First we have to leave the fjord, up the mountain pass and there seems to be a small road into the valley. The valley is dominated by the huge water reservoir and the hydroelectric power station, but once past this an amazing portion of beauty opens up in front of us.
Not only is the weather beautiful, but all around us are lakes, mountains and green meadows. We are surrounded by herds of sheep and even spot a huge sea eagle with our binoculars. Using our navigation we drive on, there is no longer a cell service but the road should lead to a lake, from where we can hike towards the glacier.
Arrival at Møsevattnet
After a long climb with hairpin bends over a very narrow road we arrive at the Møsevattnet, a turquoise lake surrounded by rocks and in the distance: a glacier. It turns out to be the Møsevassbreen, one of the glaciers of the Folgefonna National Park. There is an information panel at the parking lot showing that there is some kind of hiking trail towards the glacier.
We grab our backpacks, put on our hiking boots and set off for the glacier, off to seek some adventure!
Heading to Møsevassbreen
Is there a trail? No there is no real trail. There are occasionally cairns who indicate the route, but otherwise it is mainly a lot of jumping and climbing over boulders. Sometimes it is flat, sometimes it is steep and hands are involved. After an hour we look up, the glacier mouth seems to be just as far away.
We descend again to the lake, then we rise again. Finally we arrive at a ridge and the marking ends there. Below us there is an abyss, we cannot continue here unless we climb up. From here, the trail only ascends further away from the glacier.
But … that doesn’t matter. In the meantime we have come quite close to the glacier (without meeting anyone on the way) and we sit and enjoy the stunning views. The sun sometimes breaks through and illuminates the bright blue ice in a special way. A piece of ice calves off the glacier, which then thunders into the water of the Møsevattnet with a loud bang.
So we sit here for over an hour to enjoy a cup of tea and a stroopwafel. There we are, in at the end of the world, just an hour and a half away from the main road. Enjoying all the beauty within sight.
In the end we decide to slowly start making our way back. Every now and then I glance over my shoulder. What a wonderful surprise during a rainy holiday!
Also check the video that I made of this trip:
Conclusie en disclaimer
Before I started writing this blog I tried to do some research on Blådålen and Møsevassbreen but I found almost no information online about this valley. Shame? No, certainly not, because although I hope that more people will enjoy this beautiful place in Norway in the future, I also hope that mass tourism will not discover it. Do I contribute to this in a certain way by writing this? Perhaps. But I also really enjoy sharing a newly discovered place with you. The eternal dilemma of the travel writer …